During the late 70s and early 80s, abhorrent as it seems these days, cigarette sponsorship of Formula One teams, and their vibrant colorways, added to their legend-status. One of the most iconic liveries of the paddock was that of the John Player Special-sponsored Team Lotus cars. For those of us old enough to remember that era and the sound of their engines, the colors of the tobacco teams conjure up memories of a time before passion for speed became sterilized. The latest frame from Tom Donhou embodies that period, dressed immaculately in the JPS colors of black and gold.
The Team Lotus 77 and 78 cars were as British as the Union Jack and the Donhou Bicycles ‘Don Player Special’ (the title coined by the owner, Ian Vince) is no less a Briton. The frame is constructed from Reynolds 853 Pro Team tubing, married to a custom machined bi-laminated 44mm head tube. The DPS bike bears the same air of luxury as the JPS brand, with color-matched leather upholstery by Australia’s Busyman Bicycles, an ENVE 2.0 fork, Chris King InSet headset, Thomson hardware and 11-speed Campagnolo Chorus group set. Move over Gulf Oil, there’s a new Player on the road.