Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre Newsletter September 2012

Newsletter – Number 38

  1. Lotus photos that have ben donated
  2. Museum around the world you may not have heard of: Louwman Museum
  3. Questions from our readers
  4. Colin Champman, Lotus and British Aviation Technology
  5. James Bond and Lotus
  6. Lotus related films for the library
  7. Lotus Collectables
  8. Lotus interest on YouTube

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

1. Lotus photos that have been donated

The photos were taken by a Mr Bill Uylate in 1960 at Glenwood Motors and the Fox-Riverside Theater at 7th and Market ,Riverside California. Mr Ulyate has since passed on however his son, Ed, has kindly donated these to be be shared with our readers. We showed a number in our May newsletter and thought you might like to see a few more.

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2. Museums around the world you may not have heard of: Louwman Museum

The Louwman Museum, the world’s oldest private collection vehicles, was established in 1934 by buying a Dodge which is still in the museum. The collection now includes more than two hundred thirty antique and classic cars. Experts consider the collection assembled by two generations of the Louwman family as one of the finest in the world. The Louwman Museum is not just a car collection. The collection represents a passion, love for and knowledge of the automobile in all its forms. Each car tells its own story and thereby provides its own contribution to history. They are mirrors of the culture.

Malta Classic Car Museum – Island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea – The aim of the “Classic Car Collection” is to educate and entertain visitors whilst trying to create awareness for the preservation of classic cars.

Marconi Automotive Museum – A stroll into the Marconi Automotive Museum is a trip through life in the fast lane. Lots of fabulous fast cars, the likes of which the average auto aficionado can only dream of seeing. First opened in 1994 by Founder Dick Marconi, this Non-Profit Museum and Special Event Venue has accumulated an impressive 30 million-dollar collection of historical, exotic, and classic cars to stimulate and delight the senses.

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Leidsestraatweg 57
2594 BB Den Haag
plan your trip

Tel. +31 (0)70 – 304 7373
Fax. +31 (0)70 – 383 5587

3. Questions from our readers

Hi Neil my name is Allan.36. I own a mk1 lotus cortina 1965 Which was left to me by my father. It’s in need of restoration. My father died 6 years ago at the age of 52. In the 6 years he’s been gone I’ve purchased lots of parts for the car. but not a wood rim steering wheel. I own a mint leather LL rim from a mk 2 lotus with brand new horn press. Lol. Do you know of any one, who wood! Have one hanging about lol. Allan.

(this is the second request we have had of this nature, if anyone who has a spare! wheel let us know and we will pass onto Allan)

4. Colin Chapman, Lotus and British Aviation Technology.


The history of Colin Chapman and Lotus is intertwined with British Aviation technology.

The importance cannot be overstated.

Motoring and aviation technology have permeated and integrated into society and has been one of the most dominant technologies of the 20c.

In this article we will analyise the depth and breath of these interwoven connections.
The aeroplane and motorcar came into existence at approximately the same time. Initially the aeroplane needed the internal combustion engine for motive force. There has been cross over of technologies from inception. Chapman was not the first to explore these. Jaray and Voisin had designed cars along aerodynamic lines. During the 1930’s particularly in Europe there was considerable application of theory into practice and we see this in the Record Speed attempts.
The Post War Period is particularly interesting in that technology, sociology and economics interacted. Between them they created the means, motives, accessibility, affordability and essential democracy of widening the transport and travel horizon. This occurred in both aviation and motor transport.

Colin Chapman was able to extrapolate technology and seize opportunities. This was because Chapman combined the skills or entrepreneur with that of non-aligned inventor / free/ lateral thinker. His success was also due to the fact that he could undertake radical ideas because he also had a structured and disciplined approach. We see these skills and attitudes repeated on several occasion notably the motorboats and micro light projects.
Chapman was a pilot and he metaphorically flew in “blue skies”
His was the ability to pilot and navigate simultaneously and this applied to management approach although on occasions it did not hold out.
The editors feel that Chapman had a very strong intellectual feedback loop that he cultivated. It linked technology with commercial opportunities. Although integrated it was rational but also contained some intuition. This might have resulted in some projects not being as successful as others or as finely and minutely developed.

In this article we will explore this complex man and study the interaction / interconnectedness of aviation in both Lotus road, racing cars and micro lights. It will be necessary to look at theoretical concepts of aviation including weight, power, speed, economy and elegance.
We know these were Colin Chapman’s mantra but it’s important to see their significance and relevance today in green thinking.

In subsequent issues we will take a deeper more forensic look at specific examples of aviation and how Chapman and Lotus mutated and extrapolated technologies.

Sociology of Aviation
What we essentially mean is the impact and perception of society of this medium.
It carries connotations of:

  • Speed
  • Travel
  • Escape
  • Variety
  • Glamour and visual drama
  • Exclusiveness
  • Cosmopolitan Culture
  • Visual impact
  • Identification, association,” projection” presence.
  • It was to become available to both genders and in time more democratic.

