Jump to content


Photo

Lotus 23s raced in the Southern U.S. in the early 60s


  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#1 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 10 April 2014 - 18:54

lotus231600x425zn2_zps8dc99ac2.jpg
Richard Macon and his Alfa Romeo powered Lotus 23
John Miller master mechanic helping out on car.
 
In the early sixties few new European sportsracers came to the South. The only new model seemed to have been the Lotus 23, and there were quite a few of them:
 
1962:
 
Jim Baker, Ford-engined in GM
Homer Rader, Ford-engined in GM
Dave Morgan, Ford-engined in GM
Sid Kelly, Ford-engined in FM
Edna Sherman, Ford-engined in GM
 
1963:
 
Mason O'Keiff, Ford-engined in FM
Ed Cantrell, Ford-engined
Richard Macon, Alfa Romeo-engined
Harry Braswell, Climax-engined
Gordon Richardson, Ford-engined
Don Horn, Ford-engined
Frank Harrison, Ford-engined
 
 
Quite a successful market for Colin Chapman. Has anybody ever done any research about the chassis numbers of the above cars?

Edited by Jerry Entin, 10 April 2014 - 19:08.


Advertisement

#2 Sisyphus

Sisyphus
  • Member

  • 133 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 10 April 2014 - 19:23

I believe I remember seeing a photo of broadcaster Walter Cronkite in a Lotus 23 although that would have been rather late in his career--he stopped racing in the early 60's.  And I believe he raced primarily on the East Coast and the South.

 

Am I misremembering or was he another 23 owner?



#3 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
  • Member

  • 2,254 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 11 April 2014 - 05:57

Has anybody ever done any research about the chassis numbers of the above cars?
 
Have you tried Michael Oliver?
 
 
Vince H.


#4 Tuboscocca

Tuboscocca
  • Member

  • 1,145 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 11 April 2014 - 10:57



 

Has anybody ever done any research about the chassis numbers of the above cars?
 
Maybe a starting point would be Graham Capel's
Lotus History 1962-1966, History of the Lotus 23

At least it has a chassisnumberlist at the back of (all?) produced cars and first buyers. Furthermore the text descibes specific cars with chassisnumbers...

 

Michael



#5 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 11 April 2014 - 11:36

 

lotus231600x425zn2_zps8dc99ac2.jpg
Richard Macon and his Alfa Romeo powered Lotus 23
John Miller master mechanic helping out on car.
 
In the early sixties few new European sportsracers came to the South. The only new model seemed to have been the Lotus 23, and there were quite a few of them:
 
1962:
 
Jim Baker, Ford-engined in GM
Homer Rader, Ford-engined in GM
Dave Morgan, Ford-engined in GM
Sid Kelly, Ford-engined in FM
Edna Sherman, Ford-engined in GM
 
1963:
 
Mason O'Keiff, Ford-engined in FM
Ed Cantrell, Ford-engined
Richard Macon, Alfa Romeo-engined
Harry Braswell, Climax-engined
Gordon Richardson, Ford-engined
Don Horn, Ford-engined
Frank Harrison, Ford-engined
 
 
Quite a successful market for Colin Chapman. Has anybody ever done any research about the chassis numbers of the above cars?

 

 

I have, but am reluctant to share my findings at the moment as I am putting together a book...sorry.

 

The Macon car was the Rader car, re-engined.

 

The Sherman car was initially Ford-engined but quickly re-engined with an Alfa unit.

 

Richardson's car was ex-Jack Brabham.

 

Horn appears on the original sales list as an owner from new.

 

Have not seen any reference to the Kelly car racing, although seem to recall an advert in Competition Press which stated it was the Racing Car Show prototype with an aluminium body - have never been able to verify this.

 

Also, I don't think Morgan raced a 23 in 1962, he bought his car in 1963.


Edited by Michael Oliver, 11 April 2014 - 11:38.


#6 Tuboscocca

Tuboscocca
  • Member

  • 1,145 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 11 April 2014 - 14:39



Michael..

 

..''.I am putting together a book.''

 

Great news--WHEN??On the 23s??

 

Best regards Michael



#7 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,637 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 11 April 2014 - 17:22

Michael, I assume that the Alfa engine in the Macon car was a 1600? I am quite happy if you wish to say nothing.

Roger Lund



#8 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 11 April 2014 - 17:32

Michael:
 
Richard Macon buying Homer Rader's Lotus 23 in 1963 would make sense. Rader last raced his 23 at Mansfield on March 23, while Macon first raced his 23 at Pensacola on May 26.
 
As for Dave Morgan's first appearance in a Lotus 23, according to the Galveston News, he ran his 23 at Galveston on the weekend of September 15-16, 1962.


