Lotus 38 Car #82 – Indy’ 500 Winner 1965 – Jim Clark

Lotus 38 #82 Jim Clark Indy 500 Winner 1965

In my humble opinion this is one of the most iconic race cars from the 1960’s.  Driven by Jim Clark to victory in the Indianapolis 500 it was a total “Game Changer” in terms of race car design as it was the first rear engined car to win at the Brickyard and thereby sealing the doom of the front engined roadsters – no front engined car would ever win the 500 Indy again.  I have already listed one of my other treasured Indy Lotus 38’s driven by Jim Clark and if I found that one difficult to part with then letting this one go is still; “a work in progress” – who knows I could still chicken out!  To put this car in it’s proper context it was the culmination of over three years work undertaken by the genius designer Colin Chapman.  He first visited Indianapolis in 1962 with a  rear engined Lotus Climax and although he didn’t fully enter the car for qualifying he spent the month of May testing and experimenting and gathering useful knowledge for what was to come in subsequent years.  Initially his small “puny little cars” were somewhat frowned upon by the home teams who sported much larger front engined monsters  with turbocharers and in some cases four wheel drive!   Chapman was back in 1963 with a Lotus Ford and Clark put on a great show with a strong spirited run during the race.   In 1964 Clark actually led the race and gave the home teams a real fright; and Chapmans assertion that a rear engined car could win was begining to look more than possible.  By 1965 the writing was on the wall when Jim Clark qualified on the front row in second spot and went on to drive all the way to Victory Lane.  It was the first time the hallowed Brickyard saw a winner of the iconic race take victory with a rear engined car and Jim Clark was also the first foreigner to win the 500 mile race.  The following year 1966, there was only one front engined car in the field and the winning car wasna rear engined Lola driven by another foreigner; Graham Hill – (a future team-mate of Jim Clarks).  The Lotus 38 had well and truly blazed a trail of change and left an indelible mark on the event, and in the process it created a new chapter in Indy 500 racing history.  So now to this 1:18 scale model made by Carousel – well what can I say – it really is a stunning piece  – it captures all the elements of the real thing in excuisite detail – I just love the Spagetti exhaust sneaking out of the rear – and the classic British Racing Green is really beautifully set off by the yellow stripe.  The gentle bulge slightly ahead of the cockpit combined with the chrome of the fuel filler valves either side is very business like and gives a sense of purpose – and the internal cockpit  detail of padding and chrome is very welcoming to the eye!  All in all a real beauty – I really must be mad!

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