As you may have noticed from our September 21 post, our Craigslist find Lotus Seven that came to us last October was found to have raced in in the UK by the late John Bedford before being exported in late 1963.
At the time of our post, I included a shot of 'J.V. Bedford' passing off the arm sash to non other than Colin Chapman at the August 11, 1962 Silverstone 6 hr. Relay.
In early September, I reached out to the University of Leeds library, as they are the caretakers of Mr. Bedford's historical research. A head researcher there by the name of Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis was touched by my request for John's racing history, especially pertaining to a man who himself researched his entire life for his trade of antiques and 'dabbled' in motorsport in the early 1960s.
Rhiannon put me in touch with some of Mr. Bedfords friends and colleagues, who were all-to-happy to share what they knew of him, including 16 photographs, and photographing some of his trophies, which in turn led to more results due to what was engraved on them.
I can't help to think if John ever wondered what happened to his old Seven before his passing in 2019, and I'd like to think he'd be thrilled to know it still is around.
I'm so glad I sent an email to Leeds, as if I hadn't, I'd have never known so much about the car, and for that matter John Bedford.
Little did we know he painted it red as soon as it became a race car!
Special thanks to Ms. Lawrence-Francis, Paul Clarke, Richard Noye and Louise Goosen for their tremendous help in honoring John.
Today, after a two year restoration with Paul Jay's many talents making it all come together, we had our first test with the Elden Mk10B our late friend Michael Argetsinger raced in Europe in 1973.
As suspected with any restoration, we had a few small issues with the car we remedied throughout the day, and a gearbox issue that meant the final session was taken in only third gear.
In that final session, I went for it on a drying track surface, and the Elden was ridiculously quick despite only using that one gear- we had to find out what the car had, even if I had to lug it through some of the slower corners Blackhawk Farms features. I think Michael would have been pleased his old ride still has magic in it.
What a fun little car. Tons of grip, kart-like positive steering that begs you to stomp on the throttle, letting the back of the car say hello at various angles, and is super quick in its reactions when you modulate the pedals.
As I've thought digging through history and results from overseas, the Hampsheir's penciled a dynamite little Formula Ford for treaded tyres.
Special thanks to Paul Jay, Jeff Werth, Alan Burke, Ron Nelson and Bill Nesius for making the trek to Blackhawk today.
It was a day I'll never forget.
The Elden is all prepped and ready for next Friday at Blackhawk Farms, my favorite track.
A lot to shake out, but even more to honor.