Lotus Elan, gifted to Jochen Rindt after final GP win, is set for auction


Colin Chapman gave Jochen Rindt a Lotus Elan to celebrate his 1970 German GP win — his final victory in a tragic season where he was crowned world champion. Now the car is due to be auctioned with an estimate of up to £120,000

Jochen Rindt owned Lotus Elan

Silverstone Auctions

Jochen Rindt‘s very last road car is due to be auctioned later this month, after being fully restored to its original condition.

The Lotus Elan S4 is a poignant reminder of the tragic 1970 grand prix season, having been given to Rindt by Lotus founder Colin Chapman after his German Grand Prix win for the team on August 2: Rindt’s final Formula 1 victory.

The car is understood to have been driven by Rindt, and reputedly lost a door on one European trip, but the charismatic Austrian had little opportunity to get behind the wheel. Just over a month after receiving the keys, he was killed at Monza.

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Three races remained, but the Hockenheim victory proved enough for Rindt to be named World Champion.

Following Rindt’s death, the Elan was bought and kept in Switzerland for several decades. The Series 4 Drophead Coupé is a left-hand drive example and has 80,652km (50,115 miles) on the clock.

It returned to Britain in the 2000s, where it was restored by Lotus specialists Ken and Neil Myers.

With the original chassis, body and engine refreshed, the car repainted in its original French Blue (and doors firmly secured), the Elan is now expected to fetch between £80,000 and £120,000 at Silverstone Auctions’ Race retro sale on February 25.

A certificate of provenance from Lotus, confirming that the car fist belonged to Rindt, along with photographs of the handover, are thought to make the car worth around £20,000 than another Elan S4 in similar condition, according to Rob Hubbard, sales director of Silverstone Auctions.

The car is part of the ‘Piddington Collection’ that is being sold in individual lots. It also includes an Elan Sprint Drophead Coupé owned by the Elan’s original designer, Ron Hickman and an Elan Series 3 prepared for privateer team owner Rob Walker to mark Stirling Moss’s 1961 Monaco Grand Prix victory in Walker’s Lotus 18.

Another Elan S4, given to Cosworth DFV co-creator Keith Duckworth to commemorate the engine’s first grand prix win at Zandvoort in 1967, and part of the same collection, will go under the hammer as well.

From the archive

The auction takes place during Race Retro, which returns after a three-year hiatus on February 24-26. Europe’s premier historic motor show has been on pause due to Covid, but will roar back into action with its trademark rally stages, featuring more than 110 Group A, B and WRC cars in action.

New viewing areas will offer more angles on the high-octane runs, with the ultimate in-car viewpoint available with passenger rides being offered. The preparation and service area will allow visitors to watch cars being prepped before their runs

The Stoneleigh Park show has a new layout for 2023, with a bespoke exhibition area constructed between the two main halls, and there will be more than 80 exhibiting clubs, organisations and retailers.

Motor Sport will be at the show too — don’t forget to drop by. Click below to book tickets.

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