Ferodo: How Chapman was arrested whilst braking and entering (a corner)

Sponsor, Brands, Specialists and Suppliers: The Companies that supported the Chapman /Lotus Road & Racing Programme

Ferodo How Chapman was arrested whilst braking and entering (a corner)

Figure 1 .editors sketch of Lotus type 16 front disc brake


Lotus cars sold

They were bought for their:-

  • Performance –road or track
  • Driving pleasure
  • Reputation and image
  • Aesthetics
  • Symbolism
  • 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: –

  1. Explain the sponsors own history and outline their products and services – past-present and future
  2. Explain the historical connection with Lotus and the contribution made both in competition and the production cars
  3. 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
  • Other brake and clutch providers in this series
  • Our dedicated article on Girling disc brakes

Definitions Brakes and associated brake lining

1 from Singh Reyat

“These are mechanical devices which use the force of friction to overcome friction. The brakes in an automobile, stop it while moving and hold it from rolling when not in motion

When the brakes are applied on a moving vehicle, the kinetic energy or energy of motion of the vehicle is transformed into heat generated by the friction between the brake lining and drums.

The heat generated is dissipated into the surrounding air.

2 from Hillier and Pittuck,

“A moving vehicle possess energy of motion which must be converted into some other form of energy in order to bring the vehicle to rest .The speed of conversion governs the rate of retardation of the vehicle “

See appendix 2 below

“The force of friction or retarding force between the linings and the drums depends upon the coefficient of friction of the two materials and the force exerted on the shoes by the retarding mechanisms “

Modern braking systems employ either a rotating drum or disc, the necessary friction is obtained by pressing a stationary shoe or pad against the rotating member”

Ferodo Company Profile /Abbreviated summary

Kettlewell writing in early 80’s

“Back in 1897 a Manchester manufacturer’s agent named Frood founded the brake lining industry.

The word Ferodo , was an anagram of his name with one letter added to make it pronounceable ….early experiments… led his to filing a patents in 1900

One of the early contracts was with the London General Omnibus Company….

With the development of more sophisticated machinery came the inevitable higher speeds and a requirement for brake linings with greater heat resistance…

New materials known as Ferodo MR and MZ provide adequate for racing until the war …

During the late 1930’s the duel for the World Land Speed Record resulted in an entirely different material being produced to meet the enormous braking demands of these fantastical fast and heavy vehicles …VG 91also proved invaluable for tanks during the war..

One of the most significant development of the post war racing was the introduction of the disc brake. For which an entirely new friction material was developed…

The Ferodo research organization the largest of its type in the world has managed to keep one step ahead of the demand. Profiting from lessons learned in their unrivalled racing experiences.

All Ferodo materials owe much to the company’s long association with motor sport “

In the Chapman/Lotus era the Company was identified with brake lining suitable for temperatures up to 900degree F, clutch inserts anti fade brake material and pads.

Ferodo Gold Trophy

This annual award was made twice to Colin Chapman/Lotus.

See our dedicated article Man of Letters for details.

Note also Ludvisgen covers it in his book.

Figure 2 . From Grace

Lotus Connections

We believe that the following types were equipped with Ferodo.


Figure 3 Archives and Resources Collection

Figure 4 Archives and Resources Collection

Figure 5 editors sketch of disc brake system Lotus 49

Period Address for economic geography exercise

Ferodo Ltd,

Chapel en le Frith,



SK12 6JP

Learning Opportunities

Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.

These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.

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:-

Specific to Ferodo

  • Draw up spread sheet and list brake manufacturers and materials supplies are corollarate within Lotus type numbers, can any deductions be formed?
  • What contributions did aviation make to brake designs, give examples
  • Read chapters in mechanical text books, what the first principles outlined? (see summary in appendix below )
  • Why did braking needs increase with aerodynamics?
  • Draw Diagrammatic sketch of brake Drum mechanism or typical disc
  • What are the holistic interactions between chassis, suspension, brakes, and tyres? How do they determine performance? Is there a hierarchy?
  • Access the National Archive for first hand and original source material relating to Ferodo
  • What is the value of such archive in objective research?
  • Access and understand Ferodo patents and link with Chapman relating to Lotus 14/25
  • 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 images from the net


Ferodo Braking records, track records
Ferodo Discs and record tracks
Ferodo Take a brake, time off on the track
Ferodo First
Ferodo Brake through
Ferodo The brake off
Ferodo Braking with the Past
Ferodo The brake down service
Ferodo Stopgap solution
Ferodo How Chapman was arrested braking and

Figure 7 .Lotus 43 as mentioned in promotional advertisement above.Editors sketch clearly illustrating tear disc


  • 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

Figure 8 editors sketch of disc brake system Lotus 79

Conclusion: “The whole is greater………”

There can be little doubt about the significant contribution made by Ferodo.

They assisted Lotus achieve multiple F1 World Championships and probably other events for the sports racing cars.

Ferodo possible confirms the importance of patents.

It’s important that archives for our national motor industry are kept for on going research.the editors were unable to access these due to lockdown but we recommend subscribers do so at future date.

Components were material to reliability and competitiveness.

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


Appendix 2 Brakes Drum and Disc

Brake Drum

“A brake Drum moves with the road wheel and with the inner circumference of which the expanding brake shoes come into contact to retard its speed or hold it from moving


“A Drum type brake can’t easily radiate its generated heat to the moving air flow, so high temperatures is reached, and the efficiency is decreased.

Disc brakes are fully exposed to the air, and consequently a larger amount of energy can be dissipated….. Easier dissipation of the heat gives a greater resistance to fade.”

The disc brakes have many other advantages

“In some designs more than one disc is employed to increase efficiency of the brakes “

Braking Principles Equations
Braking force Equations
Weight transfer Equations
Stopping distance Equations
Brake efficiency Equations and graph
Types of brake
Internal expanding brake
Disc brake
Hydraulic brakes
Brake linings
Brake drum
Brake effectiveness
Speed and load
Road surface
Tyre tread
Number of wheels braking
Coefficient of friction
Pressure applied by leverage
Pressure applied through energization
Weight transfer
Braking force of engine
Self-energization and servo action of brake
Girling Brakes


Marks of Excellence.P.Mollerup.Phaidon Press.1997.

ISBN: 0714838381

Graces Guides

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.

ISBN: 3822863106

Lotus Book.Taylor.Coterie.1998.

ISBN: 1902351002

Art of the Formula 1 Race Car. Mann, Codling.Motorbooks.2010


Lotus 24, 25, 28, 29, 33.Unique.

Lotus 49, 49B, 49C, 49F.Unique.

ISBN: 1842555185

International Corporate Identity.Olins.Laurence King.1995

ISBN: 1856690377

International Motor Racing 1978.Ed by B.Gill.Macdonald and Jane’s.1978

ISBN: 035409033X

The International Motor Show. Offical Catalogue.1966

Motor Racing Directory 1955-56 [Ed by staff of “Motor Racing”] Pearl Cooper.

Motor Racing Directory.Kettlewell.

ISBN: 0906556007

Autosport A-Z Motorsport Directory. [Annual editions] Haymarket

The Automobile.Reyat.Chand.2013.

ISBN: 8121902142

Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology.Hillier & Pittuck.Hutchinson.1967.

Lotus 49.Wagstaff.Haynes.2014.

ISBN: 9780858334121