Just finished this book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Lots of information from those that worked with Colin Chapman and new him well. He undoubtedly had a huge influence on F1 (possibly more so than any other individual) as well as road cars and probably many other unconnected things too.
Many will argue that he was or wasn't a genius or inventor but what ever the case he had a way of thinking about things and coming up with a solution whether that solution was something of his own design or applying a technology etc from elsewhere.
Colin Chapman like everyone had his flaws, which this book does touch on, it also seems that he was much happier in the early days before Lotus became a Business "proper". F1 lost a key figure when he died and you cant help but wonder if things might have been different had he ousted Bernie at the start of the 80's? The book (obviously) finishes at his death and clearly lots has happened to Lotus since but that's another story I guess.
From small beginnings in North London in 1947, Colin Chapman went on to build the world-famous, multi-million pound Lotus car company. He also established himself, in Jackie Stewart's words, as 'the greatest, most creative designer of racing cars in the history of motor racing'. Written with the full co-operation of his widow and the Lotus company, and reissued to meet continuing public interest, this is the definitive biography of the brilliant engineer described by Enzo Ferrari as 'so talented because of his ability to produce ideas ahead of his time'.
Jensen Interceptor - a sporting GT car hand-built at the Kelvin Way Factory, West Bromwich near Birmingham in England by Jensen Motors between 1966 and 1976. Sinclair C5 - a small one-person battery electric vehicle, 10 January 1985, the C5 was unveiled at a glitzy launch event but it received a less than enthusiastic reception from the British media. Maybe 30 or so years a head of its time? Jaguar XJ13 - a prototype racing car developed by Jaguar to challenge at Le Mans in the mid 1960s. It never raced, and only one was produced. The XJ13 had mid-engine format with the 5.0 litre V12 engine mounted behind the driver, used as a stressed chassis member together with the five-speed manual ZF Transaxle driving the rear wheels. Lotus 25 - a racing car designed by Colin Chapman for the 1962 Formula One season. It was a revolutionary design, the first fully stressed monocoque chassis to appear in F1. In the hands of Jim Clark it took 14 World Championship Grand Prix wins and propelled him to his 1963 World Championship title. Its last World Championship win was at the 1965 French Grand Prix. Porsche 917 - the race car that gave Porsche its first overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. There are at least eleven variants of the 917. The original version had a removable long tail/medium tail with active rear wing flaps, but had considerable handling problems at high speed because of significant rear lift. The 917 is one of the most iconic sports racing cars of all time, largely for its high speeds and high power outputs, and was made into a movie star by Steve McQueen in his 1971 film Le Mans. Ford GT40 - a high performance American-British endurance racing car, built and designed in England (Mk I, Mk II, and Mk III) and in the United States (Mk IV), and powered by a series of American-built engines. The GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four consecutive times, from 1966 to 1969, including a 1-2-3 finish in 1966. The car was named the GT (for Grand Touring) with the 40 representing its overall height of 40 inches. Jaguar E-Type - manufactured between 1961 and 1975. Its combination of beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. At a time when most cars had drum brakes, live rear axles, and mediocre performance, the E-Type sprang on the scene with 150 mph and a sub-7 second 0-60 time, monocoque construction, disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, independent front and rear suspension, and unrivaled looks. The Citroën SM - a high-performance coupé produced by the French manufacturer Citroën from 1970 to 1975. The SM was Citroën's flagship vehicle, competing with other high-performance GTs of the time from manufacturers such as Jaguar, Lotus, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo and Porsche. The 250 LM - the 250 P evolved into a saleable mid-engined racer for the public, the 250 Le Mans. Introduced at Paris in November, 1963, the LM was successful for privately entered racers around the world. Notably, a 250 LM entered by the North American Racing Team won the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans driven by Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory, which remains as Ferrari's last overall victory in the endurance classic. Lotus Europa - a two door mid-engined GT coupé built by Lotus Cars from 1966 to 1975. The Europa used Lotus founder Colin Chapman's minimalist steel backbone chassis first used in the Lotus Elan, while also relying on its fibreglass moulded body for structural strength. Daimler SP250 - a sports car built by the Daimler Company, a British manufacturer in Coventry, from 1959 to 1964. It was the last car to be launched by Daimler before its parent company, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA), sold it to Jaguar Cars in 1960. Vauxhall Cresta PA - It mimicked the American fashion for tail-fins, wrap-around windows and white-wall tyres, taking its cues from the 1957 model Buick Special announced twelve months before the Cresta, though understated compared to the Cadillacs