All four seasons in one day
The 1964 Daily Express International Trophy meeting at Silverstone for Jim Clark brought all four seasons in a day: on one brilliant uSaturday, in front of a packed crowd, Jim raced the F1 Lotus 25-Coventry-Climax, the Ian Walker Lotus-30-Ford, the Ford Lotus Cortina and the Ian Walker Lotus Elan-Ford 26R. And then he rushed away for two days of testing at Indianapolis.
Images: LAT Photographic, The Henry Ford
Identical attitudes from Mr Clark as he balances the Ian Walker Elan (left) and Lotus 30 (below) through Becketts. Both cars shared the same backbone-chassis principle. The IWR Elan always handled well (despite Jackie Stewart finding his Chequered Flag car very knife-edgy) and the 30, which flexed, was driveable in the wet and semi-wet (whenever its irascible mechanical components allowed). Jim adopts a similar pose with the Lotus 25 in the header: note that the left front Dunlop, mid-corner, is pointing in exactly the same direction as those of the Elan and the 30 – dead straight, in other words (and therefore textbook-perfect). In the Cortina (below) Jim was by contrast always playing with understeer
It is so fascinating to think of being able to see the current F1 world champion drive so many different cars at the same meeting. Such a pity we do not see this today. Re Elan handling, I wonder if rear wheel toe in adjustments would explain this. Iam given to understand that many of the 26R mods were actually developed by Ian Walker, and one of them was cutting the rear wishbones and giving them some rear toe in. Even today adjustable wishbones are a “demon tweak” for Elans, and mine is so equipped. I wonder if IWR cottoned onto this before the Chequered Flag team. If Stewarts car had rear wheel tracking a little awry, it could make it very nervous. Iam totally guessing of course.