JIM CLARK AT SEBRING 1964: 60 Years Ago in a Ford Cortina by Lotus

Most race fans have heard of Jim Clark, who was the famous Scottish Formula One Champion and Indy 500 Winner and is considered one of the greatest race drivers of all time. But many people would most likely not remember that Jimmy also ran other types of racers and not just open wheel Indy and F1 cars.

Jim is best known for running mostly for Lotus, with designer/engineer/owner Colin Chapman from the iconic English marque. Jim also ran an Aston-Martin DBR1 at Le Mans twice, a Jaguar, and even a Ford Galaxie stock car. However, for the 12 Hours of Sebring and a Preliminary “Saloon” or Sedan 3 hour race in 1964, Jim Clark ran for Ford in a small sedan Cortina with special modifications by Lotus. These Lotus Cortina’s were pretty quick for their class, and many times would dominate with their Lotus built 1.6 Liter twin overhead cam engines and light bodies. The suspensions were quite primitive and these race machines were known for the 3 wheel drift, especially with a World Champion Jim Clark and his equally famous teammate American driver in Dan Gurney at the wheel.

In the small sedan class for the Three Hour Race, Jim would finish 1st in Class, and 3rd overall behind Augie Pabst and Walt Hansgen, both in larger Ford V-8 Sedans in the faster class. Dan would finish 4th after a pit mishap that lost a wheel for him that he had to fix himself on course. In the actual 12 Hours of Sebring in 1964 which was held the next day in mid March, Jim would finish 2nd in class, behind an Alfa, and 21st overall at the finish. The Lotus-Ford Team only ran the one Cortina in the 12 Hour Race as Dan Gurney was contracted with The Shelby American Team to run a Cobra roadster.

In 1964 to 1966, Jim Clark would run the Lotus-Cortina for Ford in 22 races and would win 14 class races, with 2nd in 4 races. Jim would also only retire early in 3 races with one of them being a road rally. A pretty amazing feat back in the day for my favorite driver of all time.

Here are some pictures from the races in 1964 from Sebring, Florida. Thanks again for stopping by the site and as always…………”TACH IT UP…….!!!”

Jim does the famous 3 wheel drift in the 3 HR Sedan Race

Jim’s Ford Lotus Cortina gets prepped for the 12 Hours Of Sebring in the pits.

On the 1964 3 Hour Sedan Race Grid with both Cortina Race Cars. Jim ran #15 and Dan Gurney was in the #16 Car.

The beautiful 1.6 Liter Overhead Cam Lotus prepped Ford 4 cylinder high revving engine.

Dan Gurney #16 and Jim Clark #15 dash to their cars to start in the 3 hr Sedan Race

Jim at speed in the cream white with light green stripes, Lotus Ford Cortina

Dan Gurney in #16 has to fix a wheel that came loose.

Dan Gurney back at speed after getting the wheel and hub fixed…..

Dan Gurney, Colin Chapman and Jim Clark celebrate after the 3 Hour Sedan Race.

Jim Clarks heads back out after pitting in the #59 Cortina for the 12 Hours Of Sebring race.

Dan Gurney would race a Cobra Roadster in the 12 Hour Race, here battling with teammate Bob Holbert in the 1st Cobra Coupe.

Jim at speed and leading the small sedan class in the 12 Hours of Sebring 1964 heading into the first corner after screaming past the pits…………”Back in the Day”

(Photos courtesy of FORD HERITAGE and Films)

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