It’s difficult to imagine a Lotus 47 ending up in a scrapyard nowadays, but that was allegedly where this one was saved from during the early 1970s, a time when neither a car’s racing history nor its significance to a marque’s development seemed to matter much.
As any Lotus fan will know, the 47 was the track-ready version of the Europa and went on sale shortly after the road car became available to buy in early 1967. Despite its similar appearance (save for bigger wheel arches and a few cooling vents) the 47 was very different under the skin, being powered by a Lotus 1600 twin-cam-based Cosworth MkXIII dry-sump engine driving through a Hewland five-speed transaxle gearbox.
The set-up gave the car around 175bhp, more than double that of the Renault-powered road model and, combined with extra-thin, lightweight bodywork, made the 47 a real performer. Disc brakes front and rear helped to rein in the extra power, and handling was improved thanks to a revised rear chassis that made the racer considerably stiffer.