#9 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 11 April 2014 - 18:03

Roger:
 
Richard Macon ran his Lotus 23 in FM class during 1963. FM meant any modified between 1,150 and 1,600 cc that year, so a 1.6-liter Alfa engine is possible. A 1.3-liter is possible as well. In his first race, at Pensacola in 1963, the entry list only mentions Over and Under 2-liter entries. None of the other race programs in which Macon appears that year indicate engine sizes.


#10 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,637 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 11 April 2014 - 18:09

Many thanks Jerry,  and Willem...

Roger



#11 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 11 April 2014 - 19:36

Roger:
 
Looking back at our own thread on Richard Macon's race career and the first post reveals that the Alfa Romeo engine in his Lotus 23 was indeed a 1.6-liter.


#12 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 13 April 2014 - 15:06

GordonRichardson_zpsbbca11e5.jpg
Gordon Richardson and his Lotus 23 on their way to victory in the soggy June 16, 1963 Sunburn Feature at Green Valley Raceway.
 
An unidentified Lotus 23 not mentioned earlier is the car in which Bob Markley won the Features at Midland Airpark [Sep 22, 1963] and Seguin, Texas [Nov 3, 1963]. The car was maintained at the Chaparral shop in Midland.
 
On November 24, 1963. Don Johnson claimed the Savannah 3 Hours in yet another so far unidentified Lotus 23, owned by Frank Harrison of Chattanooga.
 
 
 
Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 April 2014 - 15:53.


#13 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 14 April 2014 - 11:40

 

Michael..

 

..''.I am putting together a book.''

 

Great news--WHEN??On the 23s??

 

Best regards Michael

 

 

It is on the rear-engined Lotus sports cars (eg 19, 23, 30 & 40 etc) but it's a long way away from being finished, many years probably...



#14 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 14 April 2014 - 12:02

 

Michael:
 
Richard Macon buying Homer Rader's Lotus 23 in 1963 would make sense. Rader last raced his 23 at Mansfield on March 23, while Macon first raced his 23 at Pensacola on May 26.
 
As for Dave Morgan's first appearance in a Lotus 23, according to the Galveston News, he ran his 23 at Galveston on the weekend of September 15-16, 1962.

 

 

Jerry

 

Thanks for the Mansfield Rader result, I had missed that one.

 

I believe this to be a misprint and that Morgan competed at the wheel of his Lotus 22 Formula Junior that weekend, the same car that he had raced at Opelousas and Mansfield in preceding weeks. Incidentally, I interviewed Dave and he had no recollection of ever owning or driving a Lotus 23...even though there are many photos and race result showing that he did both. For what it is worth, the first appearance I have for Morgan in a 23 is at the USRRC at Continental Divide, 18 August 1963. The car is advertised f/s 11 January 1964 with a twin-cam.

 

Michael



#15 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 14 April 2014 - 13:57

 

GordonRichardson_zpsbbca11e5.jpg
Gordon Richardson and his Lotus 23 on their way to victory in the soggy June 16, 1963 Sunburn Feature at Green Valley Raceway.
 
An unidentified Lotus 23 not mentioned earlier is the car in which Bob Markley won the Features at Midland Airpark [Sep 22, 1963] and Seguin, Texas [Nov 3, 1963]. The car was maintained at the Chaparral shop in Midland.
 
On November 24, 1963. Don Johnson claimed the Savannah 3 Hours in yet another so far unidentified Lotus 23, owned by Frank Harrison of Chattanooga.
 
 
 
Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

 

 

The Competition Press report of that race at Green Valley is the one which states the Richardson car as being ex-Jack Brabham (23-S-38).

 

Re the Markley car, I have that also making its first appearance at the USRRC at Continental Divide, where it was white with two central stripes. Later that year, I have Markley co-driving with Homer Rader (who was also listed as the entrant of the car) in a Lotus 23 in the Road America 500, but this could be a different car. I didn't have those two results you mentioned for Markley (Midland Airpark/Seguin) but I do have one for 6 October 1963 at Green Valley, where he was entered in FM (#97), then also the Times GP at Riverside (13 Oct) where his car ran with Le Mans After Shave branding on it (#43).

 

I also have Markley listed as competing in the #96 Lotus 23 at Nassau. This is a number normally associated with the Arciero Bros and the car is dark-coloured (could be red) in photos, so I was wondering if he drove for Arciero at Nassau and not in his own car? The only side-on photo I have doesn't seem to have any writing on the side, which you'd expect from an Arciero car though.

 

The first appearance I have for the J. Frank Harrison 23 is 9 June 1963 at Courtland. Other than that, I don't have a lot of info about this car as yet.


Edited by Michael Oliver, 14 April 2014 - 13:57.


#16 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 14 April 2014 - 19:17

Michael:  The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:
 
"Dave Morgan's memory isn't what it used to be. As he told me once: "we used to race continuously, almost every weekend." He also forgot he won the first Rattlesnake event in November 1962, and yes, that one was with his Lotus 22."
 
