This is something I've been puzzling over for some time now and I have to admit I’m stuck. I am trying to find out from where/who/how Tim Parnell sourced his Formula 1 Lotus 18 that he raced in 1961. I've established beyond any doubt that the Parnell family raced two different Lotus 18s that year - Reg ran a 2.5-litre car in NZ Formule Libre and UK InterContinental races entered by his team Yeoman Credit Racing, while Tim ran his 1.5-litre car mostly in non-Championship Formula 1 races (although he also did the British and Italian GPs) and he also ran it with a 2.5-litre engine in two InterContinental races at Silverstone.
I feel sure that one of them was chassis 904 and I'm pretty certain now that it was the Yeoman Credit car. I've been through all the usual history books (F1R, Theme Lotus etc), so I am aware of what they say. I'm wondering if there is anyone still out there with first-hand knowledge of this or who can point me to contemporary evidence such as a magazine which mentions the origins of Tim's car?
I've gone through Autosport, Motor Sport and Motor Racing (but not Motoring News, as I don't have copies). I've also interviewed Gerry Ashmore, who was Tim's teammate in 1961 in the Parnell-Ashmore Racing Partnership and David Whitehurst, who was a young gofer with the team but unfortunately, neither remembers. Chris Ashmore, Gerry's younger brother, thinks that it was new from Lotus but the problem is that, if the Yeoman Credit car was 18-904, there is no other obvious candidate in the Lotus build records.
Possible clues: 1961 customer cars had a distinctive rollover hoop that was quite triangular in shape. The rollover hoop on Tim's car is different and looks a bit 'home made'. The car has a Lotus 5-speed sequential gearbox. Also the car has bodywork with 'Lotus Coventry Climax' script on the nose. This was only ever used on works Team Lotus cars in 1960 but I guess Tim could have simply bought a secondhand body section and kept the script because he liked it...
Finally, I would add that I’m looking for photos of the Yeoman Credit Lotus 18 driven in practice by Mike Parkes at the International Trophy, Silverstone, 06/05/1961, car no 9.
All suggestions welcome!