Thank you, everyone, for your input on this Lotus 23. I greatly appreciate it, as well as EPix’ very kind support. Thank you, Autosport, for approving my new account, which was approved 21 minutes ago.
As EPix indicated, I think we all want to represent the history of cars as accurately as possible. This is not always easy given all the challenges that we are familiar with in chasing down histories. However, as seen from the comments in this forum, we still believe that it is worth the effort. I always welcome, and appreciate, input in order to most accurately represent all these cars. I think we all win in this regard.
I am about to leave on a trip and will be without the Lotus 23 file. Before I go, let me briefly address the comments I’ve seen in this forum.
Typos. Those are mine, and mine alone. I have already corrected the “Proswe” problem. Please let me know of others.
Regarding the issue of the “Lotus 23C” designation. I’ve seen ongoing debate about this over the years. Frankly I’m not sure that anyone is wrong on either side of this issue. I think the answer may be found on what side of the Atlantic you are on.
The late cars have sometimes been referred to as Lotus 23C cars in the U.S. These are typically the cars with the wider wheels, open rear fenders, and maybe a few other modifications. However, I understand from others that the Lotus factory did not designate a “C” version of the Lotus 23 back in the day. So that could be accurate too.
Having said that, in the voluminous files with chassis #123 is a Lotus Components Ltd. document received by a prior owner on April 18,1988. It lists the specifications for a “LOTUS MARK TWENTYTHREE ‘C’” (sic). Also included in the file is a 1981 letter from Club Lotus Australia stating that chassis #123 was invoiced from the factory on July 23, 1965 with 7” wide front wheels and 9” rear wheels. The letter goes on to say that the factory modifications included Lotus 19 front brakes, axles, and hubs.
As seen from many period photos, the car was raced with the wider wheels and open rear fenders too. So I referred to the car as a Lotus 23C based upon the foregoing. A 23 “C” spec car could be more appealing to a U.S. racer than the earlier B spec car. Yes, the Lotus currently has the earlier style 23B rear body on it, but it did not run that way in period, and could be put back to its original factory specification, whether we call it a “C” or a “B.”
Perhaps this naming issue is similar to the Austin Healey “Bugeye” or “Frogeye” Sprite. The factory may not have designated the car as such, but that’s a name that later was used in the U.S. to differentiate the earlier Sprite from the later Sprite. It could also be similar for the “XKE” Jaguar, vs. the “E-Type.” Either way, we know from the documents in the file the original Lotus factory specs for chassis #123, and that Lotus Components Ltd was referring to Lotus 23 “C” specs by at least 1988.
Regarding the Australian Sports Car Championship, that appears to be just poor reporting on my part. The car won the 1968 NSW Sports Car Championship race, not the Australian Championship because it appears there was no actual Australian Sports Car Championship that season! For 1968, there was just the NSW Sports Car Championship Race. Perhaps Muir would have won the Australian Championship that year based upon his season long results, but that’s irrelevant as the Championship did not exist that year. The good news is that I’ve just come across a Vimeo video of the actual 1968 NSW Sports Car Championship race with Muir winning in the Lotus. You can see it at: .
The above corrections have already been made. If more are needed, or if there is any additional information about the car, please let me know. Thank you again, everyone, for your corrections, comments, and passion for preserving these cars and their histories.