30th July 2012
A Lotus 22 used in the making of John Frankenheimer’s classic movie ‘Grand Prix’, will return to Brands Hatch, scene of the British Grand Prix in the film, at this August’s Lotus Festival.
One of just 77 Lotus 22s built in 1962, the racer, built primarily for Formula One feeder series Formula Junior, was also reincarnated as the Lotus 31 F3 car in 1964 and the 1967 Lotus 51, which launched Formula Ford, an initiative strongly linked to Brands Hatch.
The car on display was part of the fleet of Lotus 20’s and 22’s at Jim Russell’s racing school, based at Snetterton. Jim was contacted by Carol Shelby, on behalf of MGM and John Frankenheimer, to supply 20 mocked up Ferrari, Lotus, BRM, and Honda F1 cars for the film ‘Grand Prix’. The car was one of many used to create the stunning action sequences and is thought to be the only 22 to remain in Lotus livery in the movie.
After the film the car was purchased from a motor scrap and salvage dealer in Tattershall amongst other cars, chassis and related items. Repairs were carried out by a specialist firm in Norfolk and tested at Snetterton before a further full restoration using a great deal of the original parts, including a period dry-sumped Lotus Twin Cam engine and Hewland gearbox.