1963 Lotus 23B, Chassis Number 23-S-92 was delivered to Lotus dealer/distributor, Lotus Southwest, in Texas. It is understood the car was initially sold locally, and raced in Texas Region SCCA events. Thereafter the car went to Mexico. Its racing history there is currently unknown.
In 1990, Kermit O’Neal, then working for Alamo Sports Cars in San Antonio, Texas, found the Lotus near Mexico City, Mexico. It was owned by a Mexican pig farmer named Sebron. The Lotus was in a dilapidated, condition, but original.
Surprisingly, Lotus 23-S-92 was not the only Lotus 23 owned by Mr. Sebron at the time. He also had another Lotus 23, this one powered by a Porsche 356 engine. O’Neal elected to only purchase the original Ford twin cam powered car, 23-S-92. Nick Adams, of the Lotus 23 Registry, confirmed in 2014, that the second Lotus 23 (the Porsche-powered Lotus) was also rescued from Mr. Sebron’s Mexican pig farm. The Registry now believes they have determined which Lotus the Porsche powered car was/is.
Lotus 23 historian, Don Schaefer, also recalled talking to Kermit O’Neal upon O’Neal’s return from Mexico with the 23B in 1990. This is documented in a 2015 email.
Nick Adams has seen photos of the chassis tag that was on the car when O’Neal purchased it, and said “I have high confidence that the plate is the original one.” (email, April 9, 2014). He also said there were no competing claims for the chassis number, 23-S-92.
Well known Portland, Oregon vintage racer, Ernie Spada, Jr. purchased the Lotus from Alamo Sports Cars on December 4, 1990. A copy o f the original receipt is included in the files that come with the car.
Ernie. and Mike Gent of Gent Restorations, flew to Texas, rented a U-Haul, and picked up the Lotus in its sad, but original, condition. The Gents towed the Lotus to Portland, and began the restoration. It was during the restoration in 1991, that Mike Gent submitted the 23B for official listing with the Registry, and the car was accepted.
Spada raced the Lotus until it was sold to Dave Olson of California in 1995. Olson raced the car extensively until crashing it in turn one at Sonoma/Sears Point Raceway. There was extensive front end damage, and the decision was made to restore the car using a replacement frame instead of repairing the worn original frame. However, the original frame was retained, and sold with the car to the next owner. At the time the replaceent chassis was assembled, an additional frame rail was added to the right hand cockpit side of the replacement frame to better protect the driver against right side intrusion in the event of an accident.
Lotus 23-S-92 was next sold to David Alvarado in 2011. Alvarado raced it in a handful of vintage races before trading it in 2012, to Mark Powell. Powell traded a March 722 Formula B racing car (the Ex-Bob Lazier pro FB car), and cash for the 23B. Powell raced the Lotus just four times between 2012 and 2015, including a second place Enduro finish at the 2015, Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.
Thereafter the Lotus was sold again to its present owner. Because no one could recall the amount of time on the engine since it was rebuilt in 1990-91, it was pulled and sent to Ivey Engines in Portland, Oregon, in November, 2017, for rebuilding, including a brand new Kent block. The engine dyno-ed at 190 h.p. The rebuild receipts, and dyno sheets, are included with the car.
In 2018, the Hewland gearbox also received a rebuild, including a new Mk.8/9 Hewland ring & pinion. The rebuild also included, but was not limited to, new stub axle bearings, seals, throw out bearing, Metalastic heavy duty donuts with interleaf plates, dog rings, etc. Among other things that were done during this period, the Koni shocks were also dyno tuned and adjusted. The Lotus has been run just a few times since this latest round of restoration and race prep.
The Lotus comes with two large binders documenting the car’s history, and work performed. These contain a treasure trove of valuable information about the car, and its current specification, and state of preparedness. They also include correspondence from prior owners, and the Lotus 23 Registry, documenting the car’s history and authenticity. The original chassis plate will come with the car.
The owner is currently very motivated to sell the car, as he is purchasing another historic racing car. If the Lotus can be purchased in short order, it is possible it could be purchased for less than the current price. So please contact us right away, and at least make an offer. You just might wind up owning this lovely, fresh, and fast, Lotus 23B, chassis number 23-S-92.
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