The First World War witnessed the expansion of aviation and gave it an overtone of romance and heroism. The era between the war saw the growth in air travel for an elite group and the construction of Brooklands cemented the affinity and connectedness / shared technologies of aviation and Motor Sport. The speed of transport and particularly aviation in the 1920’s lent it self to a motif

Post War Aviation impacted on the public psyche at many levels. The aeroplane had contributed to success during the war; new technology was “sexy” and brining National prestige. All those associated with the industry were in the vanguard and not least the pilots and test pilots. This was due to a combination of prestige, glamour elements of danger and salary. The engineers in the industry were considered the best. Shortly the commercial flight industry would also impact on leisure and holidays for the masses.

Aviation and War
In war time technology is a weapon. It’s needed to combat and defend against the enemy and also to achieve superiority. Therefore technology in design, materials, production techniques, logistics, communications, reconnaissance etc might determine outcomes.
British aviation was a significant contributory factor in winning the war. A brief shortlist includes:

  • Hawker Hurricane
  • Swordfish
  • Mosquito
  • Wellington bomber
  • Spitfire

Other examples –see spread sheet.

In each of these examples we see advanced design, engineering and materials based on the laws of mechanical efficiency and physics. The airplane is subject to enormous forces and these increase with speed, maneuverability, and payload. We are aware that car designers from the earliest days made crossover of technology but not all saw the fullest potential and mutation. Many manufacturers stayed with tried and tested methods either because of production costs or a belief the public would not buy into radical new concepts. [See A&R article on industrial Design and in particular Loewy]
Bristol and Lotus were some of the exceptions.

Britain had many aviation manufacturers but de Havilland had the greatest direct and indirect impact upon Lotus and subsequent British motor sport.

de Havilland.
de Havilland has been involved in British Aviation manufacturer since the 1920’s. They are known for the Gypsy and Tiger Moth. During the Second World War they contributed the Mosquito and immediate post war the Comet.

c 1941 was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world. It was constructed of a wooden sandwich monococque shell .The weight it saved enabled the relatively low powered engines to deliver disproportionately high performance. [Weight estimated 13,356 lbs / 8,028kg]
The Mosquito was to inspire both Frank Costin and Chapman in chassis construction and aerodynamic practice.

The Comet.

The de Havilland 106 Comet was the world’s first commercial jet airliner. Its believed it was developed and manufactured at Hatfield, Herts and first flew in 1949. Its thought that initial design and planning may have started in 1946 under Ronald Bishop. The concept provided for an all-metal low wing cantilever monoplane with 4 jet engines and an estimated empty weight of 75,400 lbs [34,200kg]

Although Chapman did not borrow directly from the Comet to inspire his cars he was aware of the technological theories and many of the collaborators who surrounded him and gave practical assistance worked at de Havilland. Chapman cannot be divorced from that level of thinking and sense of aspiration prevalent in Britain at he time.

The Wellington
“The geodetic latticework construction invented by Dr.Barnes Wallace [there is some evidence that the construction method may have been used in other applications from the 1920’s] lent strength and lightness to the Wellington. The fuselage consisted of six main frames connected by longitudinal geodetic skin panels built up on longerons. The whole covered in fabric. The wing was constructed in three sections, the outer ones comprising geodetic panels built to a single main, and two auxiliary spars”

The Hurricane
Had a fuselage of rigid framework made up of beams, struts, and bars to resist deformation by applied loads built up “of steel tubing welded together in such a manner that all members of the truss can carry both tension and compression loads” it has a rectangular or triangular cross section. Typically the Hurricane might weigh empty approx 4,743 lbs [2151kg] with a max speed of approaching 308 mph [496 km/h]

Colin Chapman’s Direct Personal Experience [University Air Squadron, RAF, Private Pilot and Flying]
Colin possibly had an interest in flying since childhood which included making and flying model gliders. In the 1950’s this was encouraged and there were kits to make and assemble from balsa wood etc. He possibly first flew in his late teens. This was probably at the University Air Squadron. Briefly he joined the RAF and probably increased his hours flying experience. Chapman was granted his pilots licence in 1951. He was aged 23.This was significant achievement. It signifies:

  • Chapman was amongst an elite minority group of the time. The vast majority of pilots including civilian were ex RAF.It was something of a “passport”. To fly in the early’ fifties was to join a group like Frank Costin who had built and flown their own gliders. They would have common vocabulary and interests.
  • He had acquired the skill and coordination to fly at faster speeds than the fastest cars and coped with inherent danger.
  • He had probably learnt and applied the theory of flying and associated aerodynamic principles and forces [e.g. Lift, Thrust, Drag, Weight]
  • Colin may have begun to comprehend the possibility of mutating technologies from the aeroplane to the racing car.
  • Flying may have feed his theories of liberty and freedom stretching boundaries. It may have inspired conceptual ideas and potentialities as a transport medium [see later paragraph on Micro lights]
  • Although for recreation; he might even at an early age seen the potential for

Business use [with advantage, speed, convenience, privacy, flexibility, directness and avoidance of interruptions/ restrictions] He certainly would later when he piloted a Cessna 414A “Chancellor” [Registered G-Prix 1 RZ aircraft No 414A-0049 registered to Group Lotus, Hethel; c 1979. – Coincidently this plane would weigh 4365 lbs / 1980 kg approx and be capable of estimated 270 mph]

