A unique event took place at England’s Snetterton race circuit when many thousands of fans turned out to see a gathering of every model of Lotus Formula 1 car from the Lotus 12 to the current Lotus 127, a total of 35 different models.
Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman and Director of Classic Team Lotus, managed not only to round up an example of every Lotus F1 car, but also convinced the current Lotus F1 team to attend, with drivers Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, and Fairuz Fauzy, along with team principal Tony Fernandez and designer Mike Gascoyne. They had special permission from the FIA to demonstrate their new cars, and also took part in driving special cars from the past.
Colin Chapman’s widow Hazel officially launched the track display, and Stirling Moss’ son Elliot drove a 1960 Lotus 18. The historic cars at Snetterton included those raced by Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, Graham Hill and Nigel Mansell.
The 35 models represented the cars that competed for the World Championship between 1958 and 1994 as well as the new T127. The Festival coincided with Lotus’ 500th Grand Prix, which was about to take place at Valencia a week after Snetterton. Former team manager Peter Warr said that he could not remember ever seeing so many famous cars together in one place.