A 1965 Lotus 35 Climax powered Tasman Series/Formula 2 race car has been added to the collection of automobiles at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM), courtesy of a donation by John and Marilyn Dimmer.
ACM, set to hold its grand opening in June 2012, took delivery of the race car in time to show it off during their “Hard Hat & High Heels” gala September 24, 2011 at the Museum site, with the British racing green car positioned near the entrance of the building.
“The Lotus 35 is symbolic of the various types of cars visitors will see when they come to the Museum,” said Dominic Dobson, chief development officer for ACM and a former racer who competed in the Indianapolis 500 seven times. “With our grand opening coming next year, we’ve seen an increase in vehicle donations ranging from the Lotus race car to the Museum’s 1930 Duesenberg.”
The Lotus 35, of which just 22 were built, was designed to be a multi-purpose car, capable of competing in Formula 2, Formula 3 or the Tasman Cup Series.
This particular Lotus 35 was a European Formula 2 race car in the 1965 and 1966 seasons (chassis number 35 F18) and was run with a 1-liter Cosworth engine. In 1967, the car was upgraded to 2.5-liter Tasman specifications for racing in Australia and New Zealand with a Coventry Climax FPF engine. The power plant was later replaced with a Ford 289 V8 engine.
Brought back to the States, 35 F 18 was outfitted with a 4.7 Ford Cobra V-8 engine for a Formula A event at Willow Springs (Calif.) March 9, 1968 and won its class with Vernon Shields at the wheel.
John C. Dimmer, a Tacoma native and an ACM Board member, restored the car to its Tasman specifications in 1990. His son and daughter, John and Carolyn, have competed the 35 in numerous vintage racing events including the Tasman Revival in Australia and the Goodwood Circuit Revival Meeting in England.
“We enjoyed competing with this car for many years, but now it’s time to let others enjoy it. America’s Car Museum is the perfect venue to show this car,” said Mr. Dimmer. “Lotus was on top of the racing world in the 1960’s and this car is a beautiful representation of a classic racing era. I’m delighted it will be on display in America’s Car Museum.”
The four-level, 165,000-square foot ACM will officially open Saturday, June 2, 2012 and will be home to 500 cars, exhibits and more. ACM anticipates more than 425,000 visitors will tour the facility annually.
For more information, visit www.lemaymuseum.org.