1960 Lotus 18


Motor Racing and Sports Car drivers know intimately the Lotus brand!

The Lotus 18 was a race car designed by Colin Chapman for use by Lotus in Formula Junior, Formula Two and Formula One.

Lotus 18 was the first mid-engine car built by Lotus and was a marked improvement over Chapman’s early and only moderately successful front-engine formula cars, the 12 and 16. It was introduced for the 1960 F1, F2 and FJ seasons, with about 27 examples of the F1 and F2 versions and 110 of the FJ versions.

The car was a classic Chapman design, being extremely light and simple; the body was made up of lightweight fibreglass panels bolted to heavily-triangulated tube frame chassis. The car was rigid, strong and light, maintaining the 16’s forward weight distribution despite the engine moving behind the driver.

The Formula Junior variant used a 998 cc Cosworth MkIII or a Downton BMC “A” Series with 948cc displacement. The Formula Junior version also used smaller gauge chassis tubing and Alfin drum brakes on all four corners.

The Formula Junior version utilized the Renault 4-speed transaxle, and both of the Lotus transaxle and this Renault ‘box had the gear shifter lever on the left side of the driver. An optional gearbox was the VW gearbox with Hewland 4 speed gears. This last gearbox has the added advantage of being able to change gear ratios from behind the gearbox without removing the gearbox from the car.

The front suspension was by double-wishbone arms with an outboard coil/damper unit. Unlike Chapman’s former designs where the ends of the anti-roll bar acted as a leg of the upper wishbone, the 18 had a separate front anti-roll bar. The rear suspension was by upper and lower radius arms with a reversed lower wishbone, where the fixed-length half-shaft acted as the upper-link. The coil/damper unit was also mounted outboard in the rear, and the 18 sometimes ran with and without the rear anti-roll bar.

In order to capitalize on the weight advantage, Chapman designed a light, sleek machine only 28 inches (71 cm) high (excluding windscreen) and weighing just 980 lbs (440 kg). To help facilitate this, the driver was placed in a semi-reclining position.


This beautiful race car built in 1960 was one of the six cars imported by Pedro Rodriguez (Formula One Driver), into Argentina and Mexico to start a Formula Junior competition.

The car’s frame with the other five was painted black as opposed to the usual machinery grey. The car was purchased by Alvarez Murphy and was raced in a support race for the first Argentinian Grand Prix.

From there onwards the history is a bit hazy, but the car was transported to Australia by Rob Hands and Steve Lunn.

The car been extensively restored both mechanically and cosmetically, with a new body, nose cone, new floor, and engine cover.

The car has new wishbones, new brakes, gearbox was rebuilt, all the hydraulics we replaced, the Smith instruments were re-built with electronic tacho, new period style steering wheel with Lotus badge and the seat re-upholstered.

The 1000 cc Ford Angia engine is standard but performs well.

The car has a box of spare parts and spare body panels.

The car has not been driven since the restoration, so a full going over will be necessary before it takes to the track. The car does not have a Motorsport Australia COD.

This car will be a superb car to race in the Historic Race events.

Please contact us to arrange an inspection – you will not be disappointed!

Car is sold unregistered.