Lotus Super Seven

Originellement, ce site web a été ouvert - à la demande de Jabby qui est l'auteur de la plupart des textes en anglais - pour promouvoir la vente aux enchères de son parc de LOTUS : celle de Colin Chapman, celle de Jim Clark et une Seven qu'il a amoureusement restaurée pendant plus de 10 ans - souvent aidé de Fabrice Dupré.

La vente s'est déroulée en décembre 2004 et cette page commence par la fin : le post scriptum - autrement dit, le résultat de la vente.

Il n'y a donc plus aucun suspense, ni même actualité, mais cette page a été maintenue car les voitures que vous verrez ci-dessous, quels que soient leur propriétaires respectifs, resteront éternellement liées à l'histoire de Jabby - comme à celle de l'aventure LOTUS d'ailleurs ...


Auction Sell of Jabby Crombac's legend cars

The sale shall be organized by Artcurial on Dec.13th at 8 p.m. in the Palais des Congrès, Porte Maillot in Paris.


 All three cars have been sold. After a telephone duel with another UK resident, the Elan went to Peter Windsor, the well-known journalist from F1 Racing, a tremendous fan of Jimmy Clark, whom he met when he was racing the Tasman series.

The Seven was bought by a Paris barrister and Chapman’s Eclat went to an enthusiastic dealer in the North of France. Obviously, he will resell it later, but meantime he did enjoy it so much on its way back to base that he intends to drive it himself for a while.

Suffering from declining eye-sight I am dreading the moment I shall have to give up driving because it means I will have to leave my house in the country and sell all my F1 books (several hundreds) records and memorabiliae…Not for the time being, I hope…

Jimmy's Elan S3

The Ex-Jimmy Clark’s yellow Lotus Elan Coupe S3 S/E was his company car in 67 up to his death when he was living in Paris, sharing a flat with Jabby Crombac. Hence the left hand drive. At the end of March 68, he entered the F2 race in Hockenheim and decided to fly his Piper twin-Comanche to Frankfurt. He was then allowed back in UK, so, after the race he planned to fly direct to Scotland to introduce his lovely girl friend Kate to his parents. He wasn’t therefore returning to Paris for a while. It had been decided that his next car would be the new Elan+2 and he had one in order for delivery at the end of April. The S3 was going to be taken over by Crombac, whose own S2 was very tired. “I don’t need the S3 any more and therefore you should take it away right now” he said to Crombac. So he drove him to Toussus le Noble general aviation airport, got out of the car, picked up his bag and dropped it into the Comanche. “This is your car now” he said, handing him the keys, and disappeared… For ever.

Import duties were paid and the car was duly licensed on French plates and Crombac did use it for many years. It did visit most European GP circuits. After a few years it had reached some 55000 miles and was retired. In 1989, Crombac decided to restore it completely and, very kindly, Mike Kimberley, then President of Lotus, offered all the wearing parts: bearing shells, pistons, valves, bearings, bushes, dampers etc. etc. Should a new chassis be fitted ? Crombac organized an “Ethical committee” with Peter Warr, the principal of Team Lotus and the famous journalist Dennis Jenkinson, it was decided that Jimmy’s chassis should remain in place. The engine was prepared by Ateliers Sport-Auto, in a Paris suburb, a specialist of Ford race engines preparation. When completed, the car was driven for finishing to the great British specialist Peter Day of Daytune in Cambridge. Peter’s instructions were to prepare it “as if Jimmy had just stepped out of it” Accordingly, for instance, when the inside upholstery had turned maroon colour, instead of changing it, he dyed it back to the original black colour. When finished, the car was driven to Lotus cars where a party was given in its honour. The foitter who had assembled it in 1967 was present and he remarked: “the doors aren’t fitting any better” The whole trip was recorded in Classic and Sports cars of November 1995. The S3 then resumed frequent use –but not daily one…It is a lively small and very nimble car with traditional Lotus steering and road –holding.

Colin Chapman's Eclat 2,2

Hearing that Crombac had been sacked by FIA President Balestre from the FISA’s Technical Commission for having supported Colin Chapman’s claim that the twin-Chassis Lotus 88 F1 didn’t contravene the Technical regulation Chapman and his sponsor David Thieme of Essex Motor Sport invited Crombac for dinner at the famous Rampoldi restaurant in Monaco on the eve of the 81 Grand Prix and Chapman fished into his pocket and produced a set of keys: “Here is my own car, this is the least I can do for you” he said. Crombac was delighted but surprised to see he was holding a set of keys for a Cessna twin-engined pressurized aircraft! The car was officially handed to him at the British Grand Prix and Essex Motorsport took care of Custom duties and licensing in France, temporarily in the name of its chauffeur. It was used regularly since. It is right-hand drive. The colour is metallic green. It has traditional Lotus road-holding. Its five-speed Getrag gearbox make it ideally suited to motorway cruising.

Seven S3

This is an original right-hand drive Seven Series 3 with a Ford cross-flow 1600cm3 engine which has been assembled by its first owner in the U.K. But he then emigrated to Australia and put it up for sale. In 1975, having sold his Hispano-Suiza to buy a bigger boat Crombac had a surplus of money and he was keen to buy a Seven. He went to visit Graham Nearn of Caterham cars, the Seven specialist. He was accompanied by Peter Warr, who was running Lotus Components at the time the S3 were built. This prompted Nearn to say “No, I have no car available at the tine but when a suitable one turns up, we shall prepare it for you.” A little later he called to say he had the S3 for sale and Crombac went and picked  it up. He did use it for a while. It went for instance to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1975.

One day the speedo packed up and Crombac decided it was time to restore it. He put a note in the gossip column of his magazine Sport-Auto, asking for some help  and a reader, Fabrice Dupré did turn up and actually did the job himself. The yellow paint was removed and the body-shell polished. The seats and dashboard were upholstered in black Connolly leather, the windscreen was replaced by two aero-screens. Light alloy wheels were fitted Lots of parts were changed and they were regularly delivered to Crombac by Team Lotus transporters on their way to European GPs As far as the engine was concerned, it was fitted with two twin-choke Weber DCOE a bunch of bananas exhaust and a Cosworth A2 camshaft presented to Crombac by Keith Duckworth, the chairman of Cosworth. It was used regularly afterwards, but Crombac wasn’t too found of the fibreglass body parts: nose-cone and four wings so he took the car to England and the son of the famous coachbuilder Maurice Gomm (where the monocoque of the first Tyrrell F1was made) made them in polished light alloy.

Technical details are available in the catalogue of the sale at Artcurial.