Education Links

One of the primary aims in the setting up of the Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre is to promote awareness of the need for innovative, efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions to engineering problems. Colin Chapman himself was renowned for “thinking outside the box” and we hope that retelling his achievements will stimulate young people to explore the world with a questioning eye, asking:

• What is this for?

• Does it do the job?

• Is this the most effective use of resources and energy?

• Is it even necessary?

To this end, the Museum Trustees envisage the following activities:


Production of DVD and computer screen presentations of Chapman’s engineering innovations, for distribution to schools and colleges

• Space frame chassis and rigidity

• Weight reduction generally

• Engine development – ports, cam followers, crankshaft modifications

• Suspension development – Split axle IFS, Chapman strut (1957), inboard spring/shock absorbers De-Dion rear axle

• First production road car with glass-fibre unitary chassis/body (1957 Elite)

• First Grand Prix car with monocoque chassis (1962 Type 25)

• First road car with steel backbone chassis and glass-fibre body shell ( 1962 Elan)

• First rear-engined F1 car using engine as load-bearing chassis member ( Type 49 1967)

• Ground effect Grand Prix car (1977 Type 78 )

• Active suspension (1981 Esprit )

In-house presentations to visiting school groups and other specific audiences

Presentations in the cinema, similar to Royal Society Christmas lectures, with models, audience participation and lots of fun.

• Chassis design, triangulation, weight distribution, centre of gravity

• Suspension – demonstration of different systems, sprung / unsprung mass

• Analysis of spring, mass and shock absorber combinations.

• Driving / race techniques explained.

• Computer Pit Boss game – decide on driver, fuelling and tyre changing strategy for different circuits.

• All presentations to end with some aspect of road safety since audience will soon be driving, if not already. Hazard perception competition. Explanation of legal requirements of car use.

• General guided tours of the museum with hands-on explanation of design features.

• Enhanced opportunities for training and the development of skills needed in engineering. Open minds to the career opportunities in design and engineering..

• Linkages with universities to create an environment where engineering can be seen as a career for the young.

• Opportunity to extend existing partnerships and to create new partnership.To find out more about engineering courses at sites across the country please refer to