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Lotus 25 - R3 or R4


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#1 TerryS

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 21:26

Part 1

After looking at the Lotus 25 in post #96 of the Lotus 39 thread on this forum I remembered what a beautiful race car it was. I decided to refresh my memory and went looking for more info.
What I soon found was a lot of contradictions over whether the car is chassis # R3 or chassis # R4. I have never seen as many contradictions and inaccuracies in info as there are with R3 and R4. Even the normally very reliable “oldracingcars.com” site is full of contradictions and errors on these cars.

So why the fuss, well it’s simple:
Chassis R4 won 7 of the 10 1962 World Championship GP’s in 1963, and won the 1963 World Championship for Jim Clark and the first Constructors Championship for Lotus.
Chassis R3 won only ONE world championship GP
So there is an enormous difference in value and marketability.

So I decided to go back to the start and trace through the history of these two cars.
The Lotus 25 introduced in 1962 was revolutionary in having a fully stressed monocoque chassis. This was in place of previous space frame chassis. Eventually all GP cars were to follow, Brabham being the last to switch. It was said the 25 was designed specifically for the mercurial Jim Clark, and no one had more success with it than Clark. He won 14 GP’s in five different Lotus 25’s. It was released about the time I first became interested in FI so has a special interest (so that shows my age). It has been said that in 1962 the 25 was to F1 what the Beatles were to music.

https://www.google.c...iw=1920&bih=939

Lotus built 7 of the cars, 5 in 1962 and 2 in 1963. They were known by chassis serial numbers “R1” to “R7”.
There appears to be only one still racing. Three were written off by works driver Trevor Taylor, one written off by Parnell’s Attwood, one is in a Swiss museum and one has not been seen since 1965 (believed written off)
Reg Parnell ran his successful Reg Parnell Racing team. In 1963 he was building his own FI car the Parnell RP64-Climax F1. He died unexpectedly in January 1964 from Peritonitis. He was only 52. His son Tim, only 31, took over the team. For 1964 Team Lotus had replaced the 25 with the 33, so its 25’s were redundant. With the pressure from sponsors Tim ditched the Parnell car and quickly bought two Lotus 25’s R3 and R7. In August 1964 he bought R4. They were fitted with BRM P56 V8 engines. They were painted dark blue with maroon bands around the nose intakes.
The good Climax V8’s were very hard to get and Parnell was close to BRM. Reg had won BRM’s first GP and he and Tim were close to BRM’s Tony Rudd. In 1966 Tim managed the BRM Team in the Tasman Series. After he wound up his own team he was Team Manager for the BRM F1 team for 1970 to 1974. Hence the fitting of BRM engines to the Lotus 25’s.

Firstly Lotus 25 R4
R4 debuted in the non championship December 1962 Natal Grand Prix, where it finished 2nd driven by Jim Clark.
In 1963 it was driven exclusively by Jim Clark and in World Championship GP’s he scored 7 wins and a 2nd and a 3rd from 10 races. Four of his wins were in successive GP’s, being Belgian, Dutch, French and British. Incredibly the car used exactly the same set of tyres for all four wins indicating it must have had really excellent handling.
In 1964 it was driven for Team Lotus by Peter Arundell and Mike Spence. Its highest placing was 3rd.
During the August 1964 Gran Premio Del Meditterraneo Mike Hailwood had put the Parnell team’s R7 into the snake infested lake at Enna. The car was dried out and de-snaked, but it was only a week before the Austrian GP so Parnell bought R4 from Lotus. It was only to have 6 races with Parnell, scoring an 11th and 5 DNF’s. Then Richard Attwood had his first drive of it in the very wet June 1965 Belgian GP.
Attwood aquaplaned R4 and wrapped the car around a telegraph pole which split the car in two and started a big fire. It was so severe witnesses thought the crash would be fatal. It is interesting he was classified 14th, having completed 26 of the 32 laps, or 81%.
Very little was salvageable and what there was went into the Parnell’s team spare parts bin.
So that was the END of R4.

