When this Lotus 18 (chassis 908) turned up at an auction in Aachen, Germany, in 1996 and was bought by Dutch Lotus collector Olav Glasius, it was painted green with yellow wheels and was missing its engine, gearbox and chassis plate. During the initial restoration in the Netherlands, the original white-and-blue livery, the Camoradi colours, was found under the green paint.
Peter Denty later took the Lotus to the UK for a more comprehensive restoration and had it fitted with a 2.5-litre Coventry Climax FPF engine running twin 58 DCO 3 Weber carburettors, and a Colotti T32 gearbox. The car featured at a number of motor shows, such as Essen and Maastricht, and Glasius put Simon Diffey in the car at Goodwood. In 2012 Glasius sold his Lotus collection at a Bonhams auction, but the Lotus 18 only found its way to its current owner in 2015.
‘Restoring a historically valuable car to its original glory and bringing it back to the paddock and the racetrack, that’s what really excites me,’ says the current owner, who’s been involved in historic racing for 25 years. ‘The real attraction is being able to drive a car that raced in a real grand prix in 1961. That’s a great honour. And it’s a lot of fun as well. We want to rebuild the Lotus to perfection both technically and visually. A car without compromise.’
Expanding on the restoration, the owner says: ‘We were faced with the huge challenge of overhauling the car from the ground up, each individual component, so the car is back in the condition it was in 1961. I entrusted this mammoth project to James and Peter Denty, who have done excellent work for me on various Lotus and Brabham projects over the past 20 years.’
Peter Denty, a mechanic for various teams in formula racing in the 1960s and 1970s, has long been considered a Lotus specialist. His workshop near Snetterton is described by the owner of the ex-Camoradi Lotus as ‘traditionally English’ – simple, unassuming and old-fashioned. Denty has a huge archive of original drawings and original spare parts, and also manufactures his own spares. He works closely with Clive Chapman’s team on Lotus restorations. One of Denty’s mechanics worked for Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima when he was Ayrton Senna’s and Nelson Piquet’s teammate at Camel Team Lotus Honda. At the time the team was based at Kettering Hall. Today, Classic Team Lotus can be found at Hethel, just 20 miles from Denty’s workshop…
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