and Buicks of the time. All factory-built PAs were four-door saloons: the estate cars were converted by Friary of Basingstoke, Hampshire and are rare today. Maserati 3200 GT (Tipo 338) - a 2+2 grand tourer produced by Maserati from 1998 to 2002. The luxury coupé was styled by Italdesign, whose founder and head Giorgetto Giugiaro previously designed, among others, the Ghibli, Bora and Merak. The tail-lights consisted of LEDs arranged in the shape of boomerang. The outer layer of the 'boomerang' provided the brake light, with the inner layer providing the directional indicator. Jowett Jupiter - built from 1950 to 1954 all of which were powered by a Jowett-designed 1486cc flat four pushrod engine of 60-62BHP in standard form. Most Jupiters constructed were the aluminium-bodied. The Factory built three sports-racing R1-type Jupiters for the Le Mans 24-hour races of 1951 and 1952 to capitalise on the standard Jupiter's class win at that race in 1950. During 1953 three R4-type Jupiters were designed and built on a quite different chassis to take Jowett into the mid fifties and beyond. Bodywork was to be in a plastic-resin laminate. Lamborghini Islero - produced between 1968 and 1969. It was the replacement for the 400GT and featured the Lamborghini V12 engine. The Islero was named after a Miura bull that killed matador Manuel Rodriguez "Manolete" on August 28, 1947. It had a 325 brake horsepower, 4.0 L (3929 cc) V12 engine, five-speed transmission, fully independent suspension, and disc brakes. A top speed of 154 mph and acceleration from zero to 60 mph took 6.4 seconds. Only 125 Isleros were built. Facel Vega - launched at the 1954 Paris Salon. By 1956 the cars were called FVS (for Facel Vega Sport). The 1954 versions of the Facel were fitted with a Chrysler 4.5 litre Hemi V8 engine, paired with either Chrysler's two-speed Powerflite automatic transmission or a four-speed manual. The 180 hp FV was capable of 107 to 120 mph depending on which rear axle ratio was installed. The chassis was designed by Lance Macklin and was tubular framed with coil springs and double wishbones at the front and a leaf-sprung live rear axle Porsche 911 / 993 - manufactured and sold between late 1993 and early 1998. Its discontinuation marked the end of air-cooled Porsches, the 993 was not only the last air-cooled 911 but also the last of the hand built 911s. The 993 generation of the 911 is often referred to as the best and most desirable of the 911 series. Avenger Tiger - Named to evoke memories of the Sunbeam Tiger, the Avenger Tiger concept began as a publicity exercise. Modifications included the 1500 GT engine with an improved cylinder head with enlarged valves, twin Weber carburetors and a compression ratio of 9.4:1. The suspension was also uprated, whilst brakes, rear axle, and gearbox are directly from the GT. A distinctive yellow colour scheme ("Sundance") with a bonnet bulge, rear spoiler and side stripes was standard, set off with "Avenger Tiger" lettering on the rear quarters.
Ford V8 Pilot - The first post-war "Big Ford" was the V8 Pilot, launched in 1947. The Pilot used the pre-war 22hp chassis combined with a 30hp sidevalve V8 which had been in service for some time. The Pilot featured Hydro-mechanical brakes and a column change gearbox and had a very transatlantic feel
Gilbern Invader - Gilbern, Gilbern Sports Cars (Components) Ltd , was a Welsh car manufacturer from 1959 to 1973, based in Llantwit Fardre, Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales. The Invader was introduced in July 1969 and was based on the earlier Genie but with improved chassis and larger brakes. The front suspension now came from the MGC and the chassis was strengthened. It took the brand further up- market with fittings such as electric windows and walnut-veneered dashboard. The Invader was available as a complete car and from 1970 an estate version was also produced.
Vanwall VW5 - Vanwall was a motor racing team and racing car constructor that was active in Formula One during the 1950s. Founded by Tony Vandervell. Vanwall won the inaugural Constructors Championship in 1958, in the process allowing Moss and Brooks to finish second and third in the drivers standings, winning three races each.
Countach LP400 - entered production with a 3929 cc engine delivering 375 metric horsepower. Externally, little had altered from the final form of the prototype except at the rear, where conventional lights replaced the futuristic light clusters of the prototype. The styling had become rather more aggressive than Gandini's original conception, with the required large air scoops and vents to keep the car from overheating, but the overall shape was still very sleek. The original LP400 rode on the quite narrow tires of the time, but their narrowness and the slick styling meant that this version had the lowest drag coefficient of any Countach model. By the end of 1977, the company had produced 158 Countach LP400s
Sunbeam Rapier - The Arrow Rapier – or Fastback, as it came to be known – launched in October 1967, was a four-seat coupé based on the chassis of the Hillman Hunter Estate. Although the Rapier used the tail lamps and rear valance from the Hunter Estate, the rest of its superstructure was unique. The H120 had a more powerful version of the 1,725 cc engine specially developed by Holbay Engineering. It produced 108 hp at 5,200 rpm and was fitted with a special cylinder head, high lift camshaft, tuned length four-branch exhaust manifold, special distributor and twin Weber 40DCOE carburetters. The H120 had a close ratio gearbox, a heavy duty overdrive and a high ratio rear axle.
