Designed by Colin Chapman and driven by a number of the biggest names in motorsport, the Lotus 19 was sports car racing’s hugely successful giant-killer in the early 1960s.
With its fibreglass body draped over a spaceframe chassis, it was a car that followed Chapman’s lightness mantra to a tee. Powered by a mid-engined 2.5-litre Coventry Climax four-cylinder, it diced with and frequently bested its V8-engined competition.
One Sir Stirling Moss also played a big part in the 19’s development. It was he who undertook most of the testing in 1960 and subsequently drove one to victory on its debut at Karlskoga in Sweden.
Quite the thing, then. And the one you see in the pictures above is made even more special thanks to the calibre of drivers that competed in it. In the 1962 season, for example, Graham Hill partnered with Innes Ireland to win six of the seven sports car races.
The following year, chassis #953 was brought to the Easter Meeting at Goodwood. It was here where Moss used it to test his recovery from the major accident he had suffered the previous year. Upon his return to the pits, Moss announced his decision to retire, meaning this very 19 was the last car he drove as a professional racer.
After changing hands a number of times, #953 ended up with George and Brian Barton for the 1964 season. At Oulton Park, though, Jim Clark’s car failed before the start of the race and George handed his seat to the then F1 World Champion. Clark, of course, won the race.
This 19 – one of only 17 ever built – has quite the history then. It even has Moss’ signature on the engine cover from when the pair were reunited in 2012. And now it’s up for sale.
Yep, having been fully restored in recent years and fitted with a new Coventry Climax engine, #953 will cross the auction block at the Silverstone Auctions Race Retro Sale in February. We’ll fight you for it.