Secondly Lotus 25 R3
Lotus 25 chassis # R3 had its first race in the non championship International Gold Cup at Oulton Park in September 1962 driven by Trevor Taylor. It retired.
It started in 23 World Championship Grand Prix, 12 of them driven by Jim Clark.
It only ever won one Grand Prix, the 1962 US GP.
For Team Lotus it was driven in 18 races by Clark, Trevor Taylor, Peter Arundell, Mike Spence and Pedro Rodriquez.
It was even raced by Jack Brabham at 1963 Monaco GP, finishing 9th, after an engine failure in his own Lotus 24.
For 1964 Lotus introduced the 33, which was visually very similar but was designed for the new 13 inch wheels and tyres. Team Lotus ran those and sold off 25 R3 and R7 at the start of 1964 season.
Under Parnell, R3 was driven in 30 races by Chris Amon, Mike Hailwood, Richard Attwood, Innes Ireland and Paul Hawkins.
In 1966 for the new 3 litre FI it was fitted with a Climax FPF 4 cylinder of 2.5L.In this form it only in four races, but none were world championship races. It retired in 3 of them.
To May 1966 R3 had competed in a total of 48 races over five seasons.

Edited by TerryS, 03 December 2018 - 21:37.


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#2 TerryS

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 21:28

Part 2

So R3 was raced a lot for a F1 car, and I like this description: “It was virtually disintegrating from overuse, rivets fidgeting, ball joints rattling and the car generally in need of an extensive rebuild”
Between May and September 1966 the team bit the bullet, built a new tub and completely refurbished R3. For its next race Parnell entered it as Lotus 33 / R13 and had a 2 litre BRM P60 V8 fitted. Although it was still basically R3 it was believed this was done by Parnell to increase race starting money and to increase its resale value. It never had a chassis plate saying it was R33/13, and indeed Lotus never produced a model or chassis number with a “13” in it.
The rumours started that this was a reincarnation of the team’s R4. It seems for many years Parnell never dispelled the rumours over R4.
R3/13 only ran in 6 GP’s in 1967, and only 2 were World Championship races.
R3/13’s last race in a WC GP was the Dutch GP in June 1967.

In November 1967 it was sold to NZ’s Peter Yock with a 2 litre BRM V8. He had it painted white with an orange stripe. He raced it several times unsuccessfully and had several accidents. As an omen of things to come, during initial testing at NZ’s Pukekohe circuit a suspension upright broke and he was fortunate to emerge uninjured as the car rolled upside down into an infield creek. He had no amount of trouble with the BRM engine and it finally blew up. In frustration he sold the car to NZ’s Peter Hughes. He fitted it with a Daimler SP250 engine and repainted it in traditional British Racing Green with yellow stripe. When that was no more successful in December 1969 he replaced it with a 1.6L Lotus Twin Cam engine. He advertised it for sale as a Lotus 33 with a Lotus Twin Cam motor. He was asking only NZD 3,700, reflecting the fate at the time of old racing cars.
The car went through several owners who quickly realised the car was very dilapidated and the restoration job was beyond them.
Aussie John Dawson-Damer had been looking for a Lotus 25 for over four years to complete his collection of Lotus single seaters. He knew how hard it would be with only a few of the 7 built still in existence. He had heard the rumours about the possible R4 in NZ.
Meanwhile NZ single seater legend and wheeler-dealer Ken Smith was also looking for the car having heard the same rumours. Smith found it first. He upped the ante when he found Dawson-Damer was looking for it. Although it was in bits, some very tangled, Smith drove a very hard bargain but in 1981 Dawson Damer succeeded.

His full title was The Honourable Lionel John Charles Seymour Dawson-Damer. He was born in UK in 1940 and came to Australia in 1964. He was a trained engineer and ran a successful engineering business. He was very committed to motor sport. For many years he was the Chairman of the Historic Commission of CAMS, and a delegate to the Historic Commission of the FIA. He never raced his own cars but preferred to demonstrate them at many meetings. He was the 1978 Australian Champion Rally Co-driver with Greg Carr. He usually navigated with his close friend Colin Bond, often in a Ford works Escort.
Because of his love of Lotus he was Patron of the Lotus Club of Australia.

