1964 Lotus 23C
Metallic Grey with Orange Stripe
The Lotus 23 is part of a long tradition of Lotus’ giant-killing successes against much larger and more powerful cars. By using lightweight designs, the cars were oftentimes extremely competitive against cars like Jaguars and Ferraris, which had many multiples of the power output provided by the Lotus. The 23B variant received the twin cam engine in place of the smaller Coventry Climax units, and it was this car that Jim Clark drove away from the field at the Nurburgring 1000km in 1962. By the end of the first lap, he was leading the Porsches and Ferraris by 27 seconds, and his lead grew with each lap until a broken exhaust manifold directed fumes into the cabin and Clark was forced to retire. The 23C was the ultimate version of the car, and was a further developed version of the 23B, with larger 6 lug wheels and brakes, as well as flared fenders to accommodate them.
The owner of this particular car has traced its history back to 1968, when it was sold by Joe Kennebeck to noted New Jersey race car dealer, Fred Opert. Kennebeck had raced it in the 1968 season and won G production at SCC Northern New Jersey Region event at lime Rock. The car was advertised as a 23C and was indicated as having a new chassis. Opert traded the car to Dick Scott of Pittsburg, PA for an Elva Mk. VI, and Scott raced the car in the 1969 season. Scott recalls the car having an Arch Motors Chassis number (possibly AM155), but does not recall the number exactly. Following a crash at VIR, Scott sold the car to Reed Gundy, also of Pennsylvania in 1970. Steel Cities Region SCCA issued the car its first SCCA logbook on the 20th of May 1972, still with Reed Gundy.
Gundy fitted a McLaren style wedge body and raced the car with a Brian Hart twin cam engine for two seasons at Cumberland (2) Mahoning Valley, Watkins Glen (2) NE Ohio (2) Indianapolis Raceway Park, Summit Point, Great American Roadrace, Quaker State National (Pocono twice), Bridghampton, Subaru Nationals. Gundy sold the car in April 1974 to David Hummel of the Chicago area, who raced the car once and then sold the car to Dan Kruzan in September of 1976. Kruzan kept the car very briefly and then sold it in November to Gary Page. Page raced the car three times (TransAm at Road America, Blackhawk Valley, both in 1977 and Road America in 1980) before selling the car to Warren Sankey of San Francisco in September of 1980.
Sankey also owned a Lotus 24 and two F1 cars, so the 23 saw limited use: two SCCA drivers’ schools, an autocross event, and one race at Laguna Seca. He sold the car to Harry Chandler of Colorado in August 1981, who then sold the car to Bob Hildreth in April of 1984. He restored the car to 23B specs with a 1600cc engine and Weber 4 DCOE carbs. He raced the car in vintage events for two years, and then sold it in April of 1986 to Dick James in Southern California.
He began restoring the car, and bought a new Curtis frame (made with the original Lotus blueprints) as part of that effort, but never completed the car. He sold it in December 1996 to Gary Horstkorta, who spent two and a half years restoring it. He debuted it at the March of 2000 CSRG event at Sears point, and the car has raced in approximately thirty events since then. Included among these two Wine Country Classics, four Monterey Historics, and numerous CSRG, HMSA, General Racing, VARA, SCCA and Sovern events.
The car was comprehensively rebuilt in 2008, and has had regular maintenance since, including brakes, wheel bearings, and crack checks on an annual basis, and more recently a new steering rack. The car has also just a new motor, and all work has been performed by the highly regarded Jim Groom Sports Car Service.
The car is in excellent cosmetic condition, having been treated to a high caliber restoration. The color combination is stunning, and the car displays exceptional attention to detail not ordinarily afforded to vintage race cars. The paintwork is in very nice shape with only a handful of small blemishes. The wheels and tires are excellent, and the aero screens are in good shape, save for a crack at the bottoms of one of the ones on the doors. The mirrors are spun aluminum, and the interior is equally nice. The frame is painted a lovely dark gray, and the suspension components polished, spotlessly clean and well–detailed throughout. The engine compartment is beautifully detailed and extremely clean as well, and the car is event ready with full safety equipment.
This is a great opportunity to acquire a turnkey example of the most developed and competitive Lotus 23. The condition is extremely nice, and the car’s known ownership and racing history back to 1968 adds further appeal. The car is beautifully finished and prepared, and comes with log books back to 1972.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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