The SCCA report on Galveston 1962 does not mention what car Morgan raced that weekend [it got Homer Rader's Lotus wrong, though] and I found many errors in period newspaper reports.
 
However, both the Sunday and Monday editions of the Galveston News have Morgan in a Lotus 23, winning Race 4 on Saturday and finishing second overall in the Feature Race 10 on Sunday. Morgan had quite a battle with the winning Harry Washburn Maserati-engined Cooper Monaco on Sunday. Since Galveston offered the fastest track in the Southwest, I doubt that Morgan's Lotus 22 Formula Junior would have been very competitive on such a track, with its 1-liter engine. A Lotus 23 would have been much more so.
 
All research: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 14 April 2014 - 19:17.


#17 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 14 April 2014 - 19:19

Michael:  The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:
 
 
On the Frank Harrison Lotus 23 I have the following:
 
Your Courtland date of June 9, 1963, for its first appearance is not correct. Yes, there were Courtland races that weekend, but they were organized by the Tennessee Valley Region on the short course and the Harrison team was not present.
 
Harrison's Lotus 23 did appear for the first time at Courtland on the weekend of July 6-7, 1963, during the Confederate Grand Prix organized by the Alabama Region on the long course. Stirling Moss himself was present to hand out the trophies. Harrison's race log mentions: " Lotus 23 1,500 cc".
 
He also brought a Lola FJ for Smokey Drolet and a Cooper FJ for Don Johnson. Harrison took his 23 to victory [and FM1] in one of Saturday's Prelims, but did not race in Sunday's Feature [no reason provided].
 
The car's next appearance came at Savannah-Effingham Motorway on November 16-17, 1963. Don Johnson was at the wheel and he won the 3-hour Feature over Don Russell's Shelby Cobra and Ed Rahal's D-type Jag.
 
 
all research: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 14 April 2014 - 19:20.


#18 teegeefla

teegeefla
  • Member

  • 246 posts
  • Joined: April 04

Posted 14 April 2014 - 21:21

I do not know if there is any relevance or not, but I am curious about what happened to the Dan Gurney Lotus 23 that he raced at Nassau in 1962 (results were a pair of DNFs).  It was chassis number 23-S-41 and after that race it just seems to disappear.  I assume it came back to Florida on the boat with the other cars and it may have remained in the southeast as Dan never raced it again; I also do not believe it became the Arciero Lotus 23. 

 

I have been told that it may still exist today in Oregon, but I cannot find any racing history or chain of ownership for the car after December 1962.  

 

It had an unusual/distinctive rear deck layout as on the drivers side (right) the air intake on top was a single opening approx 3 inches wide and 15 inches long which may have mated with an air cleaner.  On the left portion of the engine cover/rear deck were the more common Lotus 23 pair of small intakes.  I am unsure what engine was used in this race, since the Coventry Climax engine intakes were on the left side of the engine; could it have been a twin-cam of some sort?  

 

I have photos that were loaned to me that I cannot post, but there is a photo in the Stanford Revs collection that has recently been posted online.

 

https://revslib.stan...log/sy874kk4450

 

Any help on the car's history would be appreciated.



#19 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:40

 

Michael:  The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:
 
"Dave Morgan's memory isn't what it used to be. As he told me once: "we used to race continuously, almost every weekend." He also forgot he won the first Rattlesnake event in November 1962, and yes, that one was with his Lotus 22."
 
The SCCA report on Galveston 1962 does not mention what car Morgan raced that weekend [it got Homer Rader's Lotus wrong, though] and I found many errors in period newspaper reports.
 
However, both the Sunday and Monday editions of the Galveston News have Morgan in a Lotus 23, winning Race 4 on Saturday and finishing second overall in the Feature Race 10 on Sunday. Morgan had quite a battle with the winning Harry Washburn Maserati-engined Cooper Monaco on Sunday. Since Galveston offered the fastest track in the Southwest, I doubt that Morgan's Lotus 22 Formula Junior would have been very competitive on such a track, with its 1-liter engine. A Lotus 23 would have been much more so.
 
All research: Willem Oosthoek

 

 

The problem with this is that if he was driving a Lotus 23, it would most likely have been an 1100cc car, so would have been slower than a Lotus 22 Formula Junior (of which the 23 was essentially a widened version). There were no twin-cam-engined Lotus 23s delivered until Gurney's 23-S-41 in late November 1962 (and that was a 1500 TC), while a handful of 1500cc pushrod Ford-engined cars were sold to Australia (2), Mason O'Kieff in Texas (but not until October 1962), George Sabin in NW USA, Al Pease in Canada and, I think, Frank Monise in CA. Other than this, there are only 1100cc cars and even then, there are no cars delivered to the US which I cannot account for. The only possible explanation I can offer is that Mason O'Kieff's car was delivered earlier than stated on the Lotus factory build records and Morgan drove that.



Advertisement

#20 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:09

 

Michael:  The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:
 
 
On the Frank Harrison Lotus 23 I have the following:
 
Your Courtland date of June 9, 1963, for its first appearance is not correct. Yes, there were Courtland races that weekend, but they were organized by the Tennessee Valley Region on the short course and the Harrison team was not present.
 
Harrison's Lotus 23 did appear for the first time at Courtland on the weekend of July 6-7, 1963, during the Confederate Grand Prix organized by the Alabama Region on the long course. Stirling Moss himself was present to hand out the trophies. Harrison's race log mentions: " Lotus 23 1,500 cc".
 
He also brought a Lola FJ for Smokey Drolet and a Cooper FJ for Don Johnson. Harrison took his 23 to victory [and FM1] in one of Saturday's Prelims, but did not race in Sunday's Feature [no reason provided].
 
The car's next appearance came at Savannah-Effingham Motorway on November 16-17, 1963. Don Johnson was at the wheel and he won the 3-hour Feature over Don Russell's Shelby Cobra and Ed Rahal's D-type Jag.
 
 
all research: Willem Oosthoek

 

 

I think my Courtland ID was a best estimate as I only had a photograph showing a car running with #26 and just the year 1963, so thanks for the July 6/7 date.

 

Looking at the distinctive air scoops in the front nose section and over the rear wheels, it appears that the next owner of the J. Frank Harrison car was H. Wick Williams of Soddy, Tennessee, who raced it in 1964, 1965 and possibly 1966. By 1967, he had a newer Lotus 23C. I don't have a view on the chassis number of the J. Frank Harrison/Wick Williams car, I don't have any obvious candidates so it could possibly have been acquired secondhand from the UK or Europe.



#21 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,437 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 15 April 2014 - 13:25

I do not know if there is any relevance or not, but I am curious about what happened to the Dan Gurney Lotus 23 that he raced at Nassau in 1962 (results were a pair of DNFs).  It was chassis number 23-S-41 and after that race it just seems to disappear.  I assume it came back to Florida on the boat with the other cars and it may have remained in the southeast as Dan never raced it again; I also do not believe it became the Arciero Lotus 23. 

 

I have been told that it may still exist today in Oregon, but I cannot find any racing history or chain of ownership for the car after December 1962.  

 

What I presume was this same 23 was at the Meadowdale USRRC in August, 1964. Arciero entered both his familiar 19 and a 23. The 19, now in its fifth season of racing for Arciero, had a Chevrolet V-8 installed and was driven by Bobby Unser. The 23 had a two liter Climax four in it, and was driven by Al Unser.

 

If memory serves, Arciero at one time put a 2.5 Climax in the 23. Perhaps others here can verify that.

 

Tom


Edited by RA Historian, 15 April 2014 - 13:26.


#22 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 15 April 2014 - 13:52

23s_zps34b88235.jpg
 
Michael:
 
So far I have not yet seen an image of what the Harrison Lotus 23 looked like, but the Wick Williams link is there. Earlier Williams, a student in Chattanooga, bought one of Frank Harrison's 450S Maseratis. Here is a shot of the 23 as raced by Williams later on.
 
Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 15 April 2014 - 14:08.


#23 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 15 April 2014 - 13:54

Michael:

 
There was at least one additional 1.5-liter Lotus 23 in the U.S. in 1962. The entry list for the Labor Day weekend Mansfield races [September 1-2, 1962] mentions:
 
FM   #1     Sid Kelly, Jackson, Miss.   Lotus 23
 
Little is known about Cyril "Sid" Kelly, who ran a Devin SS/Chevy at Mansfield in earlier years. His name does not appear in the September 1962 Mansfield race report by the Shreveport Times, indicating a DNF or a DNS. There are no sightings of the Kelly Lotus 23, or Kelly in any other car, around the South during the rest of 1962 or in 1963.
 
Two possibilities:
 
- Could Dave Morgan have raced the car on behalf of Kelly at Galveston two weeks after Mansfield?
 
- Could this have been the car that Frank Harrison bought in 1963? Both were FM class cars.
 
Meanwhile, R. David Jones of Fort Worth, the current owner of the Mason O'Keiff 23, has confirmed that O'Keiff bought the car from the factory in October 1962 and that its chassis number is 23-S-18.
 
all research: Willem Oosthoek


#24 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 15 April 2014 - 16:26

 

I do not know if there is any relevance or not, but I am curious about what happened to the Dan Gurney Lotus 23 that he raced at Nassau in 1962 (results were a pair of DNFs).  It was chassis number 23-S-41 and after that race it just seems to disappear.  I assume it came back to Florida on the boat with the other cars and it may have remained in the southeast as Dan never raced it again; I also do not believe it became the Arciero Lotus 23. 

