The car that most defined the whole first half of 1970s was the Lotus 72. Ask any long-time racing fan what car comes to mind when you say ‘Formula 1’ and at least half of them will think of wedge-shaped black and gold type 72. It’s partly because the Lotus 72 participated in as much as 6 seasons and 74 World Championship races but most of all the car owes its fame to its record of success – 20 Grand Prix wins, 2 Drivers Championships and 3 Constructors Championship titles, results unabridged for more than a decade.
The Type 72 was 2WD Cosworth-engined car designed by Maurice Phillippe and supervised by Colin Chapman. While it may seem that Lotus had gotten back to conventional thinking but that would not be altogether correct. The Type 72 had many novelties, some of which were of revolutionary importance.
>In December 1966, two Type 47′s lined up on the grid at Brands Hatch making their public debut. Driven by John Miles and Jackie Oliver, the two white car’s finished first and second on the track – Oliver’s car was penalized post race for recieving a push start after stalling on the grid.
Differing from the road going Europa – the Type 46 – the Type 47 has a Hewland F2 gearbox, rated at 200bhp, coupled to the Ford sourced 1590cc Twin Cam engine. Fitted with magnesium suspension compmonents based on Lotus’s own single seater designs, the cars ran to group 6 regulations until the 50 cars were built to enable them to compete in group 4.
Together with the revised Type 47A, 71 cars were built, all intended for the track – although some were converted for road use by their owners, with one body, designated the Type 47D fitted with a V8 engine, was commissioned by GKN and built as a road car.
By 1968 the Type 47′s were already uncompetetive, and Lotus introduced the Type 62. Outwardly looking like the Type 47, the Type 62 was in fact a space frame chassis, and was used to race develope the new 2.0ltr LV 200 engine that eventually sreved Lotus for 25 years in cars such as the Esprit.
The Classic Red and Gold.
From 1964, to 1969, the (mostly) Red and Gold “Works” Ford’s of Alan Mann Racing were a dominant force, from Touring Cars to GT’s.
Winning the ’64 Tour de France in a Mustang, the World GT Championship in a Shelby Cobra Daytona in ’65 as well as the European Touring Car Championship with a Cortina, as well as national championships and numerous national and international race wins. Drivers included Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and John Whitmore.
Model makers worldwide see the appeal.
Nice interview with John Grant, formerly a mechanic at Alan Mann Racing.
|Sir John Whitmore and Alan Mann flank the famous KPU392C Cortina|
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