1964 Lotus 26R
We are delighted to present to market the car that launched the professional racing career of former Grand Prix driver, Arrows Grand Prix founder, 1969 Le Mans and Daytona winner, 1971 Sebring winner and 1974 Can-Am Champion, Jackie Oliver. Chassis 26-S2-9 was ordered from Lotus Cars in 1964 as a gift for Jackie by his father, with the original invoice £1800. By this point Jackie had been club racing a Mini, Marcos and Ford Mustang, but it was the diminutive little 26R that really enabled him to chang his career prospects.
Oliver campaigned '26-S2-9 'throughout the UK and in France during 1965, putting in sufficiently impressive performances, and in some instances beating the works-backed cars of Ian Walker Racing, to garner the attention of Colin Chapman. Circuits included Oulton Park, Snetterton, Crystal Palace, Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Cadwell Park to name a few. Oliver cites his success in the 26R as being the catalyst for Chapman handing him a works Formula 2 drive with Gold Leaf Team Lotus, which of course led to Formula 1 and beyond. His trusty 26R was later sold and Oliver lost track of it until the late 2000s when historic racing regular Michael Schryver found it in the USA then brought it home to restore to its former glory.
Upon hearing about the car Oliver eventually persuaded Schryver to sell and after nearly 50 years was reunited with the car he had such fond memories of. A highlight came soon after when Oliver was invited to race the car in the Fordwater Trophy at the 2012 Goodwood Revival, finishing 2nd to another 26R (a former works car with a special aerodynamic body). Since then Oliver focused mainly on guest driving other poeple's cars in historic touring car racing, mainly in touring and GT cars, so rarely took 'R9' out on track.
During this time it has been lovingly kept in race ready condition by Schryver in case Oliver decided to return her to the track once more. The car now comes to market fresh from a service and ready to race with a useful spares package (including a spare differential and long-range fuel tank. This represents a fabulous opportunity to acquire an iconic, highly eligible and competitive 60s GT car with provenance that would earn a Jaguar E-type a much higher price!