Taking Sides: Lotus Racing Cars: Profile and Presentation


This article takes the opportunity to explore Lotus single seat racing cars [mainly F1] in a multi-conceptual manner; and provide direct practical do-able design exercises.

The opportunity exists to: –

  • Trace the evolutionary development of Chapman and Lotus colleagues design as evidenced through profiles.To extrapolate from elevation /profile the other 2D aspect of the design and construction
  • To compare and contrast Lotus against their peers in F1 –possibly using either technical or aesthetic perspectives
  • To explore sponsorship, logo representation, aesthetics and the memorability of sponsor concept as portrayed on Lotus cars
  • Work shop exercises to either create an alternative sponsor representation or provide exercise in creativity by inventing and presenting a sponsor logo on a Lotus body drawing] see below under learning opportunities]

The editors have taken a selection of Lotus single seat racing cars and the iconic profiles and offer these for study and experimentation

Subscribers might like to see directly relevant and fully structured/integrated A&R articles: –

  • John Player special
  • Sponsors in Motor Racing
  • Dedicated pieces on specific examples provided including Indy cars
  • Line of Least resistance
  • Car aesthetic studies
  • Lotus 79 black Beauty

Learning Opportunities

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.

In this instance we suggest the following categories might be appropriate: –

1.Drawing and related exercises

  • Complete a chain of Lotus single seat designs complementary to those provided
  • Use templates to draw correct sponsor logo’s
  • Compare and draw peers for purpose of direct comparison
  • Use base information /templates given to add Lotus and sponsor logo/livery and evaluate impact of colours and imagery
  • Use templates given and draw one example in working drawing format
  • Block out template and evaluate the extent that the silhouette is distinctive
  • When was Chapman/Lotus evolutionary or revolutionary is F1 design /-suggest reasons and repercussions
  • Examine templates and consider design in form and function context. Annotate drawings for main construction, mechanical components and aerodynamic concepts
  • What tyres were used in examples given
  • What engines were used and how did they impact on form and function
  • Suggest how the racing car bodies surface can be used creatively for marketing, what opportunities have been missed?

2.Workshop type activities

  • Design your own logo /or represent a sponsor on templates given
  • Extrapolate templates to create gift opportunities, like gift cards, calendars, screen savers etc.
  • Study how sponsor log’s were applied
  • Examine sponsor representation in other fields; compare and contrast impact relative to Lotus
  • Use templates and use either black and white or colour to judge which has greater impact – estimate why
  • How does moving image impact of advertising?
  • Explore Lotus sponsor representation and how it was registered/perceived/penetrated into viewer psyche by audience’s world wide
  • It’s said “A picture is worth a thousand words” explain meaning and how this was achieved in Lotus sponsor representation


3.Literary and visual Expression

Using a typical crossword dictionary examine terminology of interest to advertisers and explore the visual counterparts to express meanings. Choose from following examples: –

  • Graphic
  • Clear
  • Lucid
  • Vivid
  • Telling
  • Detailed
  • Explicit
  • Specific
  • Striking
  • Symbolic
  • Pictorial
  • Delineative
  • Descriptive
  • Ell defined
  • Diagramatic
  • Illustrative

Exhibitions, Education and Economics

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 might be appropriate: –

  • F1 logo’s and Graphics’: Demand Curve
  • Lotus&Logo’s:Statement of Intent
  • Lotus: Side Effects
  • Lotus Sponsorship: On the right Side
  • Lotus: Sidelong: Advertising on the side
  • Writing on the side: Getting a message across
  • Lotus: Changing sides: Changing Sponsor Logo’s
  • Lotus Sidetrack: Racing and Sponsor Logo’s

20161114162252_00001Conclusion: Side show

In our related articles on JPS, Lotus and sponsorship we have found evidence to support that the Lotus /JPS logo combination has been one of the most distinctive, aesthetic and memorable in F1 history.

In this article we hope to have provided an opportunity to explore changing technologies, materials and aerodynamics along with sponsor logo’s.

These changes being very evident in the changing profiles; with Chapman and Lotus being innovators.

In addition there is an opportunity to examine and experiment with graphics, advertising and sponsorship which remain very significant financially in many sports .Graphics, sponsor representation is increasingly important offering recognition and differentiation.


Art of the Formula One Race Car.Codling&Mann.Motorbooks.2010


Please note the editors of the A&R attempt to give the broadest spectrum of references but not all are available for consultation in an article. However by noting their existence it may assist students in their research.

*Items in italics non A&R library books.