Lotus’ inaugural Formula 1 car is set to go under the hammer in Bonham’s Les Grandes Marques à Monaco auction on Friday, May 10, providing prospective bidders with an opportunity to own a significant part of F1’s storied past.

The 1958 Lotus Type 12 Formula 1/Formula 2 Racing Single Seater Chassis no.353 was driven by the legendary Graham Hill at the Monaco Grand Prix, even leading the race momentarily before a technical failure forced an unfortunate retirement.

Initially intended for Formula 2, this Type 12 was upgraded by Coventry Climax from a 1500cc to a 1960cc engine, in order to compete at the pinnacle of motorsport. Albeit underpowered compared to its 2.5 litre counterparts on the grid, the car demonstrated the importance of agility, especially on the demanding Principality circuit.

The Lotus Type 12’s never found victory in F1, but certainly provided a strong foundation for Lotus’ later domination in the sport. Chassis 353 was fully restored by its current owner, another contributing factor to the estimated selling price, listed between 290,000 and 390,000 euros.

The figure may seem daunting at first, but pales in comparison to quite a few lots on offer at RM Sotheby’s auction of Jody Scheckter’s F1 collection.

See more of this legendary Lotus on Bonham’s website here.

Featured image courtesy of Bonham’s