Colin Chapman Museum and Education Centre Newsletter July 2012

Newsletter – Number 37

  1. Lotus photos that have been donated.
  2. Museums around the world that you may not have heard of – Royal Automobile Museum, King Hussein Park
  3. Lotus 108 and 110
  4. Questions from our readers
  5. The Lotus Ford – Cosworth DFV V8 Engine. [The Power Behind the Throne]
  6. Lotus books one for the library
  7. Lotus collectables
  8. Lotus interest on YouTube

All previous articles relating to these are held on the website.

1. Lotus photos that have been donated

Following the last newsletter we received a letter from Yves Jaubard . In his letter he tells us that he was at Bugatti circuit on the 1st July 1967 when the pictures where taken. The more eagle eyed reader may notice Gerard Crombac in the background of the Jim Clark photo. Many thanks Yves..

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2. Museums around the world you may not have heard of: Royal Automobile Museum

King Hussein Park, (next to the Medical City off the King Abdullah II Street), Amman, Jordan

(962-60 541-1392)


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Ranked #1
of 24 attractions in Amman

4.5 of 5 stars
Type: Speciality Museums
Traveller Description: Has the private collection of cars and motorbikes of the Late King Hussein of Jordan. It is quite an extensive collection of immaculate cars

3. LOTUS 108 [1992] and 110 [1993]


Britain has a long and successful tradition of competition cycling. This has enjoyed something of a Renaissance since Chris Boardman’s famous Gold Medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. [4km pursuit] riding the Lotus Pursuit bike.

Currently the British cycling team have high expectations in the London Olympics of 2012.The subject is very topical as are the green credentials associated with cycling in general.

Much of this triumph and perhaps attendant motivation can be attributed to design innovation associated with the Lotus 108 Pursuit bike of 1992.

Although the A&R has its primary focus in the Chapman era the editors felt that the Lotus Pursuit and Sports bike has such a strong affinity with the Chapman mantra and methodology it was worthy of a more detailed evaluation.

Technology and materials make significant contributions in many sports disciplines including tennis, bob sleigh, swimming, pole-vault, sailboards, hang- gliders, javelins, jogging shoes, ski boots helmets and clothing. Carbon fibre is used in golf clubs to kayaks to aerospace and racing car components.

Chapman Mantra/ Methodology

Stated simply this was total commitment to the lightest possible construction and materials. This followed the rules of physics and mechanics. Lightweight was a function of performance and handling. The rules are universal wherever weight, speed, distance are engaged. The less weight the faster an object can accelerate, decelerate, and manoeuvre and its top speed is likely to be for given energy input.

Decrease in weight commences the beneficial spiral permitting further reductions.

The application of science particularly aerodynamics to improve efficiency, reduce drag or resistance to complement and integrate mechanical efficiency savings.

E.g.: An aerodynamic body on a car will require a lighter / smaller engine to achieve same result as a heavier engine in non-streamlined vehicle. However the lighter engine will make possible a lighter frame and components etc.

History of Bicycle–Briefly

  • Da Vinchi bicycle? Sketch c 1490
  • De Servac : Celerifere
  • Baron Karl von Drais style “Hobby horse”c 1817
  • Macmillan treadle cycle 1839
  • Michaux’s velocipedec 1861
  • “Ordinary” Bicycle c 1870 “Penny-farthing”
  • Rover Safety bicycle by John Kemp Starley c 1885 –England
  • Pneumatic tyres developed by John Boyd Dunlop in 1888
  • 1933 French Velocar [reclining / recumbent] designed by Francois Faure.
  • c1946 Ben Bowden’s “Spacelander”
  • 1960’ Moulton
  • 1984 Francesco Moser Hour Record Bike. [51.15km [31.78miles]
  • c1986 Burrows Windcheetah Carbon Cantilever
  • 1992 Chris Boardman, Olympic Record. Lotus Sports Bike 108
  • 2012 British International Cycling: Chris Hoy etc

Green Machine

For many the bicycle is considered the most efficient form of transport on earth. Its credentials are:

  • Healthy
  • Economical to own and run
  • Non polluting
  • Reasonable safe [inherently accept for contact with other motor vehicles]
  • Easily personalised / customised and adapted to individual needs
  • Synthesis of body and machine; art/craft, technology and engineering

As concerns grow for the environment so do the interest and importance of the bicycle. Some argue that the automobile advantages are being outweighed.

