NOOOOO! Jim Clark's Lotus 49 Crashed At Monaco Historic Grand Prix

Readers who are faint of heart should click away: this is footage of Jim Clark's 1967 Lotus 49 crashing at a practice for the Monaco Historic Grand Prix this past weekend. It's ok to cry – you're in a safe place.


For those who don't know, this isn't just any old vintage Formula 1 car. This is the car that the Cosworth DFV V8 made its debut in, one of the most popular F1 engines of all time. So popular that it was still being used in 1985. Additionally, the Lotus 49 is one of the most influential F1 car designs of all time and a quintessential representation of Colin Chapman's "simplify, then add lightness" approach.

This was an approach that produced cars that were both extremely fast and extremely unsafe, making it somewhat of a miracle that driver Chris MacAllister walked away unscathed. According to a comment on Axis Of Oversteer from Chris' son Alex, the right front wheel nut wasn't torqued enough and that was the cause of the crash. Hopefully the Lotus can be repaired so it can race again.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the Lotus was the only car to have crashed this past weekend in Monaco: a Ferrari 312B once driven by Jacky Ickx collided with a March 721G, and a Token RJ02 crashed in a separate isolated incident. Sad, but somewhat to be expected given how narrow and tricky the Monaco GP circuit is.

Historic races like this are such a catch-22 because on one hand it's great to see these cars being driven as they were intended, out for the world to see, but on the other hand the risk of accidents like these are significantly increased. Thankfully, none of these crashes were too bad which is good for both the drivers and the cars.

Still, if anyone needs a virtual shoulder to cry on we'll all be here in the comments.


Matt Brown

I would prefer it to be driven and crashed than to be put in a museum and never driven again.