Milliseconds after being forced off-line, Jim spins to avoid Andre Pilette’s Scirocco-Climax at Melling Crossing
The Aintree 200 meeting 50 years ago was significant not only because it was the last major motor racing international staged at the racecourse owned by Mrs Mirabel Topham; it was also the scene of one of Jim Clark’s rare F1 accidents. Racing Jack Brabham hard for the lead, Jim was forced off-line by a back marker and spun heavily into the straw bails at Melling Crossing. His new Lotus 33 was destroyed, obliging Team Lotus to revert to the 25B for the opening rounds of the 1964 Championship. Earlier in the day, as we recount below, Jim finished second in the new Ian Walker-run Lotus 30 and won his class with the Ford Lotus Cortina.
The brand new Lotus 33, featuring larger driveshafts and new ZF gearbox, was badly damaged
“I was lucky to walk away from the wreck,” said Jim later. “The accident highlighted the dangers when lapping slower cars.”
Jim debuted the new Lotus 30 at Aintree and finished second after starting from the back of the grid, setting fastest lap on the way. In terms of handling, though, the 30 was a long way from Bruce McLaren’s winning Zerex (now re-named “Cooper-Climax”)
Jim won his class in the Aintree round of the British Touring Car Championship with the Ford Lotus Cortina. He pushed Sir Gawaine Baillie’s Galaxy hard but the big car always had the legs. Jim headed the other Cortinas driven by Peter Arundell, Frank Gardner and Jackie Stewart
Brilliant. Thank you.
Many thanks. Ian Titchmarsh was at that meeting, watching the back end of the accident from Tatts!
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So let’s just park a vehicle – with the back doors open – right next to the circuit. Times sure have changed and this time I’ll say they’ve changed for the better…
I suppose the only problem with monocoques is that if it gets bent you have serious problems. At least with a spaceframe you can maybe cut out the damaged tubes. Lotus cars always look great in yellow, my Elan is yellow! An interview with Forghieri would be terrific. Really hope you can get that together!
Yes – that’s why Black Jack ran space-frames for so long! Agree about yellow – and not only for Elans. Yellow Porsches look good too (providing they’re spattered with mud and other debris). I chatted to Mauro on our Modena video series, as you know, but it would be good to talk to him again a bit later this year.
Yes – a bit silly, that, but then I guess you could say that at least an ambulance WAS present…
The final photograph, solved a problem for me.
I was certain, as a teenager I had had always seen Jim Clark, three wheeling his Lotus Cortina around Club Corner at Aintree. With Jim clorly following a white Ford Galaxy.
So, this confirms that I did, at the age of 14!
Interesting, my memory from the day was of the saloon car race and not the single seaters.