The bicycle in comparison is ecological, efficient and more sustainable and generally holistic when fitness and health are factored in.

Manpower and Horsepower

Ballantine and Grant quote as US study that explained to cycle one mile burns 35 calories, to walk 100 calories while a car engine burns 1,860 calories.

With a rider producing 0.25 hp a conventional bike will travel at approximately 21 mph [34km/h]. 0.5 hp is required to produce just 26mph [42km/h]

It’s believed that a rider producing .25 can deliver 21mph or 0.125 can achieve same speed when using a body shell recumbent

The equation to calculate traditional power is:
Power=Work/ Time=Force distance/time [1 minute]

A healthy human might produce 1.2hp
Trained athlete 2.5hp

It’s thought that a reasonably fit pedestrian can walk at 4-5 mph. However on a bicycle with an increase of weight of 1/11 or 1/12 body weight and assisted by the mechanical efficiency of gears a competition cyclist might achieve slightly over 25 mph.

If the reader google’s cycling performance there are several formulae that can be adopted.

Requirement of Efficient Cycling:

Are that it should be strong, light responsive with low resistance .

The bicycle is a machine rather like a car and can benefit from the application of mechanical efficiency. Hence light weight and aerodynamics enable the power generated by the rider to deliver more and for agility / manoeuvrability to increase. A bicycle is significantly affected by aerodynamics. The cyclist body creates significant wind resistance at 30-50km/h [20-30mph]. This can be reduced by approximately 25% by adopting a crouched riding position and the use of aero bars [aero tuck].

The two most contributory components are the frame and wheels.

The bike was ripe for technological evaluation and improvement and this is what Burrows and Lotus achieved

Names and Definitions

It can be a little difficult to grapple with the terminology. The carbon fibre framed bikes have been referred to as:

  • Monococque
  • Cantilever
  • Uni-Axle
  • Aerofoil cross-section.

What the editor’s belief they allude to is:

  • A non-traditional frame without conventional tubes.
  • A frame designed for both lightness and aerodynamics. Hence mono [single sided] blade front fork
  • A frame / chassis in a single plane i.e. with single sided front and rear wheel fixing. [Avoiding the splayed front and rear fork conventional mounting that nearly double the width of the machine and in process increases resistance.]

Carbon fibre

Carbon fibre is a synthetic material and used in aircraft. It’s believed it may have been developed at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough from the 1960’s.

The 108/110 are bicycles with an aerofoil section composite monocoque frame, [or chassis] this is moulded using advanced materials but primarily carbon fibre. It also has bonded alloy inserts for the headset, bottom bracket and rear wheel axle bearing.

In the late 1980’s frames of carbon fibre might weight 1.02kg [2lbs 4 oz] but further reductions have been achieved and sub 0.9 [2lbs] are possible.

Carbon fibres can we woven with strands of thermoplastic or glass fibre epoxy composite and graphite fibres into which alloy inserts accept the headstock and bottom bracket and rear axle bearing. Carbon fibre is stronger, lighter and stiffer than steel or aluminium.

It therefore meets the requirement of high performance that demand minimum weight with high tensile resilience.” Carbon fibres have high elastic modulus values [up to 5 X that of steel] and make excellent reinforcement. Usually loosely woven into a type of cloth the fibres are laid in a matrix according to strength requirement of the design- arrears where the fibres are more closely woven will be the those of greatest stress”


After the frame, wheels are the most significant component. Two factors are critical:

  • Weight
  • Shape

As wheels spin angular momentum creates gyroscopic effect. The heavier the wheel and faster it turns the greater the force.

However contradictory qualities can arise. Spoken wheels are lighter but create air disturbance and drag. This increases with speed. Therefore it can be preferable to have a heavier wheel that is more aerodynamic at speed.

