Colin Chapman Archive and Resource October 2016

Newsletter – Number 57

  1. Chapman and Can-Am: Big Bangers and Even Bigger Bucks: An Opportunity missed
  2. Lotus 38: The Special Relationship
  3. Lotus –Historic Sponsor Series: Firestone: On the Rim of Success
  4. Tracks Across America: Riverside

All previous articles relating to these are held on the website.

1. Chapman and Can-Am: Big Bangers and Even Bigger Bucks: An Opportunity Missed?



The Canadian –American Challenge Cup was launched in 1966.It was intended for professional Group 7 sports racing cars.

It was a big bucks spiral with its own Championship Title and big dollar prize money. So why did Lotus not participate when all the evidence and experience indicated they could do well and earn? Particularly as Chapman and Lotus has done so well at Indianapolis through the 1960’s and had used a Ford engine.

In this article we will explore that rational and circumstances.

The record of Lotus in Can-Am is limited .Therefore this article is written as a platform from which we hope we can both base further research and tease out some answers. It’s hoped our North American subscribers will be able to help. The editors have attempted to extrapolate some propositions.

The A&R on behalf of the proposed CCM&EC believes it important to investigate objectively not only the major successes of Colin Chapman and Lotus but also some of the disappointments and failures.

Interwoven with this article the editors will discuss the Chaparral marque. There is an interesting interconnectivity of technological innovation running through both marques design engineers overlaid in the Can-Am series .In order to bring out the fuller details the A&R have produced a dedicated article on the Chaparral marque.

Preamble Can-Am: A Fist Full of Dollars

North America has an honorable and significant history of sports car racing.

This particularly expanded and encompassed amateur sports car racing in the post second world war period. Owner / drivers primarily raced for the sport and were awarded trophies consistent with the amateur status. Big powerful sports cars were popular in the US and formed the backbone of the amateur racing

However this would change with professionalism and prize money in the late 1950’s.

From the early 1960’s racers adapted their popular Cooper Monaco’s and Lotus 19’s [see A&R article] to accept local American V8 engines. Typical was the 4L Buick, 4.7L Ford and 4.6L Chevrolet.

Can –Am emerged from various powerful strains and interest and certainly from a developing momentum. On 15th February 1966 both the American and Canadian racing organizations/ representatives agreed to inaugurate the Canadian-American Challenge Cup. It sought amongst its objectives to bring the drama and excitement of Grand Prix racing to the new North American road circuits. Johnson Wax was an early supporter of the series. It was to succeed big time!

Initially there would be six races between September and November later to be extended to eight and eventually eleven?

“It is really big Series event in the New World, and probably carries the biggest prize money of any group of races in the world. There are a number of Can-Am races, held on big tracks all over the North American continent. Prizes for individual races are big and the prize for the overall winner is bigger still”

At the time Can- Am offered the world’s richest prize money. This to some extend would compare with Indianapolis. The prize money was possible proportionate to attendance. In 1973 for example it has been estimated 402,500 approximately spectated at eight circuits. This and sponsorship possibly made it the attraction and provided the rewards that motivated both local and international competition [manufacturers and drivers]

Lyons observes:-

“The Can-Am was a child of the psychedelic 1960’s launched along with rockets to the moon, and revolutions in society. Americans racing great technological adventure was a noble experiment in unchained performance”

 And that:-

“The early Can-Am was a hot house of enthusiastic exploration into novel unrestricted technologies –engines, transmission, tyres, suspension, aerodynamics and materials”

Can-am engendered international respect providing exciting spectacle along with innovative, intriguing, creative yet diverse design solutions and participation .Some races are recorded as attracting thirty eight entrants.

The Big Bang Theory

Writing in 1971, P Lyons describes his drive with P.Revson in Can-Am car

“A great hammer struck my spine slamming my head back ………….it was rushing like some

Demonic torrent frantic to enter the gates of hell. Small markings –stains, patches, pebbles –appeared as flickers and were gone like dust on a cine film. There was no longer any sensation of speed .we were going to fast………..”

Definition: The Magnificent Seven

Can-Am racers have been considered amongst the ultimate racing machines with few and almost no limitations. In effect almost totally unrestricted. The cars are classed as Group 7, Category “C” in many respects they offered a formula Libre for sports cars. It spawned some outrageous technology. The parameters were:-

  • “Sports Cars”
  • Two seater [notionally] passenger space just capable accepting passenger to fulfill definition of sports car
  • Enclosed aerodynamic two seater bodywork ie.enclosed wheels/tyres
  • Unrestricted engine capacity
  • Turbocharging or supercharging allowed
  • Unrestricted aerodynamics [in early days]
  • No minimum weight
  • No forbidden materials
  • No specified componentry
  • Safety standards enforced

From which evolved cars that adopted wings, were extremely light, possessed unheard of speed, developed ground effect and incorporated aerospace materials.

The series was later codified as Group 7 sports cars by the FIA

Can-Am Spectacle and Success

All those who spectated and participated agreed Can-Am was an impressive sight comprising cars which were extrovert and:-

  • Fast
  • Colourful
  • Sponsor liveried
  • Loud ,learey and noisy
  • Extremely fast and powerful
  • International meld of various manufacturers , drivers
  • Possessing a strong North American flavor and culture
  • Easily distinguishable
  • Competing on high speed road circuits comprising a fluidity incorporating variety of corners and undulating gradients, surfaces.

The editors believe that the success of Can-Am might be due to some of the following:-

  • The obvious spectacle mentioned above
  • Local and world recognized drivers competing
  • Affordability to both competitors and spectators[ some sources suggest an entry spectator ticket price of $5]
  • Viewing and ability to be close to the action and close racing
  • The predominant use of home grown engines
  • American sponsors and related trade support
  • Geographical proximity of spectators to tracks
  • Extension of racing tradition upgraded and with concession to European practice [ including the combination of British made chassis and American V8 engines ]
  • US manufacturer support etc.
  • It caught the mood of the era and part overlaid with the hippy movement in California in the late 1960’s
  • Attractive proposition to both drivers and designers with considerable freedoms
  • Significant winnings and appearance money
  • Climate and seasonal advantage vis Europe

Lyons possibly summed it up with the observation that:

“The Can-Am car combined rarefied aerospace science with the red meat muscle of the dragster, the sophisticated European method with gaudy Indy showmanship”

Whilst Dymock commented:-

“New cars appeared at almost every event, and even if some of the drivers did not reach the professional standards of those at the fronts of the grids, the crowds were still rolling up, and enjoying the spectacle of the big, wide racing cars battling it out or merely pursuing the orange McLaren’s on some of the finest tracks in the world”

The Race Series

The series is believed to have grown from 6 [2 races in Canada and 4 in America] to 8 then 11 races by 1969.Some of the following circuits hosted the series:-

Elkhart Lake
Hall County
Laguna Seca
Las Vegas
Mont Tremblant
Mosport Park
Road America
Sears Point
Trois Rivieres
Watkins Glen

Note that some of the circuits are recorded in brief detail in Perkin’s “Indycar”Editor apologies if names of American tracks not fully understood / quoted.

Further reading suggests that Road Atlanta, Chesapeake, Fuji might also be included?

Mount- Tremblant from the net;-
“Mont Tremblant circuit is located in the surroundings of Tremblant Village, near Mont Tremblant skiing facilities, not far from Saint-Jovite in the marvelous Laurentides landscape. It was opened on August 3rd, 1964 in the shortest layout, the “Short Track” (later on renamed North Loop), a 1.5 miles long track with 12 turns. During the following year, in August, the full track was opened, extending its length to 2.65 miles with a total of 15 turns. The circuit features so many ups and downs that Jacky Stewart defined it a “mini-Nürburgring”, making this track very selective and dangerous.”


The Rewards: A Few Dollars More

The editors believe that Graham Hill took winnings of $175,000 for the 1966 Indianapolis. Dymock obsevers that:-

“The world of the Canadian –American Challenge cup is a rich one. Ever since the series began in 1966, the prize money has been enormous by any standards – during the years of Johnson Wax sponsorship, the McLaren team won over a million dollars….in 1966 …..The series was an immediate success .The awards totaled $360,000.”

The editors believe that John Surtees won between 48-$70,000 in Can Am, 1966.

He continues with what seems to be reference to 1967:

“Prize money reached a new total of $500,000 of which $210,000 was in guaranteed race purses and $900,000 in the drivers’ championship fund, which paid $31,500 for first place, down to $2,700 for tenth. In addition there was$ 200,000 for accessory awards or trade bonus……… Bruce McLarens own solitary win in 1968 was in the $100,000 Times Grand Prix at Riverside”

Pritchard states in “Specialist British Sports Cars” that Bruce McLaren in 1969 won the Can Am series with winnings of $ 158,750.Of course this has to be weighed in relative terms and translated into today’s prices. Also to be factored in are the cost of the cars and overheads possibly taxes and other considerations for the figures to be truly meaningful. For example; it’s thought at the time the $/Dollar /sterling conversion was between 2-3 $ to £ pound sterling.

D.Hulme is reputed to have won $660,000 between 1967-1972.

It’s been estimated that typical McLaren sports racing car cost approximately £11-13,000 in period but the Porsche 917-10K with its light weight chassis comprising magnesium tube, titanium and alloy components plus the 5L flat 12 turbo charged engine was sold to customers for £65,000. [Engines at £25,000 each and gearbox £5,000]; see paragraph below for prices of the Lotus Types 30 &40.

Some sources suggest that the total prize fund might have reached $1 million.

Year Winner Approx. Prize Money $
1966 John Surtees 48,000
1967 Bruce McLaren 62,000
1968 Bruce McLaren 93,000
1969 Bruce McLaren 160,000
1970 Denny Hulme 162,000

Source: “On Four Wheels” No.16/Mike Kettlewell

The Competitors: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly [Orange and White Elephants]

The following list has been extracted from various internet sites.
BRM P154 & P167
Autocoast Ti22
Bizzarrini P358
Burnett Chevrolet
BVC Mk.1 Chevrolet
Chaparral 2E,2H, 2J Chevrolet
Chinook Mk.10 Chevrolet
Cobra Ford
Cooper Ford
Ferrari 250 LM
Ferrari 612P
Ford GT 40
Ford G7A
Frissbee GR3 Chevrolet
Genie Mk.10,10B Oldsmobile
Hamill SR3
Honker II
Lola Type 70 T162 -163B T260-310
Lotus 19 Ford
Lotus 23
Lotus 30 Cherokee Ford
Matra MS630
Mckee Mk.6, Mk.10 Ford “Wedge”
McLaren M 1B -M20 Chevrolet
Merlyn Mk.8-12 Chevrolet
Mirage Oldsmobile
PAM Ford
Porsche 906
Porsche 917 PA,917/10K 917/30
AVS Shadows Mk.1
Stanton Special
VDS 2 Chevrolet
Shadow DN4, DN4A Chevrolet
Cadwell D7

One –off might  also include Hayman,HoareMacs-it Special, Platypus,Nickey Vinegaroom II

The regulations created an environment of innovation and specifications extended from the sublime to the ridiculous. But this was good for the sport and for spectators. See some details and comparisons below.

