Tag Archives: 47

Flattery Will Get You Anywhere – Lotus 47 #47-GT-04/78

The Lotus 47 was conceived as a racing version of the Lotus Europa (Type 46). The 47 featured a lightened backbone chassis, 168 hp fuel injected Ford Cosworth C13 motor, in place of the Renault used in the road going Europa, Hewland FT200 Formula Two gearbox and suspension derived from the Lotus 22 and Lotus 23 racing cars.

Lotus 47, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Lotus 47 first appeared at Brands Hatch on Boxing Day 1966 making an immediate impression finishing 1-2 on the road with John Miles winning and Jackie Oliver in second place, though Jackie was penalised for a push start off the grid and so did not figure in the final classification.

The car seen here started life as chassis # 47-GT-04 and was driven by Miles and Oliver to a 9th place overall, first in class, in the 1967 Brands Hatch 6 hours. The car was then acquired by John Calvert and raced under the Sunderland Racing Developments banner in 1968. An collision with Doug Hardwick, driving #47-GT-61 in April ’68 necessitated the replacement of the chassis and so the car became identified as #47-GT-04/78.

While no further International success was attributed to Lotus 47’s after the class win at the 1967 Brands Hatch six hours they did score many wins in national events. Of the many drivers who raced 47’s one was rookie B Rahal who made his first appearance on the race track in #47-GT-60, a car he purchased from Lotus Midwest near Janesville, Wisconsin in the summer of 1972.

In all around 55 cars seems to be the accepted number of Lotus 47’s built confusingly some appear to have been built solely for the road and the chassis numbers run to #47-GT-85.

Several special 47’s were built with Climax motor’s and one, known a Type 47D, with a Rover V8 was built by the factory for GKN that is said to have been capable of 186 mph.

When John Blundsten tested the prototype 47 for Motor Racing magazine he said that while a couple of recent Lotuses had not “exactly flattered their owners. This one is very different … and flattery will get you anywhere !’

Thanks for joining me on this “Flattery Will Get You Anywhere” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Black Badge Myth – Lotus Europa #54/2108

In 1966 Lotus introduced the Lotus Europa known as Type 46 which was apparently born out of Colin Chapman’s attempt to win the Ford contract to build Ford’s Le Mans challenger which went to Lola and eventually became known as the GT40.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

The Europa came with a mid mounted Renault engine and gearbox, of the type usually found in the Renault 16, albeit boosted from 52 hp to 82 hp mounted on a steel back bone chassis with a fiberglass body bonded to the chassis.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

A racing version of the Europa, Type 47 was also built which was intended to replace the Lotus 7, which it never did. In April 1968 Lotus introduced the Europa S2 which used the same running gear and chassis as the original but featured electric window’s, fully adjustable seats, polished wood facia and the body was now secured to the chassis by bolts in place of the resin bonding, this package of refinements were sufficient for Lotus to give the Europa S2 a new internal Type number 54.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

The 1969 Europa S2 seen here fetched over £16,000 at the recent Silverstone Auction held at Race Retro. Interestingly this car was advertised as a Black Badge Car, which romantics would have you believe was something to do with a myth allegedly marking the death of Jim Clark in 1968 when in fact the truth is considerably more mundane.

Lotus Europa S2, Race Retro

According to the late Graham Arnold Lotus Marketing Director in 1968 the Black Badge Elan’s and Europa’s came about because Graham arranged for the production of a batch of black ‘Lotus’ badges because he ‘thought’ they would look classier and would not clash like the yellow and green ‘Lotus’ badges did with the red white and gold ‘Gold Leaf‘ colours carried by many road going Lotus models at the time. Colin Chapman did not approve of the new badges and vetoed their use. Subsequently some of these badges however did find their way on to various cars not least the press fleet for which Mr Arnold was responsible, causing him to attract the ire from Mr Chapman who thought Mr Arnold had fitted the black badges in contradiction to Mr Chapman’s wishes.

Subsequently replica black badges have found their way on to owners cars often as a mark of respect to Jim Clark but these badges were never sanctioned officially and should not attract any kind of premium if fitted.

Thanks for joining me on this “Black Badge Myth” edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !