1967 Lotus Type 51 FF

It was a class where being faster than the other guy meant you were a quicker driver, not that you had spent more money

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Introduced in 1967, the Lotus Type 51 was the Norfolk concern’s first specific Formula Ford design. Derived in part from the earlier Type 31 Formula 3 cars, it utilized a multi-tubular space frame chassis complete with steel undertray. Equipped with all-round independent suspension, disc brakes, and rack-and-pinion steering, it was powered by a 1,600-cc Ford Cortina cross-flow engine and became the new formula’s performance benchmark.
Part of the collection since 1995, this particular Lotus Type 51 FF has been re-imported from America. Seemingly original, it is reputed to have scared a previous novice owner so badly with its pace that he retired it to long-term storage after just one outing. It would require careful re-commissioning prior to making a track comeback.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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