Lot 136 - 1955 Lotus Mk. VI
|Odometer reading||1,912 miles|
|Estimate||£50,000 - £60,000|
- Maintained regardless of cost by Mike Brotherwood
- De Dion axle and finned drum set-up from new
- One of the most famous Lotus Mk. VI's in the world
Noted driver and motoring writer, Andrew Willis, called this example, “the original thoroughbred racer” going on to say that it was entirely representative of the late, great Colin Chapman’s ethos who was behind the sprightly design and, like most early Lotus models, his hand is very much evident when you take a walk around this racetrack weapon.
As an engineer, Chapman was renowned for stripping back the unnecessary with an often-fervent philosophy towards lightweight, fine handling race cars. He famously summarised his beliefs and stated “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”.
The distinctive shape and fully original unpainted aluminium finish and tubular spaceframe chassis is, in fact, one of only four fitted with de Dion rear suspension from new thus making it an incredibly rare example of the original Lotus ‘production’ car. It also carried a 1508cc Ford Consul EOTA engine later replaced with an MG XPAG 1350cc with Laystall cylinder head, an MG TC gearbox, BMC ‘A’ Series differential and large Lotus Mk. IX finned aluminium drum brakes.
Indeed, The Mk. VI became a popular choice on Britain's racetracks and enjoyed consistent success, often beating more powerful entrants and earning praise for superb handling and superior low-speed acceleration. “Just as Chapman intended it”, Andrew Willis noted.
This particular model, despite its lovely condition, has thankfully not been denied its racing pedigree. Instead, Chassis Mk. 6/68 has been driven in anger at continual race meets and hill climbs throughout its life with a strong history to boot.
Indeed, the extensive history file not only includes a full set of FIA papers, HSCC Vehicle Identity Forms and GRRC Motorcar & Motorcycle registration document but also includes details of its mechanical aspects, specifications, bills and invoices. The separate box file contains all the all the official programmes from circuits around the country where it has competed including timing sheets and final positions from Donnington, Goodwood, Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Thruxton etc.
Past owners include Le Mans driver, John Hine, in 1958 and Sunbeam team racer Robin Bryant in 1959. Chris Smith of Westfield Cars later raced the car extensively from 1977 to 2002 along with an appearance at the 2001 Goodwood Revival.
Chassis number Mk.6/68 also boasts some wins abroad, taking the AMOC Sports Car Trophy in 1979, followed by a successful period travelling and racing around North America in the 1980s in the hands of Jerry Morici and Ralph Stechow.
Maintained regardless of cost by the current owner and fitted with the correct MG TC engine and gearbox, the top end has recently been off and benefits from a new aluminium cylinder head and gearbox rebuild. It has had a full Mk. IX de Dion rear axle and finned drum set-up from new, possibly the only one in existence and therefore an incredibly rare opportunity for anyone looking for entry to any historic racing at any circuit, anywhere.
• 1957-1958 John Hine competed in the David Brown Trophy Endurance Race at Silverstone moving on to race many other Lotus models including Chevron sports cars both nationally and at Le Mans.
• 1958 Robin Bryant raced at Brands Hatch followed by Lotus XI and others.
• 1977-2009 Chris Smith of Westfield Cars raced extensively winning the AMOC Sports Car Trophy in 1979 and competing at the 2001 Goodwood Revival.
• 1982-1983 Jerry Morici imported the car to the US and race it in the VSCCA series at Lime Rock.
• 1984-1988 Ralph Stechow hill climbed & raced the car at Mt. Equinox and Lime Rock returning the car to Chris Smith in the UK in 1988
• 2003-2006 Steve Cropley (Autosport editor) hill climbed & raced at club level.
• 2009 to current owner with Paul Davis.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.