Lot 169 - 1968 Lotus Elan Plus 2 – Ex-Graham Hill
|Odometer reading||87,614 miles|
|Result||Sold - £23,520|
Graham Hill. It is often quoted that Graham Hill was not a naturally talented driver, although with two Grand Prix Championships, an Indianapolis 500 win and victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, what do you need to do to be talented? In fairness, Hill only learnt to drive when he was twenty four years of age. No matter, by the time he was twenty six, he began his racing career and three years later he was on the grid for the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix in a Lotus 12. In fact, Monaco really belonged to Hill with him winning there five times. His first championship win came in 1962 in a BRM with his second following in 1968 whilst with Lotus. Hill was always easily recognised whilst racing, by his distinctive racing helmet that carried the London Rowing Club's cap design - dark blue with oar shaped tabs; a design his son Damon carried into his racing career. Tragically, Graham Hill was killed in his Piper Aztec along with five other members of his Embassy Hill Racing Team in 1975, shortly after retiring from motor racing. Graham Hill will be remembered for many things but perhaps mostly as being a charming, tall, elegant, mustached, witty and well spoken Englishman and the only racing driver to take racing's triple crown of Formula One, Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans.
We are delighted to offer this 1968 Lotus Elan Plus 2 that was given to Graham Hill for his personal use whilst at Team Lotus. Originally supplied in silver, this Plus 2 was driven by the famous Lotus twin-cam power unit mated to an all synchromesh four-speed gearbox. The current owner and vendor acquired this Plus 2 during August 1976; by which time, RAH 400F was sporting yellow coachwork. Our vendor used the car for commuting and holidays abroad. Shortly prior to one such trip abroad, the Lotus suffered engine problems and a decision was made to replace the unit with another, rather than rebuild the original engine, due to time constraints. This was a common fix for many marques during that period, as the cars had little value and the costs of rebuild outweighed the easily obtainable second hand engines. Today, this Plus 2 can be described as requiring restoration. The body, however, does look straight and the original silver finish may still be seen in places. An interesting history file contains the original log book and shows the first registered keeper as Lotus Cars Ltd., dated 18th June 1968. Also included is a letter from Lotus Cars (Sales) Ltd., from 15th July 1970 that states that RAH 400F was "supplied to Graham Hill for his exclusive use during has associations with Team Lotus and was registered by Lotus Cars Ltd." A well known photograph of Graham Hill next to the Lotus and his aircraft adds further to the provenance. The vendor informs us that whilst in his ownership over the past 40 years, the car has been garaged for the past 37 years. The odometer is faulty but the vendor informs us that the mileage is approximately 120,000 miles.
Offered with no reserve, this must represent a fabulous opportunity to acquire a Lotus used by triple crown champion Graham Hill, a name that sits alongside the greats. Such opportunities are rare indeed.
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Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.