When historical racecars come up for auction, they demand astronomical prices, but for good reason. We expect a similar story when Graham Hill’s Gold Leaf Team Lotus 49B (chassis number “R8”) rolls across the block later this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Designed for the 1967 Formula 1 season, the Lotus 49 chassis was an instant success, recording a debut win at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix. The 49 ushered in the era of Cosworth-Ford DFV dominance, and found itself in the hands of World Champions’ Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi.
Hill drove this particular 49B-R8 in the 1969 Tasman Championship races in New Zealand and Australia, finishing second at both Christchurch and Invercargill, fourth at the Australian Grand Prix in Brisbane, and sixth in Melbourne. Richard Attwood piloted it to a fourth place finish and fastest lap in the Monaco Grand Prix, with Hill subsequently racing the R8 again to a seventh place finish at the 1969 British Grand Prix.
It may not be the F2004 of Michael Schumacher’s final championship, the McLaren MP4-4 of Ayrton Senna, or one of Fangio’s fine machines, but it does represent a hallowed era for Formula 1 that any collector should feel lucky to have.