Consistent with the aerodynamic form on the Lotus 108 both front and rear wheels are cantilever and fixed by stub axles i.e. the wheels are held / fixed on one side only. [I.e. there is no wishbone, thus reducing width and improving penetration]

Although it ought be mentioned the 110 Sport bike was fitted with the splayed front wishbone type fork.

Disc wheels possess less aerodynamic drag over conventional spoked wheels. [About 50% at 18km/h [30mph] torque] Disc wheels can be used on the back. They are structurally stronger and more aerodynamic. They rear wheel does not suffer the wind sail effect [i.e. subject to wind pressure impacting on steering/ direction] to such an extent and is partly faired or shielded by the rider and the frame.

Composite spoked wheels are used at the front on both the 108 and 110. This type of construction is preferable to a disc at front as it avoids the wind sail effect they have approximately 50% open sided area. Each spoke acts as an aerofoil. They are heavier but provide extra speed.

Fixing can be made integral with the monocoque. On the Lotus 108 Mavic wheels and rims were used, either spoke and disc. The 110 Sport bike used Mavic or Spinergy composite front and rear.

It’s believed that the Specialised Du Pont composite wheels might have been used as an alternative on some of the Lotus bikes. These are thought to have been constructed with carbon fibre on a foam core with a bonded 6061 T6 aluminium rim. In spoke fashion there is approximately 50% open area that reduces vulnerability to cross winds. This type is safe for both front and rear.

The front wheel may be smaller in diameter, [24”] creates less drag and benefits from less weight and carries through to smaller frame and further weight reduction. However rolling resistance offsets some of these gains. However a 700C wheel replacement was adopted on later machines of the Lotus108.

Tyres are usually very light, with smooth tread for lowest drag. Often inflated with helium to further reduce weight. Tyre pressures can vary from 105psi to 200.

Mike Burrows: The Designer:” You’ve been framed”

Mike Burrows is the engineer/enthusiast/ inventor believed to be the originator /designer of the monocoque frame. He was born in 1943 and has remained a resident of Norwich and its environs [note the geographical proximity of Lotus at Hethel] In 1984 Francesco Moser’s frame we see evidence of a conventional tube frame in the process of evolution with a frame layout/ geometry aiding aerodynamics. Note this machine used disc wheels.

Evidence suggests that Burrows first attempt to progress forward was the c 1986 Windcheetah Monocoque/ Windcheetah Carbon Cantilever .The construction comprised a streamlined monocoque frame made in carbon fibre. The monocoque eliminates traditional tubes and creates a more streamlined frame. The major components are held all in one piece. A single fork front wheel blade sometimes known as “mono-blade” is fitted [this was initially believed to be cast aluminium but later replaced with carbon fibre.] The advantage being both lighter weight and reducing drag. Both front and rear wheels were spoked but the front smaller [61cm /24”] in diameter partly to make faster handing but also lower the front to aid aerodynamics and contribute to a shorter wheelbase. [94cm] The handlebars were conventionally mounted and slightly upturned. They are referred to as “Gull-Wing”. They provide aerodynamic advantage. The seat post was integral with the frame. Transmission was a single fixed wheel. The rear sprocket in a conventional position that required the chain to run through a cut out in the frame. It’s believed that a single front hub brake was deployed.

This single fixed gear bike was believed to weigh approximately 9kg [20lbs]

Mike Burrows also designed the Racing HPV Windcheetah SL Mk.VI “Speedy” in 1995.This was a recumbent tricycle with low centre of gravity. Provides quick steering through joystick, good handling and powerful brakes [twin drum on front wheels]. The frame was monocoque [“mono”] whilst titanium, aluminium and Kevlar were also used.

Lotus Development

The editors believe there is some small ambiguity surrounding the originality or commissioning of the monocoque frame.ie there seems to be varying evidence that suggests Burrows made the original design which was passed to Lotus Engineering for development. The alternative being that Lotus saw a market opportunity and asked Burrows for an initial design. The editors believe the former to be more correct.
Lotus made a very significant contribution through:

  • Secret testing and development through early 1992
  • Design input founded around FI experience of structures and materials
  • Wind tunnel testing opportunities that resulted in the optimum shape.
  • Manufacturing capacity.

