Everything passes, everything changes.  The objects I idolised as a boy are now museum pieces and the heroes I worshipped are gone but, the obsessions remain.  I am old enough to look at these machines and remember their day of revolution; the days they rolled off the transporter ramps into a world aghast at their modernity.  I am old enough to remember the consequences of their frailties.

plural noun: relics
– an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical interest.
– a part of a deceased holy person’s body or belongings kept as an object of reverence.

Both definitions apply.  All of these machines have personal significance beyond their histories: the first time I saw them in the pages of Autosport; the first time I saw them in the ‘flesh’; the first time I saw them in flight; the still moment I heard of the tragedies.  All of them represent remembrance of things past and none more so than those that carry the green and yellow badge:

Maybe in some distant place, everything is already, quietly, lost.  Or at least there exists a silent place where everything can disappear, melding together in a single, overlapping figure.  And as we live our lives we discover – drawing towards us the thin threads attached to each – what has been lost.
Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami

Jim Clark’s 1967 Dutch GP winning Lotus 49 – Classic Team Lotus, Hethel.

Rindt’s Lotus 72 – the Donington Collection

Lotus 25 – Classic Team Lotus, Hethel.

Lotus 25 – Classic Team Lotus, Hethel

Clive Chapman


  1. Sue · July 15, 2017

    Great post on relics….whenever I see Rindt’s and Clark’s Lotuses, I can’t only think of the accolades…..

    • northumbrianlight · July 15, 2017

      Thanks Sue – exactly so – Monza and Hockenheim are forever stained.

      • Sue · July 15, 2017


  2. sustainabilitea · July 15, 2017

    What beauties! I know what you mean about age and relics. 🙂


  3. J.D. Riso · July 15, 2017

    Beautiful relics, beautiful nostalgia. It must be bittersweet to remember the excitement of discovering them.

    • northumbrianlight · July 15, 2017

      It is good to see them again but nearly all are indelibly linked with tragedy.

  4. Su Leslie · July 15, 2017

    Beautiful relics. And I like the Murakami quote.

    • northumbrianlight · July 16, 2017

      Thanks Su, indeed they are. That quote continues: “I closed my eyes and tried to bring to mind as many beautiful lost things as I could. Drawing them closer, holding on to them. Knowing all the while that their lives are fleeting.” A good man that Murakami.

      • Su Leslie · July 16, 2017

        Yes, and words that seem particularly resonant for me right now. Thanks for reminding me how much I draw from his work.

  5. Leya · July 24, 2017

    Remembering…I saw , on TV, Ronnie Peterson crash, and the shock that he really died – despite him not being deadly injured. I don’t think Sweden ever got a better man for Formula 1.

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