There's an old saying that lightning never strikes twice in the same spot. In Aeromobilia's case, that's true...almost. A few years ago, we were incredibly lucky to have found a 1:8 scale Monoposto Collection Ferrari 500 Formula 2, now sold and residing in a private London collection. These are remarkably rare pieces, hardly ever appearing on the secondary market. Well, there was a flash, a roll of thunder, and lo and behold another Monoposto Collection masterpiece appeared on our doorstep. Not a Ferrari 500, but an equally rare 1963 Lotus 25, as driven by Jim Clark in his World Championship season.
No one who is even mildly interested in Grand Prix history is unaware of the astonishing abilities and successes enjoyed by the British driver Jim Clark who amassed a string of 25 GP wins, along with numerous victories in sports car and Indy 500 racing as well.
In 1962, Colin Chapman, head honcho and chassis guru at Lotus Cars Limited, introduced a new aluminum monococque chassis Formula One racer featuring a Coventry Climax 1.5 litre 90 degree V8, a ZF 5 speed gearbox, and inner and outer coilover shocks. The driver's position was semi-reclining, allowing the bodywork to be very low and narrow. The monococque design allowed for three times the structural strength and stiffness of typical tube frame construction of the period. Chapman penned a very promising design, but it was team pilot Jim Clark who maximized its potential.
During the Lotus 25's debut season in 1962, Clark put the new racer on the pole in six of nine Grands Prix. He was in contention for the World Championship right up to the last race in South Africa, when a blown engine handed the laurels to Graham Hill, driving for BRM.
In 1963 however, Clark was not to be denied, winning seven of ten Grands Prix. Clark became World Champion, and through his efforts, handed Lotus their first Constructor's Championship. Team Lotus actually built seven examples of the Type 25, four of which were destroyed in accidents. Chassis #R4 was Clark's 1963 championship car, and was the most successful of the lot. The car now resides in a private collection, and has appeared in several vintage races.
The now-shuttered Monoposto Collection model construction firm in Great Britain has contributed significant large-scale pieces to the collecting world over the past several years. For a full description of the company and its history, please see the Ferrari 500 F2 listing on page 2 of the 'Models' icon on the Aeromobilia home page.
Our Monoposto Lotus 25 is fitted out to replicate Clark's Championship winning mount of 1963. As with the other models from Monoposto, the body is constructed of finely-molded styrene which imparts the feeling of correct panel thickness. The marvelously detailed suspension is assembled from cast metal bits (no plastic here!) and is enhanced by a myriad of perfect little bolt heads and nuts.
As the Lotus is a curbside model, the body panels are permanently affixed, but clever details peek out now and again, like the Coventry Climax valve covers, plug wires, ignition module, and mesh-screened inlet trumpets. The rear suspension and transmission are wide open for a perfect view, while the twin stainless exhausts provide a perfect completion to the car's sleek lines. The cockpit is nicely fitted out, with a stitched, red leather bucket seat, gated shift lever, full instrumentation and switchgear, and a pedal set lurking deep in the recesses of the footwell. The paint and decal work is perfect without chips or cracks anywhere. At the pointy end of the car, a three-dimensional Lotus badge graces its nose.
As with all Monoposto Collection pieces, the model is affixed to a metal 'engine-turned' base, and protected by a perspex cover with 'Lotus' text etched into the rear pane. This model is #56 in a worldwide edition of 100. The model is 19 1/2 inches in length, while the base and cover measure 24 1/2 x 12 x 8 inches.