 

I have been told that it may still exist today in Oregon, but I cannot find any racing history or chain of ownership for the car after December 1962.  

 

What I presume was this same 23 was at the Meadowdale USRRC in August, 1964. Arciero entered both his familiar 19 and a 23. The 19, now in its fifth season of racing for Arciero, had a Chevrolet V-8 installed and was driven by Bobby Unser. The 23 had a two liter Climax four in it, and was driven by Al Unser.

 

If memory serves, Arciero at one time put a 2.5 Climax in the 23. Perhaps others here can verify that.

 

Tom

 

 

Tom, the Arciero 23 was a different car to the Gurney 23. It had a variety of powerplants installed in it over the years, mostly as you say Climax units.



#25 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 15 April 2014 - 16:54

 

23s_zps34b88235.jpg
 
Michael:
 
So far I have not yet seen an image of what the Harrison Lotus 23 looked like, but the Wick Williams link is there. Earlier Williams, a student in Chattanooga, bought one of Frank Harrison's 450S Maseratis. Here is a shot of the 23 as raced by Williams later on.
 
Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

 

 

Here is a link to a photo of the J. Frank Harrison car:

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2a18325841

 

This apparently shows the start of the Confederate GP at Courtland, including (somewhere) the J Frank Harrison 23.

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2a2001f2cc



#26 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 15 April 2014 - 20:21

 

Michael:

 
There was at least one additional 1.5-liter Lotus 23 in the U.S. in 1962. The entry list for the Labor Day weekend Mansfield races [September 1-2, 1962] mentions:
 
FM   #1     Sid Kelly, Jackson, Miss.   Lotus 23
 
Little is known about Cyril "Sid" Kelly, who ran a Devin SS/Chevy at Mansfield in earlier years. His name does not appear in the September 1962 Mansfield race report by the Shreveport Times, indicating a DNF or a DNS. There are no sightings of the Kelly Lotus 23, or Kelly in any other car, around the South during the rest of 1962 or in 1963.
 
Two possibilities:
 
- Could Dave Morgan have raced the car on behalf of Kelly at Galveston two weeks after Mansfield?
 
- Could this have been the car that Frank Harrison bought in 1963? Both were FM class cars.
 
Meanwhile, R. David Jones of Fort Worth, the current owner of the Mason O'Keiff 23, has confirmed that O'Keiff bought the car from the factory in October 1962 and that its chassis number is 23-S-18.
 
all research: Willem Oosthoek

 

 

I tend to take race entries with a pinch of salt, as they are not evidence of ownership...

 

However, in this case I think Kelly did have a 23. It is just not certain that he owned one in 1962.

 

Kelly advertised a 23 in Competition Press 25 July 1964, p11 "Lotus 23 - 1500 Climax DOHC FPF engine; Mk 2 pistons and rods; Porsche 718 transaxles; 5 speed; limited slip differential; 3 spare transmission ratios; 8 wheels; numerous other spares; This is the ex-London racing show car with only aluminum body made. Picture on request. Sid Kelly, Robert E. Lee Hotel, Jackson, Miss.; (601) 372-4109 or 353-1661." The car was advertised again in the 8 August edition. I have an unidentified photo of a dark blue 23 with a Coventry Climax engine taken at an airfield circuit - maybe this is the Kelly car?

 

I agree with the identification of the Mason O'Keiff car as 23-S-18.



#27 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 17 April 2014 - 00:08

Donell3_zps6361e3cc.jpg
Another unidentified Lotus 23. The photo was taken at Donalsonville, Georgia, in 1963 or nearby Bainbridge in 1964.
 
Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 17 April 2014 - 00:11.


#28 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 17 April 2014 - 12:11

 

Donell3_zps6361e3cc.jpg
Another unidentified Lotus 23. The photo was taken at Donalsonville, Georgia, in 1963 or nearby Bainbridge in 1964.
 
Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

 

 

I've had a quick scan through my DB of owners and race results and the only likely candidates anywhere near those circuits owning G Mod Lotus 23s at the time are Pete Sherman (who I believe at the time was of Waco, TX but later Ashton, MD and Maitland, FL?) and Jim Baker (of Sheffield, AL). Images I have of Baker racing a GM 23 in 1965 (at Courtland and the ARRC run-offs) show a white car with a dark central stripe which could be similar to the livery shown in your photo, plus he also seems to be using the same kind of 'bulbous' visor in the photos, too. I don't seem to have any images of Sherman racing his 23.