According to William Taylor in the “Lotus Book” success of the 108 “Prompted Lotus to join forces with a major South African manufacture. Cape Town based Aerodyne Technology, to develop the pioneering bike with a view to securing a commercial future for a range of Lotus sports products”

This became the 110. It was offered for sale adaptable for varying wheels, gears, and brakes.

Chris Boardman

Chris Boardman again established British prestige in International cycling when he dominated the 4000 meter pursuit in the Barcelona Olympic Games of 1992.He went on to take further records .His success was in part attributed to the high tech specification – design and materials of the aerofoil section composite monococque.

Its believed that Boardman rode the 110 in the 1994 Tour de France and later won gold medals at the Cycling World Championship.

He is known for the “Superman” riding position that has allowed him to achieve a CdA of .1838.

It’s believed he is now Head of R&D for the British Cycling Team. He also has a range of bikes including the Boardman Road Team Bike. [8.25kg. Approx.]

The Lotus 108 or Olympic Pursuit bike: Brief specification

Frame: composite carbon fibre with Kevlar and foam aerofoil section monocoque.
Transmission: Steel/ titanium fixed wheel and titanium handlebars. Gearing to suit rider and or event.
Front “Fork”: Carbon fibre mono-blade with aerofoil cross-section.
Wheels F&R: Mavic composite rim with aero-spokes/ disk.
Measurements: length 64”, width 16”, height 39”, wheelbase 38”
Weight: 9kg -20lbs- [estimated] some sources suggest 21.5lbs

The Lotus 110 Sport Bike/ Time Trial: Brief Specification

Frame: composite carbon-fibre/epoxy monocoque with aerofoil cross-section
Transmission: multi –gear derailleur
Fork: Front and rear wishbone type, with aerofoil cross-section.
Wheels F&R: Mavic on some models with blade “spoke” conctruction with aerofoil cross –section
BrakesF&R: Mavic side pull
Measurements: Length 62”, width 18”, height 40”[variable] wheelbase 39”
Weight: estimated 17.5-21.8lbs depending on specification/ components.
[The modern equivalent machine might weigh 14.5lbs]


Its believed the following prices applied.
1992 Lotus 108 Pursuit £15,000
1993 Lotus 110 Sport bike £1650+

Human Powered Vehicles [HPV]

Offer the opportunity for:

  • Greater speed
  • Better handling agility Stability, weight distribution
  • Greater comfort
  • Safety, weight distribution, centre of gravity
  • Relative weather protection
  • Storage
  • Sustainability: HPV under certain city riding or short distances might compete with the car for convenience, whilst being non-polluting using minimum of materials in construction and life span. Energy input in non –renewable.

Most HPV are recumbent and with their smaller frontal area improve aerodynamics and hence efficiency. They lend them selves to enclosing fairings

  • Cheetah
  • Sociable Tandem [Twike] [Alusuisse-Lonza Services AG] optional motor.
  • Ecocar 2000
  • Windcheetah SL Mk.VI “Speedy” tricycle [Mike Burrows]
  • Kingcycle Bean
  • Kingsbury Fortuna
  • Peer Gynt II
  • Sunlight and electricity complementary power source assistance.

The Proposed CCM&EC

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations can be both necessary and complementary with an educational programme.
For these reasons our business plan includes provision for promoting products that are consistent with the Chapman methodology of mechanical efficiency and sustainability.
Written into our plan are extensive proposals for cycling: racing/ competition, machines, components. Accessories, history and supporting books and related literature.


Colin Chapman/Lotus are most readily identified with sports cars and motor sport. This risks losing sight of the underlying philosophy and adherence to mechanical efficiency through lightweight. The achievements in motor sport were primarily the consequence of a relentless reductionism. Chapman just before he died was looking and evaluating the potential of micro lights perhaps not exclusively because of their green credential but this was a direct benefit of the design and construction. Whenever Lotus undertook consulting or direct design allied with their competitive drive to win produced machines of extra ordinary aesthetic and extreme simplification and weight reduction.

