Tag Archives: Phillipe

World Wide Racing – Lotus 56B R1

The Lotus 56B is the Formula One version of the “Son of Silent Sam” Lotus 56 Indy challenger that came within a couple of laps of winning the 1968 Indianapolis 500 with Joe Leonard at the wheel.

Lotus 56B, Goodwood Festival of Speed

This Formula One version of the Lotus 56 was a fresh chassis built with additional fuel capacity, it was unusual to make scheduled pits stops of fuel back during Grand Prix races in the 1970’s, and with additional wings front and rear to aid the considerable traction and handling advantages of the the all wheel drive transmission.

Just as at Indianapolis in 1968 the Pratt and Whitney STN6/76 had to be considerably detuned to meet the regulations which tried to keep it competitive with the 3 liter / 183 cui piston motors in use at the time.

56B R1 had four non-championship outings before taking part in three Grand Prix. The upshot was that the car was the class of the field in wet conditions, where it’s weight disadvantage was minimised but it struggled to make the top half of the grid in dry conditions.

Three drivers were given a shot in the car, Emerson Fittipaldi, Reine Wisell, and Dave Walker. Fittipaldi managed the cars only finish at the 1971 Italian Grand Prix where he qualified a lowly 18th on the grid and came home 8th well ahead of expectations for the car which was never to be seen in a Grand Prix again.

Regular followers of GALPOT maybe wondering why the car is painted Gold and Black instead of the by now traditional Red, White & Gold of the Gold Leaf Team Lotus.

In 1970 Jochen Rindt had been killed in an accident at Monza driving a Gold Leaf Team Lotus 72. Fearing legal repercussions from the notoriously slow and fickle Italian authorities investigating Rindt’s accident Colin Chapman took steps to avoid encumbrance or at worst arrest by opting to keep a low profile by entering just the one car in place of the usual two in the 1971 Italian Grand Prix.

To further keep the Italian authorities off his trail he entered the Lotus 56B under the World Wide Racing banner and had the car painted in Gold and Black, weather this was to obscurely promote the John Player Special brand which was owned by the same, Imperial, tobacco company as Gold Leaf remains unclear, though in 1972 Imperial switched the brand being promoted by Lotus to John Player Special whose black and gold colours are echoed on the current incarnation of Lotus on the Grand Prix grid.

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


What’s In A Tooth ? – Lotus Ford 49 #R2 & #R3

The Lotus 49 consolidated the principle of using the motor that as an integral structural component of the design that was first seen on the BRM P83 and Lotus 43 which were both powered by the novel BRM H16 motor in 1966. The 49, designed by Maurice Phillipe however was powered by the then brand new, and much simpler Ford sponsored 3 litre / 183 cui 8 cylinder Cosworth DFV that was the brainchild of Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin.

Lotus 49, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Despite many faults that would surface and be ironed out over the ensuing seasons the Lotus 49’s made a dream debut at Zandvoort for the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix with Graham Hill qualifying on pole and Jim Clark who had never so much as sat in the car before the first practice qualifying 8th. During the race Clark driving chassis #R2, seen above with Jackie Oliver at the wheel at Goodwood, used his legendary speed and mechanical sympathy to well judged victory while Hill experienced timing gear failure with two teeth next to each other on the timing gear breaking. After the race it was discovered Clark’s car had experienced a similar failure however a single tooth remained between the two broken teeth on Clarks timing gear ensuring just enough drive to make it to the finish.

Clark used Chassis #R2 to win both the 1967 British and US Grand Prix before being converted to 49T spec for the Tasman Series of races in Australasia which required an engine capacity of 2.5 litres / 152.5 cui which was achieved by fitting a different crankshaft with a shorter stroke to the DFV motors making them DFW spec. Jim won 4 races in the 8 race Series with the 49T spec chassis #R2 which combined with a couple of points paying places was enough to win the Championship from Chris Amon in his Ferrari 246 Dino.

Chassis #R2 was then loaned to Rob Walker racing during 1968 to replace chassis #R4 which driver Jo Siffert had crashed on his debut in a non championship race at Brands Hatch. Although #R4 was not damaged beyond repair by that accident it was subsequently destroyed in a workshop fire at Rob Walkers premises necessitating the loan of #R2. Once Walkers team had built up a new car, chassis #R7 now in B spec with the tall rear wing, which Siffert used to win the 1968 British GP.

