After a range of delays prompted by tragic natural disasters, the long-awaited Japan Lotus Day at Fuji has finally gone ahead, and it treated the Japanese public to its first-ever sight of the Lotus Type 88B.
The near-mythical single-seater – with unique, twin-chassis construction – was was banned in 1991 before it was allowed to race.
Other paddock stars included the ex-Ayrton Senna 97T and a Lotus 78 previously campaigned by Gunnar Nilsson, headliners in a special tribute to Colin Chapman who died 30 years ago next year.
The event also featured many other Lotus formula cars, such as Formula Junior, Formula Ford, F2 and F3, along with Lotus sports cars such as the Elite, Elan, Europa, Cortina, 23B, 30 and 47GT.
But it was not just for competition cars and marque fans turned out in the droves, many driving classic Lotuses ranging from the original Elite to a multitude of Elises. The event was smaller than in its heyday, but given the upheaval suffered by Japan in recent times, the showing of 500-plus cars was still very impressive.
Classic Team Lotus, which played a key role in the meeting, was donated a number of items for the fund raising auction in aid of the victims of the Tsunami.