Some of the most significant cars were McLaren M1B, M6B,M8 B,C,D&E, Lola Type 70 in various specifications, and the T260 , Ferrari 612,Porsche 917/,Chaparral 2E.


Can-Am Round 1

The editors believe the following circuits comprised round 1:-

o   Mount  Tremblant

o   Bridgehampton

o   Mosport Park

o   Laguna Seca

o   Riverside

o   Stardust

The Can-Am Champions

Year Driver Team Car
1966 John Surtees Team Surtees Lola T70Chevrolet
1967 Bruce McLaren Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren M6A-Chevrolet
1968 Denny Hulme Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren M8A-Chevrolet
1969 Bruce McLaren Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren M8B-Chevrolet
1970 Denny Hulme Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren M8D-Chevrolet
1971 Peter Revson Bruce McLaren Motor Racing McLaren M8F-Chevrolet
1972 George Follmer Penske Racing Porsche 917/10
1973 Mark Donohue Penske Racing Porsche 917/30KL
1974 Jackie Oliver Shadow Racing Cars Shadow DN4A-Chevrolet
1975-6 No series
1977 Patrick Tambay HaasHall Racing Lola T333CS-Chevrolet
1978 Alan Jones HaasHall Racing Lola T333CS-Chevrolet
1979 Jacky Ickx Carl Haas Racing Lola T333CS-Chevrolet
1980 Patrick Tambay Carl Haas Racing Lola T530-Chevrolet
1981 Geoff Brabham Team VDS Lola T530-Chevrolet / VDS 001-Chevrolet
1982 Al Unser Jr. Galles Racing Frissbee GR3-Chevrolet
1983 Jacques Villeneuve Sr. Canadian Tire Frissbee GR3-Chevrolet
1984 Michael Roe Norwood/Walker VDS 002-Chevrolet / VDS 004-Chevrolet
1985 Rick Miaskiewicz Mosquito Autosport Frissbee GR3-Chevrolet
1986 Horst Kroll Kroll Racing Frissbee KR3-Chevrolet
1987 Bill Tempero Texas American Racing Team March 85C-Chevrolet
The under 2L class might have also include Ralt, Marquey, Scandia, and March.

It’s evident that Lotus did not really contest the Can-Am Championship although some interesting home grown marques did.

Technical Specification Comparisons

Comparative analysis taken from “The Worlds Racing Cars” by Twite.


Specification Autocoast Ti22 Chaparral 2 H Ferrari 612 Lola T162 -163-163 B Chevrolet McLaren 8B
Engine V 8 water cooled V 8 water cooled V12 water cooled V 8 water cooled V 8 water cooled
Bore /Stroke 4.25 x 3.75” 42.5 x 3.76 ” * 3.62 x 3.08” 42.5 x 3.76 ” * 4.25 x 3.75”
CC 427 cubic inch 430 cubic inch 380 cubic inch 430 cubic inch 427 cubic inch
Compression ratio 11.5:1 12:01 10.5:1 12:01 12:01
Carburettors Lucas Fuel injection Hall/Lucas injection Lucas Fuel injection Hall/Lucas injection McL mod ‘Lucas Fuel inj’
Max power/Rpm 600 bhp @ 7000 rpm 650 bhp @ 7500 rpm 660 bhp @ 7700 rpm 650 bhp @ 7000 rpm 650 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Transmission Hewland LG 600 [5] Automatic 3 speed Ferrari 4 speed Hewland LG 600 [5] Hewland LG 600 [4]
Brakes Airheart 12″ vent’ disc 12″ ventilated disc Ventilated disc Girling 12″ ventilated disc Lockheed 12″
Steering Rack & pinion Rack & pinion Rack & pinion Rack & pinion Rack & pinion
Front suspension Unequal A arms & csd W’bone &CS dampers Coil spring /adj damper Unequal Wb & csd
Rear suspension W’B’, paired rad arm, csd Hall de Dion/ Watts Csd Coil spring /adj damper W’B’ /radius rods, self-aligning W’b paired rad’rods, cs
Chassis Construction Titanium & alum’ monoc’ Alum ‘alloy monocoque Multi tube/part monoc’ Alum’ monoc’ bonded & rivit’ Semi- monoc’ with tubing
Wheel base 7′-10″ 7′-7″ 8′-0.5″ 7′-10″ 7′-10″
Front track 5′-00″ 4′-3″ 5′-3.1″ 4′-6″ 4′-9″
Rear track 4′-9″ 4′-3″ 5′-2.5″ 4′-6.5″ 4′-7″
Overall length 12′-6″ 13′-00″ 12′-2.5″ 13′-2.5″ 12’10”
Overall width 6′-2″ 5′-00″ 7′-00″ 5′-11″ 6′-3″
Kerb weight 1400 lbs [est’] 1500 lbs. 1540 lbs. 1500 lbs. 1480 lbs.
Front tyres 11.00 x 15″ 11.00 x 15″ 13.90 x 15″ 12.00 x 15″ 9.00 x 10”
Rear tyres 16.00 x 15″ 15.5 15″ 15.90 x 15″ 20.00 x 15″ 14.00 x 15″

All the salient points are brought out within the specifications: primarily the spectacle, speed, sound, physical preence and advanced technologies and materials. Although the American V8 engine dominated there were some considerable variety.


Chaparral [The Texas Rangers]

Jim Hall was a talented engineering graduate and also an accomplished driver. He had owned and driven a Lotus 18. He may have also come into contact with British sports racing cars such as the Lister, Cooper Monaco and Lotus 19.The comparison with Chapman is worthy of comparison ; both men were considerable innovators and embraced aeronautical engineering practice / materials. And both men enjoyed considerable international success .For example both won at Indianapolis. Both men voiced concerns about the politics of the sport they felt undermined innovation. Chapman relating to the twin chassis and Hall for the aerodynamic technology of his 2J.Both men raced their own cars with considerable success. Hall withdrawing following a serious accident

It’s believed that in the early 1960’s Jim Hall moved to Midland, Texas and set up Rattlesnake Raceway. This was a private test track constructed to be demanding like a road circuit. He joined forces with Hap Sharp [both men had earned their fortunes in the oil industry] and formed Chaparral Cars Inc.; they are considered co- designers. About the same time Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes set up their engineering firm in Culver City, California. They would construct cars to Hall’s design / specification.

The Lotus Type 30 & 40 [Group 7 Sports Racing Cars-1964/1965]

The Types 30/40 would have seemed to be contenders for Can-am but due to problems we record they had limited success or entry. It ought to be noted that they were not designed specifically for Can-Am and actually predate it.

The Type 30 and 40 and thought to be amongst the less successful of the Lotus competition cars.

The author would suggest a re-examination and when seen in a different context perhaps these machines might be re-evaluated.

The Type 30 and 40 specification aligns it with Can-Am but there were obvious deficiencies. This will be developed in a subsequent paragraph.

The A&R approach is to measure and contrast for the purpose of evaluation. The author therefore recommends the forthcoming article on the Ford Fairlane Lola GT that has a direct relevance to understanding both the context and performance of the Types 30 and 40.


Editors sketch of the Lotus 30

Lotus 30 and North American Racing

The editors believe that both Bob Challman and D.Gulstrand competed in North American circuit races which might have included early rounds of Can-Am.

A useful table of peer competitors is extracted from the entrants at the 1964 Canadian GP, Mosport [26/9/1964]

1 Jim Clark Team Lotus (GB) Lotus 30 Ford S+2.0
2 Walt Hansgen North American Racing Team (USA) Ferrari 275 P Ferrari S+2.0
3 Ludovico Scarfiotti North American Racing Team (USA) Ferrari 330 P Ferrari S+2.0
4 Pedro Rodriguez North American Racing Team (USA) Ferrari 330 P Ferrari S+2.0
5 Vic Yachuk Portland Garages (CDN) Lotus 19 Climax S2.0
6 Hugh Dibley Hugh Dibley (GB) Brabham BT8 Climax S2.0
7 James Scott Carl Haas Automobile Imports Inc. (USA) Elva Mk VII BMW S2.0
11 M. R. J. Wyllie M. R. J. Wyllie (USA) Lola Mk.1 Climax S2.0
12 George Wintersteen George Wintersteen (USA) Cooper Monaco T61M Chevrolet S+2.0
17 Joe Buzzetta Robt. Bosch Spark Plug Racing Team (USA) Elva Mk VII Porsche S2.0
19 Peter Goetz Peter Goetz (USA) Elva Mk VII Ford S2.0
20 Mike Goth Michael Goth (USA) Lotus 23 Alfa Romeo S2.0
21 Robs Lamplough Robert Lamplough (GB) Brabham BT8 Climax S2.0
22 Tommy Hitchcock Celerity Inc. Brabham BT8 S2.0
27 Charlie Hayes Carl Haas Automobile Imports Inc. (USA) Elva Mk VII BMW S2.0
30 Bob Grossman Scuderia Bear (USA) William McKelvy Ferrari 250 LM Ferrari S+2.0
41 Peter Lerch Peter Lerch (CDN) Peter Lerch Lotus 19 B Ford S+2.0
43 Phil Smyth Dr. Phil Smyth (CDN) Lotus 23 B Ford S2.0
47 Bruce McLaren Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd. (NZ) McLaren Elva Mark I Oldsmobile S+2.0
55 Ludwig Heimrath Canadian Comstock Ltd. (CDN) Cooper Monaco T61M Ford S+2.0
66 Jim Hall Chaparral Cars Inc. (USA) Chaparral 2A Chevrolet S+2.0
71 Skip Hudson Nickey Chevrolet (USA) Cooper Monaco T61M Chevrolet S+2.0
77 Bill Wuesthoff Robt. Bosch Spark Plug Racing Team Elva Mk VII Porsche S2.0
81 Wayne Kelly Bata Shoe Co. Ltd. (CDN) Kelly Special Porsche S2.0
89 John Cox Team Speedwell (CDN) Speedwell Special S2.0
94 Wayne Burnett Wayne Burnett (USA) Ferrari 250 TR Ferrari S+2.0
95 George Reed George Reed (USA) Ferrari 250 TR 59/60 Ford S+2.0
99 Herb Swan Herb Swan (USA) Porsche 718 RS 61 Porsche S2.0
133 Rudy Bartling Heimrath Porsche Racing Team (CDN) Porsche 718 RS 61 Porsche S2.0
155 Norm Evenden Norm Evendon (USA) Cooper Monaco T61 Ford S+2.0
169 Nat Adams Tidewater Oil Co. Ltd. Lotus 23 Climax S2.0

Entered cars that did not arrive:

No. Drivers Entrant Principal Make Type Model Engine Gr.
8 Jerry Grant Bardahl Lubricants Lotus 19 B Chevrolet S+2.0
14 Jack Moore Jack Moore (USA) Shelby Cobra Chevrolet S+2.0

The Continuum and Context.

The Types 30 and 40 ought to be seen in context of Lotus development.

The editor makes these connections and links.

