The story of Group Racing Developments (GRD) is an interesting one.
Colin Chapman and his Team Lotus were dominant in the 1960’s and 1970’s winning an impressive 7 constructors and 6 driver’s championships during this period. To help fund the F1 team Chapman had successfully sold road cars and customer race cars.
The customer race car division, Lotus Racing Ltd was run by Mike Warner who was on the main board at Lotus. In 1971 Chapman and Warner had a falling out and Warner left. Chapman soon after made the decision to stop supplying customer race cars altogether and closed Lotus Racing Ltd down. Chapman's actions left some very talented people out of work.
So, in 1971, the man that had so successfully run Lotus racing Ltd, Mike Warner set up GRD with several key former Lotus personnel. Interestingly the teams new badge featured “a phoenix rising from the ashes” with an obvious nod to this being to a large degree a new, re-born Lotus customer race car team.
Whilst GRD’s focus would be customer F3 cars, the talented Jo Marquart would be responsible for the design of the companies, F2, Formula Atlantic and 2 litre Sports cars as well. The F3 program was a huge success winning 48 out of 72 races entered and, in the process, winning both the British National and the European championships. Talented drivers of the day such as Tony Brise, Roger Williamson and Brian Henton where all able to demonstrate the design quality of the GRD.
Whilst results on the track where creating a stir within the racing fraternity, sadly GRD proved unsustainable as a company and in 1975 it ceased trading. However, not before the company had its last hurrah winning the Monaco F3 race of that year.
Chassis S74 083 2L was delivered new to Monzeglio in Italy, and was subsequently raced at Monza, Spa and in the 1974 Targa Florio (finishing 5th). The car was fully restored in the '90s by Peter Denty (who had worked at GRD when they were operational) and used by John Shipman to win the RJB Supersports championship. Developed by Shipman and Mark Hales and used in international historics including the Oldtimer GP and VdeV events. Chassis 083 has been with the current owner for the past 10 years.
Fitted with a Richardson alloy block BDG on Lucas mechanical injection, and a Hewland FT200 gearbox with pumped circulation and cooler to cope with long distance events. High fuel capacity to enable 90 mins running. Currently fitted with low drag wing, with original barn door with flap also included.
Tubular anti roll bars, original solid ones also included. Curved vane Alcon disks on new bells. Exhaust system running on spring mounts, with silenced and straight through tailpipes both in stainless.
Running on modern OZ wheels, with original Dymags included. Excellent spares package also includes: new drive hubs, castings, wheel nuts, radiators, roll bars inlet trumpets, belts, Lucas Opus control box, new front disk bells.
A quick and well sorted car with a wonderful period history which would be highly competitive in both HSCC pre 80 Endurance and CER events.