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1960 Lotus 19 2.5L Climax "Monte Carlo"

Posted by WindingRoad about 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Interesting 1960 Lotus 19 2.5L Climax “Monte Carlo”

One of Seven Lotus 19 Chassis Supplied with the Desirable 2.5L Climax. Delivered New to Lotus Formula One Hopeful Peter Ryan.

VIN: MK19-959

Exterior Color: Old English White with Green Stripes

Interior Color: Black

Mileage: TMU

Engine: 2.5 Litre 4-Cylinder Coventry Climax

Engine no.: FPF 1221

Transmission: Hewland FT-200 5-Speed

1960 Lotus 19 2.5L Climax “Monte Carlo”

s/n MK19-959, Engine no. FPF 1221

Old English white with Green Stripes

With its low-profile twin-cam Coventry Climax mid-engine, lightening quick performance, and unprecedented handling, the Lotus 19 “Monte Carlo” consistently greeted the checkered flag in race after race. The bold design and sparse material construction declared the Chapman philosophy “Add lightness” ensuring durability, performance, and reliability. The lightweight fiberglass body panels were mounted over the specially constructed triangulated frame, which acted as a solid but flexible unified chassis, all combined to make the new Lotus 19 a significant advancement in contemporary motorsports racing.

The Lotus 19 utilized much of the same suspension, braking, and Climax power plant successfully campaigned in the Lotus 18 Formula I and Formula II package, but with a closed wheel sports racing body and chassis package. And while the majority of the 19s were built with small displacement engines, a handful of them were equipped by Lotus with the desirable 2.5L Coventry Climax FPF series DOHC inline four-cylinder engine. These engines had quite simply revolutionized Grand Prix racing, winning five of eight races during the 1959 season, and eight of ten races in 1960. The ground-breaking engine would certainly have been enough to make a formidable competitor, but the Lotus 19 also featured the innovative, Lotus built “Queerbox” transaxle. Although this transaxle boasted a sequential shift pattern and the possibility for ratio changes in under ten minutes, it was initially plagued with reliability issues. Thankfully by the time the 19 was offered, the design was refined such that this small lightweight racing gearbox would prove to be the perfect combination for the Climax engine and the Lotus 19 package.

At the introduction of the Lotus 19, Chapman aptly named the car the “Monte Carlo” in honor of Sir Stirling Moss’s win at the 1960 Monoco Grand Prix, Lotus’s first F1 victory; an appropriate if not a bit intentional jab at the competition, the Cooper Monaco, which had previously been victorious in the same race two years earlier. And while technical merit and past victories are no assurance of future success, when the Lotus 19 arrived at Riverside Raceway in 1960 it literally ushered in a new era for sports car racing. Sir Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney set about their business, obliterating existing track records, with Gurney vaulting the record by over four seconds. Moss too had eclipsed the Silverstone track record in early 1960 by 1.5 seconds, just 36 days after his horrific shunt at Spa. He was still nursing two broken legs and a fractured back, but “was in good spirits after posting the time.” Moss would later go on to win with the 19 at its first official race meeting in Karlskoga, Sweden in August of 1960.

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