The A&R is proud to feature the sports bikes as a representation of one of the finest examples of performance with applied sustainable opportunities and outcomes. As a consequence form and function are in perfect harmony and expression.


Mike Burrows and R.Ballantine “Bicycle Design: The Search for the Perfect Machine” Snowbooks Ltd; 2008
ISBN: 9781905005680
Michael Embacher and Paul Smith “Cyclepedia”A Tour of Iconic Bicycle Design” Thames &Hudson 2011
ISBN: 9780500515587
The Lotus Book*
Richards’ Ultimate Bicycle Book. Dorling Kindersley 1995

Pryor Dodge “The Bicycle” 1996 Flammarion.

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4. Questions from our readers

Hello Neil

Good Morning
I am currently restoring a Lotus Elite Vin 7503/0440A, it was origionally blue, but was resprayed Martini green? early on in its life. It is alleged it was owned by Colin Chapmans wife, are you able to throw anymore light on the history of this vehicle or direct me to somewhere that can.


Best people to help are

Following the last editions article on the Lotus Cortina we received this email.

Hello Neil

I’ve just read with interest the article on Lotus Cortinas in Issue number 36.

I have been pulling together a library of information on these cars for the past couple of years, and building a website with the collected information. I firmly believe that whilst these cars are quite a long way from being recognised as a typical Lotus road car, they do represent perhaps one of the most significant partnerships in recent motoring history.

The success of Lotus and Ford in F1 in the 60s and 70s, and of Ford in rallying in the 70s and 80s, can be attributed to that unlikely coming together of the process-bound lumbering Ford organisation and the perhaps anarchic Lotus group!

Have a look at my website to see the sales and marketing approaches taken, along with an initial definition of the individual cars and their variants, the rally, race, police and press cars, and other information. There is still much work to do, which is mainly concentrated in the winter months, as the restoration of my Type 14 Elite and early Elan take precedence when the sun shines!

Here is the main site:


and perhaps of particular interest, here is an article written by Hugh Haskel in Classic Car magazine in the ’80s, somewhat different to his writing in his book


I am not associated with any clubs so I’m very happy for the site to be referenced from your website if you think it may be of interest to your readers

5. The Lotus Ford – Cosworth DFV V8 Engine. [The Power Behind the Throne]


Ludvigsen states:

“Though neither new to Formula 1 nor Lotus the integration of the engine and frame in the 49’s chassis was carried out with consummate artistry and elegance”

This article is fundamentally about the Ford – Cosworth engine and how Chapman was instrumental in bringing it into existence. Thereafter how he exploited and integrated its potential.

As such it’s a double-layered engineering appreciation. The engine in its own right but also the complementary extraction and enhancement through thorough chassis design/ packaging.

The DFV was powerful, reliable, robust and compact. It was designed and built to ‘production standard”. It’s thought its production life was 1967-1986.

Neither of the editors are engineers. Therefore in this piece we have relied heavily on quoted published information of the time. We aplogise that we are perhaps unable to more critically check this information. However we have posed an objective, vigorous searching questioning approach relating to original sources so that the debate and conclusions can be better understood and applied.

Our interest relates to the proable contract that existed between the parties. The A&R would like to know the exact terms and conditions if any that were applied. In addition it is necessary to know if Chapman gave Cosworth a specific design brief that included dimensions. These are important to evaluate how successful the design was against predetermined expectations and to know in which sequence the engine/ chassis evolved.

Whilst conducting our analysis based on information available we shall return to these related matters.

Once again Chapman demonstrates the totality of his conceptual approach. The resolution of a problem has to be concluded in harsh realities. The holistic achievement can only be achieved when the economic resources are available. This sees him negotiate with Ford and John Players. As always there are lessons to be leant and his approach is inspirational.

Subscribers should take into account technology of the time. E.g. even in racing engines 2 vales per cylinder were common.

