The car I offer today was the penultimate production Lotus 8 ordered by motor dealer George Nixon of Nixons Garage Staffordshire. Fitted with a fuel-injected twin overhead cam 1490cc Turner engine, the car was known as and entered in events as a Lotus-Turner. Events included Empire Trophy at Oulton Park, along with races at; Aintree, Silverstone and Hockenheim, Germany.
Nixon’s final race in the Lotus-Turner was the ill-fated Leinster Trophy at Wicklow, Ireland where Don Beauman driving a Connaught died, with Nixon involved in this incident. September 1955 the Lotus - Turner was offered for sale in Autosport, available in three lots: Chassis ‘in brand new condition’, engine and trailer. The Turner engine was sold separately. ending up in Italy.
Fast forward to 1981, the car re-emerged from a wooden garage in Essex being sold in a dismantled state. Subsequently the parts past through a couple of hands, eventually ending up with John Davies. John entrusted the parts to freelance race engineer and Lotus specialist David Abbott, who completed a nut and bolt restoration of the car. The Engine now fitted is an XPAG MG 1500cc, built by MG engine specialist Edney.
During 2004, William Vincent, a Lotus Historian inspected the build, and he confirmed chassis number was MK6/2-6 was correct, and helped achieve the reassignment of the original registration of 777FRE from the DVLA.
In total 9 MK8 were constructed with the likes of James Dean and car dealer Dan Margulies ordering cars. Over the intervening years, three of these cars have been scrapped leaving only six available! 777FRE is available to the open market from the first time in several decades and presents a unique opportunity for a Lotus collector or history racer looking for something extra special.
Lotus 8 “The Streamline Lotus”
In 1954 Colin Chapman launched the first aerodynamic production sports car. The bodywork was conceived and developed by De Havilland Aircraft aerodynamicist Frank Costin. His brother Michael was one of Colin’s closest and most influential collaborators. Later Frank became Technical Director at Lotus Engineering, before forming Cosworth with Keith Duckworth.
The engineered triangulated space frame chassis made from1¼-inch 20-gauge tubing welded, manufactured by Progress Chassis of Edmonton. The Costin-designed aerodynamic bodies were produced by specialist Williams & Pritchard, also of Edmonton, North London, fashioned from 20-gauge aluminium sheet, apparently, the weight of the chassis and bodywork combined weighed less than 5 wheels and tyres.
Viewing of this car is near Northampton facility, and by mutual appointment only.