Colin Chapman, Lotus and the Extrapolation of Aviation Technology &Aerodynamics
Chapman’s knowledge was varied, extensive and applied. As he learnt to fly and then competed a period in the RAF he would have studied and absorbed the theory and probably the forces that act upon an aeroplane. He also probably read very widely in the subject of airframe design. [See references to The Areoplane and Flight below] Its possible that the contemporary war time airframe concepts entered his thinking [e.g. the Barnes Wallis geodetic form of lattice frame that comprised the Wellington and the Warren truss / girder welded tubular steel frame of the Hurricane The main considerations for an aero plane is that they should be lightweight, able to withstand flight loads landing loads, a wide range of vibration, The resultant structure are intended to direct loads into either tension or compression. Every part of the aircraft must be planned to carry the loads imposed upon it.

Within aeronautical engineering and commercial operation lightness is of considerable benefit. The resultant engineering produced a design philosophy and methodology directed towards maximum lightness with the use of the most suitable materials and construction techniques available. In the initial stages of Lotus development its probable that Chapman applied this thinking towards chassis and the Lotus Mk.VI seems to show some evidence of the cross over. [I.e. from the Wellington]

Its very probable that Chapman retained a life long interest in aviation technology and as it advanced into monocoque fuselage with aluminum and carbon fiber materials he saw within the potential for basing a car on similar principles.

As speed increased he had to look towards aerodynamics as well.

In the early days sophistication was a perquisite, as he had to compensate for inferior engine power. He turned to Frank Costin for expert advice. [See A&R article]
In the search for advantage no serious detail would be neglected.
Chapman included significant aerodynamic thinking in the following Lotus cars:
Mk.VIII,IX,X and Eleven
Type 25
Type 72
Type 78
Type 79
Type 88
Type 108 [pursuit bike]
Type 111 Elise

In the early days Chapman’s main concern was for aerodynamic efficiency and primarily the cars ability to move through the air with the minimum of resistance improving its speed and maximizing limited engine output. He turned to Frank Costin and success was achieved. Chapman’s chassis and handling advantage was accentuated by the complementary aerodynamics.
The Elite is a beautiful example that had a very low cd. With the resultant improvements mentioned and again work by Costin.

Its natural and progression that Chapman would wish to capitalize on his knowledge of performance and handling particularly in the F1 context. How this was to be achieved was the question. From the 60’s on wards there had been some investigation and Chaparral pointed the way. Later wings were used but these were “compensation” and only partially utilized the physical forces available.

It’s possible that Chapman grasped the conceptual theoretical potential or mixed this with intuition and instigated exploration to exploit the physical properties. A wing on a plane helps generate lift. In a racing car the desired effect is to reverse the direction so the air force exerts down on the car. This would deliver higher concerning hence to better braking and ultimately safety. It seems that Chapman may have commissioned research in the USA [Shaun Buckley] and engaged his other engineers/ designers Tony Rudd, Peter Wright and Martin Ogilvie .The product was the Lotus 78 “Ground Effect” cars. [Detailed A&R articles to follow] These would transform F1 and have in many respects determined F1 practice to the present day. The “Twin Chassis” Lotus 88 was possibly the ultimate expression of the principles sadly due to it being banned we are unable to know to what extent it might have achieved success in competition. It deserves analysis for its conceptual content and application of principles

After Chapman’s death Lotus had success with the 108 Pursuit bike and its refinement due to aerodynamic shaping and development. Later considerable commercial success came with the Elise in 1996. Although aerodynamics was not the exclusive feature of this car it was the totally integrated package that was so devastating and the application of modern aviation technology based on aluminum.

Colin Chapman and Micro- Lights
Chapman’s interest in the micro lights is very revealing and in many respects represents much about his methodology and business acumen.
He came to the micro lights after boat building that had not been totally commercially successful. Micro lights had grown out of hang gliders and were building following in the late seventies. The micro lights would occupy him until his death. We don’t know what might have happened if he had lived.
The editors would postulate that the micro light project represented the following advantages to Chapman:

  • A technology in which they excelled
  • A construction determined by light weight
  • Ease of storage/ transportability through easy fast assembly
  • The possibility of modular Lotus engine with additional applications and volumes
  • A personal transport medium for recreation
  • A potential for business use and transport
  • Access without bureaucracy and pilots license etc
  • An existing reputation as marketing base
  • An airfield for testing and development
  • A potential market for enthusiastic self builders and kit sales
  • Affordability [c£4000 + Vat 1984]
  • Economy in use [and although possibly not seen a green and sustainable then but containing all the ingredients]
  • Competition opportunities.
  • Skilled staff for design and development
  • Opportunity for complementary diversification.
  • International market.
  • The ability to possible enter and influence a market trend
  • Chapman might have seen the micro light performing the role of the early Seven

To progress the idea he assembled a team that comprised:

  • Ian Doble
  • Patrick Pearl
  • Brian Angus
  • Colin Gethin
  • Tony Rudd

Its thought that Colin was considering a “Lotus” micro light i.e. closed cockpit coupe that would have resembled a small light aircraft [this would be consistent with potential set out above] .As in the past machines were bought in for evaluation and its believed they included a Aerolite Eagle and Eipper Quicksilver MX2.
Chapman set the team to design and build an engine. An effective modular unit flat twin air cooled [cf Citroen 2CV and BMW motor cycle] was built that allowed:
25hp x2 cylinder or
50hpx4 cylinder.

