The Type 79 was a development of Type 78, with longer Venturi tunnels, reduced drag, fuel all inboard in one large cell, between driver and engine, and more effective skirts. It was the only Works car to run three prime sponsor displays i.e. John Player (1978), Martini (1979) and Essex (1980 development car).
79/3 is the third out of the five type 79s constructed by Team Lotus. It was Mario Andretti’s principle car with which he won three Grand Prix, en route to the World Championship. The car has remained in the Works Team Lotus Collection, in its original condition.
The all-important sliding skirts are the period specification, complete with ceramic rubbing strips, to cope with the high friction with the track, created by the spring loading system. The engine is one of the car’s period Ford Cosworth DFV.
Mario’s ‘interface’ with his special Lotus – seat, seatbelts, steering wheel, gearshift, gauges and pedals – are all original.
As original, the signwriting is a hand-painted work of art, applied in ‘Signwriter’s Gold’. The rear wing is complete with the ‘Win’ decals of the team’s dominant season, with accompanying ‘P2’ decals to denote the 1-2 finishes, courtesy of Mario’s loyal team mate, Ronnie Peterson.
Thanks to Classic Team Lotus.