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Lotus 19: Wikis


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Lotus 19
Manufacturer Lotus Cars
Production 1960-1962
Predecessor Lotus 18
Class Sports Racer
Body style(s) Fiberglass Space frame
Engine(s) 2496 cc Coventry Climax
289 ci Ford
Wheelbase 95 in (2413 mm)
Length 141 in (3581 mm)
Width 60.5 in (1537 mm)
Height 31 in (787 mm)
Curb weight 1,000 lb (454 kg)-1,240 lb (562 kg) (kerb)

The Lotus 19 or Monte Carlo was a mid-engine sports-racing car designed by Colin Chapman of Lotus and built from 1960 until 1963. The 19 was a widened (nominally two-place) version of the successful Formula One 18.


The Lotus 19

The 19 was a mid-engine, rear wheel drive sports racer with a fiberglass body over a tube frame based on the 18, and was originally fitted with a 2496 cc Coventry Climax engine. The cars body was similar in appearance to both the 11 and the 23 while having the engine behind the driver.

Chapman named the car Monte Carlo to honor Stirling Moss for his win at the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix, Lotus' first in F1. This is said to mimic Cooper's naming of the Cooper Monaco after a win with their Formula One car at Monaco in 1958.

The 19B

Towards the end of 1963, Dan Gurney, who had enjoyed considerable success at the wheel of the Arciero Brothers Lotus 19-Climax, had another Lotus 19 built with a King Cobra Ford 289 engine.

This was specially adapted by the Lotus factory for Gurney, reportedly with larger diameter frame tubes and different engine mounts. Because of its unique specification, it was known as the Mk19B, the only 19 with this designation. Originally delivered in red livery, the car first appeared at Nassau in December 1963. Later, in 1964, Gurney secured sponsorship from Pacesetter Homes and the car was re-liveried in white and blue.

The car's weak spot was its Colotti transmission, the failure of which led to a number of retirements; eventually, in 1965, Gurney sold the car. It went through several owners before being acquired by Gordon and Nancy Gimbel. Today the car regularly appears at historic events in the US.

Although the 19B was the first 'factory-approved' effort using an American V8 engine, several other owners experimented with conversions. Bob Colombosian, and Rod Carveth all powered their 19s with aluminium 215ci (3.5 liter) Buick V8s as early as 1962. Canadian Norm Namerow was the first to actually compete in a 289-powered 19, in October 1963, although Lloyd Ruby raced the Harrison Special (a converted 19) with a 289 one week earlier.

Alan Green Chevrolet of Seattle fielded a Lotus 19 using a 377ci Traco-modified Chevrolet and McKee transaxle in 1964. It was driven by Jerry Grant. While fast in the extreme, the car broke frequently. It was said to produce just over 500 horsepower (370 kW) and tested at Westwood Raceway in early 1965 at an unofficial 224 mph (360 km/h) with the aid of some makeshift spoilers.

Chassis Numbers

There were 17 original Lotus 19 cars built however many were wrecked and some were completely rebuilt. More cars are reported today than were built.

Chassis Original Owner Motor
950 British Racing Partnership 2.5 Climax
951 Arciero Brothers 2.5 Climax
952 British Racing Partnership Sold to Team Rosebud. 2.0 Climax/Ferrari V-12 3.0 in 1963
953 British Racing Partnership 2.5 Climax
954 J. Frank Harrison 2.5 Climax later as Harrison Special-289 Ford
955 Jack Nethercutt 2.5 Climax
956 Charles Vogele 2.5 Climax changed to 2.0 Climax for Hillclimbs
957 Tom Carstens Empty - 3.5 Buick fitted changed to Chevy V8
958 Roy Schechter 2.5 Climax
959 Peter Ryan 2.5 Climax Engine
960 Robert Publicker 1.5 Climax
961 Dr Harry Zweifel 2.0 Climax for Hillclimbs
962 Rod Carveth Empty - 3.5 Buick fitted
963 Henry Olds/Bob Colombosian Empty - 3.5 Buick fitted
964 John Coundley 2.5 Climax
965 Mecom Racing Team empty - 2.0 Climax fitted changed to 3.5 Buick
966 Dan Gurney 289 Ford

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