They were possibly aiming at a specification that would have achieved:

  • Approx weight of 330 lbs /150 kg
  • Capacity for two people
  • Cruising speed of 70knts or 80mpg
  • Fuel consumption 60mpg
  • 2 galls. Fuel load.

In the UK, David Cook was marketing the CFM Shadow micro light and was based in East Anglia. However the light aircraft and micro light industry was strong in America. Here the culture of freedom had developed a market for self-construction based around cheap, simple and light components. Chapman looked here for assistance and made contact with Jim Bede and Bert Rutan [who had experience of resin bonded reinforced glass fibre]
Haskell in his books explains that one example was completed and demonstrated in 1983.
The project rather died with Chapman. Haskell considers that overall the project may not have been totally commercially successful in part because of development costs, performance and the need for operational approvals.
The exercise is rather in the Chapman stamp. If we compare the original Elite we see a theoretical concept that does not translate readily into commercial profit. We also know how Chapman responded so its very probable the micro light would have had a successor or that the theoretical knowledge gained and almost certainly the excellent engine] might have been used in FI or a new breed of light weight ultra economical road cars etc.

Lotus at Hethel
Colin Chapman’s selection of Hethel for the manufacturing base for Lotus is directly and immediately related to aviation.
Hethel was a former wartime air base with runways. What it offered:

  • Run way for private plane / jet [executive transport / business meetings etc] see above reference to private plane registered to Lotus]
  • Hangers for storage
  • Test track for development of road and race cars [i.e. many circuits in UK former airfields cf Silverstone]
  • Open space and level ground suitable for large factory buildings to follow mass production flow lines
  • Eastward facing towards Europe
  • Convenient access to ports for import/ export cars and components etc.
  • Relative quick access to London.
  • Relative isolation not to cause noise nuisance and industrial security /protection
  • See A&R article “The Works” for financial considerations.

Lotus Publicity Material and Aviation Connotations
When we examine the marketing material of the era many manufactures including Lotus made connections and identifications with technology and occupations.
Manufacturers posed their cars alongside ocean liners or warplanes etc.
Lotus used this method and we can recognize their placement with:

  • Gliders
  • Jets
  • Private Jets/planes
  • At aerodrome setting

The inference to be conveyed relates to occupation, status, and lifestyle and tapped into the “executive jet” owner of society. The Lotus was the complementary mode of land transport offering similar prerequisites

The Proposed CCM&EC.
The proposed museum believes that commercial and educational objectives are both a necessity and complementary.
For this reason our business plan includes provision for promoting products that are complementary with the Chapman methodology of mechanical efficiency and sustainability.
Written into our plan are extensive proposals that relate to aviation and in particular micro lights .Our proposals range from books to models to introduction to flying lessons with direct connections to flying schools and clubs. In addition we propose outreach and overlaps with aviation museums. In addition its intended to hold working demonstrations and display pieces to complement school and college curricular etc.
The proposed museum is subtitled the “Exploratory -Laboratory” and our visitors and students will be encouraged to conduct experiments. In particular race simulators will enable students to measure and experience theoretical principles in practice on a look and learn basis.

There are parallels between motoring and aviation. These go beyond engineering .Not least perception and association that influence marketing and owner identification.
Much of the Chapman genius was to recognize parallel technologies and extrapolate between to the two. Only second was his determination to use specialists to extract the best possible design and performance.
The A&R appreciates the importance of the scientific and engineering overlap and the British contribution in this development that of course continues to the present day in FI and also green technologies and search for fuel savings.
At the proposed CCM&EC the business plan allows for a considerable interpretation of aviation / aerodynamic technology with demonstrations and commercial income from activities related to flying.

Flight Path: The Autobiography of Sir Peter Masefield
2002 Airllife Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 1840372834

British Prototype Aircraft
Ray Sturtivant
1995 Promotional Reprint Co
ISBN: 1856482219

See Reference/Bibliography to A&R article on Lotus chassis design.

British Homebuilt Aircraft since 1920
Ken Ellis
1979 Merseyside Aviation Society Publication
ISBN: 0902420321
[Note reference to Davis- Costin Condor Glider [See A&R article on Frank Costin]

The Lotus Book and Lotus Collectables

ColinChapman Lotus Engineering
Hugh Haskell

Structure and Architecture
Angus J Macdonald
Butterworth Heinemann, 1994

Taking to the Skies: British Aviation 1903-1939
Countryside Books 2003
ISBN: 1853068152

Flying for Fun
Keith Carey
Patrick Stephens, 1984
ISBN 0850597056

Britain’s Greatest Aircraft by Robert Jackson. Pen & Sword Aviation.2007
ISBN: 9781844153831

“Flight” Magazine Jan 16,1936, “The Aeroplane” July 5,1939 & Nov 8,1940 [relating to the Wellington]

The Science Museum Library: The Barnes Wallace Collection.



