The Radford name may not be instantly recognisable to most enthusiasts, but the British coachbuilder has a long history, first emerging in the 1940s and going on to have a hand in shaping many significant models, including the Bentley Countryman, Mini de Ville, and Aston Martin DB5 shooting brake. Although it was even involved in the Ford GT40 project, Radford, unfortunately, went defunct in the late 1960s.
Today, former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, together with TV presenter Ant Anstead and designer Mark Stubbs, are bringing the name back, with the Lotus Type 62-2 being the first project for the revived company.
The appearance of the new Type 62-2 is based on the 1960s Lotus Type 62 race car, while the chassis is modified from the current Lotus Elise and Exige sports cars. The 3.5-litre supercharged V6, too, is derived from the latest Lotus models. Depending on the edition, the Type 62-2 coachbuilt by Radford generates 430 hp for the “Classic” (i.e. green) version, while the “Gold Leaf” edition with red and white livery can push out 500 hp with upgraded pistons and camshafts. There’s also the top of the range “JPS” edition that has yet to be unveiled, but it will feature the signature John Player Special black and gold livery and output a supercharged 600 hp.
The Gold Leaf version certainly looks lush enough as it is, with its double ducktail spoiler and other track-focused aerodynamics — don’t be fooled though, this supercar is completely road legal. While the aesthetic is definitely retro, the big 18 and 19-inch centre-lock wheels certainly do a lot to bring the car into the modern era, without making it look like a rollerskate.
Radford will only produce 62 examples of the Type 62-2, and only 12 of them will be dressed in the Gold Leaf livery.