Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre Newsletter December 2011

Newsletter – Number 34

  1. Lotus around and about
  2. Best Car Museum in 33 Newsletters
    Best book in 33 Newsletters
    2.2 Best Car in 33 Newsletters
  3. Questions from our readers
  4. Lotus: The Hills, Thrills, Spills and Skills: Transition from Trials to Track
  5. Inspirational museum
  6. Lotus books one for the library
  7. Christmas ideas!
  8. Something for Christmas from Marc Hogenkamp

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

1. Lotus around and about


Photo courtesy of

2. Best Car Museum in 33 Newsletters

Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum was awarded the International Historic Motoring Awards “Museum of the Year” for 2011-2012 before an audience of racing legends, celebrities, collectors and industry heads.
Over 210 people attended the awards ceremony at the stunning St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, for drinks reception, sit-down meal and awards presentation, hosted by ex-F1 driver and current F1 TV commentator Martin Brundle.

The judging panel included such noted figures as TV host Jay Leno, vintage car racer and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Pebble Beach Chief Judge Ed Gilbertson, five times Le Mans winner Derek Bell and Lady Susie Moss, wife of racing icon Sir Stirling Moss, among others.

“This is an enormous honor for the Simeone Automotive Museum, especially considering the quality of the other institutions that were considered,” said Executive Director Fred Simeone. “These are the very best automotive museums in the world and we were humbled just to be considered. To actually win was beyond our wildest dreams. This award is the greatest international recognition to which an automotive museum can aspire.”

The results were announced at a black-tie ceremony at London’s Renaissance Hotel at St. Pancras on November 16th.

The other museums that were considered were the National Motor Museum of England and the Jaguar Heritage Museum in the UK, the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles, and the Auto Museum Prototyp in Germany. Also receiving an award that night was Sir Stirling Moss for his lifetime achievement in motorsports.

Other notables on the judging committee included, Horst Bruning, president of the International Federation of Veteran Automobiles, Ian Callum, design director of Jaguar Cars, Duncan Wiltshire, Chairman of Motor Racing Legends, Robert Coucher, international editor of Octane magazine, Peter Stevens, designer of McLaren F1, and Simon Kidston, international car consultant and commentator.

2.1 Best book in 33 Newsletters

COLIN CHAPMAN – Inside the Innovator


Karl Ludvigsen
Haynes Publishing 2010
ISBN: 978 844 254132

The A&R was able to conduct a wider review by taking a copy to the recent Crystal Palace revival sprint. Here several Lotus enthusiasts and indeed authors were able to examine it.
In general there was a positive response.

First impressions are important .The book felt quality in size weight and obvious quantity of illustrations. The cover design and first flip through reminded me of Hugh Haskell’s “Colin Chapman’s Lotus “ and Terry and Baker’s “Racing Car Design and Development” Perhaps these first impressions were reinforced by the colour scheme and excellent numerous photographs and illustrations.

One of the significant features of this book is that Karl has had access to Colin Chapman archive held by classic Team Lotus. Karl has included many of the drawings made by Colin’s hand. I believe these to be important and list them:

  1. Lotus 30 family range proposal dated 3/10/1963
  2. Transaxle detail dated c 1957
  3. Schematic layout of Indianapolis single seater dating from mid 1960’s.
  4. Schematic layout of F1 single seater c1977
  5. Hub designs dating from late 1970’s
  6. Sketch of “Optimal basic structure”
  7. Future specification of F1 car c 1975
  8. Venturi for Type 80

Sketch 2 Sketch 1

I personally thought the strengths of Karl’s book are:

  1. The historical comparisons and tracing of some earliest origins.
  2. The overall level, quality, and variety of illustrations, diagrams etc
  3. The period photographs
  4. The personal photographs of Colin that covers the progress of his life in motor sport. These can be seen reflecting the real man; his concerns, triumphs, failures, highs, lows and the ever-present determination.

In addition I liked the inclusion of the commendation that accompanied the award of the Ferodo Trophy. This ought be read and appreciated as a significant benchmark.

Karl’s inclusion of a substantial bibliography is both a measure of his impartiality and provides useful cross-reference whilst suggesting lines of enquiry.

My personal favourite chapters were No1. Conceiving Concepts and No12 Coda to Chapman. Here Karl is able to introduce some extremely important and valuable comparisons. For instance perhaps for the first time Colin Chapman has been compared with Brunel. Controversial as this might be I believe it to be extremely important not only as a means of impartial analytical comparison but also as a means of appreciating that engineers have aesthetic sensitivities often well defined ad that further more they contribute to a nations wealth and technological progress.