5. James Bond and Lotus


The editors were very aware of the Lotus connection with the James Bond franchise and had long planned an article drawing upon the product placement connection [see A&R articles on Product Placement /The Avengers and The Prisoner].
However with the celebration of the launch and exhibition at the Barbican the opportunity has been taken to explore the subject in a little more detail. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond.

Statistics suggest that one quarter of the world’s population have seen at least seven James Bond films. [See some box office details given below]. This is phenomenal exposure and hence the privilege to appear and resultant sales opportunity. Bond reaches the audience demographics sought by FI sponsors. In this article we will explore in general the role of car in film and specifically look at the impact and consequence on the Lotus Esprit.

Ian Fleming

Ian Flemming was British .He was born in 1908. He was educated at Eton and later became a journalist and banker. Interestingly he traveled in Russia in the 1930’s with all the background on intrigue, double dealing and the lead up to the Second World War.
Flemming completed military service in British Naval Intelligence from 1939 and was later promoted to Commander. Not just an intellectual he also headed up a Commando Squadron.
In later life he bought a property and settled in Jamaica, where he wrote many of the James Bond books. In 1953 “Casino Royale” was published and it was a modest success.
Ian Flemming died in 1964.

James Bond and Popular Culture

James Bond was a fictional character created by Ian Flemming. It has been suggested that the Bond figure was partly based on Ian Flemming’s experiences character, taste and looks. Double-O- Seven [007] was portrayed as British secret agent/ Intelligence Officer with a devil may care attitude to life. MI6 and On Her Majesty Secret Service employed him. The character portrayal was representative of Post War Britain when a new action hero was perhaps needed. Bond is also used as a “barometer of early 20c culture”. Plot lines have been used to reflect the dynamics of world geo-politics since the Cold War. Some harsh critics would suggest the character as very much two dimensional and pandering to:

  • Escapism
  • Patriotism bordering on jingoism
  • Overtly macho, sexist and male fantasy indulgent
  • Promoting a consumer society
  • Paying homage to possibly outdated ideologies or excessively exaggerating
  • I.e. Sex, spies, style, stunts and stereotypes

Some would contest that the Bond films are formulistic and they have predictable contents which includes:

  • Missions
  • Gadgets
  • Cars & vehicles
  • Legendary villains
  • Exotic locations
  • Glamorous Bond girls
  • Props/Sets/stunts, special effects
  • Costume/ clothes
  • Theme music and posters etc
  • Tradition and modernity

However the success of the Bond films has been attributed to:

  • Their durability
  • Appeal to popular culture
  • Universal appeal
  • The survivor [adaptability / flexibility, technology updated etc]
  • Internationally cosmopolitan
  • Reinterpretation of goodies and badies broadly painted and easily identified
  • Contemporary forward looking technological twist

The first of the film franchise commenced with Dr.No in 1962. This action drama was accompanied by memorable theme song and musical accompaniment. An indication of the success was the imitation. James Bond spawned or influenced:

  • The Man from UNCLE
  • Matt Helm
  • Derek Flint
  • I Spy
  • Harry Palmer
  • Mission Impossible
  • Danger Man [see Patrick McGoohan &AR article on The Prisoner]

Product Placement: Guns, Gadgets and Gismos
Excusing the pun the franchise has become a vehicle and showcase of product placement. Manufactures vie for exposure but certain technologies are emerging and there is slightly science fiction content. Some of he most famous items include:

  • Walther PPK 7.65mm [& P99]
  • Attaché case
  • Folding snipers rifle
  • Wrist watch [Rolex, Omega Sea master and Seiko]
  • Geiger watch [Breitling]
  • Camera tape recorder
  • Mini breathing device
  • Bell-Textron jet pack
  • Underwater camera and propulsion devices
  • Vodka
  • “Little Nellie” portable mini helicopter [gyrocopter /auto gyro]
  • MinoxB camera
  • Moon buggy
  • Dirt bike
  • Piton gun
  • Glastron GT 150 speed boat
  • Hang glider
  • Cigarette case X ray machine
  • Mini camera
  • Radio watch
  • 3 D visual identigraph
  • Acrostar Mini jet/ micro light
  • Camera ring
  • Dentonite toothpaste
  • Parker pen
  • Bondola
  • The Ice dragster
  • Flip phone
  • Bombadier Skidoo [snow bike]

The Box Office.

The Spy Who Loved Me is believed to have taken a UK box office of £10.29 and attendance was estimated at 12.46m .It was number one film in 1977.
The TV premier is estimated to have been watched by over 20m viewers.

