Radford confirms Lotus 62 as inspiration for its first exclusive car
Radford, the historic body company revived by Formula One champion Jenson Button, TV mechanic Ant Anstead and designer Mark Stubbs, has teamed up with Lotus for its first model, which will be revealed later this year.
Only 62 examples of the brand’s first model will be built, a reference to the model that serves as its main inspiration: the Lotus Type 62 racing car of the 1960s. The final design of the “ Project 62 ” did not yet been revealed, but a preview image suggests that the overall silhouette of Hethel’s racing car will be retained, and Radford has confirmed that it will remain a mid-engined two-seater, albeit with “luxurious appointments worthy of ‘a high-end custom bodybuilder. “
Details remain slim on the ground, but Radford has confirmed that the car will be “based on Lotus technology”. It remains to be seen whether the transmission of the outgoing Elise, Exige or Evora will be used in bulk.
Each example will be finished in a bespoke specification to the owner’s taste, and Radford claims to have already awarded “a few examples”.
Radford (in its original version) and Lotus were founded in 1948 and Anstead hailed the opportunity to unite the two historically British brands: “We are proud of the British heritage of these two companies and cannot think of a better partnership to bring back with Radford.I can’t wait to share the next one.
Speaking to Autocar recently, Jenson Button suggested that the relaunched Radford outfit is more than a design house and that it will have a tangible technical impact on cars despite the involvement of OEM partner companies.
“We are able to do things with a smaller workforce and the technologies we have on hand,” he said. “Whether it’s making parts or 3D printing, or making tools for parts, we’re able to get things done much faster than when Radford was announced for the first time in the world.
“It’s very different from the body 50-60 years ago. We work hand in hand with an OEM [Lotus], so we keep discussing and collaborating with the manufacturer with whom we are working on the first car. “
Coachbuilder Radford – famous for his post-war designs – was ffounded by the eponymous Harold Radford in 1948. The company has made a name for itself by reworking models from Bentley and Rolls Royce and later do the same with the Mini, whose Radford version belonged to all four of the Beatles. Radford also helped develop a fiberglass body for a prototype version of the Ford GT40.
Radford has been owned by several personalities since the 1970s, including the famous luxury car dealer HR Owen. It is now co-owned by Button, Anstead and Stubbs, among others.