Car Catcher: A Quintessential Sports Racer, the Lotus 23B

Less weight and a low chassis helped the Lotus 23 punch above its weight class. The model made its debut at Nürburgring in 1962, and despite the horsepower deficit, Jim Clark ran away from the field. One lap in, Clark had outpaced Dan Gurney’s Porsche 718 by nearly half a minute.

After 11 laps, though, Clark would crash out of the race, overcome with exhaust fumes due to a leaky system. But the notice had been given: The Lotus 23 was fast. And today, it’s still fast, as it’s a dominating chassis in vintage racing.

Fantasy Junction is offering this 1963 Lotus 23B for $85,000. Records? Enough to form a stack 10 inches tall, we’re told, with a known ownership going back some 50 years.

Today this Lotus 23B presents as a properly finished race car with mechanical integrity and exterior cosmetics professionally prepared for track use,” the listing states. “The paint is very nicely done showing excellent gloss, vivid blue color, and a cleanly defined central yellow stripe and black detailed pin stripes, with inserted roundels, and raw aluminum rocker panels. The body panels exhibit good fit and finish throughout with very low body lines blending the clear windscreen into the integrated front and rear body surfaces. The characteristic painted yellow cast wheels are currently shod with Avon race tires. Throughout the car, evidence of detail supports the thoughtful stewardship this car has seen including clear plexiglass covered headlights, properly braced chrome plated roll bar, and recent CSRG tech stickers, all of which contribute to a very satisfying visual impression of this car.”

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wspohn Dork
4/7/20 2:53 p.m.

I saw one of these built as a displacement class car using a 1300 cc Alfa engine that put out close to 130 bhp  Was one of the nicest sounding cars on the track. They were also the equivalent of what the Lotus 11 (or arguably 17 which was pretty much the same car) had been to front engined sports racers.

bosswrench New Reader
4/7/20 4:14 p.m.

In the early-to-mid '80s in Northern. CA, a Lotus 23B named 'The Spoiler' powered by a hot-rod 215 Buick & a Porsche 911 transaxle was a top contender in the NCSCC series- a hotbed of club autocrossing at the time. Originally run by two guys and their wives, it was always a contender for TTOD against Formula Atlantics, modified big-block 'Vettes- anything. In a particularly open slalom held on the Lone Pine Indian Reservation, The Spoiler clocked 172+ mph and reportedly about scared its owner to death.... Sold & restored to a regular 23B, I've lost track of it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/8/20 1:28 p.m.

In reply to bosswrench :

So almost a Can-Am car? 

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