John Ross Motor Racing Archive: Lotus

This is a brief but important article.

All Lotus enthusiasts and those particularly interested in the Hornsey and 1950/60’s Lotus era ought to consult this archive.

The archive can be viewed on line:

The photographs are exceptional. Verbal elaboration is unnecessary.

Ross 1

John Ross has kindly granted permission for us to use a couple of images however they are of such quality, distinction and importance subscribers are urged to look at them with some urgency.

John Ross can be e mailed at: –

The editors consider that there have been in period two other significant photographers that have captured Chapman and Lotus at Hornsey .Subscribers are directed to A&R articles on :-

  • Cory Bevington
  • Geoff Goddard

All three capture the intensity and frenetic activity of Chapman and his colleagues including Williams and Pritchard whilst at Hornsey in the mid/late 1950’s.

Subscribers might like also to view all A&R articles about Hornsey and Tottenham Lane in order to comprehend the buildings, layout and general orientation.

Subscribers might like to note [and find John Ross images] within “Lotus Sports Racers” Unique Motor Books [reference below].Here are reprints of articles in which John Ross imagery appeared.

Notable are:-

  • p10                 Lotus Maintenance the Mk.Six      Sports Car & Lotus Owner,1959
  • p11                 A New Lotus                                     Motor Racing , 1954
  • p37-41            The Lotus Blossoms                        Autocourse, 1954

The John Ross Archive: Lotus Content

The archive the editors have seen falls into these main categories:-

  • Lotus 1955-1958                  29 images
  • Lotus 1958-1959                  31 images
  • Lotus 1960-67                      9 images
  • Lotus Archway                   16 images
  • Williams & Pritchard                        9 images

The editors considered the photographs entitled Lotus Archway possible the most interesting and relevant to the protection of the site. Because of their historical significance the editors take the liberty of listing each:-

Image             Main foreground                  background

1                      Colin Chapman /tripod       Transporter Reg No. FRD 918

2                      -do- with colleague

  1. Believed Mk.1Xlower front Ribblesdale Road

4                      -do-                                         Railway Hotel/office

5                      -do-                                         Rear driver side wing

6                      Colin Chapman welding

7                      Lotus Mk.VI                           Reg No. GES 268

8                      Lotus Mk’s VI &IX                 with colleagues

9                      Believed Lotus Mk.IX          Reg.No. 972 EMK and yard

10                    Believed Lotus Mk.IX          Ribblesdale Road, period vans on road

11                    Believed Lotus Mk.IX          Chapman and Railway Hotel

12                    Believed Lotus Mk.IX          at Williams & Pritchard

13                    Believed Lotus Mk.IX          -do- with two staff

14                    Colin Chapman                   at wheel of believed Mk.IX

15                    -do-                                         Schoolboys gather round/Ribblesdale Rd

16                    Believed Lotus Mk.IX          Reg.No 972 EMK, Mk.VI and stables

Ross 2

The car models /marques featured include:-

  • VI
  • IX
  • Eleven
  • 12
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18

There are a few multiple shots of cars [some part obscured or in background], all are extremely interesting and redolent.

Exhibitions, Education and Economics

In the museum context the editors believe that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our suggested outline Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.

The editors believe that at some point it will be possible to produce an exhibition of photography portraying the Chapman era at Hornsey. There are several significant local venues where such an exhibition could be mounted. This might be accompanied by guided talks and a town trail.

In the meanwhile viewers can submerge themselves in these delicious images, visit the old works and connect with the enormity of achievement that was established there. [A&R articles help with planning and an appreciation of context]

In many articles to be published shortly we will make frequent reference to this amazing archive.



Lotus Sports Racers. Unique Books.

ISBN: 1841554308

Lotus: The Early Years. Peter Ross

Lotus: The First Ten Years. Smith

Please note the editors of the A&R attempt to give the broadest spectrum of references but not all are available for consultation in an article. However by noting their existence it may assist students in their research.

*Items in italics non A&R library books.