The Lotus Type 47& 62: Group Dynamics


The types 47 and 62 are worthy of study.

Neither massive competition successes but none the less important in Lotus development and in the commercially dimension of product development.

The editors identify a link of commonality between these cars and we highlight it below.

This article combines both the types 47 & 62 but we have a dedicated piece on the 62 with greater illustrations.

Type 47 and 62 from the net etc.:-

“Lotus Type 47

Although the original Europa was intended as a clubman’s sports racer to replace the Lotus 7, it was realised that the car would be uncompetitive with the Renault engines available. A decision was therefore made for Lotus Components to manufacture a specialist race car based on the Europa to be raced by Team Lotus and sold to private entrants. Although the very first Type 47 was based on a modified Europa, all subsequent cars were produced entirely by Lotus Components rather than the main factory. Launched at the same time as the S1 Europa, the body of the 47 was thinner than the standard Europa and with larger wheel arches. Side vents into the engine bay were added after the 1st few cars experienced problems with engine bay temperature.

The engine, gearbox and rear suspension were completely different from the standard Europa and were taken in their entirety from the Lotus 23/Lotus 22 Formula Junior with a Lotus-Ford Twin Cam based 165 hp (123 kW) 1,594 cc Cosworth Mk.XIII dry sump engine, and a Hewland FT 200 5-speed gearbox and suspension with reversed bottom wishbone, top link and dual radius arms. The front upright was specially cast in common with the F2 version of Lotus 41X to accommodate a larger Girling brake for the later 47A model (which had the Alfa Romeo tail lamp shared with the Europa S2) with reinforced front frame.

The Type 47 exact production numbers are unknown, the last car was 47GT-85 but it is unlikely 85 47GT’s were produced, estimates vary from 55 to 68 during the years 1966-70. Although the 47GT is the best known, a few 47F’s were produced, these had the detachable body similar to the S2 Europa, but retaining the large wheel arches and side vents of the 47GT. Fitted with a tuned Ford cross flow engine but with the Renault gearbox and rear suspension of the Europa. The number produced is unknown but probably no more than 6.

As a mobile test bed for the new 2 litre Lotus 907 engine being developed for the forthcoming Elite and Eclat, the Type 62 was produced. Only two such cars were ever made. These were space frame cars with F1 suspension to handle the 240 hp from the engine. Although deliberately made to resemble the Europa, in practice the only connection to the Europa was a few of the Europa’s body panels. It did win its first event the 1969 BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch with John Miles and Brian Muir at the wheel. Replica 47’s and 62’s are bespoke-manufactured by Banks Europa Engineering, in several variations. A one-off 47, fitted with a Rover V8 engine (3.5 litre enlarged out to 4.4 litre), was built for GKN in 1968 and registered, GKN 47D, with 300 hp it was capable of 180 mph (290 km/h).”

Interpretation: The Groups and Classes with the Competition and technical specification from Twite

Twite writing in 1971 [The Worlds Racing Cars] gives a potted history of the definition of the Groups. This is not easy because the regulations are confusing and changed so frequently.

Both the Types 47 and 62 are listed in the respective groups for his 1971 edition. Rather than attempt to unravel the complexity the authors thought there was some merit in listing the cars competing. This will perhaps better illustrate the competition that Lotus faced.

Group 4 cc
Alfa Romeo T33/2 1994
Chevron BMW B8 1990
Ferrari 250 LM 3286
Ferrari Dino 206 S 1987
Fiat-Abarth 1000 SP 982
Fiat-Abarth 1300 OT 1290
Fiat-Abarth 2000 S 1946
Ford GT 40 4942
Lola Type 70 Mk.3B 4990
Lotus Type 47 1594
Porsche 906 &910 1991
Porsche 917 4494
Group 6
Abarth 3000 2968
Alfa Romeo T33/3 2993
Alpine-Renault A220 2986
Astra RNR 1A 1594
Chevron B16 1594
Ferrari 312 P 2990
Ford F3L P68 & P69 2995
Ginetta G16A 1998
Lotus Type 62 1992
Matra 630/640/650 2993
Mirage M2/300 &M3 2999
Nomad-BRM Mk.2 1998
Porsche 908 2195
Porsche 908 Spyder 2997