Alfa Romeo Montreal - The 2+2 coupe concept car that would become the Alfa Romeo Montreal was unveiled without a name at the Expo 67 show in Montreal, Canada. The public however filled the void by calling it the Montreal and the name stuck for the production version. Following its 1970 Geneva Motor Show debut, the production car arrived in the UK with a £5,000 price tag that was higher than that of the Jaguar E-Type or the Porsche 911 at the time.
Rover JET1 - a gas turbine car originally built in 1949/1950 by the Rover Company and modified to a more aerodynamic style in 1952. It held a world speed record for a gas turbine powered car in 1952 with a speed of 152.691 mph. Rover won the Dewar Trophy in 1951 for this work, in recognition of its outstanding pioneering achievement.
Fiat 130 Coupé - appeared in 1971 at Geneva motor show. Both exterior and interior styling were the work of Paolo Martin at Pininfarina. The car won a design prize, attributed to Pininfarina. Hidden beneath its sharp, attention-grabbing lines was a choice of new overhead-camshaft V-6 engines in either 2,866cc or 3,235cc form. The new V-6 line was based on the 128 Type A powerplant and was developed by a noted Ferrari engine master, engineer Aurelio Lampredi.
Marcos GT - first introduced as the Marcos 1800 in 1964, with a wooden chassis and a Volvo P1800 engine, although later models had a steel chassis and commonly Ford engines although others were also available. The GT series saw much competition use. The original 1800 and other 1960s and 1970s Marcos are still competitive in both FIA and HSCC (UK) historic racing series.
Jaguar XJ Coupé - launched in 1973, but was not sold until the 1975 model year, due to problems reducing the noise from the pillarless windows. It was in production until November 1977, with some of the later models being sold as model year 1978. The 6 cylinder model was known as the XJ 4.2C or XJ6C. The 4.2 referring to the size of the in-line 6 cylinder engine.The 12 cylinder model was known as the XJ 5.3C or XJ12C. The 5.3 referring to the size of the V-12 engine.When badged as a Daimler, the Coupé was known as the Sovereign 4.2 or the Daimler Double-Six two door model. The Broadspeed XJC was also John Steed's famous mount in 'The New Avengers' TV series.
Matra MS80 - the fourth Formula One car produced by Matra, a French aerospace firm. The MS80 was one of the first F1 racing cars to be designed with "wings" for downforce to increase high-speed tyre grip. Ken Tyrrell's 'Matra International' team won the 1969 F1 constructors and driver championsips (Jackie Stewart) - Matra also made a 4 wheel drive version the MS84.
Alfa Romeo SZ - Nicknamed ‘Il Mostro’ – The Monster’ it is a high-performance limited-production sports car/road-concept car built between 1989 and 1991. It was unveiled as ES-30 at the 1989 Geneva Motor Show as a prototype by Zagato. Maserati Bora - Giorgetto Giugaro and his new Italdesign studio were employed by Maserati to create a new V8 mid-engined two-seat coupe, which would become known as the Bora it featured handsome Campagnolo alloy wheels, and a brushed stainless steel roof and windscreen pillars. The interior was quite luxurious, with its deep bucket seats, dash, door trim, center console and rear bulkhead trimmed in leather. Electric windows were standard equipment.
Voison C6 Laboratoire - this racer was built by Gabriel Voisin specifically for Grand Prix competition in 1923. The monocoque streamlined aluminum body was in the shape of an aircraft wing (first GP car to do so) but was powered by a feeble 2.0 liter motor that would prove to be a huge weakness. Only 5 were built for the 1923 Grand Prix, and only one finished… In 5th place.
Aston Martin DB4 1958-1960 - The DB4 was unveiled at the 1958 Paris Motor Show although many books quote the slightly later London show which was actually the UK debut. It was a totally new car which was quite an achievement for a highly regarded but small British manufacturer. With a completely new platform chassis, disc brakes all round and a completely new 3.7 litre straight six cylinder engine, it was topped by an wonderful fastback body styled by Touring of Milan. A masterpiece of British engineering skill with Italian styling flair.
The Austin Champ - the British War Office’s [WO] answer to the USA 'Jeep' and its use during WWII. It should not just be seen as simply the British Jeep, but was in fact the WO view of an all-purpose light truck for all theatres of operation. The main designer of the Champ is said to be Charles Sewell who was a member/leader of the team that worked on the vehicle's development.
The Citroën 2CV "deux chevaux" is an air-cooled front-engine, front-wheel-drive economy car introduced at the 1948 Paris Mondial de l'Automobile and manufactured by Citroën for model years 1948–1990.
The Italia 2000 Coupé - was built between 59 & 1962, during which time 329 cars were produced. Designed by G. Michelotti, the TR3 chassis and mechanical components were supplied by the Triumph Motor Company in the United Kingdom, and built by A. Vignale in Turin.
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