Headed by founder Colin Chapman, the 79 was designed by the team at Lotus for the 1978 season. It was the first car to take full advantage of the ‘ground effects’ aerodynamics as pioneered in its immediate predecessor, the Lotus 78. The 79 is thought to have been the first F1 car designed using computer aids and the first to be analysed by pit computers on race weekends. It is also credited with pushing Formula 1 into the aerodynamics era, an influence still clearly seen today. Powered by a Ford Cosworth DFV engine that was housed at the rear of the car, the 79, also known as the John Player Special Mark IV or ‘Black Beauty’, was hailed for its stunning good looks.
Five chassis were built during its two-season lifespan, though 1978 remains the 78’s critical year, as it, driven by Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson, powered to a Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship double. The Lotus 79 claimed six race wins, eight more podiums, ten pole positions and five fastest laps during its 26-race existence.
This is a 1:8 scale recreation of the Lotus 79 as raced to victory by Mario Andretti at the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix. Andretti qualified on pole, just ahead of his teammate Peterson. A relatively uneventful race belied stunning drives from the Lotus teammates and Andretti headed the podium by a tiny margin of 0.32 seconds. Andretti would go on to the win Drivers’ Championship after a dominant year in which the competition could not keep up.
This model 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 Lotus's engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.
The Lotus 79 is limited to only 199 pieces.
Elevate your 1:8 scale collection with one of our elegant, harmonious and handcrafted display cabinets, stands or plinths.
The Lotus 79 is also available as driven by teammate and runner-up Ronnie Peterson.