1971 Leda LT25 Formula 5000
Ex-Trevor Taylor works team car. Ex-Graham McRae & Steve Matchett
This is the Len Terry designed and built Leda LT25 F5000, chassis number 001. The “LT” in the car’s name stands for “Len Terry.”
Terry had already been a highly successful race car designer before going out on his own with the Leda. He designed Jim Clark’s 1965 Indy winning Lotus 38. Terry also designed Dan Gurney’s famous AAR Eagle-Weslake V12 Formula One car. In addition he worked for Carol Shelby as well as BRM. Terry also designed the Mirage M2 Group 6 prototype, the successor to the Ford GT40, for John Wyer.
As the 1960’s were drawing to a close, Terry designed his first Formula 5000 car. That car became the Surtees TS5. David Hobbs raced the TS5 to second in the 1969 U.S. Formula A/Formula 5000 championship. Flush with this successful design , Terry decided to design and construct his own F5000 cars. To do so he created Leda Cars Ltd.
Terry’s next design was the innovative Leda LT20 Formula 5000. Basically, he employed the rocker arm front suspension design at both ends of the car. It didn’t work. The cars were ill handling and not competitive. Three of the first four cars constructed promptly crashed.
Learning from the design shortcomings of the LT20, Terry developed the much improved, competitive, Leda LT25. Two LT25 cars were built, chassis LT25-001, and chassis LT25-002 . The last Leda F5000 design, chassis LT27, became the McRae GM1. Graham McRae would race his GM1 to victories in the U.K. Championship, and claim the overall 1972 Tasman Championship as well as the U.S. F5000 Championship.
Leda LT25 -001, the original and only surviving Leda LT25, is the car offered here. The history of Leda LT25-001 is well presented by Allen Brown at OldRacingCars.com. The car is the ex-Leda/Malaya Garage works entry for Trevor Taylor.
Taylor had already achieved considerable success before stepping into the Leda. He had already twice been Formula Junior Champion in 1960 and 1961 with his factory backed Lotus 18. His success with the 18 lead Colin Chapman to put young Taylor on the Lotus F1 team. Taylor shared a Lotus 24 with Clark to win the 1961 Grand Prix of Mexico. He also won the Cape GP at Killarney. HistoricRacing.com In addition he achieved a class win and 12th overall in the 1961, 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Lotus Elite. Motorsport Memorial. Taylor remained on the Lotus F1 team through 1963 before going to the BRP F1 team.
Trevor Taylor would later join the Surtees Formula 5000 team for the 1970 season. He very nearly won the F5000 Championship, but tangled with a backmarker in the final round while leading, handing the championship to Peter Gethin.
In 1971, Taylor moved to the Leda Malaya Garage team to be their works driver. Taylor raced chassis 001 to multiple top 10 finishes in the Rothmans F5000 Championship, including Brands Hatch, Castle Combe, and Mallory Park. He finished 2nd at Monza in the sister LT25, chassis 002. He also finished 5th at Mallory park in 002, and 4th at Thruxton before chassis 002 was written off in a crash at Oulton Park in October. Thereafter Taylor jumped back into chassis 001 to finish 4th at Hockenheim behind Frank Gardner, Emerson Fittipaldi and Teddy Pilette. In the final race of the season at Brands Hatch, Taylor brought chassis 001 home in 6th place.
Thereafter the Leda was driven by Steve Matchett and a number of other drivers including Graham McRae. The Leda also competed in sprints and hill climbs, achieving victories along the way.
According to OldRacingCars, Alan Baillie restored LT25-001 sometime after 1984 but before 1992. The Leda was then campaigned in historic racing including the HSCC Derek Bell Trophy Series.
In October 2016, Rasim Tugberk purchased LT25-001 in Italy and imported it to the US. The Leda was refreshed from front to back. It was then subjected to continuous testing and development over the next several years as part of its ongoing racing program. This work resulted in podium finishes, including the Watkins Glen Formula 5000 feature race, and 2nd in the overall Formula 5000 Class A Championship.
The Leda is now on the button in its original Trevor Taylor/Leda Team livery, and ready to go.
The Leda is powered by a 5 liter Chevy with Kinsler mechanical fuel injection. The engine is mated to a Hewland DG300 gearbox. A chassis analysis and setup report prepared by GSD Racedyn , a premier chassis analysis and engineering company in the U.K., will be provided with the car.
Since the Leda’s restoration by Alan Baillie in the early 1990’s, the Leda has been subjected to continuous maintenance and replacements as needed. Some of these include, a new fuel cell, MSD ignition, servicing of the Kinsler fuel injection, new oil lines, etc.
Spares include some gear ratios, an unused nose finished in the same colors, spare suspension components, and spare rear wheels.
The owner is retiring from racing thereby generating this opportunity for someone else to own, race, and win an F5000 Class A championship with this historic, rare, Leda F5000.
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