Throughout the summer, much has been made about a new project being worked on by the recently revived UK-based Radford coachbuilding company, currently owned by a collective that includes Formula 1 racing legend Jenson Button and former Wheeler Dealers co-host Art Anstead. In August, a HotCars exclusive revealed more details about the project, the Radford 62.2, a retro-designed supercar based on the legendary Lotus sportster. But until Anstead posted a tweet with images on Wednesday (quickly retweeted by Jenson), car buffs were left in the dark over how the exterior skin would look.
JPS Recalls Lotus F1 Days
In the tweet’s two images, the much-ballyhooed Radford sported a gold and black exterior with text that read John Player Special, the name of a cigarette brand sold by Imperial Tobacco. The skin alone likely triggered another memorable Lotus legacy as an F1 team that sported the JPS logo back when Imperial was a team sponsor as early as the 1970s.
The reaction was both positive and nostalgic. “That is a thing of beauty!” noted one commenter. “I remember JPS on F1 cars,” recalled another.
Still, a few weren’t having any of it. “That livery should be abolished as it promotes smoking,” declared one nay-sayer. “No thanks.”
Lotus Demonstrated Support For Button Specs
Oddly enough, throughout his 18-year F1 career, Button never drove for Lotus or competed in a car adorned with a JPS skin. But in the HotCars exclusive that featured Anstead and Button when they were showing off a previous incarnation of the 62-2 in Monterey, California, the driving legend was ecstatic over how Lotus supported the specs he came up with for the Radford design.
“Lotus have been so behind it,” said Button at the time, “We want them involved with what we’re doing and happy with what we’re doing, as well. We don’t want to just go out on our own because they’re not going to want to put that Lotus badge on it—and they have!”
Radford 62-2 To Deliver 600 Horsepower
Anstead’s tweet also revealed that the JPS would pack slightly more horsepower than the Gold Leaf version of the Radford 62-2, the same car showcased in Monterey in August. Back then, fans received valuable insight over how much edge the JPS would have. Button said the supercharged 3.5-liter V6 in the Gold Leaf was 500 hp, while the JPS would have 600.
“There’s so much that needs to go into it when you add a hundred horsepower to a vehicle,” added Button. “And that’s what a lot of people don’t realize.”
Is it a Lotus? Not quite. Is it a race car? Well, kind of. Is it powerful? Oh yes!
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