In particular I liked the inclusion of quotations form Setright

“The Lotus is a machine for driving as a house by Corbusier is a machine for living” and later suggesting the basis of the Lotus appeal in that it appeals to
“ To those that have sensual and cerebral appreciation…”

Karl developed this them and made further reference and comparison of Colin Chapman and the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

This approach is justified on several intellectual levels and they cannot be ignored. Colin Chapman was a qualified structural engineer [and could have just as easily pursued a career is this field and or the built environment.] often substituting for architects in designs determined by structural calculations.
Colin and the architects mentioned had significant aesthetic appreciation and Colin’s drawings mentioned earlier indicate that he could articulate this. Perhaps too often in the past it has been assumed that engineers have little soul or somehow lack a cultural appreciation. In Colin’s case this is untrue. The evidence would suggest within Colin existed an artist as nearly all his creations might be classed as rolling sculpture and more beautiful as a result of their functionality. He wished to imbue his creations with more than utility and his design mantra was for elegance.

At the A&R we feel that this aspect ought be given more prominence and dissemination.

Although Karl makes comparison with these famous architects my personal assessment is that Colin might have had affinity with the Bauhaus School and their discipline of form and function and their concern for lightness and structural purity. Both the architects and Colin had their failures but these were often part of idealism in searching and experimenting with new concepts.
“ A man who never made a mistake never made anything”

These are themes to which we will often return at the A&R.

We welcome the addition of Colin Chapman – Inside the Innovator to our library. We will make reference to it in the future. In the meanwhile if any of our users are having difficulties obtaining a copy or would like further clarification please contact us.

Author John Scott-Davies

2.2 Best car in 33 newsletters

Lotus Extrema (something a little different)


The Lotus Extrema is a creation of UK Garage, an Italian company which specializes in the importation, sale and modification of desirable and unusual sports cars mainly from British manufacturers.

The Extrema is based on a MK1 Lotus Exige chassis which has been extensively modified in order to accept a variety of V6 and V8 engine options. Changes include a wider track and a 20cm (7.8 inch) extension of the wheelbase. The Extrema has also been equipped with the styling details and headlight arrangement from the MK2 Exige coupled with a GT3 style bodykit in order to make the car appear more contemporary.

The engine bay of the Lotus Extrema is able to accommodate a number of different powerplants. V8 options include a choice of two LS3 V8 engines which develop either 420 hp or 500hp. A higher spec option is a 520 hp LS7. And at the top of the range is a 638 hp supercharged LS9 – the same engine found in the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

Also available is a 2.8 litre turbocharged V6 producing 350 hp. This setup has the advantage of being 120 kgs (264 lbs) lighter than the V8 models which weigh in at around 970 kgs.

Offering the best of both worlds are the Superlight versions of the Extrema which are powered by either a 2.6 litre, 360 hp V8, a 2.8 litre 450 hp V8 of a truly frightening 3.4 litre 560 hp V8. The Superlight Extrema weighs a mere 750 kgs (1,653 lbs).

The standard suspension setup of the Lotus Extrema consists of fully adjustable Koni units at all four corners with Ohlins units as optional extras. To provide stopping power AP Racing brakes with four piston calipers are equipped. An integrated rollbar is also fitted for safety as is an optional fire extinguishing system.

While the standard Lotus Extrema is setup for track use only, there is the option to purchase fully street legal versions from UK Garage.

3. Question (can you help?)…This time a request

We frequently get asked from around the world quite amazing questions , so far we have used a limited group to try and answer them, not always successfully. So we now put them on our website and see if any “friends” know the answer.

Still many unanswered questions on our website can you help?


In the process of restoring a 1967 Lotus Elan that will be finished in BRM colours. HELP! I’m struggling to find the paint code for the Floro orange bumpers – Can you help??
Many thanks in anticipation.

Hello Neil,
Wonder if you may be able to help me out.
I own a Lotus Europa type 46, registered sept.1967.
Chassisnumber A3631M, is believed to be from a Elan?
Body plate says No.00002.
Is this an early Europa on a Elan base?
Would like to learn more about this car.

The answer

The people to ask are the Elan Register on
Thank you Peter Ross

4. Lotus: The Hills, Thrills, Spills and Skills: Transition from Trials to Track

1951 Lotus MK III [Registered LMU 3]

[See editor’s photographs illustrating article]

General Introduction

It’s thought that Colin was slightly disillusioned with trials and wanted to participate in a stricter more focused discipline. It’s also entirely possible that he wished to compete in events that would reward his considerable driving ability. Early on their may have been a desire and ambition to step onto an escalator which he could climb exercising his formidable talents.