Type 19 Sports Racer 1960

Type 23 Sports Racer 1962

Type 25 F1 1962

Type 26 Elan 1962

Type 28 Lotus Cortina 1962

Type 29 Indianapolis Car 1963

Type 30 Group 7 1964

Type 34 Indianapolis Car 1964

Type 38      “                “1965

Type 40                                   1965

Type 46 Europa S1 1966

Type 47 Racing Europa 1966

The conventional wisdom or history suggests that Chapman had hoped to win a contract/ commission to develop a sports racing car for Ford. This did not materialise and went to Lola and that the Types 30 and 40 were inferior attempts.

The editor would suggest the reference to the continuum of Lotus development and its breakneck speed. Chapman and Lotus had developed extremely successful links with Ford and the reason for loss of the commission is not really known but Lotus had track record and real urgency to deliver.

Whether Le Mans history impacted cannot be known.

Lotus achievements were staggering with one or more new products per year. This has to be understood in the context of their labour force and income [sadly objective information does not exist although it’s important to make some ball park calculation] but it was not the budget that Ford was able to commit. If the product was less than successful over stretching might have been the cause.

Should have Ford invested rather than Lola the result might have been very different and perhaps it ought be recalled that although the Lola spawned the Ford GT40 it was not spectacularly successful in its own right and the GT40 only came good after a multimillion $ research and development programme.

It’s worth noting the Ford Fairlane Lola GT launched 1963 and the Ford GT40 was completed in 1963 and raced 1964.

The author also suggests other possibilities that might have impacted on the design and performance of the 30&40. It might have been intended that the car was to be a closed coupe and some additional stiffness might have been imparted to the chassis .The other feeling is that perhaps somewhere in the background the 30 &40 were intended to grow into an integrated family of sports cars commencing with a relatively small capacity Ford engine. These models might have performed far better without the enormous and heavy V8. Taylor quotes weight between 1529-1650 lbs.

It cannot be known if the Europa was conceived directly or indirectly from the 30 &40 but it suggests whatever Chapman’s inadequacies he never failed to move on and incorporate lessons at devastating speed. The knowledge gained was also probably carried through from the Europa to the Esprit range.

In defence of the Type 30 & 40 they were sold at very competitive prices [Taylor noted that “The Lotus 30 was offered to the public at a reasonable £3,495” and refereeing to the Type 40 “Lotus Components put its works cars up for sale in April 1966 at £3,750 each”] and this enabled many to reach, afford and participate in a class of racing that might not otherwise been available. Many were developed and significantly improved. They were possibly too powerful for their aerodynamics and with the expense of wind tunnel testing they were in unknown territory. Later in the 1960’s the early generation of super cars were still experiencing front-end lift.

Conventional wisdom says that these models were a relative failure; they might not have sold in the volumes of the Eleven and 23 but a respective number were made.

These models were extremely beautiful and almost the last of an era. Although not the greatest of commercial and competition success they were not an absolute failure for such a small company without subsidy from government or mass production.

They have found favour with historic racers and remain magnificent and worthy competition to the likes of Ferrari, Lola, McLaren and Chaparral

The Design and Aesthetic [see photographs in related articles and diagram above]

The Type 30& 40 were designs conceived to conform to Group Seven and Can –Am racing. They were designed and built c 1964 by Chapman, Len Terry [who may have had reservations for various reasons and other engineers at Lotus] the company was at Chesthunt during this period.

The considerable aesthetic beauty of the Type 30 &40 models possibly emanates from their organic forms. This might also have contributed in part to some of the handling failures. The chassis relative to the V8 was another consideration.  The car depending on gearing, at least theoretically was capable of 150 mph plus.

The dimensions and hence proportions:


49”front track

47.5”rear track



26.5” high top of windscreen

4.5”ground clearance

Note an average approximation has been made across both cars.

It might have raced in the “Big Banger” class but this was no brute.

The original prototype body was believed to have been executed in aluminum and subsequently in glass fibre.

The 30&40 and a symphony of sensuous curvaceous flowing curves in elevation and section. Large handsome and imposing. Voluptuous. It has presence. Large hansom imposing.

The undulating wave like form is far more pronounced than the 19 or 23. The respective wings height front and rear visually indicate/ articulate /communicate / orientate and hence identify form and function. Of course this is reinforced by cockpit position also.

The screen fuses, integrates and nestles between the rounded domed top wheel arches.

The extremely reclined seating position dictates the long cockpit opening and Perspex screen angled back on a sharp rake.

Seen head on all the main design features and proportions are accentuated. The profile is an exaggerated bent wire “M”. The considerable width is apparent across the shallow “bonnet” which forms a flat-bottomed valley between the parabolic curves of the front wheel arches. Under which a spare wheel was mounted.

The low set nose is a bunted arrowhead in to which two radiators are ducted. The Perspex headlamp covers suggest night racing can be considered.

When fitted with a roll bar the car loses some of its undulating grace and the hard-edged geometry of these bars breaks the uninterrupted flow of the original design.

The rear elevation has certain symmetry with the front but in the “valley” there is an engine cover .The 13×7 tyres speak of the era and the power being delivered from the V8.

The author likes and admires the aesthetic of the Type 30 &40.They are perhaps amongst the last of the “organic” shape prior to the perhaps more efficient aerodynamically but less visually appealing sharp edged, squared off and flat surface wedge bodies.

The 30&40 possess harmony and poise despite their bulk and power. This might be helped but the undulating profile and very low build. Seen at rest or in motion all lines and proportion flow and integrate with a homogeneous 3D totality.

The design has expression and vocabulary and clearly distinguishes which is front and rear and which way the car travels. This is not always the case with mid and rear engine cars. They often became schizophrenic and the viewer does no know which way they are facing.

The power and performance of these “Big Bangers” produced some brutish Tyson looks but the Type 30&40 retained much of the lithe muscular and athleticism of Ali.

The cockpit was entered via relatively long drop down doors. The driver was required to surmount a wide cill that housed petrol tanks. The black plastic seats ran flat to the floor and the driver as mentioned was in a very inclined position approximately 40degree lean backwards. Most drivers’ eye line was just above the Perspex screen. A small diameter leather rimmed Motolita steering wheel was often fitted.

The backbone chassis formed a prop shaft tunnel that rose from the floor to approximately outstretched elbow level. The dashboard is believed to have formed part of the body and relatively small instruments were fitted possibly including revcounter, speedo, water and oil temperature, oil pressure and toggle switches.

Of course the gear change lever is on the right hand site for the rear-mounted gearbox.

Finished in Team Lotus colours of BRG and yellow with stripe. It accentuated the low purposeful build. The knocks on hub wheels were complementary and not excessive.

Types 30&40 Retail and Production

Taylor provides the relevant information .He suggests the respective cars were retailed as follows:-

Year                Type No.         Retail               Produced

C1964             Type 30           £3,495             33 [21xS1&12S2]

C1965/66        Type 40           £3,750             3

By comparison the Indianapolis Type 38 was sold to customers at $22,500 c 1965.

Taylor suggests Jim Clark drove a Type 30 in the Canadian GP and at California and possibly at Riverside.

Route 66: The Lotus Type 66 Can Am Project proposal

Writing in September 2016, Motor Sport, Clive Chapman reveals that his father did contemplate a Can-Am car .He suggests that Geoff Ferris made some drawings and he shows the side elevation layout with CAD imagery to give 3D form to the proposal. These drawings suggest and idea was being worked up in September 1969.

Their ought to have been considerable interest from Chapman and Lotus with their ability to exploit:-

  • Track record and brand image in USA
  • Chapman experience with aerodynamics and larger capacity engines
  • The possibility of JPs sponsorship
  • The open regulations
  • The possibility of Ford or Chevrolet engines
  • The possibility of either a full works Team [enjoying climate for drivers at end of European season ] or customer cars
  • Chapman might have believed there was the potential for duplication /mutation into F5000 or possibly a road car

The reasons not to develop the Type 66 or contest the series have not been recorded. However the editors will attempt to surmise.

Lotus Absence

The Chapman/ Lotus absence and failure to register success in Can-Am seems difficult to fathom. Although we note that several low key Lotus were entered or modified to compete. It would seem to play to Chapman’s strengths and commercial opportunities including:-

  • The unrestricted rules
  • His history of using Ford V8 engines at Indianapolis
  • The prize money
  • The circuits suiting the cars
  • British and American drivers familiar with the cars were available and willing to compete

The editors would postulate that Chapman’s failure to exploit the opportunity might be drawn from some of the following circumstances:-

  • The Lotus Type 30/40 were not properly developed
  • They were built marginally too soon , and did not create the best reputation
  • They might have also fallen between eras of technological development particularly relating to tyre technology and aerodynamics
  • Perhaps in the attempt for simplicity and affordability the chassis an suspension were an inappropriate combination relative to power and speed being extracted
  • Critically it ought be stated that the cars might have befallen the Chapman  malaise of a combination of being overstretched organizationally, lacking resources, lacking testing and a certain impatience across all to seek incremental progress allied with an expectation and budget requiring instant success. However it must always be noted the enormity of output and diversity of machinery – road and track that Chapman/Lotus delivered particularly in the decade of the 1960’s. Not least the three World Championships
  • There is a possibility that he was unable to muster a suitable racing team
  • Perhaps too Chapman’s reputation in the US might have been slightly tarnished by the Elite and some aspects of the Indianapolis programme.
  • Its worth noting that the other main competitors were more focused and restricted their racing campaigns
  • It’s not known whether logistics played any part it would seem unlikely , there is a possibility that sponsorship might have not been available.Tyres is a particular instance
  • The editors also question if a Ford engine was available; possibly Ford wished to concentrate their resources elsewhere although the home grown championship would seem an ideal marketing opportunity and with Chapman /Lotus connection at Indianapolis providing track record. Ford might not have wanted a rival to the GT40
  • Similarly it might be that tyres were not available for various reasons
  • It’s also worth pondering if Chapman would have entertained a works team or sold to privateers? in this instance there was strong competition and established winners
  • Can-Cam like other forms of competitive racing can suffer from their own success. The large winnings no doubt forced expensive R&D .By the time that Chapman was considering a dedicated Can Am car the series was approaching its nadir
  • Perhaps too we ought consider that Chapman questioned if he could catch up late in the 1960’s and that a poor showing far from helping sales could generate negative publicity
  • Success in FI might have been considered sufficient at the time for the sales volume and intended markets?

Perhaps we ought never to forget that Chapman and Lotus were a commercial concern and survival factors were primary considerations.

The Significance

Can –Am was a considerable success for all parties concerned. Not least was the technical innovation that it engendered. [See technical specification above] Of course this was truly competitive and the prize money both made it possible and worthwhile. Can-Am witnessed some truly outrageous and pioneering technology and this was no bad thing.

It possibly offered a special spectacle for a North American audience with its special meld of American and European technologies and international mix of drivers.

Although Chaparral did not win the greatest number of races / championships they led with a virtual all American assemblage. This must have significant psychological boost with moral affirming and the potential to compete successfully on the world stage.

