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Classic Cars in Rhodesia



Make Lotus
History          
Year 1956
Coys Auction - The Racing Car Show, Saturday 12th January 2008
Assembled by none other than the legendary Graham Hill over April/May 1956 when he was working as a mechanic at Lotus Engineering in Hornsey, London, this famous Eleven Sports was originally campaigned in the 1,200cc class of the Autosport Production Sports Car Championship. Hill had raced for some years and shown his mettle behind the wheel but without the money to buy his own car he had taken the job at Lotus as a way of keeping close to the racing scene. The car was thus part-funded by Colin Chapman in return for its use as a works car - Race debut at Oulton Park on June 9 1956; Hill raced it at a further eight meetings that season and in nine races finished on the podium, four times in first place. It is very likely, incidentally, that the then relatively impoverished Hill drove the car, registered from new as XJH 902, to and from these race meetings. Subsequently the Lotus was displayed at the British Motor Show in October 1956 and was used as demonstrator at a Gui ld of Motoring Writers test day at Goodwood in November, after which road test
reports appeared in Autosport on 23/1/56 and Motor Sport in February 1957.
For the 1957 season chassis 208 was purchased from Hill by Ian Walker who fitted the engine with a Willment overhead inlet valve cylinder head conversion that boosted power output by some 20bhp. Walker raced the Eleven successfully at several meetings, results including victory at Mallory Park, Brands Hatch, plus 4th overall and first in class in the Snetterton 3 Hours, all of which helped him to win the Autosport Production Sports Car Championship and the Lotuseer Cup; he also entered the Lotus in sprint meetings, amongst which he took a class win at the Brighton Speed Trials.
At the end of the end of the year the car was advertised for sale for £955 and sold to Don Le Clus who took it to Rhodesia and raced the Lotus for two  years. He in turn sold the car to Bobby Duncan who changed the colour from yellow to British Racing Green before campaigning the Eleven for some four years. When Coventry-Climax-engined examples began to appear, however, chassis 208 was inevitably no longer competitive and the 100E engine replaced by a 1,340cc, 109E Ford Classic motor with twin Weber 40 DCOE carburettors; around this time the time colour was changed to a sky blue shade with the headlamp covers painted white. In 1966 the car, now with a blown engine, passed to David Pinder-Brown who already owned a Lotus Eleven Le Mans, chassis 286, the FWA engine of which was fitted to chassis 208. Subsequently, the car was sold to Ivan Glasby in 1970, before being acquired by Roy Kemp the following year who sold it in 1995 to Jannie van Aswegen, the latter managing to reunite the Eleven with its original 1,172cc side-valve engine, complete with the original overhead inlet valve cylinder head; the cylinder block, however, was cracked and this was replaced with another period casting. Van Aswegen entrusted organisation of the car's restoration to ex-Lotus and ex-Jim Clark mechanic Cedric Selzer, who also bought a fifty per cent share in the car, and chassis 208 was then shipped from South Africa (the primary reason being a lack of suitably skilled craftsman there capable of
restoring the aluminium body) to Great Britain; this latter work was entrusted to Fred Fairman in Cornwall who was reportedly overwhelmed by the originality of the Williams & Prichard-produced panels, 75 per cent of which have been retained on the car. It was also prior to the restoration - carried out between 2002 and 2007 by well-known Lotus specialist Mike Brotherwood, with
paintwork by Sovereign Coachworks carefully applied to give the illusion of age - that both Ian Walker and his mechanic from 1957 confirmed the car to be without doubt The Yellow Peril.
Importantly, given that not one Lotus Eleven chassis was ever stamped with a chassis number, the car still bears its original chassis plate. Purchased by the vendor directly from Jannie van Aswegen and Cedric Selzer, this historic Lotus is now offered in excellent and freshly restored condition. An extremely well documented sports racing car with an impeccable pedigree, chassis 208 comes complete with a comprehensive history file, including testimonies as to its authenticity from former owners, related correspondence, the original engine block, the original non-salvageable body panels, a V5 registration document and a MoT test certificate valid for 12 months. This extremely important piece of motor racing history is eligible for numerous historic competition events in which it could be very competitive - a superbly presented and evocative Eleven which must surely be very high on the wanted list of any truly serious Lotus collector.

Most likely the car registered S-53011/SRH shown in the second photo.
Model Eleven
Chassis No. 208
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style Racing car
Colours              
Registration Numbers XJH 902, RD-***/SRH
References Last five photos courtesy of Jeri Vignelongue (Bobby Duncan's Grandaughter)
 
Lotus 11Lotus XI
Duncan with LotusDuncan with
                      Lotus
Belvedere Track
Duncan with LotusDuncan with
                      Lotus
Beira round the houses
Duncan with Lotus

 

Make Lotus History          
Year   Raced by Jimmy Shield in Rhodesia. The engine of this car was fitted to chassis 208 for a number of years. Owned at some stage by Dave Pinder-Brown in Rhodesia. Photo below shows Jimmy Shield at Marlborough. Acquired in 1996 by Roland Servais of Belgium and restored over 15 years.