The Mk.III was built for the 750 Motor Club Formulas for Austin Seven based cars [circuit racing]. This formula had been launched in 1950.It was a new entry club level racing. Regulations specified strict rules to the extent that components could be modified. The requirement was that it should be a sports car .The Mk.III was registered for the road and driven to and fro meetings. It was fitted with cycle wings and the headlamps were flared into the nose cone above the radiator.

It should be said early on that much of the success of this car was attributed to Ricardo’s published work on gas flow / induction and the meticulous preparation of the engine in particular by the Allen brothers. Chapman is believed to have obtained other external access to a highly modified engine.

It’s now believed that several engines were used and that the most powerful was due to modifications that circumvented the regulations. The car was eventually banned but not for the reasons now known.

The specification included:

Original chassis dating from 1930’s.”Top hat” boxed and braced with cross members. The body was supported by 15g hoops later triangulated forming bracing over engine. This was possibly recommended by the Allen brothers. It contributed significantly to rigidity.
The wheel base was 6’-9” [81”]

Austin 7 [750cc] tuned to various levels in the most extreme, form by 8 port instead of Siamese production design layout. [This was a production economy for a utility and affordable car. The racing regulations were intended to retain this to insure access to competition. 2 bearing and later 3 bearing cranks with light weight alloy cylinder head [6:1 and later 7.2:1 compression ratio.] Engine had a conventional radiator, water pump and remote header tank. Ignition was by magneto. The Austin “Nippy” camshaft was retained with larger inlet valves.

Stromberg; large twin choke typical of American V8 engine- providing some of the characteristics of twin carburettor set up.

Austin “Nippy” with remote control gear change.

Standard but heavier springs fitted


Front suspension
Ford 8 split beam axle and radius rods with transverse spring. Newton dampers

Rear suspension
Austin seven quarter elliptical set flat with softer rate. Newton dampers

“Streamlined” slipper style within the regulations by incorporation of headlamps within nose cone and under tray. Body constructed in 22g aluminium. Weight 65lbs approximately

Petrol Tank
Austin Seven cutaway and adapted to rear axle.

Back Axle
Austin “Ruby” with 4.9:1 ratio and prop shaft.

Steering Box
Austin Seven

Combination of Lockheed and Girling hydraulic twin leading shoe at front. Morris Minor hand bk’ to rear

Made by West London Repair Co. Light weight construction [reputed at 9lbs 10oz] 15” diameter with tyres 15x450or 500.

Additional equipment
2x upholstered seats and light weight hood.

815 lbs estimated. [7.2 cwt {370kg} – see spreadsheet for comparisons]

Performance [Reputed – extrapolate with caution and approximation]
Engine revs [projected 5,500-5,900rpm]
Top speed 88mph
0-50mph =6.6secs
Standing quarter mile =17 secs
Petrol consumption on hard road driving =50mpg.

During the 1951 season the car was shared with the Allen brothers and the Mk.III won 14 out of 32 races.
In Smith “Story of the Marque”

“With the season over stock taking showed that the Mk.III had been an outstanding success. It proved itself easily the fastest 750 in the country and had obtained a high level of reliability.”

We now know the true reason for this dominance.
It also brought Chapman and Lotus commercial success and generated orders .This was disingenuous considering the circumstances.
The performance of the MK.III must be judged relative to the competition .This is not an easy task but the best published comparisons the editor can find are:

1. Typical Period Austin Seven
The editor quotes “Haynes Guide to used sports cars” 1964 [see spreadsheet.]

2. Jack French’s “Simplicity”
Jack French was a generous competitor in the 750 Formula
In Stanisforth ……he is quoted as saying
“None of the engines could be taken much over 6000 … I think the best true flywheel power would have been 35 bhp. Colin Chapman considered that he was getting 30 or so compared to the best the factory ever got out of their own engines of 23-24bhp.”
Specification attributed to “Simplicity” [See spreadsheet]


In this article we have examined and analysed the fundamental characteristics of Colin Chapman and the establishment of Lotus. In this brief four year period the hall marks and weaknesses were evident but the balance sheet would weigh in favour of achievements. It was a phenomenal transition from amateur teenage interest to near dominance of club level racing. It also demonstrated the momentum and urgency and determination of a man destined to succeed.
Colin Chapman was an only child. He was possibly slightly precious and doted on by parents who wished their son to succeed both socially and in career progression. We don’t know a lot about his parents and the extent of inherited skills by some of Stan Chapman’s ambition and entrepreneurial skills certainly rubbed off. Colin was born into a significant era of history and into an engineering culture and tradition particularly in motor sport with which he felt empathy. The war had advanced technology but nearly crippled the economy. Raw materials were scare. Ideal conditions for the conceptual mind willing to improvise innovate and extrapolate. Perfect for Colin Chapman and those would aided and supported him so ably.
Colin possessed:

