Sponsor, Brands, Specialists and Suppliers: The Companies that supported the Chapman /Lotus Road & Racing Programme
Goodyear Slick Operators
“There are three main reasons why a major manufacturer such as Goodyear takes part in racing
To show its products superiority,
To learn from the hardest testing ground of all
And to win.
In the 1978 F1 season, Goodyear did all three things and in front of millions of people “
Figure 1: Illustration by Hutton
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
- See appendix below for other tyre supplies in this series
In this article the editors have drawn heavily on Henry 250 Grand Prix Wins.
Goodyear Company Profile /Abbreviated summary
Good Year is a long established American tyre manufacturer.
They have supplied aircraft tyres since the 1930’s
The company elected to support motor racing in order to change their image.
They have supported motor racing in the following: –
- Can –Am
- Le Mans
Their tyres have been equipped to many famous World championship cars [Brabham & Lotus etc.] including sports racing –Shelby Cobra and Ford GT 40
In period they had a base –Good Year Motor Corporation Racing Division, Bushbury, Wolverhampton.
Walt de Vinney was an important designer for Goodyear.
History and Products from the net etc.: –
“The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is an American multinational tire manufacturing company founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling and based in Akron, Ohio. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, race cars, airplanes, farm equipment and heavy earth-mover machinery. It also produced bicycle tires from its founding until 1976. As of 2017, Goodyear is one of the top four tire manufacturers along with Bridgestone (Japan), Michelin (France) and Continental (Germany).
The company was named after American Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber. The first Goodyear tires became popular because they were easily detachable and required little maintenance. 
Goodyear is also known for the Goodyear Blimp. Though Goodyear had been manufacturing airships and balloons since the early 1900s, the first Goodyear advertising blimp flew in 1925. Today, it is one of the most recognizable advertising icons in America. The company is the most successful tire supplier in Formula One history, with more starts, wins, and constructors’ championships than any other tire supplier. They pulled out of the sport after the 1998 season. It is the sole tire supplier for NASCAR series.
Good Year: Rolling Road R&D, the Chapman era
Goodyear success in part is a mix of factors’ have been good at: –
- Tyre testing including the Predictive Testing of Race Circuits
- Computerisation and simulation, introduced measuring equipment and provided the type of information never previously available
- Application of advanced chemistry and structures but also recognising that tyre design is part art and part science#
- They have made incremental improvements
- Providing specialists at F1 events
- Between 1975 & 1977 within the Chapman era they introduced the Vechicle Dynamics Programme which involved displacement transducers, accelerometers and steering angle transducers
- Understood the aspect of heat and tyre pressure as applied to tyre design and construction
- Innovated with slicks and the wrinkle wall
- Undertaken a constant evolution of tyre technology
- Enjoyed commercial success resulting from F1 feedback and publicity
- Been consistent in manufacture –quality control- not a mean fete
#looking at compounds, polymer, fillers, oils, paraffin accelerators etc. And the impact of heat.
“Occupying a monopoly position can be a situation which can be exploited or abused, but Goodyear was determined to exploit it by using the opportunity to carry out research into the higher reaches of vehicle behaviour which only F1 can achieve.
Accordingly the 1975/76/77 seasons saw extensive work carried out on a sophisticated program in which F1 cars ran with a full complement of measuring instruments attached to them – instruments which could provide tyre and chassis technicians with the type of information never before available
Figure 2: Goodyear advertising materials
Figure 3: Goodyear advertisement calling attention to their aviation connection
In the Chapman/Lotus era the Company was identified with the following branches of motor sport
- Can Am
Subscribers are invited to see the appendix below.
Figure 4: Goodyear advertisement benefiting from F1 Championship success
Figure 5: Editors sketch of the Lotus 78 wearing Goodyear tyres
“A company that enters GP racing does so knowing that it is laying its reputation on the line in the full glare of publicity and although success will be acknowledged, failure will be seen and noted by an enormous audience of knowledgeable fans.
Goodyear entered the 1978 season knowing that it was up against the strongest possible competition……
Mario Andretti driving a Goodyear shod Lotus, won the World Championship and Lotus the Constructors Championship “
Period Address for economic geography exercise
Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Co (Great Britain) Ltd,
Figure 6: Goodyear continued to supply Lotus into the turbo era, editor’s sketch of the Lotus 97T
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 Goodyear
Which tyre manufactures have supplied F1 –produce spreadsheet on evidence indicating results/statistics- adopt the spreadsheet from appendix
- Good Year gave Lotus the World Championships –in what years? With which drivers and cars? What role did the tyres play? [possibly use spread sheet to plot]
- How has F1 tyre technology impacted on road tyres?
- How has F1 helped manufacturers sell their products? – give examples
- How and why is tyre technology important to F1 cars? Examine past and present giving examples
- How can tyre technology contribute to greener motoring?
- Taking Good Year as an example how and why has its advertising emphasis changed over time?
- What is the Good Year logo? –debate its appropriateness
- What is the future of tyre technology in 21st century?
- What is the economic geography of tyre manufacture?
