Lotus Type 62-2 at Mason & Sons HQ (Photo: Alex Vincenti)
A most exotic and unusual guest recently arrived at the London headquarters of Mason & Sons in search of Anthony Sinclair bespoke finery. A motorcar. The Lotus Type 62-2 is the first project to be unveiled by Radford - a business borne out of inspiration by the legendary British coachbuilding company of the same name. The global company with British heart and soul is co-owned by leading designer Mark Stubbs, broadcaster and motoring specialist Ant Anstead, former FIA Formula One World Champion, Jenson Button and acclaimed business adviser and lawyer Roger Behle.
The official unveil of the Lotus Type 62-2
The Type 62-2 was officially unveiled in California in August 2021, sporting the red and white "Gold Leaf" livery that the original Lotus Type 62 racing car had worn during the late 1960s. The following month, the model was introduced to the UK at the Goodwood Revival with a second car dressed in the iconic black and gold "John Player Special" colours.
The 2021 Type 62-2 together with the original 1969 Type 62
Production of the Type 62 will be limited to 62 cars, with each being custom-built to the detailed specification of the owner. It is the automotive equivalent of commissioning a bespoke suit - which is the primary reason why the Radford team approached Mason & Sons.
The JPS Type 62 preparing to head to the UK
The histories of Radford (detailed here) and the brands represented by Mason & Sons are perfectly aligned. Brian Epstein bought four Radford Minis, each specially coachbuilt for the individual members of The Beatles, and during the same period, the company converted James Bond's favourite Aston Martin into a shooting-brake... useful should the secret agent ever decide to settle down to family life.
Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake by Harold Radford
However, the first project for the recently revived Radford has been a collaboration with Lotus - another legendary British marque with its own special relationship with 007 and one of our most beloved clients, Sir Roger Moore. The Lotus Esprit S1 famously featured in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Codenamed "Wet Nellie", it had the ability to miraculously morph into a submarine - a conversion that Radford would've been proud of.
The Lotus Esprit S1 codenamed "Wet Nellie"
In addition to the ability to be driven underwater, Wet Nellie carried a full arsenal of weapons, including mines, front-mounted torpedos and sea-to-air missiles. On the road, the contemporary wedge-shaped exterior designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro was modern, sleek and glamorous, and the tartan cloth interior delivered a styling statement that was very much of the time.
Wet Nellie's perfectly dry interior
Wet Nellie inspired the Radford team to consider the idea of incorporating a checked fabric into the interior of the new Lotus Type 62-2 sports car. A consultation was called to discuss the possibility of employing 007's original tailor, Anthony Sinclair, to design and produce a material to trim the car's cabin. The mission was accepted, and the Lotus was transported from Goodwood to Montagu Square in Marylebone to be measured for its new set of clothing. The results of this extraordinary and exciting project will be unveiled in the coming months.
First fitting for Radford's Lotus Type 62-2 (Photo: Alex Vincenti)