#29 Cynic2

Cynic2
  • Member

  • 223 posts
  • Joined: November 07

Posted 17 April 2014 - 21:25

Jerry (and Willem),

 

Apparently my Imageshack account has vanished along with various stored images.  Not a loss, but I can't upload one, so I've emailed both of you a copy of a photo I took of what I identified as Wick Williams' Lotus 23 (does not appear to be a 23C), probably in 1967; certainly no earlier. I'm almost certain it was taken at the Industrial Terminal races at Montgomery, Alabama.  (Great races -- from the backstretch there was a sweeping right, past a stop sign, out onto US Highway 31.)

 

Please feel free to post the image if you wish.  The appearance/paint scheme (Team Lotus/Powered by Ford) is very different from the other photos, although he is still using number 22/122.



#30 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,713 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 17 April 2014 - 23:00

L23WWilm_zps1efba6cf.jpg

Here is the image posted for Cynic

 

 

 

 

photo: David Seibert collection


Edited by Jerry Entin, 17 April 2014 - 23:03.


#31 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,416 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:09

Originally posted by Michael Oliver
.....while a handful of 1500cc pushrod Ford-engined cars were sold to Australia (2).....


While we have plenty of reason to say that locally-built replicas muddy the waters here, I would think that the Geoghegan 23 would have been the most obvious of these (debut was at Warwick Farm on October 14, 1962). The Howard car was an 1100, it having been 'in stock' for several months as the Melbourne agent couldn't grab a sale for it.

Interesting, Leo tells me his car arrived as an 1100, but they built up their own 1475cc 109E engine before they ran it. So none came to Australia as pushrod 1500s, unless Len Deaton's was. Leo didn't know about this car as it was a private import. All 23Bs, of course, came in with twin-cam engines.

I am a bit curious about Jack Brabham having a 23, I've not heard of that before at all... at least within the remaining memory cells.

#32 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,416 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 18 April 2014 - 09:18

Consulting Marc Schagen's 'Lotus in Australia' book is always a good idea...

There were in fact three 23s ordered here in that first batch, the two mentioned plus one for Roxburgh. I have little doubt that Roxburgh's car was an 1100 to start with too.

In there we also find that the Homer Rader car, bought from Elite Motors and which he fitted with the Alfa engine and then sold to Richard Macon, went on to Texas, Illinois and then to Brian Wilson in Australia. It's chassis No 23-S-25.

And we can confirm that the Deaton car was a 'private import', sold new to Frank Gardner.

#33 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 18 April 2014 - 21:18

Jerry (and Willem),

 

Apparently my Imageshack account has vanished along with various stored images.  Not a loss, but I can't upload one, so I've emailed both of you a copy of a photo I took of what I identified as Wick Williams' Lotus 23 (does not appear to be a 23C), probably in 1967; certainly no earlier. I'm almost certain it was taken at the Industrial Terminal races at Montgomery, Alabama.  (Great races -- from the backstretch there was a sweeping right, past a stop sign, out onto US Highway 31.)

 

Please feel free to post the image if you wish.  The appearance/paint scheme (Team Lotus/Powered by Ford) is very different from the other photos, although he is still using number 22/122.

 

The image shown in post #30 is Wick Williams's second Lotus 23, the one that was sometimes described as a Lotus 23C. You can see from the central exhaust pipes and central opening in the rear deck that the car is running an engine other than a twin-cam 1600cc or a Cosworth 1100cc. The car also sports six-bolt front wheels (non-Wobbly Web - not sure what the style shown was called?).



#34 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 18 April 2014 - 21:29

While we have plenty of reason to say that locally-built replicas muddy the waters here, I would think that the Geoghegan 23 would have been the most obvious of these (debut was at Warwick Farm on October 14, 1962). The Howard car was an 1100, it having been 'in stock' for several months as the Melbourne agent couldn't grab a sale for it.

Interesting, Leo tells me his car arrived as an 1100, but they built up their own 1475cc 109E engine before they ran it. So none came to Australia as pushrod 1500s, unless Len Deaton's was. Leo didn't know about this car as it was a private import. All 23Bs, of course, came in with twin-cam engines.

I am a bit curious about Jack Brabham having a 23, I've not heard of that before at all... at least within the remaining memory cells.

 

Sorry Ray, I was looking at the list in the back of the Graham Capel book, supposedly based on sales records. It says 23-S-14 was 1100cc, 23-S-15 1475cc and 23-S-16 1425cc (which I took to be a misprint for 1475cc). Maybe Graham saw results saying that the Geoghegan ran with a 1475cc engine and assumed it had been delivered with it? All three of these cars are shown as having come in via Derek Jolly. The Deaton car, imported by Frank Gardner, was 23-S-40 apparently. And correct about the Rader/Macon car being 23-S-25...

 

Jack Brabham ordered a 23 to race in the late season big-money west coast USA races at Riverside and Laguna Seca. It ran with a Holbay engine and was chassis 23-S-38. I believe it was sold after these two races in the US as the next owner (Gordon Richardson) appeared racing the car in the SW USA in 1963.