Of course in the paragraph above we have to note that this was one major opportunity that Chapman let go by. It seems very significant that he missed the opportunity and it would be good research to discover the objective facts.

Dymock summarizes extremely well:-

“During the Johnson Wax years, the Can-Am series was a phenomenon, advancing American road racing by a dozen years within the span of half that time. It established in America a new sort of prestige, well organized motor racing that matched [except, perhaps in the tradition of 70 years] anything in Europe”

Can-Am brought forward some of the greatest drivers, engineering design and race spectacle in one series. Through the process it won international respect.

Decline and Revival

The classic Can –Am ended in 1974.there was several reasons for this:-

  • Spiraling costs associated with some of the extreme technology and space race materials
  • General and related costs of competing [see above]
  • World economic recession brought on by oil/ energy crisis
  • Possibly related falling support from sponsors vis recession
  • Possibly over domination by few marques
  • Possibly falling attendance relating to combination of other factors mentioned

Can-Am was followed by F5000 then later revived in modified form between 1980-1987. It was further briefly reintroduced 1998/99. A form of Can-Am reinvented between 2004-2009 in the form of Le Mans Prototypes.

Learning Opportunities

Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.

These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.

In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-

  • Obtain customers car sales for main rivals to Lotus 30/40 –how do they compare?
  • Conduct SWAT or Cost Benefit Analysis that Chapman might have undertaken to evaluate returns of Can-Am series
  • Conduct research detect if Can-Am sales had beneficial impacts on manufacturers and engine suppliers
  • Which marques competed in FI, Can-Am and Indianapolis?
  • Use CAD drawing of proposed Lotus 66 a produce traditional elevation views ,can you detect inspirations in its forms
  • Use same drawings to produce imagery that Chapman might be used to attract sponsor in particular draw the proposed Type 66 in JPS colours.
  • Suggest a proposal that Chapman might have  laid before sponsors
  • Design a closed GT road car based around the Type 30/40 in the Chapman mould

Exhibitions, Education and Economics

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our 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.

In particular the Can-Am series and recent historical recreation provides a glorious opportunity for exhibitions and interpretations.

Set in the mid-late 1960’s it falls in a significant cultural era across two continents. It touches the space race, societal change, women’s lib, Vietnam, pop music and the hippies. Into which is feed the extrapolation of the space race materials, technologies but also reasonably inexpensive fuel.

Can-Am was an evident success and the proposed CCM&EC ought be able to present and interpret this to a wide audience whilst retaining a strong educational / analytical questioning relating to Chapman’s strategically conduct.

Some exhibition titles might include:-

  • Forty Shades of Green: Lotus 30 &40
  • Type 66 mocked up
  • Home on the Range: Lotus Brand racing in America
  • Bangers And Smash: Can-Am racing
  • Wild, Wild Horses: Engine Capacity growth during Can-Am era
  • Can-Am: From Pony Express to Pony Excess
  • Litres and Meters: Can-Am Cars
  • Can-Am cars Spread their wings
  • Can-Am race car Rodeo


Can-am was a great series at a great time of the 1960’s spanning pop and the hippy era.

Can-am was successful on many fronts. It possibly became a victim of its success. As in other branches of motorsport even those intended to be affordable have a tendency to see costs escalate.

The purse of Can-Am possibly accentuated this .The high rewards possibly warranting high levels of technology and expense. But there were external factors too not least the oil crisis of the 1970’s.

It’s interesting that authors including Crombac have not explored why Chapman did not contest Can-Am; although Ludvisgen suggests disillusionment with the larger capacity racers.

Chapman’s failure to exploit Can-Am is an anomaly. As we have noted there is all the evidence and inducements he required. Can-Am attracted other marques whom competed with Lotus in other classes but were not always more successful.

The deduction being that Chapman perhaps came to realize that he was spreading his meagre resources too far and that despite the prize and prestige of Can-Am he could not succeed without other sacrifices .Throughout motorsport technology and costs were rising and perhaps Chapman felt that in order to retain preeminence in FI with its impact on sales of his road cars he ought focus and restrict participation where results might not be gained. Of course their might be other political issues we will never know.

As there has been little formal debate on this subject; it’s to be hoped that discussion can be provoked and some hypothesis explored.

Appendix 1

Technical Specification of Canadian GP, 1964 [see details above]

1 Lotus 30 Ford V8 N/A
2 Ferrari 275 P Ferrari 3300 cc V12 N/A
3 Ferrari 330 P Ferrari 4000 cc V12 N/A
4 Ferrari 330 P 0820 Ferrari 4000 cc V12 N/A
5 Lotus 19 959 Climax N/A
6 Brabham BT8 SC-2-64 Climax L4 N/A
7 Elva Mk VII BMW N/A
11 Lola Mk.1 BR30 Climax 1500 cc N/A
12 Cooper Monaco Chevrolet V8 N/A
17 Elva Mk VII Porsche N/A
19 Elva Mk VII Ford N/A
20 Lotus 23 Alfa Romeo N/A
21 Brabham BT8 SC-1-64? Climax N/A
22 Brabham BT8 SC-4-64 L4 N/A
27 Elva Mk VII BMW N/A
30 Ferrari 250 LM 5909 Ferrari 3300 cc V12 2v 1xOHC N/A
41 Lotus 19 963 Ford V8 N/A
43 Lotus 23 Ford N/A
47 McLaren Elva Mark I BMMR 1/64 Oldsmobile /Traco 3900 cc V8 N/A
55 Cooper Monaco CM/6/63 Ford 4700 cc V8/90° 2v OHV N/A
66 Chaparral 2A 001 Chevrolet 5500 cc V8 N/A
71 Cooper Monaco CM/4/63 Chevrolet V8 N/A
77 Elva Mk VII Porsche N/A
81 Kelly Special 001 Porsche N/A
89 Speedwell Special N/A
94 Ferrari 250 TR 0714TR 1958 Ferrari 3000 cc V12 N/A
95 Ferrari 250 TR 0770TR Ford 7000 cc V8 N/A
99 Porsche 718 RS 61 Porsche N/A
133 Porsche 718 RS 61 Porsche N/A
155 Cooper Monaco Ford N/A
169 Lotus 23 Climax N/A

Entered cars that did not arrive:

No. Car Chassis Built Engine Type Size Cyl. Turbo
8 Lotus 19 957 Chevrolet V8 N/A
14 Shelby Cobra Chevrolet N/A


Can Am challenge 1966-87 in FI Register Record Book.Rabagliati, Page, and Sheldon.FI Record.2001

Can-Am Cars in Detail. Pete Lyons [photographs by P.Harholdt].David Bull.2010

ISBN: 9781935007111

Can-Am.P.Lyons.Motorsport International.2002

ISBN: 0760300178

Can-Am Photo History. Pete Lyons. Motor books.1999

ISBN: 0760308063

Can-Am.Pete Lyons.Motorbooks.1995

ISBN: 0760300178

Chaparral Can-Am and Prototypes Race Cars. Dave Friedman.Motorbooks.1998

ISBN: 0760305080

Chaparral. The Texas Roadrunner. Friedman, Kazuo, Hayashi, Miyoshi.News Publishing Co. [Japan] 1997. [Non ISBN reference 978/4938495534]

Chaparral- Complete History of Jim Hall’s Chaparral Race cars 1961-1970.Richard Falconer and Doug Nye.Motorbooks.1992

ISBN: 087938607X

Chaparral. Jim Hall and Dave Friedman.Motorbooks.1998

Chaparral.Carl Ludvigsen

Can-Am Cars, 1966-74.Dave McKinney. Osprey

Can-Am Racers 1966-69.Brooklands

Can-Am Racers 1970-74.Brooklands

Can-Am Racers 1966-74.R. Clark.Brooklands.

ISBN: 1855205440

Can-Am Challenger.Peter Bryant. David Bull. See A&R Book review Can-Am Challenger

Chaparral: Can-am Racing Cars from Texas. Karl Ludvigsen


Chaparral. Classic &Sports cars. August 1989

Lola, Can-Am and Endurance Race Cars.D.Friedman.MBI.1998

ISBN: 076030646X

On Four Wheels.Orbis Publishing. Can-Am by Mike Kettlewell

Lotus Sports Racers. [Colin Pitt] Unique Motor Books. ISBN: 1841554308

The Lotus Book. William Taylor. Coterie Press. ISBN: 1902351002

IndyCar.Kris Perkins.Osprey.1993.

ISBN: 1855323990

The World of Racing Cars.Dymock.Hamlyn.1972.

ISBN: 0600392406

The Worlds Racing Cars.Twite.Macdonald.1971

SBN: 356031551

Can-Am 50th.anniversary.Flat out with North America’s Greatest Race Series 1966-74.Levy&Biro .Motorbooks.2016.

ISBN: 9780760350218

Cut away drawings by James Allington and Dick Ellis for Autocar.


Bob Challman: www.ultimateracinghistory

“Motor Sport” .September, 2016.

*References obtained through the British Library

A&R library – see also book review


Figure 1.Advert poster capturing the essence of the 1965 event with Clark in winning Lotus 38

2.0 Lotus 38: The Special Relationship


Our title the Special Relationship is both a play on words but also expresses the serious connectivity, partnership /collaboration and teamwork/spirit that enabled Team Lotus to win Indianapolis in 1965.

The commercial importance is almost immeasurable. The significance of Indianapolis to Lotus and Chapman cannot be overestimated.

It is possibly best summarized in bullet. It provided:-

  • Enhanced reputation
  • Reputation linked to publicity and sales both racing road cars
  • Income –quite considerable see details of purse below
  • Collaboration with Ford [and by achievement reaching out to other manufacturers]
  • The possibility of consultancy
  • Advertising and Exposure to the very important American market not least California
  • It gave great support to Lotus dealers in the USA
  • It provided potential sponsors with credibility of the marque ,delivery and success with a very fashionable for the time British image
  • It bridged and reached out on a cultural level and reinforced the image of Britain in the US during the 1960’s [ nb importance of British pop music , fashion and TV

Ford committed to the total performance programme in the early 1960’s.This was major corporate decision of one of the world’s greatest car makers. Chapman had been using Ford engines from early on in his manufacture of cars. This developed commercially with the Elan engine and the Ford Lotus Cortina of 1962.

It’s with this context in mind we can approach the importance of entry and winning at Indianapolis.

Subscribers might like to see related A&R articles:-

  • Lotus Indianapolis cars
  • Lotus and Can-Am

Ford’s Total Performance

Editors have paraphrased from the net etc.:-

“Total Performance was far more than just a slogan or an advertising spiel. It was a universal commitment-from president Henry Ford II down-that the company would develop the cars, engines, and/or teams it took to win in the world’s most significant racing series. Lee Iacocca, Carroll Shelby, Bill Gay, Colin Chapman, Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin, Don Frey, and hundreds more executed a masterful assault on Indy, NASCAR, Formula 1, Trans-Am, endurance racing, the quarter mile, and others. They were successful (and in several cases, dominating) in all of them.