  • Some extraordinary focused multi disciplinary complementary and integrated skills within engineering and design. Not least a commitment to research and extrapolate allied to a confidence to innovate. Now often referred to as lateral thinking
  • An academic degree allied to a mastery of the fundamental principles of structural and aeronautical engineering
  • Youth with a maturity and combined self believe and the ability to motivate and draw upon specialists. The skills and financial support of the Allen brothers and Progress Chassis and others without whom Lotus may have not taken off.
  • The ability to fly and top level driver skills with which to apply theory into practice and back again.
  • Entrepreneurial skills and an element of risk taking and a strong competitiveness
  • Human weakness and frailty which was possibly the flip side of the enormous creative skills. It’s rare that artists, outstanding thinkers or writers without some corresponding weakness or tendency or predisposition.

Within four years 1947-1951 [in a difficult economic and resource environment] he had achieved, evolved and delivered:

  • In addition to those skills above
  • Three trials cars of increased specialisation and competitive success
  • A Club Racing car that won its championship and had to be banned [ reasons now known and dubious]
  • Commissions for “replica” cars and the projections and momentum to establish his own company.
  • A name, reputation and track record.
  • The seeds of the reestablishment and renaissance of British motor sport.
  • The chosen career path and self employment.
  • A platform for intensified racing and manufacture.

The role of the Archive & Resource and proposed CCM&EC

In this article we objectively analysed the multi talented skills, determination and human frailties of Colin Chapman. Chapman has been eulogised and demonised in equal measure but it’s rare that a deep and balanced analysis has been extracted. This has not helped advance the cause of engineering.
It’s now known that he circumvented the regulations to win. We cannot ignore this or disregard the consequence .However in some way balance requires a perspective. Competitive sports [and these too involve gambling] have invariably involved some infringement of the rules. This is very evident right up to the present day in Motor sport F1 [there has been a history and very evident recently].Football, cricket and boxing have all been tarnished. Those sports that require technological machinery are particularly susceptible because the technology contributes disproportionately so much. But even those sports considered more athletic [but with a lesser technical content] have witnessed controversy and this includes tennis and cycling.
The editors feel that this is the purpose of the proposed museum to pursue an objective analysis that is impartial. We will continue to disseminate information with this objective in mind and insure the best understanding of the wider social economic and technical contexts. This is required to insure that engineering is not side lined, down graded or denigrated. To do so is to damage the search for progress and achievement and problem solving. The proposed museum will commit to an integrity that whilst remaining independent and critical will seek to heal and move on. Not to do so would do no favours and in fact might deprive Britain of an engineering innovation needed for wealth creation; social, economic, employment and export.

Photo of LMU 5 rather than LMU 3

For our readers it would be worthwhile rereading the article on our website
Colin Chapman and the Evolution of Lotus Chassis Design

 LMU 5

Photo courtesy of www.Seven-Passion.Com

5. Inspirational Museum

Bauhaus-Archiv Museum für Gestaltung

(Foto: © Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin)
weitere Fotos

Housed in a remarkable building in Tiergarten, the Bauhaus Archive/Museum of Design in Berlin was constructed to a modified design by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. This is the most comprehensive collection documenting the history and impact of the Bauhaus movement, also known as Bauhaus Workshop, founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar.Despite the relatively short period of time in which it operated (1919-1933), relocating from Weimar to Dessau and then to Berlin, it became one of the 20th century’s most influential schools of architecture, art and design of the 20th century and its aesthetic vision and educational philosophy never lost its special reputation. Illustrious Bauhaus movement members included Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Among the exhibits are numerous objects and some icons such as the Bauhaus lamp and the Wassily chair, as well as 250 utility objects designed for home and office.

The Bauhaus ideal of combining all the arts in an ideal unity had aimed to eradicate the distinction between fine and applied arts and some of the first prototypes for the technological mass reproduction of objects can be seen here. Paintings, drawings, sculptures and models are among the works bequeathed by Walter Gropius, Herbert Bayer and Lucia Moholy. Special exhibitions explore a variety of Bauhaus themes and history.

The specialist library is stocked with over 26,000 books, journals and catalogue material as well as manuscripts, letters and a variety of publications. A Cafeteria and Bauhaus Shop are on site. The Audio Tour is available in many languages.


