Among the final Light Car Company Rockets built
Single private ownership from new, showing just 4,100km on the odometer
The car McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray always dreamed of building
The lightest production car of all time, tipping the scales at a mere 385kg
Powered by a 1,000cc superbike engine, resulting in a staggering 380bhp-per-tonne
Sold by Girardo & Co.
Direct. Pure. Undiluted. Precise. Featherlight. They’re adjectives which the marketeers for the manufacturers of sports cars use to wax lyrical about their latest and greatest four-wheeled wares. But when The Light Car Company Rocket was revealed to great fanfare in 1991, you only had to glance at the sleek single-seater to understand the principles it encompassed.
In reality, the sales brochure for the Rocket might as well have just had black and white photos. Oh, and the résumés of the two men who conceived it: design wunderkind Gordon Murray and racing driver Chris Craft. An entirely clean-sheet design aimed at shredding the road-car rulebook into pieces, the Rocket was the lightest production car ever built – a 1,000cc open-cockpit weapon built around a complex tubular chassis and visually inspired by Cooper’s 1959 Formula 1 entry.
“That such pure, potent and exhilarating performance could be accessed on the road and with a secondary passenger in tandem was nothing short of mind-bending.”
Tipping the scales at 385kg, the car embodied Murray’s frankly obsessive quest to save weight. The all-important power-to-weight ratio came out at 380bhp per tonne. And to drive, with its Yamaha motorcycle engine, bespoke suspension, Formula 3 brakes and concentric sequential gearbox, the Rocket was nothing short of a zero-compromise racer. That such pure, potent and exhilarating performance could be accessed on the road and with a secondary passenger in tandem was nothing short of mind-bending.
Myriad economic, legislation and logistical factors threatened Rocket production over the years and only 47 examples were completed between 1991 and 2011. Ironically, it’s half the size of Gordon Murray’s most famous creation, the McLaren F1, and twice as rare! Pedigree was a constant, however, and suffice to say, The Light Car Company has garnered a loyal and growing band of disciples, taken with its – and in turn Gordon Murray and Chris Craft’s – ethos and quintessence.
The final batch of Rockets were constructed at Chris Craft’s premises in Chigwell between 2006 and 2011 and utilised a number of small changes in order to satisfy the increasingly stringent homologation legislation and bring the cars into the modern age. This car, which we have recently had the pleasure of selling, is one of those final Rockets.
Chassis number R042/R004 was completed in 2007 and exported to a collector in Japan, with whom it remained for 15 years and covered a mere 4,100km. At the close of 2022, we were presented with the opportunity to acquire this Rocket. Satisfied with its excellent condition and unquestionable provenance, we returned the car to England and were able to quickly identify a fantastic new home for it with an infectiously enthusiastic collector. Now its next chapter can begin. These ultra-rare featherlight jewels from the Light Car Company boast all the right credentials to continue their ascension in the collector-car world. It’s been a privilege to handle such a wonderful example.
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