Your reference to Peter Warr winning the first Japanese Grand Prix in 1963 brought back many memories to me and hence this letter. The car was a very early Lotus 23 which had been purchased by Peter from a private owner, and the factory converted it to B specifications and fitted a new body for him to use in a few events paying suitable starting money. The engine was a very special (at that time) 1,650 c.c. push-rod unit built by Cosworth and the gearbox was an early Hewland 5-speed with rear exit gear change.
I purchased the car from Peter during the 1964 Racing Car Show and will never forget the trial ride as Peter’s passenger on public roads! The car was maintained by Len Street (long before he reached Drayton Gardens) and after a practice day at Brands, where I spun it coming out of Druids, he entered it for me at Goodwood and Mallory Park. It was then crated and shipped to California by Phil Mortimer (again long before Swanscombe Auto-Exports). I also recall buying engine bits from Bill Brown at Cosworths and helping a young Austrian doing the same. His name was Rindt.
The car was raced extensively in SCCA regional and national events with many class wins and overall placings, as well as championship wins in 1965 and 1966. The car was also driven unsuccessfully in the professional races at Riverside, Laguna Seca and Pensacola, Florida, before I retired from the sport to watch my good friend George Follmer win the series in his Lotus 23B-Porsche and begin his International career.
If this car still exists, I would be pleased to supply the owner with its history during its years in my care. Meanwhile I will relive the early days in my Ulster/Nippy special as I did on my return to Mallory Park this past July to compete in the 750 MC Austin Seven race, and to Goodwood for the next A7 attempt on the 10,000 mile record in September 1978.
Usual disclaimers for firms and individuals mentioned.
Woodham, Surrey DAVID N. REILLY