1963 Alpine M63

Specification Alpine sports Racing Prototype
Engine /Cyli Renault 4 cylinder, water cooled
Bore /Stroke 71.5 x 62 mm
CC 996 cc
Valve Gear 2x ohc
Comp Ratio n/a
Carburettors 2 x Weber
Max.Power 100 bhp at 7,800 rpm
Trans/Gears 5-speed
Front Brakes Girling Disc
Rear Brakes Girling Disc
Steering Rack and pinion
Front Susp’ wishbone and coilsprungs
Rear Susp’ wishbone and coilsprungs
Chassis multi-tubular
Wheel base 7ft-8in
Front Track 4ft-3.25in
Rear Track 4ft-3in
O’length 13ft-5in
O’width.body 4ft-10in
Kerb weight 1,350 lb
Front Tyres 5.00 x 13in
Rear Tyres 5.50 x 13in

The Lotus 47: Context and Lotus evolution/development; Lotus Development Time Line

The types 47 &62 have an interesting connectivity going back through the Europa.

In our dedicated articles relating to Europa and The GKN 47 D Rover V8 we record that as early as 1963 Chapman was considering a family/range of cars that could have been tightly structured offering economy of manufacturing.

Ron Hickman and John Frayling contributed significantly to these.

We suggest that the types 47 &62 be explored partly in this context.

Year Type No Function Name Engine Designers
1957-63 14 Prod ‘sports car Elite
1962-66 26 Elan [S1]
1963 29 Indianapolis Ford V8
1964 30 Sports racing Ford V8
1964 34 Indianapolis Ford V8
1965 36 Prod ‘sports car Elan [S2]
1965 38 Indianapolis Ford V8
1965 40 Sports racing Ford V8
1966 42 Indianapolis Ford V8
1966-68 46 Prod ‘sports car Europa [S1]
1966 47 Sports racing
c1966 One off Europa [S1] base Rover V8
1969 62 Sports racing prototype


Figure 1.Track Test from A&R

Form and function

The type 47 brew out of the Europa which itself had an essentially race bred layout.

The 47 was adapted for racing as per usual weight saving was a major consideration.

The snorkel feeding the induction were a distinctive feature, rather prominent above the engine deck but also in line with F1 practice. [Rather different to that of the Lotus Mk.III.

Figure 2.Editors sketch of the Lotus 47 with “snorkel”

The Lotus 47 states Crombac:-

“As was usually the case with new Lotus models, a racing programme for the Europa was set in motion with a special batch of cars built by Lotus Components, all equipped with twin cam engines. This “racing” Europa –the Lotus 47 made its debut at the 1966 Brands Hatch Boxing Day meeting when in the hands of John Miles……….it won the prototype class in a race for sports cars “

Harvey echoes these sentiments:-

“at the same time, a competition version was built to publize the Europa and provide some competition for the mid-engine Ginetta which was starting to take over the Elan’s class in GT racing; and at the same time, giving Lotus Components something to sell in place of the out moded 26R.this was the type 47 which was first raced on Boxing Day 1966.”


Provides an excellent technical description of the 47.

This includes:-

  • Twin fuel tanks were mounted on either side of the engine bay bat the front with separate collector tank underneath
  • Cosworth engine with dry-sump
  • Knock off peg drive magnesium spoked wheels with 7.5 and 10.5 inch rims [front back] increasing to 8.5 /12 inch

The 47 was outwardly similar but intended for competition with 1.6 litres of fuel-injected Ford –Cosworth to give an adequate 160 bhp, transmitted through a five speed gearbox….

The 47 became familiar and successful, in the colours of Lotus Components, Gold Leaf and private owners, a T62 derivative, with substantially different body, was raced by Gold Leaf Team Lotus, but was generally less widely seen as Lotus’ racing was concentrated on Formula 1.”