Once chassis #R2 was returned by Rob Walker to Lotus it was immediately pressed into service again after Jackie Oliver had a comprehensive accident in #R6 at the 1968 French GP. For the British Grand Prix #R2 was repainted in Gold Leaf Team Lotus colours and fitted with the winged 49B spec nose cone and high rear wing. The car received further B spec upgrades for the German Grand Prix. Oliver would use chassis #R2 for the remainder of the 1968 season scoring a best 3rd place finish at the season finale in Mexico.

Lotus 49, National Motor Museum Beaulieu

The car seen above at Beaulieu National Motor Museum is chassis #R3 which featured subtle differences to chassis #R1 and #R2 to aid the distribution of loads under braking at the front and to aid access to the brake balance adjuster which had previously only been possible by two mechanics picking up a third smaller mechanic and lowering him into the cockpit upside down ! Note the sculpture of Graham Hill on the plinth to the left of the car in this photo.

Lotus 49, National Motor Museum Beaulieu

Chassis #R3 first appeared at the 1967 British Grand Prix with Graham Hill at the wheel, he qualified 2nd behind Clark but while leading the race first an allen screw dropped off the rear suspension and after it was replaced the engine failed while he was making up good time. Chassis #R3 has the second longest track record of the 12 Lotus 49’s built.

After Hill scored a season best 2nd place in the 1967 US Grand Prix, behind Clark, and opened his championship winning 1968 season with another second place, again behind Clark at Kyalami chassis #R3 was sold to Rhodesian John Love who used the car to win the last two of six consecutive South African Formula One titles in 1968 and 1969, his successor Dave Carlton won the 1970 South African Championship driving the Lotus 49 chassis #R8 which was built to the final C spec.

Lotus 49, National Motor Museum Beaulieu

The 400 hp Ford Cosworth DFV was to become the mainstay of Formula One right through the 1970’s, it was far in advance of the Lotus 49 chassis and would only be toppled by the hugely more expensive turbocharged motors in the early 1980’s after 155 Grand Prix Victories. One of the triangular aluminium top engine mountings can be seen bolted with three bolts on the leading edge of the cam cover tapering into the back of the monocoque to which it was attached by a single bolt. Three further such mountings were all that were required to integrate the motor into the structure of the car.

Lotus 49, National Motor Museum Beaulieu

The rear suspension and drive shafts and gearbox would repeatedly prove trouble some for team Lotus as they got to grips with having such a powerful motor. The ZF gearbox in it’s original form was not strong enough and required additional strengthening which can be seen in the form of the thick vertical plate into which the drive shaft disappears. The ZF gearboxes were replaced on the 1968 B spec cars with Hewland units which were much easier to maintain trackside.

Lotus 49, National Motor Museum Beaulieu

The vestigal nudge bar was added to the back of the ZF gearboxes after the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix win in order to comply with a regulation about the dimensions between the end of the exhaust pipe and the back of the car. In other words when Jim Clark won the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix his Lotus 49 did not comply fully to the letter of the existing regulations.

Chassis #R3 is the only one of the Lotus 49’s never to run in B or C spec. Since it has been in the care of the National Motor Museum it has been involved in two serious accidents. The first, on a demonstration run, involved a tree in the Beaulieu grounds where it is kept in 1999 further details of the accident damage can be seen on this link. The second accident with the same driver occurred at a Silverstone Press Day in 2009 fortunately the damage was restricted ‘only’ to the left side suspension as can be seen in these linked photo’s.

Thanks for joining me on this “What Is In A Tooth ?” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be looking at a GSM Delta. Don’t forget to come back now !


White Elephant – Lotus 63

The thinking behind the Lotus 63 intended to capitalise on the lessons learned from the all wheel drive Lotus 56 Champ Car, which nearly won the Indy 500 in 1968, and replace the Lotus 49 for the 1969 Grand Prix season.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

Colin Chapman recognised that the 3 litre / 183 cui Ford Cosworth DFV V8 which he had been responsible for commissioning with Ford finance had more power than the Lotus 49 could properly utilise even with the aid of wings which generated downforce on the wheels when in motion.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

Having learned about the benefits of all wheel drive from the Lotus 56 Indianapolis programme Colin Directed Maurice Phillipe to design an all wheel drive car for Grand Prix racing, this was by no means the first such Grand Prix vehicle the 1961 Ferguson P99 featured such a transmission and won the non championship 1961 Oulton Park Gold Cup with Stirling Moss at the wheel.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

The fuel cells for the 63 were built into the sides of the car and under the drivers seat !

