Radford is not a name that we’re familiar with, but if you were in Britain during the 1960s, they were pretty much the place to go if you want a unique, luxury Mini – all four members of The Beatles had one!
The renowned coachbuilder is currently being revived by F1 World Champion Jenson Button, car designer Mark Stubbs, and TV presenter/car builder Ant Anstead. And for their first bespoke creation, Radford is partnering with another legendary British automotive brand, Lotus, to build a modern take on the 1969 Lotus Type 62/2 prototype race car.
Unless you’re a massive Lotus fan, you probably won’t know much about the Type 62 either. That’s because only two of these prototype race cars were ever built, and they weren’t very successful due to the finicky Vauxhall-derived engine block. Good news is that Radford will build 62 examples of the new supercar, which will be available for order soon.
Not much has been revealed just yet, except stating that it’ll utilise “Lotus technology” as its starting point for the new limited-edition model – which probably means that we can expect it to be extremely lightweight and agile, like all the existing (and upcoming!) Lotus cars that we’ve come to know and love.
Despite basing their cars off a Lotus backbone though, Radford’s new owners (see above) are adamant that the new car will be their own.
“Our first car will be totally new and something very special, it will be a Radford, through and through. And that means it will be unique – the body will be sleek and elegant, the interior will be cosseting and luxurious, and the drive will be out of this world. Everything about it will be totally bespoke to Radford,” said Mark Stubbs.
Jenson Button added that the new supercar will be “truly analogue and thoroughly engaging, but with the refinements that you would expect from a Radford”. It will also “drive like nothing else”, supposedly – at least, the bloke seems to know what he’s saying, seeing that he has a F1 World Championship title under his belt and all that.
“There is a purity to driving that is lost in many cars of today. I will ensure we create a driver’s car, a trait that is embedded within the DNA of all Lotus cars,” he said.
Lotus Cars Managing Director, Matt Windle added: “It is an Engineering partnership at its heart, but one without the usual constraints of working with a large corporate group … A limited run of the most special of coachbuilt vehicles is engineering nirvana as it allows us to break free of the usual parameters of a more conventional project. Lotus Engineering has a long history of such special collaborations and I’m sure this one will be recognised as among the most unique and fantastic.”