The 1000cc Formula 3 series was the spiritual successor to Formula Junior and ran from 1964 through 1970. It was the proving ground for those aspiring to climb from amateur status to the professional level of motorsports. Naturally, all of the regulars like Lotus, Brabham, Cooper and Chevron showed up to the party all powered by tuned Ford Anglia engines.
Initially modified to produced in the range of 90 bhp, later development of the engines by Cosworth, Holbay, Techno, and others saw the power climb to over 105bhp produced at a rarefied 10,000 rpm. Even at the very high state of tune, the engines were generally very reliable and required only one rebuild per season. The cost was also reasonable for the day with engines typically selling in the range of GBP 600.00 ($1650.00) in 1964. The cylinder head featured a modification of the original design with downdraught intake ports that allowed a more direct path for the air / fuel mixture to flow at increased velocity into the combustion chamber. This along with the appropriate camshaft and valve train allowed the engines to rev like a motorcycle engine producing a symphony of sound that gave the cars their nickname “screamers”.
Lotus Components LTD offered the Lotus 59 in 1969 for Formula Ford, Formula 3, Formula 2 and Formula B. The car was engineered with a space frame made of square and round steel tubing covered in a glass fiber body work. This designed was considered easier to repair compared to the alloy monocoque design of the previous Lotus 41.
The car featured conventional suspension design and outboard brakes both front and rear. Hubs and wheels were knock on type and the gearbox was a traditional Hewland type.
It is believed that a total of 46 Lotus 59 Chassis were built through Lotus Components although records are incomplete and unreliable. The 59 F3 had success with Emerson Fittipaldi winning nine F3 races in the MCD Lombard Championship to become the 1969 champion. Also, Freddy Kottulinsky and Tetsu Ikuzawa won several F3 races on the 59 in 1969.
The featured Lotus 59 belongs to John Counsell and was raced at Goodwood Members Meeting 73 in Jim Russell School livery. The striking color and incredible attention to detail on this restoration offered many oppertunities to capture the mechanical detail of the 59. The gallery contains captioned images as photographed in the paddock at Goodwood.