Sponsor, Brands, Specialists and Suppliers: The Companies that supported the Chapman /Lotus Road & Racing Programme
Jack Knight Development Ltd: The Lotus Knightclub
Figure 1: Image from the net.Lotus 79, Note detail of steering rack
Lotus cars sold
They were bought for their:-
- Performance –road or track
- Driving pleasure
- Reputation and image
- Owner identification /personality extension etc.
All the above were integrated within a total framework design.
The above list is heavily dependent on a select group of components [either bought in proprietary or in house manufacture] that delivered the desired outcomes and met strict criteria.
Many of these components often contributed significantly to the overall aesthetic, many are extremely functional and beautiful in their own right .They formed part of a complementary whole.
In this series we examine:-
- significant Individual components from all the marque types
- Briefly explain their role /contribution /evaluation
- Analysis form and function with regard to their integration, where appropriate
- Provide suppliers/specialist advertising materials where appropriate
Understanding Lotus’s use of proprietary parts provides invaluable learning opportunities not just historical but right up to the present day. These lessons are not just applicable to automotive engineers/ designers but to the wider Industrial /Product Design professions.
The Skillful and creative adoption, absorption and integration of components was a powerful factor in the Chapman design methodology and contributed significantly to both competition and commercial success. It also feed his ability to mutate parts and materials to his desired ends.
The use of components is a fundamental skill of the Industrial Designer and the direct provision of added value.
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.
This series also embraces the specialist suppliers to Lotus. We are particularly interested in those suppliers and products that have a connectivity with aviation.
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 or supplied specialist items to Lotus.
The intention of each article is to: –
- Explain the sponsors own history and outline their products and services – past-present and future
- Explain the historical connection with Lotus and the contribution made both in competition and the production cars
- To suggest how these two interlocking facets may be translated into exciting, interpretive, educational and commercial exhibitions
Subscribers might to see complementary and structured pieces to this article: –
- Primary sponsors like Gold Leaf / John Player Specials
- Product Placement
- Separate dedicated series on engines and gearbox
- Logo on Lotus
- Steering gear manufacturers in this series
Jack Knight Development Company Profile /Abbreviated summary
From wiki and internet sources:
“Jack Knight was a British engineer who was active in the racing field in the 1950s, 60’s and 70’s. His early achievements include “ERSA Knight” transaxle for 1960 Cooper T53 Formula One car, which was based on Citroen Traction Avant aluminium alloy transaxle case.
In the Chapman/Lotus era the Company was identified with gearbox and steering racks.
Figure 2: Image from the net note Jack Knight logo
We believe that Jack Knight steering systems were fitted to the following Lotus types:
78/79/80/81/87/88/91/92/93T/94T/95T/97T/98T/102&107 (and B variants through list)
Figure 3: Editors sketch working drawing of Lotus 79
The value of cutaway drawing
The steering column and rack on Lotus F1 cars are often concealed by the monocoque bodywork.
Their location and fixing are exposed in cutaway drawing.
We recommend subscribers look at examples:
- Mick Hill ,Lotus 79
- Roy Scorer, Lotus 98T
We believe both cars were fitted with Jack Knight steering.
Period Address for economic geography exercise
Name: Jack Knight (Developments) Ltd
Note the historic and recent address are similar
GU21 6JX Woking
01483 76432601483 764326
01483 76989301483 769893
Figure 4: Editors sketch working drawing of Lotus 107B suitable for learning exercises
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.
Understanding the potential of componentry particularly proprietary items provides some of the following learning opportunities; in this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-
Figure 5: Editors sketch drawing exploring form and function in the Lotus 97T, drawing may be developed in learning exercises
Specific to Jack Knight:
- Examine Figure 1 and contemplate the skill required to produce such a drawing prior to CAD. Although a technical drawing discus if this might be considered a work of art?
- Using outline drawings provided sketch in details of steering column and rack
- What other products did Jack Knight Development provide?
- Jack Knight steering systems have been used on other specialist brands, name these
- See previous examples in steering gear manufacturers in this series
- What is the size and value of the industry
- How has it changed? And what is its future 2020 onwards?
- Discuss the relationship with a multi-national mass-production brand/manufacturer and its links, how and why did it come into existence?
- Use a technical dictionary where needed to define components and roles
- Was there a viable alternative to the part under consideration?
- Is what might it have been /cost?
