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Book Reviews


LOTUS HISTORY - THE LOTUS TWENTY THREE 1962-1966 by Graham Capel


Review #1:

Graham Capel's latest book on the Lotus 23 is now available from Historic Lotus Books at P.O. Box 7, Horley, Surrey, RH6 7AA for 25.00 plus 2.50 post and packing.

Graham's study of the famous Lotus 23s is the most detailed book on this Lotus Sports Racer yet. It starts off with the introduction at the 1962 Racing Car Show, and follows the sales to various well known racing drivers, many of whom made their names driving the Lotus 23. In particular, Mike Beckwith and Tony Hegbourne of Normand Racing, Frank Gardner and Paul Hawkins with the works backed Ian Waker Racing cars, Rodney Bloor of Sports Motors, Manchester, Chris Williams, and many others, all of whom are mentioned. Race reports include the famous Nurburgring event where Jimmy Clark in the Essex Racing/Team Lotus development car led the entire field of many larger Sports-Racing cars until he crashed from exhaust fumes from a cracked manifold. The Sebring introductory debacle is included, plus the even greater fiasco of the Le Mans refusal of the Lotus 23 entries which ensured that Colin Chapman never took his Team Lotus cars to Le Mans ever again.

With the development of Harry Munday's Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine the Lotus 23 was strengthened into a Lotus 23 Series II by Lotus, but a Lotus 23B to everyone else! Was there ever a Lotus 23C?

Racing in the USA in the famous United States Road Racing Championship, the forerunner to the CanAm series, is described including George Follmer's overall victory in 1965 in his Lotus 23-Porsche. The USA Sports Car Club of America results and drivers are included.

In other parts of the world, Doug Seurrier's Lotus 23-Alfa that won so much in South Africa over a life of three continuous years, Ian Geoghegan's exploits in Australia with one of the early imported Derek Jolly Lotus 23s, and Lotus Sales Manager Peter Warr's win in a Lotus 23 in the Japanese Grand Prix are described, along with Lotus 23-BMW, Alfa, BRM and Ferrari engined cars competing in the European Mountain Championship, plus other Club, National and International races over the amazing 5 year production of the Lotus 23 - the longest production of any Lotus Sports-Racing car.

It's a good read, and contains a lot of very useful information including chassis lists, and original customer details for historical reference. If you ever watched them racing in the 1960s, and even today in Historic racing, this is the book to read.   JT



Review #2:

This is the title of Graham Capel's new "Lotus History" book. It is a very complete and detailed history of this iconic 1960's Sports Racing car by Lotus Components Ltd. at Cheshunt. The soft back book with colour front cover contains 128 pages including over 100 black and white photos, and Track Tests from period magazines from Great Britain and America.

The introduction of the Lotus 23 at the 1962 Racing Car Show in London is well reviewed, plus chassis and component details of the production will be invaluable to enthusiasts and restorers. There is a revealing insight of the Lotus Components building at Cheshunt in North London in 1962 where the Lotus 23 was sold by Peter Warr, who later became Team Lotus Team Manager for many years.

The customer sales by Lotus to entrants and drivers, together with chassis numbers, are listed in the index at the end of the book, along with race history details of events all over the world over the years 1962-1966.

The book is very well researched and detailed. It is a permanent record and a complete history of the Lotus Twenty Three, and a 'must' for Lotus enthusiasts, past competitors and entrants, and modern historic competitors.

It also covers Jim Clark's two World Championships, plus Indianapolis.

Lotus History - The Lotus Twenty Three 1962-1966 by Graham Capel. Limited publication of 1000 from HISTORIC LOTUS BOOKS. P.O. Box 7, Horley, Surrey, RH6 7AA, England. 25.00 plus post & packing 2.50 = 27.50. Club discount 10% = 22.50 + p & p.   David Hall



Review #3:

Graham Capel has done it again! Following his detailed history of the Lotus Eleven, his new Lotus History book on the world beating Lotus 23 is just as detailed and revealing. Crammed with period black and white photos, press reports, and adverts, this book tells the story of the Lotus 23 from its design, development and construction to its race introduction at Sebring in March 1962 where neither of the two cars entered managed to start! Not the most auspicious beginning, but a few months later Jim Clark famously led the Nurburgring 1000 kilometer race in a works prepared Lotus 23, astounding the motoring press and other far larger competitors, until a crash which put the Lotus 23 in the forefront of motor racing publicity. The next international race was Le Mans, where the Lotus 23s were excluded on scrutineering technicalities, resulting in no works Lotus cars ever taking park in the 24 hour classic during Colin Chapman's lifetime.

British drivers of the time dominated International, National and Club races at home, while Lotus 23s competed in European Hill Climb events throughout Europe. In America, the Lotus 23 did not compete until late in 1962, and became dominant in 1963/4 with George Follmer winning the USRRC championship in 1965 in his Porsche engined Lotus 23. Lotus salesman Peter Warr even took time off to win the first Japanese Grand Prix sports car race at the new Suzuka circuit in a Lotus 23. Lotus 23s were sold all over the world, and scored impressive results to build the international reputation of Lotus Cars.

This is the definitive history of the Lotus 23 and is only available from: Historic Lotus Books. P.O. Box 7, Horley, RH6 7AA, UK at 25 + p & p 2.50.   RR


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