Context, Circumstances and Necessity

Using the statistics and appendix in William Taylor’s “The Lotus Book” we can trace the engine manufacturers for each model from Lotus inception to the 49. Variations on Cosworth and Climax are approximately equal.

Of interest is the fact that V8 engines of various manufacturers had been used on an estimated eleven occasions prior to the 49.

The Ford V8 bringing success at Indianapolis and the Climax V8 in FI World championship.

Further evidence in favour of the V8 was the Repco V8 used by Jack Brabham. It had proved simple and reliable.
However the International Regulations were changing and 3L engines would be possible. Chapman was aware that factors might rob him of a competitive engine.

At the time there was some logic and advantage in the 12 and 16 cylinder engines. Chapman had used the BRM H16 of 2996cc in the Type 43 of 1966.It is estimated it might have produced 400+ bhp but it was relatively heavy and not particularly reliable. Its crankcase was also acting as stressed member.

Feeding the known evidence, experience and a factor for the opposition response Chapman and the Lotus designers / engineers might have specified a light, compact engine [possibly able to match the 12 and 16] but this could be scaled down if weight advantage was achieved. They would also expect reliability and fuel economy.

Ford Britain: Financial Backing

In the previous chapter we note that it was Colin Chapman who was the motivating force, instigator and catalyst to the project .Its Chapman who brokered the deal .Its very likely that his charm, track record, connections and London base enabled him to unite the parties.

History informs us that a tripartite was formed between Sir Leonard Crossland, Harry Copp [Vice President Engineering] and Walter Hayes of Ford Britain, Colin Chapman/Lotus and Keith Duckworth [Cosworth]. For a project like this to precede the trust, faith and confidence in Chapman must have been absolute and this is a measure of the man to deliver. It ought be remembered too the short time scale of 9 months.

There were compelling forces that might give the project momentum:

  • In the 1960’s Ford corporate policy favoured Motor sport as means of promoting its cars to younger audience. They may have feared that competitors could grasp sales.
  • Ford had a V8 in their range from the early days. It was suitable to the American market. An updated concept may have many applications within various branches of motor sport and beyond.
  • Colin Chapman was in 1966 a multiple World Champion Constructor and had used Ford engines in many of his cars including Indianapolis, the Ford-Lotus Cortina & Elan of 1962, and Type 30/40 1964/65.
  • Keith Duckworth [Cosworth] had tuned and developed Ford engines and they had been used successfully in road and racecars including a high proportion of Lotus.
  • The cost of £100,000 pounds plus technical support seemed reasonable in relation to the potential advertising /promotion gains that would accrue in relation to their production car sales in the international market.

To understand the £100,000 design and manufacturing costs it helps to consider what elements would be needed. These might be summarized as:

  • Design and drafting, specifications, contracts
  • Pattern making and casting, hardening etc
  • Machining and equipment of workshop
  • Purchasing parts. Ancillaries etc
  • Testing and running
  • Possible experimental and sacrificial pieces
  • Overheads and premises
  • Quality control discipline and inherent “production” standard.
  • Salaries

We invite our subscribers to goggle average wages and house prices for 1966/67 and the relative achievement is seen in more realistic context. The design and construction of the DFV to the deadline set would probably have taken most of the company’s time and workforce. Although not recorded it seems that the fundamental correctness of the design avoided any wasteful loses and modifications. Enormous dedicated thought planning and analysis must have been involved.

The editor’s estimation and budget breakdown corresponds roughly with the contract sum. Ford therefore we feel were treated fairly and the resultant promotion and entry into the higher echelons of FI as a result. I.e. their return was disproportionately greater than investment made.

The A&R believe that there must have been contract documentation and that such a large sum might have required approval from America. We feel that the analysis and greater critical appraisal would be increased if the terms of the contract were made known.

For example it might have been Chapman and his designers who made the specification but did Ford have to confirm this or make / amend alterations?

The editors would wish to know if Chapman issued dimensions to fit a chassis or the converse or as very possible there was a confluence, which ensured this perfect “fit”.