- Examine the suppliers/specialist advertising what does it convey? And what is its iconography?
- Integrate this item with our series on the economic geography of motor sports locations and manufacturing bases
- Has the component had exposure at any motor shows?
- Does the company continue to supply classic/heritage parts?
- What changes in technology and materials have impacted on Lotus through its history?
- How does component design impact on form and function
- Does the supplier/specialist have aviation links? If so what?
- What is the importance of ergonomics and how does it influence modern automobile design?
- Does excessive safety/ and or ergonomics impact negatively on aesthetics
- What is the impact of standardization of platforms through mark ranges and indeed shared with other manufacturers? Could uniformity ultimately impact on sales even if economies of scale improved?
- Enumerate Lotus bought in components
- How has mass production and proprietary parts assisted the specialist car market?
- Produce an engineering drawing of a selected component and consider the specification of the materials and assembly process, costs and volume
- Explore an enumerate supplier/specialists components used in other Industrial Design fields
- How did the supplier/specialist extract value from their sponsorship/support?
- Explore Graces Guide for further background detail
- Study the economic geography of the British auto industry what factors determined locations?
- What have been the causes of change and circumstance that have impacted on British motor industry?
- What has been the role of F1 /motor sport valley based around Bicester?
- What is the importance of outsourcing to the motor industry?
- Study a British car specialist like Morgan, TVR, Ginetta or Lotus where do they source parts? What are the advantages?
Exhibitions, Education, Economics and Entertainment
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 we suggest the following exhibition titles might be appropriate:-
Figure 6: Mick Hill cutaway drawing of Lotus 79 featured in Cotton .Note annotation No1 steering rack
Jack Knight :
Jack Knight :
Knights of the Road
Jack Knight :
Black arts of the Knight
Jack Knight :
Chapman joins a Knight club
Jack Knight :
Knight after Knight
Jack Knight :
Steering no Knightmare
Jack Knight :
Knights in F1 contest
Jack Knight :
Knight of F1 realm
Jack Knight :
Knights in F1 folklore
Jack Knight :
Jack Knight :
Knights of old win F1 gold
- Lotus Parts: Past ,Present Future
- Lotus Parts: The Winning Factor
- The Principle Part
- Act the Part
- Assign the Part
- Lotus Components
- Lotus Components :Parts and Parcel
- Lotus Sponsors, Specialist and Suppliers:Form,Function and Forte
- Lotus Components:Parts and Partiality
- Lotus Aesthetics : With little to spare
- Lotus Cars: Spare and Slender
- Product launch with title of dedicated specific relevance
Conclusion: “The whole is greater………”
Figure 7: Editors sketch of Lotus 78 with front suspension and steering to foreground
There can be little doubt about the significant contribution made by Jack Knight
They assisted Lotus achieve F1 World Championships.
Components were material to reliability and competitiveness.
Jack Knight played an important role in supporting specialists like Lotus and other low volume British auto brands. They have a distinguish heritage that has lasted a considerable time.
They supplied Lotus through the Chapman era (significantly the ground effect) and after his death into the 1990’s.
There is some debate regarding Jack Knight current status.Their website comments:
“Jack Knight have been supplying components for the low volume OEMs, general automotive and race sectors for over 50 years. We manufacture and stock parts for classic, historic, race and rally cars and T1 supplier to many low volume specialist OEMs. We hold a large range of parts in stock and we are able to manufacture one off’s to your specification, or we will even design it for you. Unlike our competitors we manufacture all our components on site in the UK.
We have an in-house design facility with state of the art 3D CAD capability, combining 50 years’ experience with today’s technology. Our designers can work within the clients operation, within a third-party project team or work independently. We have recently made a significant investment in technology, introducing new hardware, new software and disaster recovery procedures.
By coupling the latest Computer Aided Design and Finite Element Analysis capabilities, to continual reinvestment in plant, equipment and skills, Jack Knight can offer clients a full ‘one-stop’ facility for research, design, development, prototype production through to the manufacture of the fully finished product in a wide range of materials. Our highly qualified and experienced design personnel are always willing to provide the customer with the necessary advice and assistance where required”.
Chapman’s design and manufacturing methodology rather confirms the adage that “the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts”.
It’s an interesting an important study to consider deployment of components. It contributes to aesthetics, assembly economics and sales [attractive components/ known accepted performance and servicing ability etc.]