Type 47 Cutaways Drawings

Figure 4.Editors sketch of Lotus 47.

The 47: Outclassed

Twite makes the simple observation:-

“Outside Britain the Lotus Europa 47 [including the 47|, with slightly revised suspension geometry and bodywork] has had little success. The main reason is that most sports car races have 2 –litre class not 1600 cc and the Lotus needed that extra 400 cc worth of power to be competitive. Some private owners fitted 2-litre Coventry Climax four cylinder engines, but no notable success was obtained”

Nb to comprehend this see tabulation of contemporaries above.

Figure 5.Editors sketch of the Lotus twin cam installed in Lotus 47

Production Volumes and retail

The editors have seen various numbers quoted from 30 to 55

The retail price of the type 47 was c £1,500.

Not a massive amount but sufficient to promote the Europa.

The type 47 deserved its own dedicated sales brochure, the A&R have an example.

Figure 3.Sales brochure fromA&R

The Lotus 62

Subscribers might like to see our dedicated article with illustrations.

Comparative Analysis and Specification within the Group

Specification Lotus Type 47 Lotus Type 62 Chevron-BMW B8
Engine /Cyli Ford : Four cylinder, water cooled Four cylinder water cooled BMW four cylinder water cooled
Bore /Stroke 83.5 x 72.7 mm 95.3 x 69.9 mm 89 x 79.9 mm
CC 1,594 cc 1,992 cc 1,990 cc
Valve Gear ohc Twin ohc ohc
Comp Ratio 11:01 N/a 11:01
Carburettors Tecalemit-Jacson fuel injection Tecalemit-Jacson fuel injection 2 x Weber of fuel injection
Max.Power 172 bhp @ 6000 rpm 240 bhp @ 8000 rpm 195 bhp @ 7300 rpm
Trans/Gears Hewland FT 200 [5] ZF 5 DS [5] Hewland FT 200 [5]
Front Brakes Girling disc Girling disc 12″ Girling Discs 10.25″
Rear Brakes Girling disc Girling disc 12″ Girling Discs 10.25″
Steering Alford & Adler Rack & pinion Rack & pinion Chevron/Standard Triumph rack & pinion
Front Susp’ Wishbone & coil springs Double wishbone & coils springs Wishbone & coils springs
Rear Susp’ Lower wishbone, top links, twin r’rods c.s’ Lower wishbone, top links, twin r’rods c.s’ Lower wishbone, top links, twin r’rods c.s’
Chassis Sheet steel backbone Multi tubular space frame Tubular steel spaceframe with steel panels
Wheel base 7′-7″ 7′-7″ 7′-8″
Front Track 4′-5″ 4′-4″ 4′-4″
Rear Track 4′-0.5″ approx. 4′-4″ 4′-4″
O’length 13′-1.5″ 12′-10″ 13′-6″
O’width.body 5′-4″ 5′-9″ 5′-7″
Kerb weight 1,342 lbs 1,250 lbs 1,265 lbs
Front Tyres 5.50/8.10 x 13″ 12 x 15″ 4.75 x 13″
Rear Tyres 6.00/10.50 x 13″ 15 x 15″ 6.00 x 13″
Specification Ginetta G16A Nomad -BRM Mk.2 Chevron B16
Engine /Cyli V8 water cooled V8 water cooled Ford -Cosworth FVA four cylinder water cooled
Bore /Stroke 73.28 x 59.18 mm 73.28 x 59.18 mm 85.7 x 69.1 mm
CC 1998 cc 1998 cc 1,594 cc
Valve Gear Four ohc Four ohc Twin ohc
Comp Ratio 10.8:1 10.8:1 12:01
Carburettors Lucas Fuel injection Lucas Fuel injection Lucas Fuel injection
Max.Power 250 bhp @ 9000 rpm 250 bhp @ 9000 rpm 235 bhp @ 8500 rpm
Trans/Gears Hewland [5] Hewland [5] Hewland FT 200 [5]
Front Brakes Discs Girling discs Girling discs 10.25″
Rear Brakes Discs Girling discs Girling Discs 10.25″
Steering Rack & pinion Rack & pinion Rack 7 pinion
Front Susp’ Double wishbone & coils springs Wishbones & coil springs Lower wishbone, top links, twin r’rods c.s’
Rear Susp’ Lower wishbone, top links, twin r’rods c.s’ Lower wishbone, top links, twin r’rods c.s’ Lower wishbone, top links, twin r’rods c.s’
Chassis Multi tubular space frame Multi tubular space frame Multi tubular space frame with stressed steel under tray
Wheel base 7′-7″ 7′-62 approx. 7′-9″
Front Track 4′-4″ approx. 4′-7″ 4′-3.5″
Rear Track 4′-4″ approx. 4′-7″ 4′-3.5″
O’length 12′-00″ 13′-7″ N/a
O’width.body N/a 5′-10″ N/a
Kerb weight 1,180 lbs 1,635 lbs N/a
Front Tyres N/a 10 x 15″ 10 x 13″
Rear Tyres N/a 13 x 15″ 14 x 13″