James Bond Box Office Statistics etc
US release Title Star US No ticket WorldW’Gr’


“The Spy…” Roger Moore 21.0million $202.7

The Actors
Each of the actors have been able to “interpret” the role. Many students of popular culture might acknowledge that Bond has reflected societies values and that the ongoing portrayals constantly evolve and mirror changing world geo-politics. The primary actors include:

  • Sean Connery
  • George Lazenby
  • Roger Moore
  • Timothy Dalton
  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Daniel Craig

The Bond Films Include:

  • Dr.No
  • From Russia With Love
  • Goldfinger
  • Thunderball
  • You Only Live Twice
  • On Her Majesty Secret Service
  • Diamonds are For ever
  • Live and Let Die
  • The Man with the Golden Gun
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • Moonraker
  • For Your Eyes Only
  • Octopussy
  • A View to Kill
  • The Living Daylights
  • Licence to Kill
  • Golden Eye
  • Tomorrow Never Dies
  • The World is not Enough
  • Die Another Day
  • Casino Royale
  • Quantum of Solace
  • Skyfall [due 2012]

The Bond Cars [brief selection – driven or appeared]

  • Sunbeam Alpine
  • Aston Martin Vanquish
  • Aston Martin DBS V12
  • Aston Martin DBS
  • Aston Martin V8
  • Aston martin DB5 [Reg.No. BMT 216A]
  • Aston martin Volante
  • Lotus Esprit
  • BMW Z Roadster
  • BMW 750iL
  • Moonbuggy
  • AMC Hornet X

The Aston Martin DB5 [Goldfinger]
The plot line to the film was that Bond had to investigate a gold smuggler .He was given by Q Branch an Aston Martin DB5. It was equipped with an arsenal of gadgets and defence mechanisms. For many this is the most iconic of cars to appear on film. Its specification included:

  • Machine Guns
  • Bumper rams
  • Revolving No. plate
  • Tyre scythes
  • Bullet proof screen and windows
  • Caltrop dispensers
  • Oil jet pipes
  • Smoke screen pipe
  • Dashboard map navigation
  • Passenger ejector seat
  • Gun draw under drivers seat
  • Radiotelephone.

Nb classic merchandising was the Airfix kit with features mentioned above.

The Spy Who Loved Me & For Your Eyes Only

The Spy Who Loved Me appeared in UK in 1977. Roger Moore portrayed Bond for the third time in an assured David Niven style; suave and sophisticated with a light comedy touch. The Spy Who loved Me is generally considered Roger Moore’s best Bond film. It’s believed that the budget was £14m. Memorable also for the song “Nobody Does It Better” written by Marvin Hamlisch and sung by Carly Simon.

Briefly the plot pitted Bond against the villains Stromberg [Curt Jurgens] and “Jaws” [Richard Kiel]. Bond teams up with Russian agent Anya Amasova, played by Barbara Bach to save the world from annihilation.
The tenth of the Bond films it was part filmed in the Pinewood Studios, near London GB. Other locations included Egypt, Sardinia, Malta, Switzerland, Canada and Italy. The underwater scenes involving the Esprit were filmed in the Bahamas.
The editor notes the registration numbers OPW 678W and OPW 654W were used. Moore drove the first of the two cars in Sardinia.
The film contained the entire eye-popping extravaganza along with the traditional elements. It has been rated a success on all levels and the film in which the Lotus Esprit rivaled the Aston Martin DB5.
It received critical acclaim.
For Your Eyes Only of 1981 the Esprit was not given such a prominent role.

The Lotus Esprit

The Esprit was launched at the 1975 Earls Court Motorshow.The body was designed by Giorgio Giugiaro. It was a stunning contemporary and rather aggressive wedge look sports car.
The appearance of the Esprit in the Bond film has been attributed to Donovan McLauchlan [Colin Chapman’s PR man at Lotus]. Becoming aware of the Bond movie to be filmed at Pinewood he took an Esprit over to give it exposure in c 1975. The car rather matched requirements and perhaps seemed to offer a complementary reflection of the film its stars and the epoch.
Lotus is rumored to have spent £18,000 on the film; lending two Esprit’s, five body shells and two Lotus staff.
“The screen role of the Esprit in this film did more for the Esprit sales than anything else Lotus attempted to do”
Following the film it’s believed that a three-year waiting list developed for the Esprit.

“Bond” Esprit with “Q” Branch Modifications.
The car created was multi role combat vehicle mini-submarine. It included these features:

  • Cement sprayer
  • Front firing torpedoes
  • Ink jet
  • Amphibious features including periscope and propeller
  • Limpet Mine and radar guided surface to air missile launcher
  • Bullet proof windows

UK DVD Rental LoveFilm Poll and Film Appearances.
The most memorable car in film history was:

  1. Esprit
  2. DeLorean
  3. Torino [Starskey &Hutch]
  4. VW Beetle
  5. Batmobile.

Taken from films including Bullitt, The Blues Brothers, Grease, Ghost busters, Thelma &Louise. In addition to James Bond the Lotus Esprit is also memorable in “Pretty Woman” and” Basic Instinct.”

Although not expressly stated, for many the Lotus Esprit ranked almost with the Aston Martin DB5.