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

The mounting of the Cosworth DFV broke with tradition having the clutch at the front driving the four wheels through shafts mounted in tunnels on the left hand side of the car. The second pipe from the left in this photo is connected to the radiator at the front.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

To reduce unsprung weight and improve handling the ventilated disc brakes were mounted in board front and rear.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

Graham Hill tested the Lotus 63 once and refused to race it feeling the car was unsafe, Jochen Rindt managed a best second place in the non championship 1969 Oulton Park but like Hill was not keen on driving a car with his feet ahead of the front axles and his legs beneath them !

Grand Prix novice John Miles who did the bulk of the testing for the model, because Chapman thought he would lack any preconceptions to hinder development, managed one non points finish from four starts and Mario Andretti crashed in both races he started with the Lotus 63. By the end of 1969 the car was running with a heavy drive bias to the rear thus negating the advantages of four wheel drive and so the car was abandoned as a white elephant in favour of the new Lotus 72 design which would set the Grand Prix world alight in 1970.

The Lotus 63 featured today is regularly on view at the Donington Park Museum.

Owner driver Roger Dawson – Damer lost his life in an accident while driving his Lotus 63 at the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘White Elephant’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow when I’ll be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Maserati Merak. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS I hope you will join me in wishing GALPOT contributor Ralf Pickel a speedy recovery from a nasty accident at Hockenheim in which he broke both legs last week.


Son of Silent Sam – Lotus 56

The 1968 Lotus 56 picked up on the technology used by the STP-Paxton Turbocar “Silent Sam designed by Ken Wallis for the 1967 Indy 500 with which Parnelli Jones came within 8 miles of winning before a transmission bearing failure intervened.

Lotus 56, Goodwood, FoS

Like the STP Paxton Turbocar the Lotus 56, was also bankrolled by STP’s Andy Granatelli, used four wheel drive transmission.

The Lotus 56Lotus 56, Goodwood, FoS

However the Lotus 56 rather than mounting the engine alongside the driver on a backbone chassis as had been the case with the STP Paxton Turbocar, Maurice Phillipe’s design had the motor conventionally mounted behind the driver in what was to become an influential wedge shaped vehicle.

Lotus 56, Goodwood, FoS

Jim Clark was originally penciled in to drive the Lotus 56 but his death during a race in Germany in April ’68 meant British driver Mike Spence was called in to do the early testing of the Lotus 56, unfortunately Mike was killed during practice three weeks before the start of the Indy 500 after hitting the wall in turn one.

Lotus 56, Goodwood, FoS

After an accident with in older STP Paxton Turbo car Joe Leonard joined Graham Hill and Art Pollard in the remaining Lotus 56’s.

Lotus 56, Goodwood, FoS

Despite running with an air restrictor plate mandated for 1968 Joe managed to qualify on pole for the ‘500’ thanks in part to the efficient aerodynamics and superior 4wd handling.

Lotus 56, Goodwood, FoS

The big advantage of using a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turbo shaft motor, more familiarly seen in a variety of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, was reliability these motors are known to have a mean time between outages (MTBO) of 9000 hours !

Lotus 56, Goodwood, FoS

The disadvantage of turbo shaft motor was eye watering fuel consumption which means turbine powered cars carry more weight and have to re fuel more often than cars powered by conventional piston motor’s.

Lotus 56, Goodwood, FoS

In the 1968 500 Graham Hill had an accident Art Pollard broke down while Joe Leonard was leading with a few laps to go when a fuel pump shaft failed meaning Granatelli came close but failed to win a cigar for the second year running.

Turbo shaft motors and four wheel drive were outlawed from the Champ Car circuit from 1969. The Lotus 56 design, in 56B specification, was subsequently sporadically used in Grand Prix races during 1971, but apart from phenomenal performance in the wet no overall advantage was found by using the combination of four wheel drive and turbine shaft propelled vehicles.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Son of Silent Sam’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Choice Of Champions – Lotus 49B #R10 & #R12

The story of the Lotus 49 in all of it’s guises is inextricably linked to the one component that was a decade ahead of it’s time the Ford DFV motor, which did not win it’s last race until 1983 and was still being used in 1985 running against turbocharged powered cars.

Lotus 49B, Goodwood, FoS

The Lotus 49 was originally built to compete in the 1967 Formula One season for drivers Jim Clark and Graham Hill. Colin Chapman had arranged for Ford to finance the building of the 3 litre / 183 cui Ford Cosworth V8 engine which like the BRM H16 Colin had used in 1966 was to be used as an integral component of the chassis, ie, if you take the motor out of the car the rear wheels would no longer be connected to the rest of the car sufficiently to be able to even push it.

