Bonhams & Goodman to Auction the Dawson-Damer Collection of Historic Lotus Race Cars
The historic and highly valuable collection of John Dawson-Damer will be offered for sale at auction by Bonhams & Goodman on November 16th in Sydney.
The collection is considered by the motor racing cognoscenti to be the most significant collection of Lotus racing cars outside of the collection owned by the Chapman family who founded the Lotus marque. It was acquired by Dawson-Damer between 1971 and 1984.
John Dawson-Damer was a successful rally navigator, a prudent motorsports administrator and staunch supporter of historic motorsport. He was unsurprisingly a much loved member of the historic racing scene who generously supported the sport not only in his role as the Chairman of the Historic Commission at CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motorsport) but also by demonstrating his superb collection of cars at events both in Australia and overseas until his tragic death at an English motorsports event in the year 2000.
The Dawson-Damer family has continued the good work of John Dawson-Damer in the past eight years by demonstrating and racing the cars at historic race meetings at Oran Park and Eastern Creek.
The cars cover a broad spectrum of innovative Lotus design ranging from an ultra-lightweight front-engined Lotus 16 Formula 2 car that was driven in period by Lotus works driver Alan Stacey to a fire breathing mid-engined, Cosworth DFV powered, ‘Ground Effects’ Lotus 79 that was purchased in an exchange deal by John Dawson-Damer directly from the Lotus factory once Mario Andretti had moved on to more modern machinery.
The list of drivers who piloted the cars in the collection reads like a who’s who of motorsport including Stirling Moss, Masten Gregory, Alan Stacey, Jo Bonnier, Jim Clark, Mario Andretti, Jochen Rindt and Carlos Reutemann.
The highlight of the collection is undoubtedly the ex-Jim Clark/Richard Attwood 1963 Formula 1 world championship winning 1962/63 Lotus 25 estimated to fetch AUD $1,100,000 – 1,800,000. This car was a ground breaking design by Colin Chapman (founder of Lotus) and simply dominated the 1963 Formula 1 World Championship with Clark behind the wheel winning 7 out of the ten championship rounds to give Lotus its first constructors championship and Clark his first drivers world championship.
“This is arguably the most important and historically significant collection of collector’s motor cars ever to be offered for sale by auction in Australia and we feel extremely honored that the Dawson-Damer family have entrusted the sale of the collection to Bonhams & Goodman” says Robert Glover, National Head of Collectors’ Motor Cars at Bonhams & Goodman. “Racing cars of this pedigree rarely come on to the open market and in normal circumstances their acquisition can be extremely difficult even when the financial resources of the biggest collectors are available…. owners simply will not part with them. We expect the sale of this collection to spark huge interest in the historic motor racing and collecting fraternity both nationally and internationally.”