Page 1 of 2 Next >> Following in the footsteps of rival Cooper, Lotus introduced the mid-engined Type 18 single seater in 1959 and its sports car derivative, the Type 19, in 1960. These two cars replaced the range of front engined racers that had established Lotus as a serious manufacturer and would go on to bring the company the forefront of international racing.
The Type 19 was created by adapting the single seater chassis for sports car use. This included widening the centre section to accommodate for the theoretical passenger. The chassis itself was a conventional steel multi-tubular spaceframe. Suspension also followed familiar lines and consisted of a double wishbones at the front and reversed lower wishbones with a radius arm and fixed-length half-shaft at the rear.
Like the Formula 1 specification of the Type 18, the new Lotus sports racer was powered by the Coventry-Climax FPF four cylinder engine. It was fitted in full F1 trim with the exception of the added starter motor required for endurance racing. Displacing just under 2.5 litre, it produced around 240 bhp. Bolted directly onto the engine was Lotus' own five-speed sequential gearbox. This 'queerbox' allowed for quick ratio changes but was also notoriously unreliable.
The prototype Type 19 was completed in the summer of 1960. It was clothed in a simple body constructed from glass-fibre reinforced plastic and aluminium. Due to the close resemblance to the Cooper T49 'Monaco', the new Lotus quickly received the nickname 'Monte Carlo'. Fully assembled, the compact sports racer tipped the scales at just under 560 kg. Page 1 of 2 Next >>