Building Jim Clark’s Lotus 49

Originally intended as a commemorative gift for Jimmy himself, modelmaker Henri Baigent’s work took on an additional weight of importance in the wake of Clark’s death. Whenever I see these kinds of amazing artifacts being built I can’t help but wonder where this little marvel is today. At the time, Ford and Firestone provided Henri with technical drawings and even the appropriate rubber compound to create the model in 1:12 scale. Now if he’d just built 12 of them we could be driving it around Silverstone: That’s how this works, right? When the models are this exact I can’t be sure.

Via Motorsport Magazine [the best]

British Pathé: Jim Clark Wins Again

I feel like British Pathé could have used this title for dozens of their recaps of races in the 1960s. This time though, “Jim Clark Wins Again” is referring to the 1964 International Trophy race at Goodwood. Bad luck for Graham Hill that year, but always good for us to see historic footage of Goodwood that we can compare with the miraculous effort they’ve made preserving it for the modern age. What better way to ease into next weekend’s Goodwood 74th Members Meeting, which this year will be live streamed. Thanks for that, Goodwood.

“File Away Your Spark Plug Troubles”

A Vintage Racer Vintage Racing

Jimmy Clark in Ford Model T Sprint Car

This photo of Jim Clark in a Model-T Sprint Car almost breaks my brain. It only makes sense for Jimmy in the context of the celebrations surrounding the Indianapolis 500.

This photo was included in a Ford press release for the race and their 495 horsepower V8 that would power the Lotus-Ford in the race. What better way to showcase Ford’s history with the 500 and demonstrate 48 years of automotive engineering maturity than to contrast these two racing machines—each at the pinnacle of technology for their time. Magnificent.

More at Auto Gift Garage.

DC in Clark’s Lotus 25

David Coulthard really seems to be enjoying his post-racing career. Lovely production on this clip. I love the intercuts between historic footage of Jim Clark in the car (and the period race commentary) and Coulthard in the car today.

Truthfully though, the interviews with Clark’s mechanics and team members are just as enjoyable as watching this magnificent machine in motion.

A Driver’s Work is Never Done

Tippling with Clark

Jimmy Clark on Vinsetta Garage MenuWhile I was visiting Detroit over the Holidays I spent New Years Day having brunch at the Vinsetta Garage. The Woodward Avenue service station opened in 1919 but has been shuttered for a few years. When I’d heard that it had been sold as restaurant space I was afraid that we’d lose another gearhead landmark to contemporary redevelopment.

Thankfully the co-owners kept more than just the name when the Vinetta Garage re-opened as a restaurant last summer. The interior looks largely untouched. Vintage automotive signage looks right at home next to old Strohs and Schlitz signs near the bar. If I were still living in Detroit, I would absolutely be a regular. As you might expect, the menu is peppered with motoring references of one sort or another—mostly Detroit muscle and hot rods.

This item on the menu, though, stood out as one of only a few GP racing mentions. The cocktail offerings list The Jimmy Clark: Gin, lemon juice, egg white, and sugar with soda. It got me wondering. I can certainly imagine naming a cocktail or two after James Hunt… Maybe Graham Hill… Maybe Ascari… But Jim Clark?

Today, Jimmy is remembered as such a serious—even wholesome—character that it almost seems sacrilege to name a cocktail after him. Maybe the years since his death have made his memory rose-colored and I have it all wrong. Do you think he would have been knocking his signature cocktail back on an evening at the Steering Wheel Club?

Vinsetta Garage InteriorVinsetta Garage Sign

More photos from the Vinsetta at the Detroit Free Press.

Jim Clark Hard at Work.

I have this image in my head of Jim Clark easily and effortlessly winning race after race. Nearly every photo I’ve seen of the man after a race is of his smiling face as he celebrates with his crew or the other drivers—not of him slumped and tired and broken down after the strain of a race.

The look of concentration in his face in this photo confirms that it wasn’t just a leisurely drive the led to his victories. It reminds me that just because someone is good at something, it doesn’t mean it’s easy for them.

As an aside: While we can all agree that full-face helmets are safer, what a shame that we’ll never see a photo like this of Vettel or Alonso or Hamilton. Not visibly seeing their struggle just plays into this fantasy of the robotic, efficient driving machine that never breaks a sweat. That’s just Räikkönen.

Photo by Patrick Lichfield. Prints of this shot are available at Chris Beetle’s Fine Photographs. Found via Le Container.

Fit Race-Proved

Ferodo First

British Grand Prix
1st Lotus-Climax J. Clark
2nd Lola-Climax J. Surtees
3rd Cooper-Climax B. McLaren

Touring Car Race
1st Jaguar 3.8 J. Sears

Fit race-proved Ferodo Anti-Fade Brake Linings. Disc Brake Pads.

Ferodo Limited · Chapel-en-le-Frith · A Member of the Turner & Newell Group

45 Years Ago Today