It is equally and mutually relevant and beneficial to the component manufacturer.
Chapman and his colleagues often took the best / most appropriate mass produced item and almost reinvented it in its service to design objectives. In this manner many components acquired a new status and indeed their aesthetic was enhanced surrounded by the Chapman conceptual whole.
It’s also extremely significant how many of these components were also used in Lotus competition cars. This created a powerful dynamic and interrelationship. Many components:-
- Performed well in competition gaining beneficial publicity and sales
- Both the component and racing reputation carried through to road cars and assisted sales
- The component manufacturer gained disproportionate publicity and assisted products sell in other applications
- All together a beneficial spiral was commenced. Publicity of the era often opted to highlight the Lotus dimension in publicity material. In fact there was a powerful synergy.
The relationship between Lotus and is sponsor specialist suppliers is significant and worthy of close study and has lessons for Engineering, Industrial Design and Manufacturing disciplines.
Along the way it’s possible too to study the wider British motor component industry and how it has helped foster the specialist car manufacturers.
Sponsorship is a worldwide phenomenon of immense commercial impotence. Both to host and sponsor organization.
With the Passage of time it’s likely to become more sophisticated and focused and the internet /multimedia technology will play greater role.
Sponsors have existed in motorsport before Chapman but he vigorously exploited the concept with Gold Leaf c 1967/68 and set a pattern for others to follow.
Sponsors of Lotus were likely to benefit financially and in terms of exposure to an extent greater than their investment. The benefits were, and remain essentially similar to present day:-
- Access to mass international audience consistent with mass production distribution marketing branding etc.
- Demographics of viewing audience and interest groups
- Additional subsidiary /secondary advertising through media, news, magazines etc.
- Identification with market /brand /marque leader in both F1 and road cars
- Association with success and continuity evolving, developing technology, materials etc.
- In period the identification with the charm ,charisma and ability to articulate that Chapman possessed
- All the attendant glamour , drama ,danger ,and spectacle of F1
- Ability to provide conducive hospitality to conduct business
- Cost effectiveness of audience cost ratio
- Possible further complex corporate benefits
Appendix 1: Context and operation of sponsorship from the net:-
- Learn how sponsorship motives have evolved.
- Be able to differentiate between advertising and sponsorship.
- Learn the advantages of each of the key promotion tools.
- Identify the six categories of sponsorship opportunities.
- Distinguish between self-evident and strategic linkages.
- Learn the trends in spending on sponsorships.
- Gain insight as to how ambush marketing and leveraging play roles.
- Develop a basic understanding of the three special cases of sponsorship.
- Identify the five key sponsorship objectives.
- Learn the importance of each sponsorship objective.
- Understand the concept of matching.
- Learn the potential components of a sponsorship plan.
- View a comprehensive example of a sponsorship.
Gain an awareness of controversies regarding sponsorship.
Appendix 2 F1 and related racing results
Marks of Excellence.P.Mollerup.Phaidon Press.1997.
Internet websites and local History
Aircraft of the Fighting Powers.Cooper&Thetford.Vol.1.Aircraft [Technical] Publications.1940.
An extensive bibliography is provided in A&R article on John Players Specials/Gold Leaf
Industrial Design A-Z.C&P Fiell.Taschen.
Art of the Formula 1 Race Car. Mann, Codling.Motorbooks.2010
Lotus 24, 25, 28, 29, 33.Unique.
Lotus 49, 49B, 49C, 49F.Unique.
International Corporate Identity.Olins.Laurence King.1995
International Motor Racing 1978.Ed by B.Gill.Macdonald and Jane’s.1978
The International Motor Show. Offical Catalogue.1966
Motor Racing Directory 1955-56 [Ed by staff of “Motor Racing”] Pearl Cooper.
Motor Racing Directory.Kettlewell.
Autosport A-Z Motorsport Directory. [Annual editions] Haymarket
Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology.Hillier & Pittuck.Hutchinson.1967.
Colin Chapman.Lawrence Breedon.2002.
Coventry Climax Racing Engine’s.Hammill.Veloce.2004.
Lotus, Coventry Climax and Cosworth Engine’s.Pitt.Unique.
The Anatomy and Development of the F1 Racing Car.Incandela.Haynes.1982.
The 1000 BHP GP cars.Bamsey.Haynes.1988.