’68 Lotus Formula 2 available

Lotus 51A Frame

Symbolic Motors in La Jolla, CA is offering this extremely photogenic Lotus 51A. Originally a Formula Ford, this monoposto racer has been uprated to dual overhead cam Cosworth powered Formula 2. There are dozens of wonderful photos of this slippery Lotus in various stages of undress.

Sitting in its bare form, you start to see how deceptively simple these cars really looked. When you see a sixties formula car without the body panels, you get a flash of what it must have been like to set out to join in the fray of Formula racing. What would be the absolute folly today to start building a formula car was once an attainable goal for a small group of dedicated gearheads.

Naturally, this is all radically understating the sophistication that lies within these steel and aluminum chassis members. But that’s the appeal, isn’t it? You can look at these chassis and think to yourself, “I could build that.” I say this not to belittle the tremendous effort that these small racecar manufacturers put into their cars, but to celebrate the spark of creativity, hope, and courage that makes us as laymen think it’s within our reach. This might be the single biggest heartbreak of modern racing, that it’s become so technical that you may as well try to build a space shuttle at home.

So drink in the pure joy of this humble tubular frame. And maybe pick up a welder.

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