Twite observed:-

“The most notable feature of the car was its engine, a Lotus design based on the Vauxhall Victor 2litre block and no doubt the prototype of a forthcoming road going unit. Known as the LV/220 [Lotus Vauxhall, 220 bhp minimum], the engine gave 240 bhp in racing trim and indeed has been renamed the LV/240 for 1970″


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:-

  • Examine sales volume for each type –suggest explanation for variations
  • What were the contemporaries [see appendix below etc.]
  • Suggest an alternative design with broad framework technical specification
  • Examine and assess recent incarnation? Is it worthy successor? how does it compare
  • Debate “backbone” chassis –backbone product?
  • Compare and contrast Elan and Europa
  • Suggest an automobile product viability assessment –see appendix below for guidance

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. In this instance the following might be appropriate:-

Lotus 47&62 In the Group: Band of Brothers
Lotus 47&62 Group 4 : The Gold Leaf Team
Lotus 47&62 Group 4 : the class of ’68
Lotus 47&62 Group 4 : in the right company
Lotus 47&62 Group 4: Records & charts,& tracks


The 47 and 62 are interesting in their commonality.

They played important roles within Lotus not least commercial.

They might be considered part of a family.They offered some economies and supported sales.

The type 47 was a good practical package. It was both quick and reliable. Produced in reasonable quantity to garner results in was competitive at club and international level.

The type 62 was valuable in accelerating Lotus engine development and its commercial dimension within the brand, reputation and independence.

The Lotus 62 therefore contributed to the engine that would power Lotus through the 70’s and 80’s and contribute to brand survival.


Lotus Type 62: Specification from Twite

Engine /Cyli 4 cylinder , water cooled
Bore /Stroke 95.3mm x 69.9 mm
CC 1992 cc
Valve Gear Twin ohc
Comp Ratio n/a
Carburettors Tecalemit Jackson fuel injection
Max.Power 240 bhp at 8,000 rpm
Trans/Gears 5 speed ZF 5DS 12 gearbox
Front Brakes Girling discs 12 inch diameter
Rear Brakes Girling discs 12 inch diameter
Steering Rack and pinion
Front Susp’ Double wishbone and coil springs
Rear Susp’ Lower wishbones, top links, twin radius rods and coil springs
Chassis Multi-tubular spaceframe
Wheel base 7ft-7 inch
Front Track 4ft-4 inch
Rear Track 4ft-4 inch
O’length 12ft-10 inch
O’width.body 5ft-9 inch
Kerb weight 1250 lbs.
Front Tyres 15 x 12″
Rear Tyres 15 x 15″


Motor Road Tests 1972 Series.IPC.1972 [Test no. 53/71 Lotus Europa Twin Cam]

Lotus: The Elite, Élan and Europa.Harvey.Oxford illustrated.1985.

ISBN: 0902280856

The World’s Racing Cars.Twite.Macdonald.1971.

Classic sports cars.posthumus and Hodges. Ivy Leaf.1991.

ISBN: 0863630235


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.