A piece of Lotus F1 History

Piston from Lotus Cosworth DFV 339

The mailman just brought me this amazing piece of Lotus F1 history: a piston from the Cosworth DFV engine #339 used in the Lotus 81 Formula 1 car.

Piston from Lotus Cosworth DFV 339

In the 70s and 80s, Team Lotus was in the habit of keeping the pistons from rebuilds to use as VIP gifts. Each engine’s pistons were labeled and stored but not all were presented. With reference to the team’s archives, Classic Team Lotus is able to identify the detailed competition history for the engines in which the pistons ran. A great deal of polishing, then mounting on a wooden plinth, complete with presentation plaque, makes a rather special item of memorabilia.

Piston from Lotus Cosworth DFV 339

Now while a piston from an F1 engine is amazing in itself (Ferrari charges >$600 for a 2000 piston), this particular engine has some additional history that makes it even more unique. The DFV 339 was used by not one but two F1 world Champions: Mario Andretti used it in his final season at Lotus while Nigel Mansell used it during his first two seasons in F1.

Piston from Lotus Cosworth DFV 339

The piston comes with documentation of the engines usage and you can see that while it was used primarily in practice and testing, it was also used by Andretti in the 1980 USA GP West where he retired after a first corner accident.

DFV 339 History

If you’d like to get your hands on some original Team Lotus history, head on over to the Classic Team Lotus webstore and be prepared to fight the temptation to buy out the entire store.

[via The Racing Geek]

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