Other interesting Film with car /Lotus content are:

  • The Fast Lady.UK 1962
  • The Young Racres.USA 1963
  • Grand Prix.US 1966
  • Winning.US 1969

Brands, Bond and Cars as Metaphors

Objects have always had the possibility of taking on metaphorical character and reflection. This tends to increase when placed in memorable iconic film that enters folklore. The Bond franchise has he capacity for this resonance.
Manufacturers recognize this and compete for the privilege.
However the A&R has explained there is two-way exchange and that the object / product/ brand requires existing credibility that provides reputation and momentum.
In the 20c the car has acquired a particular status as a metaphor for power, freedom, advance technology, status, exclusivity and hence to sex and glamour. Increasingly the messages become more psychologically complex interwoven with nuisances and subtly. It is what sells cars in many respects, i.e. the image transcends the technical specification.
The Aston Martin DB5 and the Lotus Esprit have taken the mantle of the supreme motoring idol of their times. They have spoken and been amongst the best of their era and perhaps rather like a good suit of clothes reflected and enhanced the character of the owner.
Cars are not automatically induced into the hall of fame. They require inherent qualities and reputation even to be considered. Of course in case of the Bond franchise many of these qualities are accentuated or added to with regard to the “attachments”.

It is interesting to note that many manufacturers would not provide a car for “Pretty Woman”. They were zealous of their reputation and the connotation of the story line. It seems that Lotus did not hesitate and enjoyed the enormity of commercial success. It was not demeaned in the process; on the contrary its reputation and metaphorical conceptual imagery may have only increased.


The Bond films exist as merchandising opportunity. Listed are some of the typical examples. For some major manufactures there is double take promotional opportunity.
For in the example of Lotus; the Esprit reaches a direct buying audience that might be created into sales but also the toys reach a younger audience and might become owners at later date as result of the planted mystique.

  • Magazine covers
  • Posters
  • Comics
  • Stickers
  • Licenced merchandising
  • Stationery
  • Clothes and fashion
  • Corgi, Matchbox and various die cast models etc
  • Games
  • Action figures
  • Space, gun and related toys
  • Records
  • Alcohol

Corgi merchandising of the” Spy Who Loved Me” Esprit was an enormous commercial success. It’s believed to be the single biggest selling item in their range since 1973. In the six months following launch 660,000 model cars had been sold. By 1991 this had increased to 1.5 million. Corgi also introduced the “The Spy Who Loved Me” Gift Set.

The Proposed CCM&EC

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. Its suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.
In particular the museum presents unique opportunity for Bond Lotus themed events and interpretation ranging from film nights, recreations involving public participation exhibitions relating to cars / technology, technology cross overs, comparisons and evaluations, popular culture and marketing techniques. There are commercial opportunities relating to existing Bond merchandising and that commissioned by the museum to explore new interpretations, dimensions and facets.


The fictional James Bond concept has been cool and a very impressive style/ design [for male and female] icon since its inception fifty years ago. Bond has evolved and provided inspiration to fashion, technology and consumer products placing Britain at the forefront of design.
The enormity of world wide demographic exposure has made its actors and cars worldwide stars. They have made and sold brands. The reputation glowing within and traveling through time and memory.

When we analyse how few cars are able to earn this iconic status and to be instantly recognized we ought have a greater appreciation of Colin Chapman and Lotus. It was his aesthetic judgment and technical ingenuity that brought the Esprit to the market place. Its film appearance perhaps secured its emerging reputation. Neither should we overlook the essential Britishness of the Bond franchise and the technological content. The Bond franchise on its internationalist cosmopolitan stage has done much for British design, manufacturing and tourism.
The editors consider that Lotus having achieved such worldwide status deserves the promotion, Interpretation and accolade that a museum would accord. Furthermore this is not mere indulgence or boastfulness it has the very real intention of advancing British engineering skills and design inspiration thus ensuring they remain at the forefront of a world audience.


Cars in Films. Martin Buckley with Andrew Roberts.Haynes.2002
ISBN: 1859606822
The Essential James Bond. Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall. Ted Smart.1999.
Bond Cars and Vehicles. Alistair Douglas .2010.Dorling Kindersley.
ISBN: 9781405355353
Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style. [The Barbican 6th July- 5 September 2012]
James Bond Experience at The National Motor Museum
The Cars of the Bond Movies. Red Dot. Bar code: 5017559109035

1209_clip_image003 1209_clip_image004_0000 1209_clip_image005 1209_clip_image006_0000

Pictures courtesy of

6. Lotus related films for the library.


Date: 20/05/2012
Title: Champions: Graham Hill –Portrait of a Legend.
Publisher &Date: Duke Marketing
ISBN / CAT REF ETC: Bar code 5017559059118. Cat code 5911
Duration: 60min.
A&R library copy: Yes