#35 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,416 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:32

Marc tells me that the three were ordered by Jolly, however the agency passed to the Geoghegans before delivery...

I would say that assumptions were in vogue, Leo was quite clear that his car arrived with an 1100 engine on board and that they built their own 1475 engines.

#36 teegeefla

teegeefla
  • Member

  • 246 posts
  • Joined: April 04

Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:38

By any chance does anyone know what happened to 23/S/41 after Gurney's problematic races at Nassau in 1962?



#37 lcbulldog

lcbulldog
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 19 April 2014 - 20:00

Jerry,

 

OK this is not strictly the Southern U.S., and not the early 60's, but Mak Kronn of Waukegan, Illinois raced his Lotus 23-Porsche in the GP of Juarez in November, 1965. He dnf'd after leading the first part of the race.  There were two other 23's entered; Jack Pagan out of Corpus Christi, TX and Del Taylor of Denver, CO.

 

And even later, Bill Obenour of El Paso, TX ran a Lotus 23-Porsche in the ARRC in '71 and '72.  I don't know the pedigree of this car to know if it is the ex-Kronn car or not.  Maybe someone out there knows.

 

Mark Stevenson



#38 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 21 April 2014 - 18:06

Jerry,

 

OK this is not strictly the Southern U.S., and not the early 60's, but Mak Kronn of Waukegan, Illinois raced his Lotus 23-Porsche in the GP of Juarez in November, 1965. He dnf'd after leading the first part of the race.  There were two other 23's entered; Jack Pagan out of Corpus Christi, TX and Del Taylor of Denver, CO.

 

And even later, Bill Obenour of El Paso, TX ran a Lotus 23-Porsche in the ARRC in '71 and '72.  I don't know the pedigree of this car to know if it is the ex-Kronn car or not.  Maybe someone out there knows.

 

Mark Stevenson

 

Mark

 

I am aware of all of these car and driver combinations except Jack Pagan - do you know anything about him?

 

There were several 23s with Porsche engines, including the Follmer car, plus John Morton had one as well, I have seen that Skip Barber had one (although only read this, haven't seen photographic evidence of it), maybe others. Certainly, Gene Nearburg had one in TX in 1967, maybe this was the car later used by Obenour...  I have an idea about the source of the Kronn car but wouldn't like to speculate on that publicly.

 

Do you have any photos of these cars by any chance?

 

Michael



#39 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,416 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 21 April 2014 - 21:07

I've always been curious about the Porsche engines in 23s...

Did they have to modify the frame much to get them in?

Advertisement

#40 lcbulldog

lcbulldog
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 21 April 2014 - 23:12

Mark

 

I am aware of all of these car and driver combinations except Jack Pagan - do you know anything about him?

 

There were several 23s with Porsche engines, including the Follmer car, plus John Morton had one as well, I have seen that Skip Barber had one (although only read this, haven't seen photographic evidence of it), maybe others. Certainly, Gene Nearburg had one in TX in 1967, maybe this was the car later used by Obenour...  I have an idea about the source of the Kronn car but wouldn't like to speculate on that publicly.

 

Do you have any photos of these cars by any chance?

 

Michael

Michael,

 

I don't know anything about Pagan except the Juarez GP entry list.  I think he may have still been racing in the Southwest Division in the 80's when I was racing, but I don't know what car or class.  I never saw Obenour's Lotus.

 

Taylor's car was red (maybe the same car raced by Edna Sherman?)  and Pagan's was white.  The photos I have a too poor to see any detail, but I might get my courage up and try Image Shack.

 

Mark



#41 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
  • Member

  • 2,254 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:11

Found these results for Pagan:

 

http://www.racingspo...-Pagan-USA.html

 

Also, a newspaper report on line shows that he finished third at the Galveston Regionals on July 11, 1965.

 

Also, found these three links…interesting guy:

 

http://www.caller.co...ies-of/?print=1

 

http://www.findagrav...r&GRid=11734430

 

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Pagan_Racing

 

Vince H.


Edited by raceannouncer2003, 22 April 2014 - 06:12.


#42 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 22 April 2014 - 22:01

Michael,

 

I don't know anything about Pagan except the Juarez GP entry list.  I think he may have still been racing in the Southwest Division in the 80's when I was racing, but I don't know what car or class.  I never saw Obenour's Lotus.

 

Taylor's car was red (maybe the same car raced by Edna Sherman?)  and Pagan's was white.  The photos I have a too poor to see any detail, but I might get my courage up and try Image Shack.

 

Mark

 

Interesting idea about Taylor's car - it had occurred to me too but when I checked Sherman advertised her car with a 1500 Ford engine, not the Alfa that she raced most often. It could just about have been the Mike Goth Lotus 23-Alfa, as I think the dates do not overlap. Would be interesting to see any photos of Pagan's car (or Taylor's for that matter).



