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.
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 !