Chapman named the car Monte Carlo to honor Stirling Moss for his win at the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix. Lotus' first F1 victory. This is said to have mimicked and declared competition against the CooperMonaco, which was named after a win at Monaco in 1958.
Towards the end of 1963, John Klug, founder of Pacesetter Homes Racing, commissioned Lotus to build a special 19 to be Ford V8 powered. Ford's new lightweight iron block 289 c.i. engine was chosen over Oldsmobile's smaller aluminum V8. Roy Campbell finished the car in southern California. Dan Gurney, who had enjoyed considerable success at the wheel of the Arciero Brothers Lotus 19-Climax was the driver.
Because of its unique specification, it was known as the 19B, the only 19 with this designation. Originally delivered in red livery, the car first appeared at Nassau in December 1963. In 1964 it was the fastest sports car in the world, but the car's weak spot was its Colotti transaxle, the failure of which led to a number of retirements. By mid-1965 it was obsolete. It continued racing in southern California and eventually dropped out of sight. Wayne Linden of Roseville, California, found it in a semi trailer waiting to be turned into a dune buggy. He restored it to its early-1964 configuration, except for the Colotti, and ran it in mostly Cobra club events. He sold it to Gordon and Nancy Gimble. Today the car regularly appears at vintage car events in the US.
There were seventeen Lotus 19s built, however many were wrecked and some were completely rebuilt.