Model Eleven
Chassis No. 286
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours              
Registration Numbers RQ-13/SRH
References Photo Malcolm Shield
 
Jimmy Shield at
                      MarlboroughLotus XILotus XILotus XILotus XILotus XILotus XI
 


Make Lotus History          
Year
Raced at Le Mans in 1958, this car was returned to the Lotus factory where it was fitted with a FWA 1098cc Climax engine as the smaller unit remained the property of Coventry Climax. It then moved to Rhodesia where it was owned by Don Le Clus, who had owned Lotus chassis #208. The car passed through numerous owners in Rhodesia and South Africa between 1959 and 1980, including Ettore Balletto in Rhodesia around 1964. Owned by Michael Lester in South Africa in 1975, car at that stage believed to have been the 1957 Le Mans car. Acquired by Ivan Glasby (ex Bulawayo, Rhodesia) and taken to Australia. A restoration was started before the car was sold to Manuel Jiminez who completed the restoration. Sold soon after to Murray Richards and in 1995 the car was shipped to America to take part in "A tribute to Lotus" at Laguna Seca. Later owned by Paul Samuals before passing to Rick Marks of Sydney in 2003. By 2013 the car was owned by Harindra de Silva in California.
Model Eleven
Chassis No. 514
Engine No.
Coachbuilder
Body Style
Colours
           
Registration Numbers
References Vintage Race Car October 2004; Photo Harindra de Silva
 
lotuslotus 514Lotus XI 514XI #514
 

Make Lotus History          
Year   Raced in Rhodesia by Ron Watt and still owned by him in 1996. This car was fitted with a 1300 BDA and a Lola T212 body. Said to be one of the most reliable cars around, achieving many class and overall wins in the hands of Isaac Codron and Pete Symons.

Model 23
Chassis No.  
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours              
Registration Numbers
References
 
 Lotus
                      23

 

Make Lotus History          
Year 1969 History given for car when on sale on www.race-cars.com says that this Lotus 59 chassis remained unraced in 1970 [the number 38 suggests it to be a mid-late season build in 1969]. According to Lotus records this chassis was sold to Peter Wardle at the start of 1971 and run by him in Formula Atlantic. Retained by Wardle in 1972, then sold to Gary Ainscough in Rhodesia. Gary then sold the car to Richard Baker in Joburg. Richard raced in the HRCR in South Africa for a while. It was later completely re-built and then sold overseas.

Model 59
Chassis No. 59-XB/F3-38
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours              
Registration Numbers
References Rob Davison; Gary Ainscough
 
Lotus
                      59-69
 

Make Lotus History          
Year 1961
Owned by Danny Portograndi in Salisbury. Acquired from Arian car breakers as a complete write-off, nothing existed from the windscreen forward. Rebuilt in a backyard shack at John Pike's place in the suburbs of Salisbury. Front shroud, bonnet, headlights, bonnet, wings were imported from England. A Ford Cortina GT engine was fitted, bored out to 85mm. Sold to Manoli Koutsoudakis who was working for Mercedes. 
Model Elite
Chassis No.  
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours Silver            
Registration Numbers RSR-733/SRH
References Rick Fenner, Danny Portograndi
 
 

 

Make Lotus History          
Year 1968
Believed to have gone to Rhodesia as new. At some stage the car went to South Africa where it was note din Natal and later in the Transvaal. Acquired by Mike Bond of Johannesburg in March 2011.
Model Elan S4
Chassis No. 36-8282
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours Yellow            
Registration Numbers 21-518-N/RHO, NPN-72779/SAF, FWY-853-T/SAF, BF51KB-GP/SAF
References
 
Elan S4
 

Make Lotus History          
Year
Body noted at an Harare panelbeaters in 2010. The car had been taken there for restoration by the owner, a Mr. Small. After the owner died the car was sold and it is presently being rebuilt.
Model Elan
Chassis No.  
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours White            
Registration Numbers
References
 
ElanElan

 

Make Lotus History          
Year
First series Europa owned by a reporter/photographer for the Bulawayo Chronicle around 1967/68.
Model Europa S1
Chassis No.  
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours
           
Registration Numbers
References Andre Van der Loo
 

 

Make Lotus History          
Year
Owned by Mike Bremner of Harare in 2011.
Model Europa S2
Chassis No.  
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours Black and gold - JPS colours - Not original colours
           
Registration Numbers AAC-2731/ZIM
References
 
Lotus EuropaLotus
                      Europa

 

Make Lotus History          
Year
Fitted with an Alfa Romeo engine, owned by W. Thompson in 2015
Model 7 replica
Chassis No.  
Engine No.  
Coachbuilder  
Body Style
Colours
           
Registration Numbers ACO-1929/ZIM
References
 
7 kitcar

 

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