Lotus 38 - 1965 Indianapolis 500 Winner

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Technical Details

  • Description
  • Scale guide

Designed by Colin Chapman and Len Terry, the Lotus 38 was built to win the Indianapolis 500. A reinvention of the previous Lotus 29 and 34 Indianapolis designs, the 38 was built with a full monocoque tub chassis. It was powered by the same four-cam Ford V8 fuel injected engine that was used in the 34, providing around 500bhp. Though the 38 was significantly larger than Formula One cars of the era, it was still dwarfed by the massive American roadsters. The 38 was also specially designed with an offset suspension, which in theory, was better suited to the oval track of the Indy 500. This style of suspension would never catch on though, as it made the car’s handling quite peculiar. In total, eight Lotus 38s were built.

The Lotus 38 became the spearhead of the “British Invasion” of American racing as it became the first mid-engine car to win the Indy 500. Driven by Scotsman Jim Clark, the No. 82 car qualified second with a four-lap average speed of 160.729mph, just behind Anthony Joseph Foyt in a modified Lotus 34. Clark started the race quickly, taking the early initiative, and, although Foyt passed him on the second lap, Clark regained the lead one lap later. It took until lap 65 before the lead would change hands again as Clark pitted, before he re-claimed the top spot on lap 74 when Foyt pitted himself. After this, Clark never lost the lead, meaning he had led 190 of the 200 laps, the most since Bill Vukovich fifteen years prior. Clark became the first non-American winner of the Indy 500 since 1916 and would go on to win the 1965 Formula One World Championship, despite skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to compete at The Brickyard. He is the only driver in history to win the Indy 500 and Formula One World Championship in the same year.

This perfect 1:8 scale model is of the Indy 500-winning car, as driven to victory by Jim Clark, has been handcrafted and finished in our workshops with the co-operation and assistance of Lotus regarding original finishes, materials, archive imagery and drawings. The use of supremely accurate digital scanning of the original car has allowed us to perfectly recreate every detail at scale. Furthermore, it has undergone detailed scrutiny by both engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.

The Lotus 38 is limited to only 99 pieces.


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