This story was written in race results for nearly a decade. Here are the archival photographs-iconic and seldom seen-that connect names, faces, and legendary race cars to those all-conquering statistics.


Ford need to do something and it was the guiding hand of Lee Iacocca that would transform the company. He was the first manager to propose an all-encompassing marketing campaigned centered around high-performance. Initially it was a high level proposal; there were no granular details or specific programs. As opportunities arouse they were evaluated and if it fit with the company’s strategy the program was added to the Total Performance mix. In June of 1962 Ford released a six-paragraph statement announcing Ford’s withdrawal from the 1957 AMA Safety Agreement. It was signed by Henry Ford II. It was at this point that Ford went all in on the Total Performance program.

Henry Ford II

Lee Iacocca – 1964 Indianapolis 500

Total Performance was a marketing program and corporate funding would be subject to the marketing groups strategic planning. The company’s motto became “Total Performance” and was implemented as engineering excellence demonstrated in the heat of competition. Total Performance included programs that directly promoted the production cars and other initiatives that built the brand image. Through the life of Total Performance careers would be built, legends created and lives lost.

Neither before nor after has any manufacture commitments its reputation to as aggressive competition program as Ford did. By the end of the Total Performance program Ford powered cars had won the World Manufactures Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and USAC Championship, international Formula I, II and Formula III series, Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am series. Ford also had a significant impact on international Rallying, drag racing and the NASCAR racing series.

Without updated products any marketing program is heading for failure. With Iacocca’s guidance and engineering input from people like Don Frey, Ford revised its product line up. The Falcon lead the way to the Mustang and an entire new market segment, the Pony Car, was born. When the 427ci V8 was introduced it was offered in the Galaxie and the Fairlane. Ultimately there would be a program or multiple programs for each of the product lines and advertising campaigns to promote the success.

Len Terry

The late Len Terry was probably not given all the credit he deserved for the Indianapolis programme. His contribution was structured and integrated, rather holistic and included the car design and race logistics.

From wiki:-

“He was working on a freelance basis (including for Lotus) when Colin Chapman asked him to return full-time to design a car to compete in the Indianapolis 500. He produced the rear-engined Lotus 29 which, driven by Jim Clark, finished a close second at the 1963 Indianapolis 500 and the Lotus 34 for 1964 which, although starting from pole-position only completed 47 laps (out of 200) due to tyre and suspension problems. Terry later claimed that differences with Chapman meant the car had not been fully developed.[3] He was also involved in the design of the Lotus 33 F1 car with which Clark won the 1965 Drivers’ World Championship.[5]

For the 1965 Indianapolis 500, Terry was given full control over the design of the Lotus 38, and the car finished first that year, and second in 1966, each time with Clark driving. However, Terry left Lotus before the 1965 race, having already been recruited by Dan Gurney‘s AAR team to design a Formula One car.[3] This led to the EagleWeslake V12, which has been considered one of the most aesthetic Formula One designs.

Terry has stated with regard to the design methodology for the Indianapolis cars he employed the following including design of the first Lotus Indianapolis car [29   ]:-

  • Mixture of experience
  • Design know how
  • Common sense
  • Suck it and see

For example the cars right hand suspension links were six inches longer than those on the left.

The Design/Specification

Len Terry commented:-

“the most notable thing about the Lotus 38 was that it was a true monocoque, the cockpit being cigar tube ……the 38’s metalwork wrapped right over the drivers knees and was thus 50% stiffer but there were lots of small details that made the difference…….I arranged the fuel tanks –there were three of them –so that they drained from the right side first, thus keeping as much weight as possible on the inboard side for as long as possible

Taylor adds;-

The chassis was considerably stiffer than any previous Lotus single seater but it still only weighed 130lb.the chassis contained a rear-mounted fuel reservouir fed by three separate tank bays ,two length ones each side and one behind the seat this allowed fuel capacity to increase by 40% with no expansion in terms of overall width or height

The shape of the 38 was much smoother than the 1963 64 cars ……….the length increased by 6inches in a longer nose to enhance air penetration. The track was slightly wider at 60 inches. Underneath the running gear remained much as before with the exception of two inch larger ventilated disc brakes and modified suspension geometry “

Ford Engine

The Ford engine was an extremely important ingredient of the Indianapolis car both from the sponsorship aspect but also performance to achieve parity with other established brand leaders.


Figure 2.”The engine that won Indy” the modified Ford Fairlane V8

Terry states:-

“The Ford engine was strong, perhaps a little over –valved or its capacity but more than powerful enough to do the job”


“the latest incarnation of the fuel injected Ford V8 engine  developed 500 bhp but the difference was that it fueled by alcohol rather than pump fuel ………alcohol engines run cooler than those on petrol ,a smaller radiator could be fitted ……….Lotus used Firestone tyres”


Figure 3.Advertisment and cutaway of the basic Ford Fairlane engine

Ford Fairlane Engine

The editors have seen a variety of specifications for the Ford Fairlane engine. In an article accompanying the above illustration the specification was outlined as:-

  • V8 water cooled
  • Cast iron block and heads
  • Single 4 barrel  carburetor
  • 4,262 cc
  • 260 bhp at 5,800 rpm
  • 269lbs/ft. torque at 4,500 rpm

Posthumus [Classic Racing Cars] quotes in relation to Lotus application:-

“The engine which they supplied was a 4.2 litre version of their Fairlane pushrod overhead valve 90 degree V8 series production unit, giving 375 bhp at 7200 rpm on four Weber twin choke carburetors

  • Ford US 90 degree V8
  • Bore and stroke 96.5×72.8 mm
  • Capacity 4261 cc
  • Four overhead  camshafts operating 4 valves per cylinder ;Hilborn –Travers fuel injection electronic ignition
  • Maximum power 500bhp at 8000 rpm


Figure 4.Editors sketch of type 38 with representational cross section of Ford V8 engine. Note sponsor decals left of drawing but details provided below.

Technical Specification from Taylor

Model Type 38 Indianapolis car
Year 1965
Volume 10
Engine Ford Quad cam,V8
C.C. 4,198 cc
Carburation Hilborn Ford mechanical injection
Power Output 500 bhp at 8,800 rpm
Transmission ZF 2DS20 2 speed manual
Chassis Aluminium alloy monocoque,steel sub frames
Body Body chassis unit separate GRP nose,tail,engine cover
Front Suspension Offset to left top rocker arm, double wishb’inboard csd’
Rear Suspension Offset Reverse lower wb’ top link ,twin radius rods, csd’,anti-roll bar
Brakes F/R outboard ventilated 12 in.Girling disc
Wheels F/R 15 x 8.5 or 16 x 9.5 in Lotus cast magnesium
Tyres F/R 9.20 x 15/12.00×15 or 16
Length 156 in 3962.5mm
Width 73 in 1854mm
Height 31 in 787.5mm
Wheelbase 96 in 2438mm
Track 60/60 in 1524mm
Weight 1350 lb 1350 [Nye] 567 kg]

Note Posthumus suggests a dry weight of 1250 lb. [Classic Racing Cars]



Figure 5.Editors sketch working drawing type 38.


The editors consider the aesthetic of the Type 38 more significant than credited.

It bore the national race colour scheme but this was done in subtle way and yet accentuated. The manner sponsor details were incorporated tasteful.

Despite all the glamour and razzmatazz of Indianapolis the Lotus Type 38 was rather understated yet succeeded in being distinctive.

The editors are not sure who was responsible for the detailing but the bold yellow exhaust prominent above the engine and extending back over the body nicely colour coded with the total scheme. Equally the bright chrome work was just sufficient to lend some sparkle.

The editor did not possess the drafting skill to incorporate the sponsors logo’s on the drawing but we consider these sufficiently important to record them below.


Figure 6.Peter Hutton-Illustration of the Lotus 38- see details /availability from Historic Team Lotus memorabilia

Sponsors and Decals

These are the main sponsors the editors have been able to detect:

  • Enco
  • Sun
  • Perfect Circle
  • Autolite [see advertisement above]
  • Wynn’s
  • Bear
  • VHT
  • Premier
  • Sunnen
  • Monroe

Posthumus suggest that in addition:-

  • Hilborn-Travers fuel injection
  • Halibrand cast magnesium wheels
  • Firestone tyres of course

Subscribers who are also keen model makers might like to see the following website as the supplier has a set of Lotus Type 38 decals.



Figure 7.Enco one of the sponsors of the Lotus 38

Jim Clark

Jim Clark is particularly identified with Lotus. He enjoyed a special relationship with Colin Chapman. He is thought to be amongst the greatest FI racing drivers of all time.

He was modest, quiet, unassuming but possessing natural talent and reserves of determination and in his own way a creativity as expressed through his driving ability and reading of a race. Here we need not expand .Subscribers are directed to our other relevant pieces about his life and driving for Lotus.

Subscribers are directed to an excellent website:-


Clark almost did not race at Indianapolis because his mother had reservations about safety. Indianapolis was not the usual track conditions experienced in Europe neither the style of racing. The combined achievement of all the parties and team work are all the more remarkable as a result.

We include a breakdown of Clark’s record at Indianapolis and it forms a considerable achievement and legacy.


Figure 8.Poster found on the net which provides a totality of expression capturing the links around Jim Clark

From wiki

“James Clark, Jr OBE (4 March 1936 – 7 April 1968), known as Jim Clark, was a British Formula One racing driver from Scotland, who won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965.

Clark was a versatile driver who competed in sports cars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500, which he won in 1965. He was particularly associated with the Lotus marque.”

Indy 500 results

Year[21] Car
Start Qual.
Finish Laps
1963 92 5 149.750 7 2 200 28 Running LotusFord 29/3
1964 6 1 158.828 1 24 47 14 Suspension LotusFord 34/3
1965 82 2 160.729 2 1 200 190 Running LotusFord 38/1
1966 19 2 164.114 2 2 200 66 Running LotusFord 38/4
1967 31 16 163.213 23 31 35 0 Piston LotusFord 38/7
Totals 682 298
Starts 5
Poles 1
Front Row 3
Wins 1
Top 5 3
Top 10 3
Retired 2
  • Clark’s starting positions from 1964, 1965, and 1966 represent the best 3-race starting streak of the 1960s.
  • Clark’s 1965 win was the first win for a rear-engined car at the Indianapolis 500. No front-engined car has won the race since.

Strategy and Pit work

Len Terry:-

“I even designed the fueling system, adopting the swirl technique so that we could get more fuel in more quickly, Ford’s top NASCAR crew the Wood brothers did our pitstop.They were fantastic at wheel changing, made a big difference, but I like to think that our refueling rig made just as big a contribution, our pistops were certainly a lot faster than those of the opposition”


This is extremely important and subscribers will be able to better understand motives budgets and commitments when seen against the rewards. To which we might add those of advertising and reputational value added to the brand.

Despite the distance, costs and logistics Chapman and Lotus campaigned Indianapolis throughout the mid 1960’s. The editors believe this is the greatest indication of the totality of the rewards and a means to penetrate the American sports car market by gaining success at its greatest race.


