Less than 12 months after breaking ground, the £1.65 million Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in the Scottish Borders town of Duns is finished, and we’ve been treated to an advance look ahead of tomorrow’s public opening.
Located just a few miles from Clark’s home at Edington Mains Farm, the museum illustrates the life of the 1963 and 1965 Formula 1 world champion, 1965 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1964 British Saloon Car Championship victor.
It replaces the diminutive Jim Clark Room – essentially a trophy room that first opened a year after Clark’s passing in a Formula 2 race at Hockenheim in 1968. The new museum incorporates the site of its predecessor, but at 270sqm in total has around five times the floor space.
This greatly expanded area allows the enormous cache of trophies to be joined by entirely new exhibits, including two cars that will be periodically rotated on loan. The first pairing is a 1963 Lotus 25 F1 car and a 1964 Ford Cortina Lotus.
The 25 – powered by a 1.5-litre Coventry Climax V8 – is chassis R6, which Clark drove in 10 grands prix across the 1963, 1964 and 1965 seasons, including victories at the Dutch, Belgian and British races in 1964 and at the French round during his 1965 championship year. It has been loaned by the Tinguely art museum in Basel, Switzerland.
It's joined by the twin-cam Cortina in which Clark won his class in every race of the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship, precursor to the BTCC. It's now owned by fellow Scot, Indy 500 winner and four-time Indycar champion Dario Franchitti, who drove the car to Duns last week in person – as testified by the patina of midges on its nose.
“I’m very proud it's featuring in the museum, where other people will get to see it and enjoy it,” said Franchitti.