DOWN THE WORK­SHOP WITH

FOR­MULA 2 LO­TUS 69

Motor Sport News - - Historics -

Cur­rent owner: Roger Be­van

Be­van saw it race back in 1971 “My wife Mau­reen and I have been fol­low­ing For­mula 2 since we first went to Thruxton in 1967. We went to Crys­tal Palace up un­til it closed and we were there for the F2 meet­ing in May 1971 as im­pov­er­ished spec­ta­tors when Emer­son Fit­ti­paldi won in the Lo­tus 69 that I now own. I had no as­pi­ra­tions to race back then as it was far too dif­fi­cult.”

Fit­ti­paldi raced it for two sea­sons “The F2 Lo­tus 69 was a 1971 car, chas­sis num­ber 5. It was the same car that Fit­ti­paldi used again in 1972 when it was known as the Moon­raker car. It was al­ways Emer­son’s car and was part of his salary pack­age from Lo­tus. I think there were about a dozen built and it was run out of Italy, even in 1971. The Lo­tus fac­tory didn’t run F2 cars in 1971. It won nine F2 races in two sea­sons. He took it to Brazil twice for the Torneio se­ries at the end of the sea­son and won sev­eral races there.”

En­gines were an is­sue in pe­riod “I met the me­chanic from 1971 at Monza last year. This old boy turned up with a huge head of white hair and in­tro­duced him­self as Emer­son’s me­chanic. He said all they did that year was change en­gines. In 1971 it ran a Cos­worth FVA en­gine and in 1972, when they went to two-litre en­gines, he had all man­ner of BD en­gines.”

It then raced in For­mula Li­bre “Af­ter 1972 it went to John Blades for For­mula Li­bre and it won a lot of races. Andy Bar­ton and Dave Muter both raced the car and then it went to Amer­ica with Jim Ben­nett and then John De­lane. From there, Frank Syt­ner bought it in 2007 and had it re­built by Si­mon Had­field for the 1600cc His­toric F2 class to take on Martin Stret­ton.”

It is very orig­i­nal “I bought it from Syt­ner for 2009 and it now has a BDA en­gine. I’ve raced it ever since and had ter­rific fun with it. It is a lovely, lovely car. We’ve got it in ex­act 1971 Bar­dahl liv­ery. The im­por­tant thing about it is that it is so orig­i­nal, in­clud­ing the mono­coque tub, and even the damper cases are orig­i­nal. I’ll race it for as long as I can!”

Ex-fit­ti­paldi Lo­tus 69 F2

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