Introduction and additional background Information

This review acknowledges that this film is not a critical biography. It does have significance in its own right. It is also very important in Lotus history.
Some background discussion however will increase appreciation of the film and help those fresh to the subject.
Norman Graham Hill 1929-1975 was British motor racing driver of considerable talent and versatility. He was World Drivers Champion in 1962 and 1968 [BRM and Lotus-Ford respectively] .He won at Monaco on possibly five occasions acquiring the title of “Mr.Monaco” which is no mean fete. Additionally he won at Indianapolis 1966 [Lola –Ford] and drove at Le Mans in the experimental Rover –BRM and won in 1972 sharing a Matra.He also drove in saloon car racing with some success.
Towards the end of his career c 1973 he established his own team Embassy Hill.
Graham had a reputation for being a great raconteur and after dinner speaker. Many considered him an ambassador for the sport. Graham died tradgically young following an aeroplane accident. Fortunately he had written a frank, honest and occasionally amusing autobiography. [See references below]
Graham Hill is not accredited with being a “natural” driver; however the A&R editors would challenge this. The achievements noted above suggest Graham was a consummate and versatile professional if not unique driver. People may have many interpretations of gifted. He was certainly a self made man.
Graham displayed an extrovert personality but this may have disguised a serious man. He was known to possess steely resolve, dedication and determination. On occasions he suffered black moods but this is probably true of all those who experience the elation and disappointment and risks of motor racing. Graham showed great courage in adversity and helped motivate teams that resulted in them winning. He possibly undertook an amount of development work with BRM over six seasons and contributed to Lotus recovery after the sad loss of Jim Clark. He overcame the serious injuries of a major crash at Watkins Glen in 1969? Bette’s interview confirms this. He also set up his own team with all the inherent risks. His total personality ensured he became a media star and ambassador for the sport.
Much evidence suggests that Graham kept detailed notes, records and analysis of his race performance and car set up. He might have thought himself perhaps more of an engineer than he was. However it might be that his meticulous recording helped in some way to achieve some consistency.

He possessed an important skill of learning from his own and others mistakes

Watching the film and hearing the interviews helps us appreciate and understand this complex man and those important links with Lotus. The A&R commends it to our subscribers.

Interviews on film

Bette Hill provides the majority of the interview but also included are son Damon [nb significance of father and son success as FI Champions]. Bette makes valuable observations relating to Graham’s development and evolution through motor sport. She relates to his time in the Royal Navy, his later work apprenticeship and frankly their initial low income! [Comments are brought to life with pictures from family album]. Also mentioned / explained are Graham’s link with rowing.
Bette explains her role as girlfriend and wife in those times [very different from today] and Graham’s meeting with Colin Chapman etc. She explains Grahams time with BRM [how it helped purchase a family home] and gives insights on Jim Clark and J’ Stewart. She acknowledges the severe accident that Graham suffered and how his determination allowed him to fight back.
There are also useful comments and interpretations by Innes Ireland, Tony Rudd [comments that Graham was a “thinking driver” with serious concentration.] and Keith Duckworth.
Although Colin Chapman is not formally interviewed he is evident in the background film

Film Clips

The film includes approximately 40 clips from British club racing in the late 1950’s through to Monaco 1971.The majority are in colour but a few in black and white.
The editor particularly liked what may have been a promotional/ advertising sequence that featured an engine “fire-up” [DFV] of the Lotus 49 with Colin Chapman and Keith Duckworth.
The clips are totally representative. Although naturally FI GP dominates [of course Graham’s success at Monaco is evident] also included are Le Mans, Indianapolis and saloon car racing.

The Value and Importance of this film

This brief film [60min approx duration] has much to offer. The editors liked:

  • The highly personal intimate nature as Bette and Damon gave their insights, and included informal family photographs.
  • It captured much of the culture and times
  • The clips were a good representational mix. They were also atmospheric of the era
  • They provided brief glimpses of Graham Hill driving style.
  • They offer good archive research material and an important point of departure/gateway to more focused analysis.
  • They are useful to artists, museum curators, authors and the media/ film or advertising industry wishing to absorb, understand and interpret the man and his times.


These films by Duke Marketing are brief and insightful. Obviously not intended to be full in depth biographies they convey their subject well. The quality of imagery is good and the selection of clips excellent and takes precedent. They are affordable and the editor considers them good value for money.
It’s worth noting that the promotional photographs on the front and rear covers are by Geoff Goddard [see A&R article]

For our subscribers who would like a complementary and more in-depth examination or total immersion of Graham Hill’s achievements please see bibliography below.

The Proposed CCM&EC

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. Its suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.
In particular we propose selling film and related archive matter. These will be complemented my film shows, film evenings and themed mini display exhibitions etc.


Mr.Monaco. Tony Rudlin.Patrick Stephens.1983
Life at the Limit. Graham Hill. William Kimber.1976
Graham. Graham Hill with Neil Uwart.Hutchinson Stanley Paul.1976
Graham Hill: Master of Motorsport.John Tipler.Breedon.2002
The Other side of the Hill. Bette Hill.Hutchinson.1978
The Encyclopaedia of Motorsport.Hill &Thomas, Parragon.2011
ISBN: 9781445444369
Motor Sports: The Great Cars, Great Drivers &Great Races.J.Daniels.Sundial.1980
Formula One: The Complete Facts.B.Jones.Parragon1998
All items in A&R library

7. Lotus Collectables

Evora Oblong Cufflinks


8. Lotus interest on YouTube

Escort RS Cosworth vs Lotus Esprit V8

Thank you for your continued interest and support

Editors of the newsletter
John Scott-Davies
Neil Duncan
Jamie Duncan (webmaster)