Radford: Jenson Button discusses return of coachbuilder
Ex-Wheeler Dealers host Ant Anstead has admitted he is “proud” of a classic car firm that went faster than a Tesla.
Radford’s Type 62-2 finished first in the Exhibition Class of the iconic Pikes Peak rally in June, finishing ahead of a Tesla Model S Plaid.
Although the model is built to modern standards, the Type 62 is a coachbuilt replica of the beautiful Lotus 62.
Radford, owned by Anstead alongside ex-F1 champion Jenson Button built the model in partnership with Lotus Cars.
The vehicle entered the famous Pikes Peak at the end of June with rally star Tanner Foust completing the route in 9m 37 seconds.
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Their time was faster than the Tesla Plaid by a staggering 17 seconds while it was also quicker than a BMW M8 which finished third.
Speaking at the Silverstone Festival, Anstead told Express.co.uk: “I’m incredibly proud of Radford. Radford was this crazy idea born with Jenson, me and a chap called Roger [Behle].
“We got ourselves together at what we think is the right time to revive coachbuilding. The world has come 120 years full circle. Coachbuilding is back, heritage is back.
“It’s no coincidence OEMs are looking at their back catalogue so I think the timing of Radford is really perfect.”
He added: “Radford half relies on heritage and half relies on brand new. It still looks like a vintage car when you look at it it still feels classic but of course, it is a very modern state-of-the-art [vehicle].
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“It is currently the lightest car on the planet. For coachbuilding, hand panelled aluminium is replaced with carbon fibre now which is way cooler let’s be honest.”
Coachbuilders manufactured bodywork for vehicles and was a popular art in the 1960s.
To the naked eye, Radford’s Type 62-2 looks like a classic car but inside has modern technology to allow it to compete at the sharp end.
The new tools also make it ideal for classic car fans who don’t want the headache of dealing with older parts breaking.
The car’s 3.5-litre engine is capable of 600bhp, reaching top speeds of up to 186mph.
The model also has impressive acceleration with the car reaching 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds.
Just 62 production models will be completed with owners set to part ways with £500,000 to secure one.
Models can be secured in a range of designs including a tribute to Lotus’ ex-Gold Leaf and JPS F1 liveries.
Anstead commented: “JPS is there a more iconic livery? That black and gold is always going to be cool. The last time a JPS turned a wheel in anger was the 1986 season with Ayrton Senna until we put JPS on our Pikes Peak winning car which is here.
“Jenson, Roger and myself are incredibly proud we are reviving the iconic brand. I want people to celebrate race liveries. The age and association with smoking has gone.”
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