Lot 320 - 1972 Lotus Elan Plus 2S 130/5 (Chassis #1) Ex-Ronnie Peterson
|Odometer reading||84,822 miles|
|Estimate||£28,000 - £35,000|
|Result||Sold - £72,800|
Ronnie Peterson.It is virtually impossible to describe the affect this young, good looking, quiet and shy but seriously talented Formula 1 driver has had upon, not only the aficionados of the sport, but the public in general, creating a huge ripple of affection that is still felt today by the huge fan base that still exists. Nicknamed Super Swede, Ronnie Peterson rose from karting to Formula 3 to become European Formula 2 Champion in 1972 and came closest to winning the Formula 1 World Championship in 1973 and 1978. Peterson's first Grand Prix was in 1970 at Monaco driving for the Colin Crabb privateer team, Antique Automobiles Racing Team then progressing to drive for the March Team in 1971. In 1973, Ronnie signed for the John Player Team Lotus, partnering Emerson Fittipaldi, a team led by the ever-charismatic Colin Chapman with Peterson achieving his first win in a Lotus 72 at the 1973 French Grand Prix held at the Paul Ricard circuit. Three further wins that year led Peterson to third in the Championship. By 1975, the Lotus 72 was showing its age resulting with Peterson signing for Shadow; however, Chapman convinced him to stay at Lotus, promising faster development of the Lotus 77 with Peterson driving the car in 1976 before rejoining March Engineering and winning the Italian Grand Prix. After a short spell with Tyrrell, Peterson returned to the John Player Team Lotus for the 1978 season winning the South African and Australian Grand Prix with his team mate, Mario Andretti, who won the Championship that year. Ronnie Peterson's enduring legacy owes much to his spectacular sideways style and he is still regarded by many as one of the fastest drivers in F1 history. Peterson's death was as unfortunate as it was tragic. After crashing at the start of the 1978 Italian Grand Prix he was pulled from his burning Lotus 78 by fellow drivers and taken to hospital with badly broken legs. A complication that night led to an embolism that robbed F1 of its hardest charger.
The Lotus Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - chassis #1.Introduced in 1967, the Elan Plus 2 (factory designation Type 50) had an increased wheelbase over that of its predecessor that allowed the incorporation of two occasional rear seats. The glass fibre bodyshell is bolted to a steel backbone chassis to which the engine and transmission are bolted making this a lightweight and immensely strong platform for its high performance engine and nimble handling characteristics. The model had several improvements during its life and, in 1971, a big valve head was added improving performance furthermore. Significantly, in October 1972, a five speed gearbox was added, the model designation becoming the Elan Plus 2S 130/5; the Plus 2 relating to two occasional rear seats, the S referring to the Sprint specification engine, the 130 referring to horsepower and the 5 to the five-speed gearbox.
We are proud to offer chassis #1 - the first Elan Plus 2 that was fitted with the five-speed gearbox. Not only that, but this special Elan was given new to Ronnie Peterson by Colin Chapman in 1972. A letter from Lotus Cars Ltd. within the extensive history file states that"the Lotus Elan unit number 1001L was supplied to Ronnie Peterson on 23/11/72".An extract from the Lotus dispatch book also confirms that this was supplied to Ronnie Peterson with engine number P28258 and supplied in the colour of Lagoon Blue. A further letter from Lotus states that Eddie Dennis, Peterson's chief mechanic, often drove the Elan to race meetings if Peterson was flying in to a circuit. A DVLA history of keepers includes a copy of the original, old-style, registration document and, although this shows that the car was registered to Lotus Cars Ltd. during Peterson's ownership, it does bear Peterson's signature with a date stamped 22nd Nov. 1972. Personal photographs show Peterson with his wife Barbro and daughter Nina Louis, named after Jochen Rindt's wife, and of Peterson with this Lotus Elan Plus 2 outside their home in Cookham Dean in Berkshire. Still presenting in Lagoon Blue, it is in generally very good order throughout and still carries the same specifications with which it left the Lotus factory over 43 years ago. The extensive history file contains the items mentioned plus a large quantity of invoices dating back to the 1970s together with a factory Workshop Manual. We are advised that JPW 162L is a matching numbers Elan that starts and drives well and will arrive at the sale with a fresh MoT test certificate.
Offered with a UK V5 registration document, supporting photographs and letters of authentication from Lotus Cars Ltd., JPW 162L represents a unique opportunity to acquire a historic Lotus associated with one of the fastest Formula 1 drivers of the 1970s, Ronnie Peterson.