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1963 Lotus Type 23B Exclusive SOLD

Lotus Type Reference Historic Sports Racer Listings Lotus Listings
Serial Number: witheld at owner's request
Logbooks: FIA papers
Condition: Excellent, museum or race
Price: $73,700 USD firm
Location: Principality of Monaco
view photos

Description

Present owner since 1984. The car was purchased in England,  from Alan BAILLIE, a well known race pilot, collector and Lotus specialist, under the cover of FIA Historic Vehicle Identity Form had the # 187 issued by the Historic Sport Car Club Registrar and certified by the RAC, Royal Automobile Car Club Motor Sports Association.  The new owner commissioned Alan BAILLIE a money no object restoration, with the objective to make of this LOTUS 23B both  a potential race winner and possibly the finest 23B in existence, but  with the utmost respect for originality and FIA Rules. Meantime owner's safety considerations called for the replacement of any 1963 mechanical component with new, original equivalents, whenever available, an example being the Hewland gear box and the major suspension components.

Shipped to Italy  May 1984 the 23B received a new FIA Form, this time from CSAI, the Italian Authority.
In the period 1984 to 1988 and in spite of the no hassle, mild tune, stage two Ford Lotus twin cam engine which Mr. BAILLIE was asked to provide, the car was amongst the top Italian HRC performers. The LOTUS was intermittently entered  by the owner, then a regular Formula 3 competitor, in meetings which staged also HRC events. The 23B enjoyed a performance advantage due to a high level of chassis tuning, bettered by the ability of the owner-driver and his F3 Team mechanics to develop suspension rates and settings to conform with modern tire characteristics. In other words in 1963, when tires were wooden,  the LOTUS 23B settings for springs, dampers and bars had to be soft, nowadays tires are soft.....
 
After a 1989 resting spell, in  March 1990 the 23B went back to race; this was at  the Paul Ricard's March season opening meeting, this time  under the cover of a new FIA Form, her third, issued by the Automobile Club de Monaco, the Country where her owner now lived.  Having discovered that meantime HRC engine power  had soared,  she he was taken to GALMOZZI, a leading twin cam specialist in Crema, Italy, to convert her engine to a full steel, all out spec. She raced a good part of the 1990 European Championship, returning to Crema for an engine check every other race, the only engine problem encountered being a worn cam lobe in Zolder.  She closed the season September 10, at the Saltzburgring, second to a Ferrari in a 18 lap race, credited an official 1'30"32/100 on lap 16, which  makes a 169.073 Kmh lap speed average.... well over 100 mph... for those in the know this was pulling on the straight a 24/27 fifth ratio, being careful not to rev the mill above 8,500  rpm!
 
Winter 1991 she returned to GALMOZZI for a routine engine job, valves grind, bearings, con rod bolts; after she went to Jean Paul PAOLI, a renown French specialist in Saint Tropez, where she had frame and suspensions  reconditioning, chassis aesthetics and a brand new complete body, purchased again from BAILLIE. At this point her kerb weight was 456.8 Kg, the same as a modern F3... wasn't Colin  Chapman a genius?

Since 1991 no more races due to owner's change of programs, only  some intermittent use, the odd weekend private testing when the Automobile Club de Monaco rents a circuit for member's benefit. Her potential and breed should warrant her return to circuits rather than lay in a collection's static boundaries.  

History

Originally sold in England to Ken FOSTER in March 1963, her original color was Italian racing red. No intermediate history is available until 1983, when she was bought in West Germany by Carl GRAEF, dressed with a coupe body. She was re-imported by Peter DENTY in 1983 and than sold to Alan BAILLIE, who was searching for a sound restoration project on behalf of the present owner, who owned her for the last 14 years

Recent Competition History

Second placed, FIA European Championship 1990, Class F, T8

Engine

Fuel System

Oil/Water System

Electrical System

Gearbox & Final Drive

Body

Chassis

Interior

Spares


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