Former Formula One world champ Jenson Button has partnered with TV mechanic Ant Anstead and car designer Mark Stubbs to revive famed British coachbuilder Radford. The company is perhaps best known for building bespoke luxury Mini Coopers for each member of the Beatles, but it also helped with development of the Ford GT40 among many other things. The revived company’s first project is to partner with Lotus Cars for a revival of the Europa-based Type 62 racing prototype.
Okay, so it’s a revival of a coachbuilder you’ve probably never heard of building a Lotus you’ve probably never heard of. Got it? Good. The Type 62 started with a Europa chassis, and in addition to a bunch of fancy motorsport aero, it got a hot Vauxhall-based engine. The reason you’ve probably never heard of it? Well, it wasn’t very successful, thanks to the engine’s propensity to explode at inopportune moments.
Radford will apparently be building 62 of these modern interpretations of the Lotus 62 in partnership with Lotus. There isn’t a lot of information available on these cars, but the Radford rendering looks pretty similar to the original 62 shape and design. I’m not sure if this is a modernized platform, built from an alloy Lotus platform, or if it will be based on revitalized vintage Europa chassis, like a “Porsche 911 Reimagined By Singer” style thing.
It helps that Button is doing all of the development driving for this Radford venture. “There is a purity to driving that is lost in many cars of today. I will ensure we create a driver’s car, a trait that is embedded within the DNA of all Lotus cars,” he said. That all sounds pretty damn good to me.
Top Gear says to expect a vintage aesthetic on the outside, but a modern and well-appointed interior. That seems incongruous with Lotus race car vibes, but I’m sure the Radford blokes will be tidying up the engine compartment with something special, like a Honda K20 or whatever. Sign me up to test this thing, you know, assuming I fit in it.
It looks properly cool, despite all the weirdness and secrecy. Hopefully Radford will let out some more details in the near future.