- What is the chemistry and physical structure of tyres? How does it relate to chassis, suspension and aerodynamic design?
- 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?
Figure 7: Changing sponsors but Goodyear still supplied Lotus, editor’s sketch of 99T
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 8: Possibly last in line of Lotus F1 cars with connectivity to Chapman.editors sketch of Lotus 107B on Goodyear’s
|Lotus & Good Year||Treads & Traction|
|Lotus & Good Year||Treading Lightly on the Ground|
|Lotus & Good Year||Laying a footprint|
|Lotus & Good Year||Treading on toes|
|Lotus & Good Year||Driving wheels & tyres|
|Lotus & Good Year||Wheels of fortune|
|Lotus & Good Year||Spinning wheels ,Smoking Tyres|
|Lotus & Good Year||Get a Grip|
|Lotus & Good Year||Getting a Grip on Power|
|Lotus & Good Year||Putting the Wind in their sales|
|Lotus & Good Year||Comes to Grips|
|Lotus & Good Year||Rubber rubs off……..|
|Lotus & Good Year||On the right Track|
|Lotus & Good Year||Treads & Tracks|
|Lotus & Good Year||Radical & Radial|
|Lotus & Good Year||Tyred & Tested|
|Lotus & Good Year||Eagles, Camels & Raging Bulls|
|Lotus & Good Year||Aerodynamics & Eagles wings|
|Lotus & Good Year||Golden Eagles|
|Lotus & Good Year||A compound achievement|
|Lotus & Good Year||Multiply|
|Lotus & Good Year||Slick Operators|
|Lotus & Good Year||An inflated sense of Importance|
|Goodyear||Tyres,treads,temperature,thermometers and testing|
|Goodyear||The Good the bad and the Goodyear|
|Lotus & Good Year||Goodyear to come in F1|
|Lotus & Good Year||Following a tread, staying ahead|
|Lotus & Good Year||Getting a grip and gripe|
|Goodyear||Not a patch on|
|Lotus & Good Year||Tyre walls and wars on F1|
|Lotus & Good Year||Goodyear’s and bad years in F1|
|Goodyear||Getting their name in F1 Yearbook|
|Goodyear||Tyres that deliver the Goods|
- 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 9: Editors sketch exploring relationships between sponsors branding and aesthetics
Conclusion: “The whole is greater………”
There can be little doubt about the significant contribution made by Goodyear.
They assisted Lotus achieve multiple F1 World Championships and many of their F1 cars over varying technologies and changes in regulations. Goodyear and Lotus made a symbiotic mix.
It’s been suggested that Goodyear allocated a 50/50 percent benefit between technical feedback and publicity.
Of course they also enjoyed success with other marques and drivers from Brabham to Stewart.
Components were material to reliability and competitiveness.
In the Chapman era it ought not be forgotten that Goodyear supplied tyres for virtually every other important category of motor radiant that benefits gleaned from F1 experience is passed on to its customers in these other classes.
This can be confirmed by examining Goodyear’s current statements about sponsorship support. See: Sponsorship Goodyear Corporate on the net.
They continue to innovate and inspire. Their contribution, products, research and development are worthy of wider publicity and dissemination.
“Goodyear’s portfolio of expertly crafted tyres delivers performance for motorists who want to get the most out of their driving experience.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company started life in 1898 with just 13 workers. Today, Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tyre companies and has offices in 22 countries around the world producing tyres that deliver outstanding performance and durability.
With over 100 years’ of tyre manufacturing experience, Goodyear is a familiar name across the world for its premium quality tyres which are designed with leading car manufacturers in mind. That’s why Goodyear’s superior quality tyre products have been selected as Original Equipment by many of the world’s leading car brands including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Land Rover.
Goodyear believes that innovation inspires you to do more and empowers you to discover your world of possibilities. From Lunar landings to 368 Formula One Grand Prix wins and land speed records like no other, the Goodyear brand has always been orientated around discovery, being the ultimate goal of every journey.
Goodyear’s tyre innovations include RunOnFlat self-supporting tyres that keep going even in the event of a blowout, ActiveCornerGrip and ActiveBraking which deliver improved braking and cornering respectively, and SmartWear technology for continuous resistance to aquaplaning throughout the tyre’s life”
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: Lotus type numbers and tyres
Appendix 2: Goodyear race results taken from Goodyear 250GP wins
|Watkins Glen||ditto||Ronnie Peterson||Lotus||72D||Ford|
|US Grand Prix West||1977||Mario Andretti||Lotus||78||Ford|
|South African||ditto||Ronnie Peterson||Lotus||78||Ford|
|Austrian||1982||Elio de Angelis||Lotus||91||Ford|
|San Marino||ditto||Elio de Angelis||Lotus||97T||Renault|
|US GP||ditto||Ayrton Senna||Lotus||98T||Renault|
|US GP||ditto||Ayrton Senna||Lotus||997||Honda|
Appendix 3: Main tyre manufacturer in F1 history
|Tyre Manufacturer||Adopt benchmarking criteria|
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