1965 Indianapolis 500

FP SP Car Driver Car Name
Running or Reason Out
1 2 82 Clark, Jim Lotus powered by Ford
200 $166,621 160.729
2 5 98 Jones, Parnelli Agajanian/Hurst
200 $64,661 158.625
3 4 12 Andretti, Mario(R) Dean Van Lines/Auto Technics
200 $42,551 158.849
4 7 74 Miller, Al (Krulac) Jerry Alderman Ford-Lotus
200 $26,641 157.805
5 14 76 Johncock, Gordon(R) Weinberger Homes/Wilseck
200 $21,981 155.012
6 15 81 Rupp, Mick(R) G.C. Murphy/Pete Salemi
198 $18,971 154.839
7 22 83 Johns, Bobby(R) Lotus powered by Ford
197 $16,886 155.481
8 18 4 Branson, Don Wynn’s/Leader Cards
197 $16,376 155.501
9 32 45 Unser, Al(R) Sheraton-Thompson/Ansted
196 $14,416 154.440
10 28 23 Johnson, Eddie H. Allen Chapman
195 $14,656 153.998
11 9 7 Ruby, Lloyd Dupont Golden 7/McManus
Blown Engine
184 $11,846 157.246
12 12 16 Sutton, Len Bryant/Robbins & Vollstedt
177 $11,586 156.121
13 29 14 Boyd, Johnny George Bryant Racing
140 $11,976 155.172
14 21 53 Hansgen, Walt MG-Liquid Suspension/Qvale
117 $10,566 155.662
15 1 1 Foyt Jr., A.J. Sheraton-Thompson/Ansted
115 $20,517 161.233
16 24 5 Tingelstad, Bud American Red Ball/Hopkins
Crash 3
115 $9,569 154.672
17 6 66 Foster, Billy(R) Jim Robbins & Vollstedt
Water manifold
85 $9,936 158.416
18 19 18 Knepper, Arnie(R) Konstant Hot/Vatis
80 $10,326 154.513
19 8 9 Unser, Bobby STP Gas Treatment
Oil Fitting
69 $9,216 157.467
20 13 52 McElreath, Jim Zink-Urschel Trackburner
Rear End Gears
66 $8,656 155.878
21 16 94 Snider, George(R) Gerhardt Offy
Rear End Gears
64 $8,696 154.825
22 25 65 Duman, Ronnie Travelon Trailer/Ruiz
Rear End Gears
62 $8,786 154.533
23 31 41 Gregory, Masten(R) George Bryant Racing
Oil Pressure
59 $9,076 154.540
24 10 54 Veith, Bob MG-Liquid Suspension/Qvale
58 $8,266 156.427
25 26 88 Stevenson, Chuck Vita Fresh OJ/Van Liew
50 $8,306 154.275
26 3 17 Gurney, Dan Yamaha/All American Racers
Timing Gears
42 $9,596 158.898
27 17 48 Grant, Jerry(R) Bardahl MG/Kjell Qvale
30 $7,786 154.606
28 30 19 Rodee, Chuck Wally Weir’s Mobilgas
Rear End Gears
28 $8,726 154.546
29 27 29 Leonard, Joe(R) All American Racers
Oil Leak
27 $7,816 154.268
30 23 25 McCluskey, Roger All American Racers
18 $8,106 155.186
31 11 24 Rutherford, Johnny Racing Associates
Rear End Gears
15 $7,596 156.291
32 33 47 Cheesbourg, Bill WIFE GoodGuy/Lane-Fulbright
14 $7,836 153.774
33 23 59 Hurtubise, Jim STP-Tombstone Life/Chemical
1 $8,626 156.863


Total Purse: $628,399 Field Average: 156.058
Cars Entered: 79 Cars Started: 33
Number Rookies: 11 Former Winners: 2

Customer Cars/retail price

Taylor suggests 10 cars were built and that 2 were sold to private customers for $22,500 each.

These numbers and figures are interesting:-

  1. They can be used to “guestimate” development cost v winnings
  2. The success of the cars would generate demand [spiral we have discussed previously]
  3. Additional cars on the track would provide further publicity
  4. Profit on each car would contribute to positive overall budget

Learning Opportunities

Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.

These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.

In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-

  • Compare and Contrast American and European motor racing in 1960’s
  • Why was the V8 engine so significant to American motor industry
  • Quantify the financial value of winning Indianapolis to manufacturer
  • Estimate development costs in relation to purse for Chapman at Indianapolis
  • Consider the logistics and costs for Lotus attending Indianapolis in the 1960’s
  • How distinctive were Lotus cars and livery at Indianapolis
  • Establish exchange rates between $ and sterling in 1960’s
  • Examine European GP purse in contrast with Indianapolis
  • Compare Can-Am purse with Indianapolis

Education, Economics and Exhibitions

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our 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.

In particular:-

  • Indianapolis :Chapman enters the Oval Office
  • Indianapolis: Chapman’s Bonanza
  • Indianapolis: Chapman’s American Dream
  • Indianapolis: Chapman’s Western Union
  • Indianapolis :Chapman’s Pony Express
  • Indianapolis :Chapman’s Transatlantic Treaty
  • Indianapolis : Chapman’s Declaration of Independence
  • Indianapolis :Chapman from brickbats to the brickyard
  • Jim Clark at Indianapolis :Scotland the Brave
  • Chapman at Indianapolis: An Englishman Abroad
  • British Pop in America: Chapman breaks all the records
  • Clark leads “Scotland the Brave”
  • Jim Clark at Indianapolis: Braveheart
  • The American Revolution:Rev’olution at Indianapolis
  • The American Civil War: Chapman challenges the Establishment at Indianapolis


The editors believe the conclusions here are fairly self-evident. Rather than repeat we invite subscribers to look at the objectives set out in the introduction and evaluate exactly what was achieved.In the editors estimation they were exceeded.

Chapman /Lotus and his team came to Indianapolis as a young progressive British team with little previous experience. On a modest budget they won in 1965, came very close on other occasions and set up a legacy that saw almost immediately wholesale that their concept was adopted.

Chapman and Lotus in the early days were not engine manufacturers, their achievement for Ford was immense and advanced their reputation in their home country and abroad. Also possibly allowing Chapman to access production engines economically. Although Ford did not go with Chapman for Le Mans their later collaboration for the Ford Cosworth DVF a couple of years later [see A&R dedicated article] would again set up revolutionary changes that echoed down through to the Lotus 72 etc.

Other marques are sometimes forced to buy or create publicity for marketing purposes. The editors invite our subscribers to consider the value of positive publicity that winning Indianapolis provided. Although it cannot be forensically proved possibly in the mind of Ford and Lotus owners was the glow of association, identification with a big winner.

Finally the editors call attention to the special relationship that pervaded the Chapman /Lotus achievement. A small young British specialist was collaborating with one of it not the largest car maker in the world, crossing the Atlantic out of near obscurity to win at Indianapolis. This was achieved with considerable team work, motivation and cooperation.

Furthermore this was in the era of the mid 1960’s when America and Britain were enjoying an explosion of youth culture and appreciation of each other’s contributions in design, manufacture, fashion and music. Around the time of the Indianapolis success Lotus Elan would appear on American TV in the cult programme The Avengers. It’s very likely in the public’s mind these events possessed a connectivity and association with a particular progressive modernism and Britishness. This in turn might have influenced a wider pervasiveness and acceptance of British products in America as well as feeding the large number of American tourists coming to Britain in the 1960’s. [See dedicated A&R article on Lotus and Carnaby Street etc.]

When we consider the achievements of Chapman and Lotus there is a risk the focus is too narrow and restrictive rarely stretching beyond the racing cars in fact the reality is more complex more fascinating and infinitely deeper in the cultural design impact he unleashed. The impacts still rippling through time in to today and the editors consider will extend well into the future.


To better comprehend the commercial/competition interface of the Ford Total Performance corporate strategy subscribers are directed to:-

Ford Total Performance: Ford’s Legendary High-Performance Street and Race Cars Author: Martyn L. Schorr publisher: Motorbooks International

Number of Pages: 208 publication Date: 05 Nov 2015 Language: English ISBN-10: 0760348588 ISBN-13: 9780760348581 – See more at: http://www.getbookz.xyz/book/9780760348581/ford-total-performance#sthash.k6QfNdEN.dpuf

Ford Total Performance: Ford’s Legendary High-Performance Street and Race Cars – Follow Ford’s leap into the 1960s and the performance era–on the streets and on the track! In the early 1960s, Ford Motor Company underwent a dramatic change in corporate philosophy. Previously, under Ford’s young chairman, Henry Ford II (“the Deuce”) safety, not performance, was the goal. But by 1962, even the chairman realized his philosophy needed to change. Ford was nearly invisible to car-crazy baby boomers. Lee Iacocca convinced Ford that he needed to act decisively or risk losing the emerging youth market to the competition. Thus began Ford’s “Total Performance” program. “Ford Total Performance” is all about Ford’s prime racing era from 1961 through 1971. In addition to purpose-built race cars, it also covers production performance cars, specialty models, and unique concepts such as lightweight drag race cars. The book explores the 427 Fairlane Thunderbolt; Mercury Comet; unique V-8 Falcons that competed in the 1963 and 1964 Monte Carlo Rallies; Dick Brannan’s 427 A/FX drag car; Ford Indy 500 winning race cars; 427 Overhead Cam SOHC 427 engines as used in A/FX and fuel race cars; Boss 302 and 429 Mustangs for street, drag racing, and Trans-Am; and many more. The Ford-Ferrari war that led to the creation of the legendary GT40 Le Mans race cars isn’t forgotten. Featuring unpublished period photographs, plus photos and artwork from Ford designers, “Ford Total Performance” covers all of Ford’s classic race and street cars, including Cobras and Shelby Mustangs. It’s a must-have book for any fan of classic American performance cars! – See more at: http://www.getbookz.xyz/book/9780760348581/ford-total-performance#sthash.k6QfNdEN.dpuf

See also;-

Ford Total Performance: The Road to World Racing Domination, 1962-1970 Mass Market Paperback – 1 Apr 2000

by Alex Gabbard (Author)



Ford Archive Gems Lotus in the 60’s.Duke.2007.

  • Andrew Ferguson, Lotus: The Indianapolis Years (Patrick Stephens, 1996) ISBN 1-85260-491-3
  • Len Terry, Alan Baker, Racing Car Design and Development (Robert Bentley, 1973) ISBN 0-8376-0080-4

The Lotus Book. Taylor

Inside the Innovator.

A Century of Wining Haymarket Publishing .2001.

Classic Racing Cars.Posthumus.Hamlyn.1977.

ISBN: 0600319091

Lotus: The Indianapolis Years [see A&r bibliography with our article on Indianapolis and Lotus race cars]

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.

3.0 Lotus –Historic Sponsor Series: Firestone: On the Rim of Success

General Introduction

The exact interpretation of sponsorship in conjunction with Lotus is difficult to establish objectively. The appearance of a sponsor’s logo on a car is not necessarily evidence of financial support. Access to historical archive and contracts is sought wherever possible but with the passage of time and for various reasons these are not always available or accessible to the public.

