|11/64: Duchess Autos Inc, Lotus East Racing, Main St, Millerton, New York, USA
1978 – Hans Olaf Rocke, Islamorada, Florida, USA
1979 – Alex Seldon, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom
1981 – Jeffrey Wakelin, United Kingdom
1981 – Unknown Owner, California, USA
1999 – Mike Paton, California, USA
2001 – Marcel Pund, Galerie Du Darnier, France
2002 Feb – Gerard Marcy, Belgium
2012 Apr -Anthony Schrauwen, Belgium, current owner
This car was originally sold to Duchess Auto, a Chevrolet dealer in Millerton, New York, in November 1964.
Fred Stevenson and Newton Davis (who ran the Lotus Division of Duchess Auto) collected the car at JFK Airport. Peter Pulver, Vice President of the company and racing driver himself, tested the car at Lime Rock shortly after delivery. Pulver recalls, “The front brakes would overheat, the car would understeer, and you could feel the chassis moving around under you. The hot air from the radiator was exiting the front brakes causing them to overheat. We decided to reroute the air flow, by cutting a full flow vent on the nose, which also corrected the understeer. We also beefed up the frame by spot welding on an extra skin.”[ref]Varani, Franco. “Lotus 30-L-7”. 04 Jul 2012.[/ref]
It was then raced by Davis in the Nassau Trophy and Govenor’s Cup where he retired in both races. The car raced in several SCCA events in 1965, notably winning at Lime Rock. Gerry Georgi, a fellow club racer, filled in for Davis when he was not available.
The car went into storage at the end of 1965. It has been said that it was used “more for partying and posing, and the racing was somewhat incidental.” The car was kept in display condition. In 1978, the car was briefly owned by Hans Rocke of Florida.
The Beautiful Miscalculation
Alex Seldon, Guilford, UK, bought this car in 1979 from the USA and prepared it for vintage car racing. Alex had success in HSCC events with it and won the 1980 Classic Sports Car Championship for it’s class.
The car is a Series One which has been updated to a Series Two, with 15 in. wheels, a detachable chassis section, and other improvements. Seldon’s mechanic installed a Ford 289 (a very early Ford Advanced Vehicles GT 40 engine prepared by Stuart Mathieson’s Mathwall Engineering) rated for 380 bhp. The Tecalemit-Jackson fuel injection was replaced by Weber 48 IDA carburateurs (the horse power was around 350 et 6500 rpm at this time). The car had a restored ZF 5 DS-20 transmission.
It was sold in 1981 to Jeffrey Wakelin, just before being featured in Doug Nye’s excellent Old Motor article “The Beautiful Miscalculation” in October 1981. Nye shoehorned himself in the Alex’s car and did a few laps in it. Seldon remarked that the car was a most enjoyable if demanding car, “though positively evil in the wet”. [ref]Nye, Doug “Beautiful Miscalculation.” Old Motor. October 1981: p. 41[/ref] He also commented on how hard the brake pedal initially was, “like hitting a wall with your foot and still nothing happened.” Seldon modified the pedal geometry to improve that situation. He also mentioned that while at the foot of Paddock Hill at Brands Hatch the car bottomed out so bad that the front tires punched holes through the bodywork!
When Seldon sold the car, it was in gorgeous condition with medium red paint. Wakelin did some racing with it and then put it up for sale the same year.
The car then seems to have promptly disappeared, being sold to an anonymous owner in the USA. It was kept as part of a static collection. in 1999 by Mike Paton. It stayed 3 years in California for sale without sucess.
It was bought by Marcel Pund (FR) in 2001. The car was displayed at the Rétromobile show by Pund’s “La Galerie des Damiers” on 2 Feb 2002. Despite being in rather rough cosmetic condition, it sold that same day.
The new buyer, asked to keep the car out of the Rétromobile show. So it stay 2 days at Rétromobile 2002, and was replaced by a Lotus 11.
More photos of this car can be seen here.
The April 2002 issue of Classic and Sports Car has a photo of this car with the following information:
“LOTUS BIG-BANGER FOUND IN BELGIUM
“This fabulous Lotus 30 has been unearthed in Belgium by French dealer Christophe Pund. It had been in storage for 20 years. The car was delivered to Duchess Autos, California on November 11, 1964, and campainged at Nassau and selected SCCA events. However, it was primarily used for display purposes. By the late ’70s, it was in the keep of Alex Seldon who had the car restored, racing it with some success at HSCC meetings. It subsequently passed to Jeffrey Wakelin, who in turn sold it on. The car is complete, but requires comprehensive restoration. It’s for sale and Pund can be reached on 0033 328 405924.”
The new buyer was Gerard Marcy (BE). The car was restored by Bernard de Dryver between 2003 to 2005.
|Date:DD/MM/YY||Lotus East Racing||EntryNumber||Driver||Result||Comment|
|04/12/64:||Governor’s Trophy, Nassau, Bahamas||#33||N.Davies||Rtd||11 laps|
|06/12/64:||Nassau Trophy, Bahamas||#33||N.Davies||Rtd||28 laps|
|28/02/65:||Daytona Continental 2000||#39||N.Davies/A.Johnson||DNA||did not arrive|
|17/04/65:||Lime Rock, SCCA Regional||#14||N.Davies||1st||CM Class Race|
|01/05/65:||Lime Rock, SCCA Regional||#14||N.Davies||7th||CM Class Race|
|16/05/65:||Cumberland, SCCA National||#33||N.Davies||3rd||CM Class Race|
|23/05/65:||Vanderbilt Cup, Bridgehampton||#38||G.Georgi||Rtd||42 laps|
|27/06/65:||Watkins Glen GP, USRRC||#38||N.Davies||14th||74 laps|
|22/08/65:||Watkins Glen 500, National SCCA||#7||N.Davies||DNA||did not arrive|
|19/09/65:||Bridgehampton Double 500, USA||#8||G.Georgi||Rtd||15 laps|
|05/12/65:||Nassau Trophy, Bahamas||#33||G.Georgi||DNA||did not arrive|
|1965:||SCCA Final National Standings|
|Northeast Division Class CM||N.Davies||11th||4 points|
Joucla, Emmanuel, personal correspondence, various dates.
“Lotus Big-Banger Found in Belgium”, Classic and Sports Car, Apr. 2002, p. 76. with photo.
Nye, Doug “Beautiful Miscalculation.” Old Motor. October 1981: p. 41-42.
Varani, Franco. personal correspondence, various dates Jul 2012.