More than 40 years after Emerson Fittipaldi crashed the car heavily in qualifying at Zandvoort in 1973, the remains of Lotus 72 chassis 5 were shown at Autosport International.
The chassis has lain in storage at Lotus ever since the accident, but Classic Team Lotus recently decided to attempt monocoque repairs. Team boss Clive Chapman now hopes the car will run again in demonstrations, although it is unlikely to race.
Chassis 72/5 was raced almost exclusively by Fittipaldi and he won with it in Gold Leaf colours in the 1970 US GP and then in JPS colours in the 1972 Austrian and Italian races. The remains then survived many clear outs of the Lotus stores over the years.
“It is extraordinary that the car survived for so long and it was very lucky that it was not thrown out,” Chapman said. “I think that is a mark of the sentimental attachment my father Colin had for the car, given his constant focus on the future and the team’s perennial battle for more space.”