He bought his first Lotus single seater, the 16, in 1971, and by 1981 had 7 Lotus single seaters. It was recognised as the largest and best private collections of Lotus single seaters in the world.
After buying 33/R13Dawson-Damer researched the car thoroughly including sharing photos with UK experts. He came to conclusion that it was a 25 and not a 33 based on this:
“Photos absolutely that the monocoque remained to the original Type 25 configuration with its inner cockpit skinning- along each side of the driver’s hips and legs- narrowing in towards the foot pedals from the dash panel bulkhead forward, unlike the definitive Type 33 tubs in which the inner panels taper in an “un-kinked” straight line all the way from the driver’s seat back bulkhead to the pedal box”.
He was now sure it was a Lotus 25 and believed it was R4. He completely restored the car, having the legendary Harry Galloway rebuild the tub in Sydney and fitted a period correct Coventry Climax FWMV 1.5L V8. The one thing he could not find was a ZF gearbox as these unobtainable. Instead he fitted a Hewland HD5 gearbox which it still has. The restoration was finally completed in 1995.
He competed with the Lotus 25 at the 1997 Goodwood Festival of Speed and raced it in the Glover Trophy event at the 1998 Goodwood Revival meeting.

In June 2000 he was competing in the Goodwood “hill climb” in his F1 Lotus 63 DFV FWD. He smashed into the Finish Line gantry and died. He was 59. Unfortunately he also hit two marshals, one lost a leg and the other died later in hospital.
It was later discovered that Dawson-Damer had actually died from a massive heart attack seconds before the crash.

After the lengthy Coroner’s Inquest the Lotus 63 was brought back to Australia and completely restored. This was completed in 2008 and led to the auction of his Lotus single seaters.
Dawson-Damer apparently believed until his death that he had R4, and it was advertised as such.

Six of his Lotus single seaters (together with a couple of road cars) were sold at a Bonhams and Goodman auction in November 2008 in Sydney
The six cars were listed as:
Lotus 16 F2 Climax 1.5L FPF chassis 16-4-366
Lotus 18 F1 Climax 1.5L FPF chassis 917
Lotus 25 FI Climax 1.5L FWMV chassis R4
Lotus 39 Climax 2.5L FPF chassis R12
Lotus 63 F1 FWD Cosworth 3.0L DFV chassis R2
Lotus 79 FI Cosworth 3.0L DFV chassis R5

Edited by TerryS, 03 December 2018 - 21:28.


#3 TerryS

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Posted 03 December 2018 - 21:33

Part 3

The Lotus 25 sold for GBP 667,850 to expat Aussie John Bowers. He took it to UK and has it maintained and prepared by Clive Chapman’s Classic Team Lotus. It is driven in classic races in UK and Europe usually by Andy Middlehurst. He is a 55 year old UK Nissan dealer and had a successful earlier career racing Nissans. He personally has an ex Jim Clark 1966 F1 Lotus 43.Their favourite event for the Lotus 25 is the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, held every 2 years. They run separate races for car’s age groups. It runs in the races for pre 1966 GP cars. His first event was in 2010 when he finished second. In the 2012 race he started from pole and won by 10 seconds after 15 laps. It became the first Lotus 25 to win in Monaco. Subsequently he won in 2014, 2016 and 2018. It has also been successful at Oulton Park, Silverstone, Goodwood and Spa. So it is now in good hands.

https://www.alamy.co...d-73566400.html

In August 2013 noted motor racing historians Doug Nye and Hall and Hall’s Andy Willis completed a detailed and definitive review over four months of all the Lotus 25/33’s, and discovered that the car put forward as R4 was actually R3. This made it a far less valuable and historically significant car.

This means that books published prior to that date are now incorrect on this car. This includes such definitive books as Ian Bamsey’s “Lotus 25 Climax FWMV a Technical Appraisal, ”Eoin Young’s “Jim Clark and his most successful Lotus”, Marc Schagen’s “Lotus Historic Racing Cars of Australia” and John Tipler’s “Lotus 25/33”.

It is strange that this Lotus 25 is still advertised for events such as Monaco Historique as “the 1963 F1 World Championship winning Lotus 25”. I guess that gets more publicity, even if incorrect.
In March 2018 John Bowers gave a talk to club Lotus in Sydney about his “R4”.
It is understood Bowers has had several long discussions with Doug Nye about his car not being R4 but remains “unconvinced”.

The final word on R3 and R4 should come from the “horse’s mouth”, i.e. Tim Parnell. At a car club talk in June 2012 he was asked what happened to his Lotus 25’s His response was:
“R3 went to OZ.
R4 was dismantled and parts went to other cars.
R7 was written off and scrapped”
So that should be definitive.

