The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
HI, I'm new here and I have a Lotus V8 engine that I need to identify. It's been in storage for decades and I want to find out what it is. It's an aluminum racing engine with 4 weber downdraft carbs and what appears to be a magneto. It's marked 30-L-2. I have more photos. Thanks for any help.
20200626_165319.jpg
20200626_165301.jpg
20200626_165319.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
342 Posts
Hello Burnout,

Where are you located?
I believe what you may have is a Ford based engine used in a Lotus 30 sports racer in 1964-65. The Lotus 30 was Lotus' first effort at "big" sportscars. They were not very successful because of reliability issues, particularly cooling. According to the Lotus 30 registry, your engine may have been from Bob Challman's Lotus 30/L/2 in Southern California. He was the US Distributor for Lotus Cars in the US. Most of us older Lotus enthusiasts knew Bob personally. If he didn't like you, he'd toss you from his dealership! Unfortunately Bob Passed away in Oct, 1997.

No idea where this car is now.

Ford US and Lotus collaborated with the Lotus 29, 33 and 38 Indy cars and the Lotus Elan, 23, 41 used the 4cyl English Ford Anglia/Cortina to develop their Lotus Twincam engines.
Classic Team Lotus or the Lotus Archivist may have some additional info such as build specs, but likely not much else.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,666 Posts
Well the registry references Morris Kindig and also says something about Challman converting it Cherokee mk 1, so it sounds like this engine has a potential place it ought to be if someone wnat ed to reconnect it withthe car

Is this what you meant Colin heh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hello Burnout,

Where are you located?
I believe what you may have is a Ford based engine used in a Lotus 30 sports racer in 1964-65. The Lotus 30 was Lotus' first effort at "big" sportscars. They were not very successful because of reliability issues, particularly cooling. According to the Lotus 30 registry, your engine may have been from Bob Challman's Lotus 30/L/2 in Southern California. He was the US Distributor for Lotus Cars in the US. Most of us older Lotus enthusiasts knew Bob personally. If he didn't like you, he'd toss you from his dealership! Unfortunately Bob Passed away in Oct, 1997.

No idea where this car is now.

Ford US and Lotus collaborated with the Lotus 29, 33 and 38 Indy cars and the Lotus Elan, 23, 41 used the 4cyl English Ford Anglia/Cortina to develop their Lotus Twincam engines.
Classic Team Lotus or the Lotus Archivist may have some additional info such as build specs, but likely not much else.
Thank you Stress for the helpful info.
I am located near Riverside California, so your estimation that it may have been Bob Challman's 30-L-2 is probably correct. I have no doubt that the person who put this engine in storage probably knew Mr. Challman, he passed away only a few years after Mr. Challman.
Is there any way to connect this engine to the car by engine number?
Is there any chance that this engine could possibly be from one of the team cars? Or did they all go back to the UK?
Does the "30-L-2" unit number mean that the engine was installed only in a Lotus 30?
You mention the Lotus 29, 33 & 38 cars. Would any of these have the 30-L-2 engine?
One more "newbie" question... were all of the Ford/Lotus V8's aluminum? Or were iron engines used as well? I see photos of cars with Ford/Lotus engines that were painted (you would think that the engine in a car with inherent cooling issues would be left in raw aluminum). I also see in these photos that the distributor is standing straight up in the block like a factory Ford small block, but my engine has the distributor mounted at an angle in the timing cover. Am I comparing apples to oranges?
Thanks again for your input.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
342 Posts
Is there any way to connect this engine to the car by engine number? I used your engine number as part of the search query with Lotus 30.

Is there any chance that this engine could possibly be from one of the team cars? Or did they all go back to the UK? That's possible.
Does the "30-L-2" unit number mean that the engine was installed only in a Lotus 30? Very possible.
You mention the Lotus 29, 33 & 38 cars. Would any of these have the 30-L-2 engine? Doubtful. I mentioned those cars because of Lotus' engineering relationship with Ford.
One more "newbie" question... were all of the Ford/Lotus V8's aluminum? No, they were supplied with both iron and aluminum engines. Ford produced the aluminum ones as specials. Or were iron engines used as well? I see photos of cars with Ford/Lotus engines that were painted (you would think that the engine in a car with inherent cooling issues would be left in raw aluminum). I also see in these photos that the distributor is standing straight up in the block like a factory Ford small block, but my engine has the distributor mounted at an angle in the timing cover. Am I comparing apples to oranges? I don't know. They probably tried several iterations looking for power or reliability.

May I suggest contacting the Lotus 30 Registry? At the time, I was just a young kid hanging around at Riverside getting myself in the way in the paddock. There are vintage sportsracer groups and forums all over the internet. Here is another trail, or possible wormhole.... Lotus 30 ID help needed! - TNF's Archive

Now, since you are in Riverside, if you ever stumble upon the remains of an old Brabham formula car that may have looked like this, please let me know.
1265401


Best of luck to you!

Regards,
Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Is there any way to connect this engine to the car by engine number? I used your engine number as part of the search query with Lotus 30.
There is an "engine number" as well as that 30-L-2 "unit number" which I'm hoping could be a way to track it to a particular car.
Thanks Dan, for the further info and the links. I will venture down that worm hole and see what I can find.
My ultimate goal would be to get this engine connected back with it's history (whatever that may be).
In my local search, I will keep an eye open for any traces of the Brabham formula car that you're looking for.
Thanks again.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
342 Posts
The Unit Number you have is an important number. That ties it to a specific car. The engine number will help as well. I will PM you an email address to Andy Graham at Lotus. He is the archivist at Lotus. He may have limited means to research right now because of Covid isolation.

Regards,
Dan
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top