1955 Lotus X - James Dean

James Dean discovered Motor Racing at the same time the public discovered him. Having raced his Porsche Speedster, Dean wanted a proper racing car and following a conversation with Ken Miles decided to buy one of Colin Chapman's new, highly innovative, streamlined Lotus.
The Lotus was to be supplied without engine and gearbox, so that Dean could have a dohc Offenhauser engine installed and it was left unpainted because he could not decide whether to paint the car or polish it.
Knowing that he would be free to race after filming Giant, Dean entered the Salinas Road Races. However he learnt that the Lotus would not arrive in time, so he bought the Porsche Spyder that he would be killed in en-route to Salinas on September 30th 1955.
The Lotus was sold to John Timanus who fitted an MG XPAG engine for 1956, followed by a Coventry Climax in 1957 which he would subsequently supercharge.
In 1962 the Lotus was sold to Stan Peterson who fitted a B.O.P. V8 and Corvette gearbox, he later sold the car to Preston Hopkins.
In 1979 the car was repatriated and the original chassis passed to a UK Lotus enthusiast who commissioned replacement body panels from Williams & Pritchard who had made the originals.
In 2000 I bought it and set about finding an Offenhauser engine as Dean intended fitting and commenced a rather lengthy restoration.

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1956 MG engined

After buying the Lotus from Dean's estate, John Timanus fitted an MG XPAG engine and painted the car red.
Seen here at Fiesta del Pacifico in its third race, 

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1958 Coventry Climax engined

By 1958 John Timanus had restyled and stripped the bodywork, fitted a Coventry Climax engine and supercharged it.
Seen here at the LA Times GP, Riverside.

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1962 B.O.P. engined

By 1962 the bodywork had been heavily restyled. Stan Peterson bought the car and fitted a BOP V8 engine with Corvette gearbox.

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2022 Offenhauser engined

91 cubic inch Offenhauser engine was found and fitted as Dean had intended. The streamlined Williams & Pritchard bodywork was polished as Dean had considered. The Lotus was supplied with the large finned drum brakes because Dunlop would not allow their disc brakes to be exported.

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