46. Lotus 69 1969

S4832 Lotus 69 Canadian GP 1969 – Pete Lovely

Well! Volkswagen competes in Formula 1. Or am I wrong? There were plenty of discussions about a possible GP entry of Volkswagen for the last years. But until today VW remained strong. And after the scandal about the emissions plans to enter F1 are maybe finally put down. VW in Formula 1 – it will probably remain a dream forever. But there was something with Volkswagen and Formula 1, wasn’t it? Pete Lovely (1926-2011) from America had brought VW into Formula 1 long time ago. Of course not as a factory-team. It was a pure private entry. And Lovely only made some advertisment on his car for the car-trading-center he built in the US. Gerald Carlton, what his real name was, had successfully competed in a few sportscar races at the end of the 1950s. And he wanted to become more successful in Europe. But at his first attempt to qualify for the Grand Prix of Monaco in 1959 he failed. Lovely returned to the USA. There he tried once more – with success: In 1960 he qualified a Cooper for his home-GP at Riverside and he was classified eleventh with six laps down. But his career came to a temporary end. And he focused on building his Volkswagen-agency in Seattle. Nine years after his debut he returned to F1. This time with a Lotus 49B by “Pete Lovely Volkswagen Inc.” The duration of his absence is almost record-breaking. Only Jan Lammers and Luca Badoer had a longer break between their first and second career. After two years in the 49B Lovely bought a Lotus 69 powered by a Cosworth engine for 1971. This car was successfully used the years before in Formula 2. Lovely modified the car. Especially at the front. One can say he was the first to equip his car with a high nose. However Lovely had little success with his project. In Canada, from where this 1:43-Spark-model is, Lovely was nine laps behind the winner. Which was not enough to be classified. Almost the same happened to him in the US GP. There he was ten laps behind winner Francois Cevert. Lovely quit F1 afterwards. But he remained faithful to racing until the Nineties.

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