Lotus 49B, Goodwood, FoS

The Lotus 49 design, credited to Maurice Phillipe, was based on the 1965 Indy winning Lotus 38 which Len Terry is credited with being responsible for. Jim Clark drove the Lotus 49 to a debut win in the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix. The Type 49 in all it’s guises won 12 Grand Prix in total the last a lucky last lap win at the 1970 Monaco Grand Prix with Jochen Rindt at the wheel.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

These air ducts, introduced on the 49B in 1969, allowed air to pass through the radiator and escape over the top of the car, where as on the original car the air had passed through the nose cone and out the sides of the car ahead of the front suspension units.

Lotus 49B, Goodwood, FoS

Producing around 400 hp when it first became available, Colin Chapman had an advantage over every other car in the field with the light and reliable Cosworth DFV which had years of development ahead of it that would see it’s output reach just short of 500 hp in 1985. Unfortunately, for Colin Chapman, realising that they needed to be seen running against other competitive teams Ford renegade on it’s exclusive deal with Lotus at the end of 1967 and allowed Ken Tyrrells Matra team to use Ford engines as well in 1968. By the mid 1970’s only Ferrari and BRM were the only regular runners not using Cosworth DFV’s.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

In 1968 Brabham and Ferrari copied the high aerofoil concept first seen on the Chaparral 2E Can Am car in 1966 and on the 1967 Chaparral 2F in the World Prototype championship, a month later the Lotus 49B with new rear hubs to carry the 400 lbs of downforce generated by the rear wing appeared at the French Grand Prix.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

This photo shows clearly how big an issue rear grip was back in 1968 not only is their a rear wing but the Hewland gearbox is surrounded by a large oil tank in an effort to distribute as much weight to the rear of the car as possible to improve road holding.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

The inverted aeroplane wing shape and light construction of the rear wing can be seen here, in 1969 similar wings were attached to the front hubs as well, but two bad accidents caused by collapsing wings for Lotus Team mates Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt led to these devices being strictly controlled from the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix on.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

So far as I can tell the chassis seen here, in the first, second and forth photo’s, at Goodwood is #R10. Chassis R10 was probably the original 49 #R5 which for reasons that are not clear was renumbered.

While carrying the #R5 chassis plate the car was raced in his second world championship winning year by Graham Hill to win the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix, #R10 was subsequently used by 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti to win pole for his first Grand Prix start in the 1968 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

Future 1970 champion Jochen Rindt was the first to use running with a 2.5 litre / 152.6 cui version of the Ford Cosworth DFV. Jochen won two Tasman Championship races in #R10.

Reigning 1968 World Champion Graham next used #R10 to win the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix. The following season Graham was driving the Lotus 49 #R7 for the privateer Rob Walker team which he crashed beyond immediate repair during practice at Monaco. Fortunately Lotus number 2 driver John Miles had failed to qualify for the race in #R10 and so it was hastily repainted in Rob Walkers colours the night before the race for Graham to drive. He finished 5th despite having broken his legs in the 1969 season ending US Grand Prix driving the same chassis just 7 months earlier !

1972 & 1974 double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi made his Grand Prix debut in Lotus Ford 49 #R10, at the British Grand Prix in 1970.

Finally the first race I ever recall seeing on TV was the 1968 British Grand Prix which was led by first Graham Hill, then his team mate Jackie Oliver before being won by Jo Siffert all three were driving Lotus 49 B’s Jo’s being the odd one out being entered by Rob Walker, who GALPOT regulars may recall had a lot of success running Stirling Moss in his Lotus 18 during the early 1960’s. Jo’s victory was the last to be recorded by a private entrant in a ‘customer’ non works customer car.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Choice Of Champions’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres. I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

24 04 12 PS Tim Murray has kindly pointed out that I originally incorrectly attributed the design of the Lotus 49 to Len Terry when it should have been Maurice Phillipe, apologies for any confusion. If you see an error of fact anywhere in GALPOT blogs please do not hesitate to inform me in the comments box. Thanks to Tim for the correction.

03 08 12 Serious Errata further reading of Micheal Olivers “Lotus 49 the story of a Legend” has shown that the car which is seen in the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th photo’s above at the Donington Collection is actually chassis #R12 and not chassis #R10 as seen in the 1st, 2nd 4th photo’s above, there are several distinguishing features which should have made this obvious at the time I originally posted this blog including the black ‘Lotus Ford’ lettering on the nose various decals and the chrome exhaust at the rear !