6. Lotus books one for the library

Date: 10/10/2011
Title: “Jim Clark: Portrait of a Great Driver”
Author: Graham Gould
Publisher &Date: The Hamlyn Publishing Group.1968

The editor does not normally like biographies of racing drivers. They often tend to be a catalogue of race results that could be obtained elsewhere. Or they suffer like monographs of the great artists with a diary of when paintings were completed and totally fail to explain the source of the genius and inspiration.
However Gould’s book is rich and insightful. This is possible due to the balanced range of opinions that were sought and canvassed and as result this relatively small book is a gem.

Further more it records the impressions of those who new and had direct contact with Jim Clark then and their thoughts are not filtered through a prism of time. It also draws out contradictions and provides useful highlights.

The volume of 200 odd pages also contains a considerable amount of information about Colin Chapman and Lotus and this further contributes to its significance.

In summary Gould’s book contains:

  • A great range and variety of photographs in both black and white and colour.
  • Particularly good reference to Lotus in photography and text.
  • Reproduction of oil painting by Michael Turner.
  • Race results from 1956.
  • Interpretations and perspectives on Clark by nine peers
  • Significant and poignant photographs of Clark the man and moods and those with Colin Chapman really reinforce the text.
  • This book turns a tragedy and loss into something special by its analysis and sharing of facets that the man in street would never know. It is a true tribute to an iconic man.

The contributors and respective chapters are:

  • A Champions Career by Gould
  • The Formative Years by Ian Scott Watson
  • Team Mate by Graham Hill
  • The Other Scotsman by Jackie Stewart
  • Views at Variance by John Surtees
  • The Cosmopolitan Clark by Gerard Crombac
  • A home from Home by Bill Bryce and Eoin Young
  • A Gentle Guiding Hand by Walter Hayes
  • The Perfect Partnership by Colin Chapman.

The editor invites or subscribers to read this book and to wet the appetite a few brief but pertinent quotations and observations are included.

From Graham Hill [Driver, peer competitor and team-mate and friend]
“He was a natural athlete, he had outstanding muscular coordination; he had rhyme, his judgement was excellent and his reactions were fast”

“He had superb control over his machine and a very intelligent approach to his racing .He applied this to the technicalities and got to know how to explain everything to Colin”

From John Surtees
“Chapman remember had not only driven cars and driven then extremely quickly but he was also technically minded. With his background he understood Jimmy’s reactions to the cars and could interpret almost anything Jimmy described even though Jimmy didn’t know what it was technically. This is what made them such a strong team.”

From Colin Chapman.
“Lotus was just getting into Grand Prix racing, Jimmy was getting into Grand Prix racing. The fact therefore that we were both learning together made our association very interesting and so very fruitful.”

“As we went along, too he developed a superb technical knowledge ………after a while I was able to interpret his expressions regarding the car, its handling and its requirements…and this made it easier for me to develop better motor cars.”

“I have been thinking very much about Jimmy and racing drivers and trying to analyse what really made him made him so much better at his business than the others and I think it must boil down to that he just had a very very superior intellect.”

“I feel that although he was pre-eminent as a racing driver .I do not feel this is the biggest credit to Jim Clark.
I think that his most profound influence certainly on me and all his business associates was not his ability as arcing driver but his success as a man……..
Integrity is the best single word to describe his qualities. This is a man I shall always remember, not simply a man who won a record number of races. He was a man who set examples to others.”


7. Ideas for Christmas present for restorers and maintainers!!

The 50 Best Power Tools /Designer Context.

This article is really just a listing of fifty quality power tools. However the list is of direct practical application to the car restorer.
Additionally the design / function content sits well with our series on industrial / product designers.

The 50 Best Power tools are taken from “The Independent “ Supplement 29th October -4th November 2011.













Elec Circ Saw





R’angle Drill



Numatic Extr

Vacumn cleaner








Cross &line

Laser Level



12v Lithium















Random Orb









Utlity Kit








Combi Drill


















Orbital Action





PFS 55

Fine Spray

Spray gun








14.4V LXT





PSR Li-2










One Plus


Corner Sand



Rapid Ultra2

Pet carpet




Laser Tape

PMP 300L




18V High P


Hammer drill



RT RH 32 3

120W SDS

Hammer drill



Expert 1350





14.4V LXT














18V 82MM












Steam Clean




Heat Gun






Rotary tool




High Perf

Compact drill



PSA 900 E









SC2500 C

Steam Clean



Digital Detec

PMD 10




14.4V Lithiu





Expert 18V

Cordless C’

Hammer drill




Heavy Duty




1800 W


Hot Air Gun





Vacumn cln




Lazer SKI




Xeo Cordless








8. Something for Christmas from Marc Hogenkamp

Marc 1

Marc 2

Marc 3

Thank you for your continued interest and support

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