In 1964 the Lotus Type 34 with a Ford V8 mounted behind the driver’s back would alter the future of the Indianapolis 500, forever–and one of them just happens to be for sale.
After their heartbreaking and possibly conspiratorial loss in the 1963 Indianapolis 500, Lotus was back with a new weapon for ’64, the Type 34 featuring a new, more powerful quad-cam 4.0-liter V8 built by Ford, and more refinements from lessons learned at both the Brickyard and during the Formula 1 World Championship.
Three examples of the new car were built in England. Chassis 34/1 was given to the surreally speedy Scotsman Jim Clark, while Dan Gurney of All-American fame was given 34/3. The last 34/2–and the car now for sale–was used in practice only before falling into the hands of A.J Foyt.
Clark put the 34 on pole with a blistering 158.8 mph run, giving Lotus the first pole-position for a rear engine car at Indy. The 34 wouldn’t win at Indy in ’64 thanks to tire troubles, but it would go on to inform the Type 38 which won the following year.
However, prior to Jim Clark and his 38 taking the checkered flag on Memorial Day 1965, A.J Foyt and his year old Type 34/2 convincingly smashed through the 160 mph barrier with a record setting pole lap which averaged 161.233 mph over four laps.
Foyt would eventually retire from the race with mechanical trouble while running in second behind Clark, but that wasn’t the end of A.J’s time piloting the Type 34.
With Foyt driving, the 34/2 would win three times in the months following the 1965 Indy 500–half of the Type 34’s six career victories– making it the most successful Indy car Lotus has ever produced.
All four of A.J’s Indy winning cars already belong to the Speedway’s museum and they’re not leaving anytime soon, making the Type 34/2 one of the most prolific and successful race cars of Foyt’s history to come up for sale.
When it crosses the block on August 18th at Bonham’s Quail Lodge Auction it’s expected to fetch somewhere between $1.8 and 2.5 million US…