#43 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 22 April 2014 - 22:01

Found these results for Pagan:

 

http://www.racingspo...-Pagan-USA.html

 

Also, a newspaper report on line shows that he finished third at the Galveston Regionals on July 11, 1965.

 

Also, found these three links…interesting guy:

 

http://www.caller.co...ies-of/?print=1

 

http://www.findagrav...r&GRid=11734430

 

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Pagan_Racing

 

Vince H.

 

Nice work Vince, a very interesting gentleman.



#44 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 22 April 2014 - 22:17

A report (Source: Competition Press & Autoweek 12th December 1965 p6) on the SCCA Regionals at Zeuhl Field, San Antonio, TX, which took place on the weekend of 6-7 November 1965 states "Jett Lewis, who won the preliminary race in his brand new Lotus 23B, stalled at the start of the real thing and was never in the race."

 

Now this is a name I am not familiar with, and in a 'brand new' 23B? Could it be a typo, and maybe be Jeff Lewis? I am aware of someone by that name who races in historics still today.

 

While I am at it, does anyone have a view on the fact that Ken Leith appears to have had two white 23s very close together, but they are clearly two different cars? One is a standard-looking car with filled-inn wheel arches, albeit one with an unusual shroud inside the right cockpit door (presumably hiding the filler cap of long-range tank?) while the other is a highly modified car with cut-away rear wheel arches. You can see them both on Jerry Melton's photos from Green Valley Raceway 1965 on the etcerini.com site. Any ideas on where they came from would be very welcome.



#45 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 23 April 2014 - 08:38

Michael, I assume that the Alfa engine in the Macon car was a 1600? I am quite happy if you wish to say nothing.

Roger Lund

 

Sorry Roger, I realise I didn't reply to your query!

 

It was an engine from an Alfa Giulietta Spyder, of 1290cc, featuring replacement pistons and liners (Mondial) which brought the capacity up to 1386cc. At the end of 1962, her mechanic announced that he had plans to increase the displacement of the engine to 1500cc. I have a note that by the time of the USRRC round in August 1963 at Continental Divide, the stated engine capacity (although I am sorry I do not appear to have made a note of the source for this) was 1.8 litres.



#46 lcbulldog

lcbulldog
  • New Member

  • 13 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 24 April 2014 - 15:10

Mark

 

I am aware of all of these car and driver combinations except Jack Pagan - do you know anything about him?

 

There were several 23s with Porsche engines, including the Follmer car, plus John Morton had one as well, I have seen that Skip Barber had one (although only read this, haven't seen photographic evidence of it), maybe others. Certainly, Gene Nearburg had one in TX in 1967, maybe this was the car later used by Obenour...  I have an idea about the source of the Kronn car but wouldn't like to speculate on that publicly.

 

Do you have any photos of these cars by any chance?

 

Michael

Michael,

Hopefully I iahve been successful in attaching a photo of Del Taylor's 23 at the GP Juarez in Nov, 1965.  That's G.M. O'Keiff's Lotus 30 in front.

 

Although the color and Taylor's number is the same as I remember Edna Sherman's, her Alfa powered version had 4 individual exhausts when I saw it.  Taylor's car does not, but if the car was sold with a 1500 Ford …..

 

Mark

 

https://www.dropbox..../GP Juarez1.jpg



#47 Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver
  • Member

  • 888 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 24 April 2014 - 17:19

Michael,

Hopefully I iahve been successful in attaching a photo of Del Taylor's 23 at the GP Juarez in Nov, 1965.  That's G.M. O'Keiff's Lotus 30 in front.

 

Although the color and Taylor's number is the same as I remember Edna Sherman's, her Alfa powered version had 4 individual exhausts when I saw it.  Taylor's car does not, but if the car was sold with a 1500 Ford …..

 

Mark

 

https://www.dropbox..../GP Juarez1.jpg

 

Hmmm, thanks Mark, interesting. It is almost as if the car had a nose 'wrap' which has been crudely painted over. I say that because it is almost identical to that of Hank Candler, who raced a red 23 out of the Denver, Colorado area (same as Taylor) in 1964, under the number 44. Also, Taylor raced under the number 44 at Castle Rock USRRC in August 1965. Could just be a coincidence though... However, I am fairly sure Candler told me his car had a twin-cam, maybe Taylor fitted the Alfa as a cheaper option, maybe even the engine from the Sherman car if she had re-fitted a Ford in her car!

 

Here's the Candler car in the pits at the 64 Greenwood Roadway USRRC round for comparison:

 

http://www.chuckbrandt.com/bill2.jpg


Edited by Michael Oliver, 24 April 2014 - 17:40.


#48 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,637 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:56

Michael, many thanks for the  details. I love opportunist engineering.

Please accept my order for the book now.

Roger Lund