In constructing the historic sponsor series the A&R looks only at the logos worn in period and assumes the company involved had no objection to Lotus promoting their products. The A&R sees much to be gained by the wider promotion of sponsors but in the event that a specific organization disapproves for any reason that article will be removed.

Sponsorship is an instrument of mutual benefit and promotion. Subscribers might like to see A&R articles on Sponsorship and Product Placement to understand the numerical / financial reach provided by sponsorship; with its ability to identify and project status through identification.

The principle continues particularly with regard to education based exhibitions [see below for details]

Each of these articles is devoted to a company/ organization that is believed to have sponsored Lotus or have been a major component supplier.

The intention of each article is to: –

  1. Explain the sponsors own history and outline their products and services – past-present and future
  2. Explain the historical connection with Lotus and the contribution made both in competition and the production cars
  3. To suggest how these two interlocking facets may be translated into exciting, interpretive, educational and commercial exhibitions


Figure 1.an interesting period advertising poster. These are worthy of study and reflect changes in technology, society and fashion.

Firestone History and Products

From the net:-

“The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Samuel Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles. The company was a pioneer in the mass production of tires. Harvey Firestone had a friendship with Henry Ford. Firestone used this relationship to become the original equipment supplier of Ford Motor Company automobiles, and was also active in the replacement market.[1]

In 1988, the company was sold to the Japanese Bridgestone Corporation.

In 1928 the company built a factory in Brentford, England, a longtime Art Deco landmark on a major route into the city. This closed in 1979.

The 1911 Indianapolis 500 auto race was won by a car running Firestone tires. Firestone-shod cars won all editions of the race from 1920 to 1966. The company also provided tires to Formula One from 1950 to 1974. As a consequence of the 1973 Indianapolis 500, 1973 United States Grand Prix and 1974 Austrian Grand Prix tragedies, Firestone retired from American open-wheel racing and Formula One after 1974. The manufacturer returned in 1995 to the CART series with technical assistance from Bridgestone. Goodyear retired after 1999, thereby leaving Firestone as the single supplier of the IndyCar Series as of 2013.

Sponsor Overview

The following is taken from Firestone tyre brochure Summer 2015.

Under the heading Freedom to Drive Firestone list their landmarks.


Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company founded by Harvey firestone in Akron, Ohio


Firestone delivers 2,000 sets of tyres to Ford Motor Company in the largest single order for tyres in the automobile industry at the time.


Profits of the Firestone Tyre &Rubber company exceed 1MN USD for the first time.


Ray Harroun wins the first Indianapolis 500 o firestone tyres


Firestone opens its first overseas plant in Brentford, UK.Other EU plants in Sweden, Spain, France, Portugal, and Switzerland will follow the next decade


Firestone develops the first practical low-pressure pneumatic tractor tyre and begins the “Put the Farm on Rubber” campaign


Firestone provides Graham Hill is first FIA Formula 1 championship winner on Firestone tyres.


Firestone merges with Bridgestone Corporation, a company that share similar values and tradition of innovative excellence .this merge created what is now the largest tyre manufacturer in the world.


Firestone announces the return to the Indianapolis 500 and Indy/Champ Car 20 years after leaving motorsports


Firestone wins the Indy 500 of the modern era for the first time


Firestone Revival campaign is kicked off in Europe, with the launch of the new Destination HP SUV tyre

Wheels on Fire: The Lotus Connection

The sponsor’s logo has been seen on the following Lotus models: –

Type No. Purpose Year
19 Sports Racing 1960
29 Indianapolis 1963
38 Indianapolis 1965
42 Indianapolis 1966
43 F1 1966
49 F1 1967
56 Indianapolis 1968
57/58 F2&1 1968
63 F1 1969
64 Indianapolis 1969
72 F1 1972



Figure 3.Firestone being of American origin would have natural connections and historical association with Indianapolis. Note again the mutuality aspect.


Figure 4.Editors sketch drawing of Lotus 63 [4×4] fitted with Firestone tyres


Figure 5.Note black and white magazine advertisment.Which driver is being represented?

Learning Opportunities

Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.

These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.

In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-

  • Who are the world’s major tyre manufacturers? What is their connection with motor sport?
  • Analyise the statistics of tyre manufacturers in motorsport
  • Explore tyre manufacturers marketing techniques –how to they respond to societal values, fashions and concerns?
  • How important is tyre technology in FI today?
  • How many categories of markets for tyres exist? What are the respective numbers/percentages
  • Examine the physics and chemistry of tyre design
  • Examine sustainability in tyre manufacture
  • Why was the London firestone factory so important? How was its architecture defined?

Education, Exhibitions, Economics

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our 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.

In particular an exhibition as outlined above has enormous potential for merchandising. The learning opportunities [individual and collective] and competitions   provided   might be linked to prizes for individuals, schools and related learning centers etc.

In this instance the following might be appropriate:-

  • What goes round comes round: Lotus and Tyre Technology
  • Firestone’s High Profile Prominence: Firestone and Lotus FI Championships
  • Firestone’s Low Profile :Tyre Strategy and Marketing
  • Firestone Rubber: Tree of Knowledge
  • Finding the Right Compound :Lotus and Firestone’s Grip
  • Form and Fusion: Firestone  and Lotus chemistry
  • Firestone Composites: Tyres and Lotus chassis structures
  • Firestone on the Rim


Firestone state their legacy as:-

“An exciting heritage…………

The Firestone story begins in the year 1900 with the efforts of one man, Harvey Firestone.it was his vision, pioneering spirit and passion for innovation that sparked a virtual revolution in the field of transportation, one that has touched the lives of countless generations.

From helping to push the bounds of performance as some of motorsports premier racetracks to helping ordinary motorists broaden their own horizons …. Firestone’s legacy continues to inspire people from all walks of life, letting them rediscover the freedom to drive…..”

There can be little doubt about the significant contribution of firestone to Lotus which includes multiple Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis. Both very high prestige on the world stage .Both lucrative. Firestone would therefore help Lotus sales and possibly increase American receptiveness. Equally Lotus success in Europe would have helped Firestone’s market share.

During the Chapman era Firestone would have a London base and occupy a landmark building. [See appendix below]

Firestone continue to innovate and inspire. Their contribution, products, research and development are worthy of wider publicity and dissemination. The proposed CCM&EC believes that it can achieve this in the most effective manner and capture added value with its educational progammes and allied training opportunities. In such a manner there is greater emphasis on the future. It avoids fossilization or atrophy by ensuring that sponsors are not frozen in time but presented as dynamic. The examination and historical perspective serve the purpose of context, momentum, continuity and an interpretation device for future trajectory.


From the net:-

“The Firestone Factory

Brentford & Chiswick Journal 2 (1981)

In February 1980 the Firestone Tyre Factory on the Great West Road closed and 1,500 people lost their jobs. The building was sold to the Trafalgar House Company – run by Lord Victor Matthews and Nigel Broakes – and contracts were finally exchanged on Friday, 22nd August.

During that August week an Inspector from the Department of the Environment had visited the factory and had decided to ‘spot-list’ the building – an emergency procedure which would protect it from demolition. No senior civil servant could be found to sign the papers before the Bank Holiday weekend. On Saturday 23rd August Lord Matthews ordered demolition men to destroy the main features of the facade – the ceramic tiles around the entrance, the white pillars, the pediment above and the bronze lamp standards.

The Great West Road was once known as The Golden Mile. The factories along it were built in the late 1920s and the early 1930s, often by American companies which relied on advertising to promote their products. The factories themselves were used as advertising, which is why they were so eye-catching and exciting. They had to boast their modernity. Apart from Firestones, there was Trico (American windscreen wipers), Sperry Gyroscope, Pyrene fire extinguishers, Macleans, Gillette and Jantzen American swimwear. A similar company, Hoover, built their factory on the Western Avenue. Of British and European companies there were Henley’s – ‘The world’s biggest petrol station’ – the Garden Bakery of Macfarlane Lang, Coty Cosmetics, and Simmonds Aerocessories (now the Beecham building).

The Firestone factory was designed in 3 weeks by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners; it was built in 18 weeks. This firm was famous in its day for its industrial buildings, for example, the Wrigley’s factory in Wembley, Huntley and Palmer’s in Reading, the Victoria Coach Station, Glaxo in Greenford and Champion Spark Plugs in Feltham. Douglas Wallis himself felt that his buildings were only temporary, a part of the manufacturing process, and that he was not building long-lasting monuments. Many of the workers in the factory will appreciate the contrast between the clean, white exterior and the actual manufacturing process inside; it was dirty, hot and pungent with the smell of rubber.

Our area of west London has derived a lot of its wealth from the Great West Road and the Airport. The demolition of the Firestone factory is symptomatic of a change that is occurring along this road as manufacturing is being replaced by warehouses, distribution centres and offices. The large sites and favourable transport conditions may even tempt retailers here with hypermarkets.

The value of the Firestone factory was that it contained in its shape and appearance the means to interpret what has happened in this area since the end of the First World War It was the best example. Local people felt very bitter about the hasty way it was destroyed and they felt they had been robbed of one of the area’s landmarks. However there is one consolation for the historian who is interested in recording and observing the process of change. The confidence of its construction contrasts noticeably with the lack of confidence surrounding the saga of its destruction.”

Food for thought and the potential loss of the old Lotus factory site Hornsey?


Marks of Excellence.P.Mollerup.Phaidon Press.1997.

ISBN: 0714838381

4.0 Tracks Across America: Riverside


This is the first instalment in a new series.

These articles will be relatively brief. They will be cross referenced with existing and proposed A&R articles.

Due to the nature of the subject and some lack of experience by the editors we will use internet information as needed.

The editors consider the American dimension of Chapman’s/Lotus development extremely important.

This dimension has many facets which include:-

  • Moto racing in North America with related rules and governing bodies etc.
  • The home grown and imported brands used in racing / competition
  • The race tracks and their comparison with Europe
  • The connectivity between racing , publicity, reputation , image and sales, particularly with regard to Lotus road cars
  • The Lotus sales dealerships in US
  • Geography and climate that favoured open sports cars like the Lotus
  • The race track attendance /support and following of various series along with the associated financial viabilities
  • Broad cultural exchange between Europe and US particularly with regard to car culture and competition
  • American engines and particularly Ford and V8 engines adopted by Chapman for Lotus ; this to include race tuning
  • US racing drivers ,particularly the owner racers who chose to compete in Lotus

A recurring under current of our study of Colin Chapman and Lotus is the search for objectivity. The editors have deliberate6ly used comparison and benchmarking to evaluate Chapman and Lotus.

In this series we hope we can combine both in an examination of race track, the nature of the competition and the performance of Lotus at a specific venue.

Where possible we will include details of the entry list in order that the range, extent and the contemporaries can be better understood.

The editors will offer some comment and interpretation that they hope will explain a moment in time.

Articles to follow will look at Indianapolis, Can Am and FI GP racing.


Subscribers are directed to the many excellent websites that feature this circuit in Southern California.

