Classic #f1 Car For Sale – 1979 Lotus 79 / 5 – Ex Mario Andretti
From the listing for this Lotus 79 Formula 1 Car for sale:
For 1979, the Martini aperitif company stepped in as Team Lotus’s prime sponsor and the Grand Prix cars were now finished in British Racing Green with Martini’s familiar dark blue/light blue/red striping. When the intended replacement, the Lotus Type 80, proved to be a leap too far aerodynamically, one final, ultimate Lotus Type 79; 79/5 – the car offered here, was built and it immediately become Mario Andretti’s favoured mount. In this car he scored World Championship points in defence of his crown by placing fourth in both the 1979 South African and United States GPs, and fifth in the year’s Italian GP. The car was also driven during that season by Mario’s new Argentine team mate, Carlos Reuteman, for one outing in the British GP.
Never crashed, Lotus 79/5 was retired to the Lotus museum at Hethel at the end of 1979 and John Dawson-Damer acquired Lotus 79/5 for his collection when the museum needed one of his earlier Lotus single seaters to fill a gap. Dawson-Damer recalled: “I was approached by Lotus because I had three Jim Clark cars” – the Type 25 and two of the Tasman Championship cars which they didn’t have. They asked me what I’d like and as I knew they had two 79s I decided I’d go for one of those, they weren’t in the business of selling cars so this was more of a friendly deal…and one we were all very well-pleased with.
Now this ex-Andretti Lotus 79 is offered in its 1979 Martini livery, ideal for Historic Formula 1 racing, alternatively it’d look fabulous in your office.
The Lotus 79 was the first F1 car to take full advantage of ground effects aerodynamics, pioneered in its immediate predecessor, the Lotus 78. The undercar pressure problems in the 78 were resolved with the 79, with further design work on the venturi tunnels under the car, which allowed the low pressure area to be evenly spaced along the whole of the underside. This was achieved by extending the rear bodywork to a point inside the rear wheels, allowing the underside to extend further back, instead of ending abruptly in front of the rear wheels as on the 78. As a result, the rear suspension was also redesigned to allow the air to exit the rear more cleanly than on its predecessor. This allowed a smaller rear wing to be designed, causing less drag. When the car first appeared, the upper bodywork was steeply raked and featured “Coke bottle” sidepods. After work in the wind tunnel, these features were found to be unnecessary, as the car generated so much downforce anyway. These features were, however, later incorporated into the Lotus 80. In all, five chassis were built during the design’s lifetime, with the prototype 79/1 being sold to Hector Rebaque to race as a privateer entrant.
Listed for sale with Taylor & Crawley
PRICE ON REQUEST FROM Taylor & Crawley