As regards the other auctioned cars, three of the cars were sold to overseas buyers, the 16 and 63 to the Barber Motorsport Museum in Alabama, USA, and the 79 to a Japanese private collector.
The two other cars were sold to Tasmanians. The Lotus 39 was sold to Chas Kelly from Port Sorell near Devonport. It had been restored by Dawson-Damer to as raced by Jim Clark in 1966 Tasman Series with the 2.5L Climax FPF. Kelly also has the similar period ex Mildren Brabham BT23D Alfa Romeo V8. He doesn’t race them or demonstrate them, only displays them, such as at the car club show shown in the Lotus 79 tread. He has an amazing collection of race cars.
The Lotus 18 was sold to Hobart’s Scotty Taylor who spends six months of the year racing it and his Cooper T53 in the UK and Europe.

The one Lotus single seater not in the auction was Lotus 49C R8. It was originally built as a Lotus 49 B with a 2.5L DFW V8 for Graham Hill to run in the 1969 Tasman Series. Fitted with 3L DFV then competed in several GP’s driven by Hill and Attwood. In 1970 it was converted to 49C specs before being sold to South Africa. Went through several drivers there and finally very smashed up. Bought by Dawson-Damer in 1981 and completely restored, including to original Gold Leaf Team Lotus colours. The car was retained by the family and raced at several Tasman Revival meetings at Eastern Creek driven by John Smith. Finally put up for auction in 2014 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It was sold to Adrian Newey, the Chief Technical Officer of the Red Bull F1 team, for GBP 673,500. He races it for example in the 2018 Monaco Historique for ‘66 to ‘72 GP cars where he finished 11th.

Edited by TerryS, 03 December 2018 - 21:35.


#4 JtP2

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 01:57

The point is that whether R3 or R4, it is still a 25 and in superb condition. Since most of the chassis has been replaced through damage or corrosion, does it really matter? The car is fitted with an ex Cooper Climax V8



#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 05:31

Here are a couple of earlier posts from DCN about Lotus 25 history and the R3/R4 confusion:

from this thread:

Paul,

The Parnell F2 used, I am sure, the monocoque tub of Mike Spence's 1966 F1 Parnell-team Lotus-BRM 33...the car we came to know as R13. Its front end was modified to accept Les Redmond-style outboard-coil/damper suspension as used successfully on the 1966 Parnell-BRM sports car. Its rear bay housed a standard 1.6-litre Cosworth FVA 4-cyl engine. The car has come down to us today via some 40 years display at Donington as Lotus 25 'R7'. In fact R7 exited the scene in 1965...fate as yet unconfirmed, although - I have just been told this morning - it was written off due to a testing accident while being driven by "some Dutchman". This rings the faintest of bells...and the name Rob Slotemaker springs to mind...but I really hope that thereby I am not doing his memory a grave disservice?

While we thought for years that R3 was the 'lost Lotus 25' in fact it survived, went to New Zealand and thence to John Dawson-Damer as what he, and we, thought was 'R4'. Explaining the full story in just three magazine pages was never ever going to be easy. But having discovered the error it would have been wrong to ignore it. Sorry it's confusing.

DCN

and from this thread:


Regarding the R3/R4 confusion, I still feel badly about it, since I was largely responsible for the original misidentification of the Donington supposed 'R7' through a) being sufficiently naive to believe information provided indirectly from Tim Parnell and directly from Colin Chapman (and Tom Wheatcroft), and b) being negligent enough not to have studied closely at the time every inch of the car's tub, or alternatively being simply too ignorant then to appreciate that I should have done so...

Reliant upon decades of misguided confidence, I much later played a role in assuring John Bowers that the Dawson-Damer car was indeed the mortal remains of 'R4', as Bun himself had long been certain, having also based a proportion of his confidence in my 30-plus year old research and writings.

It was only when a new owner had purchased the Donington car, and Hall & Hall's lads were stripping it, that an old non-Lotus chassis number inscription was noticed, scratched into the aluminium - reading 'R4'. That set the hare running which wound up with Andy Willis of Hall & Hall and myself spending four months or so poring over literally hundreds of photographs and whatever contemporary documentation we could find. As far as I am concerned the evidence we found is irrefutable - in essence I simply ballsed-up the whole thing up back in 1970-71, admittedly with a little help from then better-qualified people whom I both respected and trusted...