Chassis R12 was built up as a show car, for the Ford Motor Company, using the floor from the Lotus 49B R6/1 which was crashed by Jackie Oliver at the 1968 French Grand Prix. Built as a non runner chassis #R12 is consequently the only Lotus 49 which has never been raced, it was donated to Tom Wheatcroft’s Donington Collection when Ford no longer had a use for it.

Sincerest apologies for this error.


Sign of things to come – Kimberly Cooper Special

Today’s blog, on the 50th anniversary running of the ‘ Indy 500’ in 1961, comes courtesy of photographs by Ed Arnaudin and Phillippe de Lespinay.

01 Copyright Ed Arnaudin 1961_61s

Photo by Ed Arnaudin.

AJ Foyt recorded his first of four victories at Indy in 1961 driving the Bowes Seal Fast Special, a Trevis Roadster, outrunning Ed Sachs and Roger Ward both driving Watson Roadsters.

Cooper T54, Jack Brabham, Indy 500

Photo by Ed Arnaudin.

Also on the grid of the 1961 Indy 500 was a small car built in England driven by an Australian who started 13th and came in 9th, perhaps not a stunning performance but none the less a significant marker for the future designs that would appear at Indianapolis.

Cooper Climax T54, Kimberely Cooper Special, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Photo by Ed Arnaudin.

The #17 Kimberly Cooper Special, was the smallest car in the field powered by the smallest engine a 270 HP 2750 cc / 167 cui 4 cylinder Coventry Climax which gave away around 150 HP to it’s Offenhauser powered opposition. Uniquely that day in May the Cooper had it’s Coventry Climax engine mounted behind the driver.

Despite it’s power disadvantage which showed in straight line speed the Coopers lighter weight and rear engine configuration gave two time, reigning, World Champion,Jack Brabham a superior handling car going round the corners.

Had the team not made an unscheduled third stop, spending over 8 minutes stationary over three stops ‘Black Jack’ wound have been in a competitive position at the end of the race.

Cooper never returned to Indianapolis. The marker they had put down with the rear engine layout was taken up by others and by 1969 all Indy 500 qualifiers had engines mounted in the back, a development that was met with some resistance by both organizers and fellow competitors, who were less than thrilled by all manner of new comers turning up and eventually sweeping up the victory spoils.

In 1963 owner Kjell Kvale, believing some hopelessly optimistic performance figures for a 6 cylinder Aston Martin engine had Joe Huffaker install it in ‘Black Jacks’ 1961 Cooper T54 for Pedro Rodriguez to drive. Due to poor straight line speed Pedro Rodriguez was bumped in qualifying for the 1963 Indy 500.

The unique T54 then passed through 3 hands and by 1977 it had morphed into a Chevrolet powered sprint car. Fortunately many of the original parts that had been replaced in the morphing process had been kept.

Cooper T54, Philippe de Lespinay

Photograph courtesy of Philippe de Lespinay

In 1990 Philippe de Lespinay and Robert G Arnold managed to purchase over 70% of the parts belonging to the T54, along with it’s original equally storied engine, giving Thomas Beauchamp, Gene Crowe and Quincy Epperly the task of restoring the Cooper back to it’s 1961 specification using as all of the recovered original parts, including all of the surviving body panels.

Cooper T54,  Jack Brabham

Photograph courtesy of Philippe de Lespinay

During the restoration Jack Brabham found time to visit the shop in California and inspect the work in progress.

Cooper T54,  Jack Brabham

Photograph courtesy of Philippe de Lespinay Monterey 2006

Thirty years after first driving the T54 at Indianapolis Jack Brabham took a belated fairy tale victory to win the 1991 Monterey Cup.

Cooper T54, Rolex Moments in Time.

Photograph courtesy of Philippe de Lespinay

Since then the T54 has appeared at the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Marconi Automotive Museum, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and in 2006 was selected as the star of the 2006 Rolex display at Monterey.

In July Philippe will be bring the Kimberly Cooper Special also known as the Cooper Coventry Climax T54 to Goodwood Festival of Speed, where I look forward to seeing the car for the first time in the flesh and meeting Philippe.

My thanks to Steve Arnaudin for scanning and sending his Dad’s photos, to Phillipe de Lespinay for permission to use his photos more of which along with the complete story on the restoration of the T54 may be seen here.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s rear engine edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

Correction in an earlier edit of this blog I incorrectly stated Pedro Rodrigueuz had crashed the Cooper Aston Martin, this was definitely not the case and a case of labelling error by a third party, apologies for any confusion caused.