Just a handful of these single-seaters cars were ever built. Heading to auction without reserve, this Lotus T125 might prove a bargain
Who doesn’t want to experience a Formula 1 car? These thoroughbred machines made from the most exotic materials are just about the fastest land-based objects mankind has ever made. To feel the extreme power-to-weight ratios, masses of downforce through the corners, and face-souring braking g-forces are the dreams of many.
This Lotus T125 was in essence an 8/10th F1 car with all of the aerodynamic trinkets, carbon fibre, and complicated suspension, a budding racing driver could want. Weighing just 560kg, and powered by a 640-horsepower Cosworth V8 engine, the T125 offered GP2 levels of performance - the category that used to sit immediately below F1. This example, up for auction at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2019 event, is one of only a handful made.
Back in 2010, when Lotus returned to F1, a plan was hatched to offer wealthy clients the opportunity to buy what was effectively a detuned version of its T127 F1 car. Codenamed ‘Project Exos’, Lotus worked with engine supplier Cosworth to create the ultimate track car. For $833,500 customers could place an order for this incredible machine and receive expert training from some of the world’s most famous names in motorsport. Just 25 cars were to be built, however, Lotus never made more than a couple.
At the time, Dany Bahar was in charge of Lotus and he had some very ambitious plans for the small British sports car manufacturer. Sadly, these ambitions were a bit more than the manufacturer’s bank balance could take, and so his plans for a new road car assault to take on Ferrari, as well as the construction of many more T125s, were cancelled.
That brings us to this car, one of the few T125s to escape the factory. Obviously potential owners wouldn’t want the extreme hassle required to start a real F1 machine - something that requires a team of people - so Lotus built a traditional push-button starter motor into the car. It could also go 3000 miles before an engine rebuild was required.
This example has hardly been used, with its most notable outing being tested alongside a Porsche 962 at Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida, USA. It has been specified in the iconic black and gold John Player Special livery and certainly looks every inch a real racer.
The car has an estimate of $400,000 - $600,000 but is being offered without reserve. Considering its original price tag, capabilities, and raft of spare parts being sold with this T125, we can’t help but think that it’s a potential bargain.
The 'almost' F1 car hits the auction blocks on March 8, 2019.
Source: RM Sotheby's