The following details are quoted from the net:-

“RIR played host to almost every major racing series in modern history. NASCAR to Can-Am to Cal Car Club to Indy Cars to International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) to United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) to The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and the AMA Superbikes all called the track home for high-pro?le annual events. In 1960, RIR hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix. Take also into account that no other sports car race in the US was richer than the annual LA Times Grand Prix as notable drivers from all over the world descended on the black tarmac ribbons winding through dessert sands of Riverside.”


It’s worth looking at events to trace the Lotus entries. A programme cover [illustrated above seems to feature a Lotus 19 possibly driven by Stirling Moss.

Riverside 200, October, 1964


The editors invite our subscribers to study the entry list below and make deductions .We reserve ours for comments below.

It’s significant that the race took place in the early mid 1960’s a time of Anglo-American cultural exchange.

1 Brabham BT8 Thomas Hitchcock green open mid
2 McLaren Elva Mark I Oldsmobile Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd. green (+white) STP/BP BP open mid
3 Brabham BT8 Climax Team Elite (’62) Ltd. white/green open mid
4 Brabham BT8 Ecurie Vitesse S.A., Geneva, Switz. green open mid
5 Cooper Monaco T61 Chevrolet Nickey Chevrolet purple open mid
6 Chaparral 2A Chevrolet Chaparral Cars white CHAMPION open mid
7 Brabham BT8 Climax Stirling Moss Automobile Racing Team green open mid
8 Lotus 19 Chevrolet Alan Green Chevrolet, Inc. green open mid
10 Lotus 19 Ferrari Rosebud Racing – Tom O’Connor, Jr. blue mid
11 Brabham BT8 Climax Robert Lamplough red open mid
12 Cooper Monaco T61 Chevrolet Bernice Mc I. Wintersteen green/white open mid
14 Webster 2 Liter Type A Webster Racing Enterprises black/red
15 Lotus 30 Ford Colin Chapman Team Lotus green open mid
16 Lotus 23B Porsche Trans Ocean Motors white mid
19 Lotus 19G Ford Pacesetter Homes white (+black) PACESETTER Ford open mid
21 Lotus 30 Ford Bob Challman – Ecurie Shirlee mid
22 Lotus 23B Ford Bob Challman – Ecurie Shitlee mid
23 Hussein I Dodge John Mecom, Jr. dark blue (+white) ZEREX SPECIAL Firestone open mid
24 Lola Mk.6 GT Chevrolet John Mecom, Jr. blue/white closed mid
25 Genie Mk.10 Chevrolet John Mecom, Jr. blue/white
26 Scarab Mk IV Chevrolet John Mecom, Jr. blue/white open mid
33 Cheetah – Chevrolet Clarence Dixon Cadillac, Inc. silver front
39 Cooper King Cobra Ford Charles C. Cox metallic blue open mid
51 blue/white Goodyear open mid
60 Genie Mk.10B Ford Don Webster Enterprises yellow
61 Genie Mk.8 Chevrolet Paul Reinhart purple open mid
66 Chaparral 2A Chevrolet Chaparral Cars white open mid
69 Lotus 23B Arciero Bros. Racing red mid
75 Platypus – Porsche Hans-Adam – P.A.M. yellow open front
77 Elva – Porsche Oliver C. Schmidt yellow mid
81 Cheetah G.T. Coupe Chevrolet Alan Green Chevrolet green front
90 Genie Mk.10 Chevrolet George H. Koehne, Jr. white
91 Fordette (McKee Mk.III Ford) Shelby American, Inc. blue
92 Cooper King Cobra Ford Shelby American, Inc. blue STP Goodyear STP open mid
93 Cooper King Cobra Ford Shelby American, Inc. blue open mid
94 Cooper King Cobra Ford Shelby American, Inc. dark grey Goodyear STP open mid
95 Cooper King Cobra Ford Shelby American, Inc. blue open mid
96 Lotus 19 Monte Carlo Chevrolet Arciero Bros. Racing red open mid
97 Lang Cooper Monaco T61 Ford Shelby American, Inc. orange open mid
98 Shelby Cobra roadster Shelby American, Inc. metallic blue front
99 Lotus 23B Shelby American, Inc. blue mid
111 Lotus 23B Ford Rick Muther white open mid
146 Genie Mk.8 Comet Jim Wessman green yellow open mid
177 Elva Mk VII Porsche Robert Bosch Spark Plug Special silver/blue
Cooper – Ford open mid
Lotus 30 Ford Colin Chapman Team Lotus open mid
Lotus 23B Ford mid
Cooper – Chevrolet

Entered cars that did not arrive:

No. Car Entrant Colour Sponsors Tyres Lubricant Body Engine
9 Brabham BT8 BRM Rosebud Racing – Tom O’Connor, Jr. blue open mid
13 Ferrari Special Robert R. Stevens gold
17 Lotus 23 Alfa Romeo G.R.T. Enterprises white mid
18 Ferrari Prototype John Surtees red
20 Lotus 30 Ford Bob Challman – Ecurie Shirlee mid
34 Elva – BMW Benz Racing Team white mid
36 Cheetah G.T. Coupe Four Jays Racing Team red front
38 Front Runner ‘I’ Chevrolet Beach City Chevrolet orange red
41 Elva Mk VIIS BMW Rev – M. Racing blue mid
43 Lotus 23B Frank Monise Motors red mid
44 Lotus 23B Frank Monise Motors green mid
48 Porsche 718 RS 60 Ralph Wood blue/white mid
55 WRE II Chevrolet Prince Sat green
57 Lotus Seven Haddad Enterprises green front
58 Cheetah G.T. Coupe Bill Thomas Company white front
64 Lotus 23 Reg Parnell (Racing) Ltd. blue/red mid
67 Cooper Team Corvette white open mid
70 Genie Mark I Roadster Climax Harry L. Banta yellow
71 Ol’Yaller Mk II Jerry Entin yellow
76 Elva Mk VII Porsche Oliver C. Schmidt yellow open mid
78 Elva – Porsche Oliver C. Schmidt white
79 Elva – Porsche Oliver C. Schmidt yellow
82 Shivley Special Ford Troy Clem red
83 Pegasus I Ralph Wood green/white
87 Elva Mk VII Porsche Ralph Wood yellow/black open mid
88 Merlyn Mark 4A Porsche Ken O’Neill green
121 MG Special Frank G. Blachly bronze
123 Lotus 23F Paul Scott silver mid
141 Lotus 23B Osca Special W. F. Goodrum/Enduro Speed, Inc. white/blue mid
169 Genie Huffaker Thomas M. Tobin, DDS coral
170 Lotus 23B Ernie Gravelle blue mid
178 Cooper Monaco Grizzly Engineering blue open mid
187 Cooper – Chevrolet Jim Gravelle red
221 Lotus 23 James W. Paul blue mid
222 Porsche Spyder Masterson Racing Enterprises blue mid
444 Lotus 23B Dio Brothers white mid

The editor’s note the range and capacity variation of potential Lotus entry which includes the 19, 23, and Seven.

European marques are well represented with Lola, Brabham, McLaren, and even Ferrari.

American marques of note are Chaparral, Webster, King Cobra and Shelby Cobra.

Also significant is the adoption of American engines into British marques.

Many of these marques competing in 1964 would go on to join the Can am series of 1966 [see dedicated A&R articles on both Can-Am and Chaparral].

Lotus 30

On this occasion we discuss the Lotus 30.The Type 30 driven by Jim Clark obtained one of its best results. There was a competitive field and engines of similar performance were included.

Equally there were some international level drivers competing against American talent that might have had more experience of the track.

The holistic combination of track, driver might have assisted Lotus to be well placed.


Figure 1.This is Spark scale model of the Jim Clark /Lotus 30 see entry details above. Car identified by race number. See: racingmodels.com.  A fine Spark 1:43 scale model.
SK2187 M8

The Lotus Type 30 Ford as raced to 3rd place in the 1964 Riverside 200 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix for Sports Cars by the great Jim Clark.

Rather than duplicate we suggest subscribers look at several of our dedicated articles on the Lotus 30&40.

Learning Opportunities

Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.

These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.

In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-

  • Consider the content of an appropriate exhibition designed around American Country &Western anthems like “The Race is On”, Don’t Fence Me In”, “Fast as You”, “Looking at the World through a Windshield”
  • Explore the economics /viability of circuits discuss circumstances of how and why Riverside was closed and redeveloped
  • Study the origins of race circuits and assess their importance in the development of the automobile? Does the same apply today?
  • Explore the economic geography of road circuits – how can the best sites be identified?
  • Plot the location/distribution of the main North American road race circuits. Estimate the distances between and what population base did they serve
  • Explore the social dimension of attendance , estimate popularity and motivation for attendance –drivers and spectators
  • Compare / contrast oval and road racing circuits in North America
  • Enumerate the marque/ brands that became Anglo-American hybrids adopting American engines in the 1960’s
  • Debate the interrelationship between large capacity engines , modest outputs , cheap fuel and sustainability
  • Contemplate the Who,Where,When and Why ,Which Lotus models helped establish the British brand in the US
  • How might a virtual track experience of Riverside be created to generate user participation?

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 consider it important to introduce a British and European audience to North American racing and its experience. This is more important as circuits get redeveloped like Riverside. For this reason it would be important to mount education and rewarding exhibition experiences connecting audiences with historical perspectives.

The following might be appropriate:-

  • The American Dream: of motor racing
  • Route 66
  • California Dreaming: Racing in the sun
  • Car Culture in the US
  • Ford’s: The Engine of Change
  • Mavericks of Racing Car Design
  • Wild ,wild Horses:BHP of American engines in 1960’s


For brevity, impact and to avoid duplication in future pieces in the series; the editors use bullet points to summarize our evaluation of Riverside and the Lotus connection.

  • Riverside was an important circuit and well regarded by drivers and spectators
  • Race circuits across the world face threats of redevelopment but this can be a the loss of social capital
  • Tracks like Riverside provided a neckless and chain assisting the development of American and later international motor racing
  • Circuit variation and complexity was good for drivers and spectators
  • Racing assisted automobile development and provided branding /publicity /advertising opportunity for manufacturers
  • Related was engine development and particularly how the specialist European marques adopted American engines [think of examples like Jensen,TVR, AC and earlier Allard]
  • Racing circuits provided driver experience, performance tuning to specific layouts and nurtured driver talent , often offering a stepping stone /springboard to international level
  • Race tracks like Riverside were steeped in drama, excitement and visual spectacle. The live on in the memory and register as a competitive arena
  • The race tracks provided a social and cultural exchange of ideas , machinery technology , experience and in the more amateur days a meeting place for direct and indirect participation
  • The race circuits can also be studied as prism to examine social and cultural habits along with technological advances

The editors will enjoy developing this series. We invite subscribers to share experiences, photographs or to suggest tracks or events in North America which connect with Lotus.

The editors will then research these and write them up.

European audiences will be richer, more informed and culturally aware from the experience.


On this occasion the editors have used net material. Other sources are contained in the bibliographies with specific mentioned articles.

Editor    John Scott Davies

Editor    Neil Duncan

Webmaster  Jamie Duncan