Being then in possession of that knowledge, that the metalwork constituting the heart of the real works 'R4' had been damaged beyond re-use at Spa in the 1965 Belgian GP - that the Parnell team built up a replacement car around a fresh tub in time for the 1965 Italian GP - and that this tub then came down to us via the Donington Collection to pass to its current UK owner - made me aware that the Parnell/Yock/Dawson-Damer tub could not possibly embody the remains of 'R4'. Further evidence convinces me it is in fact the remains of 'R3', while the other Parnell team candidate 'R7' was in fact destroyed in a hushed-up testing accident in period.

Once convinced of all this knowledge, I felt the only honourable thing to do was to let John Bowers know first.

Which I did. Secondly, I thought it only right to set the printed record straight for posterity - which with 'Motor Sport's help I did next.

Of course, I could have got it wrong in 2013-14, rather than in 1970-71, and maybe I should be content that some people think I did...but as far as I am concerned the evidence overwhelmingly indicates otherwise. The phrase 'pity the poor historian' rather temptingly springs to mind, but I won't cop out and lean upon it.

I just feel we have now done the right thing...

DCN



#6 Glengavel

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 07:53

Part 2

So R3 was raced a lot for a F1 car, and I like this description: “It was virtually disintegrating from overuse, rivets fidgeting, ball joints rattling and the car generally in need of an extensive rebuild”
Between May and September 1966 the team bit the bullet, built a new tub and completely refurbished R3. For its next race Parnell entered it as Lotus 33 / R13 and had a 2 litre BRM P60 V8 fitted. Although it was still basically R3 it was believed this was done by Parnell to increase race starting money and to increase its resale value. It never had a chassis plate saying it was R33/13, and indeed Lotus never produced a model or chassis number with a “13” in it.
The rumours started that this was a reincarnation of the team’s R4. It seems for many years Parnell never dispelled the rumours over R4.
R3/13 only ran in 6 GP’s in 1967, and only 2 were World Championship races.
R3/13’s last race in a WC GP was the Dutch GP in June 1967.


I'm now highly confused. If it was R3 that was rebuilt as R13, and not R4, how come R13's first race (1965 Italian GP) pre-dates R3's last races? Or have I grabbed the wrong end of the stick, or even the wrong stick?

#7 Allen Brown

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:45

Even the normally very reliable “oldracingcars.com” site is full of contradictions and errors on these cars.
 

 

When Doug revealed his reassessment of the Lotus 25/33s in 2013, I had to rework the race and ownership histories on OldRacingCars.com, and took that opportunity to fill in the pre-66 race histories, which I had previously omitted.  If I screwed that up, I'll be happy to fix it.  Terry, can you let me know what errors you have found?

 

There were several distinct aspects to what Doug and Andy discovered.  As well as finding that the Lotus 33 came in two distinct forms, R8 and R9 having different construction to the later cars, they also reworked the race record in some places, and also completely reassessed which Parnell car went where.  The Donington car was not R7, but is 'R13'.  The car in Australia was not R13 but is R3.  The missing car is not R3, but is R7.

 

As to whether 'R13' was a rebuild of R3 or a rebuild of R4, as I recall Doug concluded that it was neither.  It appeared in the Parnell team after the last appearance of both R4 and R7, but that does not mean it was necessarily based on either.  As 'Glengavel' points out, its career overlaps with that of R3.



#8 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 10:08

My understanding, based on DCN’s article in Motor Sport, is that the car known as ‘R13’ was one of only two cars (the other being R11) modified at some stage to accept a BRM gearbox with left-hand gearchange. This entailed cutting a gearchange aperture into the left-hand pontoon. Photos of the Dawson-Damer car, now believed to be R3, going right back to when D-D acquired the derelict chassis tub, show no evidence of this mod. The chassis now believed to be ‘R13’ (formerly believed to be R7) does have evidence of this mod. Hence R3 cannot be ‘R13’.

#9 JtP2

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 12:23

The basic point is that "R10" currently exists!



#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 21:44

Nope.  An entity numbered "R10' currently exists - it's a lovely car, but just not really quite old enough...  :cool:

 

On the other hand, perhaps, after all, I should just have kept quiet about what Andy and I found when we re-examined each of these cars' histories.  :rolleyes:

 

DCN   



#11 JtP2

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 21:59

Was looking at the 33 at the racing car show on the Lotus stand. Checked the number and got suspicious. So went over the counter and checked the Team Lotus book for sale on the counter. Isn't it nice when a reference library is provided on site