Obviously at the time secrecy was paramount but knowledge of possible conditions would better enable evaluation against declared objectives. There may have been stipulations requiring Ford trademark and Ford might have benefited from research and technological advancement and evidence gained through the race programme. There may have also been arrangements whereby the Ford engine would have use/ publicity at other levels of motor sport.
It’s understood that the contract may have been in two parts. The initial of £25,000 for initial experimentation.

It goes without saying the Ford contribution was extremely significant and almost immeasurable in the advancement of British motor sport specifically and international in general.

The Lotus 49: Lateral v linear thinking

As is today FI in 1966 required totally dedicated and exhaustive thinking and analysis to extract optimum results. Straight-line linear thinking or deduction from a predetermined fixed aspect may produce a logically executed design but this may not be competitive. If one element is given priority then it may have disproportionate negative knock on to related components

All engineers ought read Ludvigsen where he quoates at length the Chapman design methodology of 17 July 1975. Here Chapman explains the imperative is to win and therafter sets out parameters and suggested criteria.

Chapman, Phillipe and Duckworth probably spent an extended period exploring scenarios with their consequence, implication and interaction. Chapman’s demonstrated methodology is that of a totality based on lateral thinking not the linear. He analysis is a constant trade off towards a perfection of the interrelated parts and their harmonious integration in complementary coexistence. The package was in unison and a coherent whole. As in the past Chapman looked for the beneficial cycle.

Chapman’s design brief for the 49 might have included / anticipated:

  • Detailed and extensive analysis / digestion of regulations [mandatory requirements] how to meet yet extract advantage.
  • Theoretical knowledge
  • Previous design experience
  • Competitors likely response
  • Race conduct strategy i.e. pit stops reliability, fuel consumption, tyres etc
  • The relationship between chassis and engine, suspension and aerodynamics.

In reality the DFV evolved as a package with the 49 chassis. The engine, gearbox and chassis were beautifully integrated.

The engine acted, as a chassis member and the forward monocoque became a nacelle.

The estimated weight of the 49 is 1102 lbs.

The Lotus 49 made a spectacular debut at the Dutch Grand prix in 1967.

The Lotus 49 won the World Championship in 1968.

Keith Duckworth [Cosworth] and Technical details of the DFV V8 [Double Four Valve]

Keith Duckworth and his partners at Cosworth designed the DFV. These comprised Mike Costin, Bill Brown, and Berny Rood. This was a young team in their mid thirties.

They were and remain based at Northampton.

The timescale was approximately 9 months.

Keith Duckworth was a no-nonsense North countryman who was known as “The Practical Man”.

This would be ‘clean sheet of paper” design.

From the outset the engine would be mid mounted on longitudinal axis and form part of the cars structure.

  • Flat crankshaft sometimes expressed as 180 degree per bank of cylinders
  • Gerotar-type oil pump
  • 2 banks of 4 cylinders arranged in 90 degree “V” compact layout.
  • Each cylinder having twin inlet and exhaust valves, [i.e. 4 valves per cylinder] former on top of the engine giving direct passage to air allowing for good breathing and combustion.
  • Narrow valve angle for compactness
  • Pent roof combustion chamber
  • DOHC per bank of cylinders with bucket tappets
  • Camshaft driven by gears
  • Quad cam
  • Power output estimated 400 bhp @9000rpm developed to approx 510 bhp @ 11,200rpm [136 bhp / litre]
  • Conventional 4-stroke water-cooled petrol engine with reciprocating pistons.
  • Flat top piston with valve pocket
  • Lucas port fuel injection and slide throttle
  • Lucas electronic ignition
  • Aluminum-alloy cylinder head
  • Aluminum–alloy cylinder block with wet liners
  • Aluminum-alloy stressed lower crankcase
  • Dry sump achieves shallower more compact profile [although separate oil tank needed]
  • Compression Ratio 11.0:1
  • 85.7mmX 64.8mm bore and stroke, over square contributed to compact design
  • 2993 cc
  • Space saving placement of fuel pump, alternator and distributor between “V” of cylinder blocks
  • Low placed exhaust manifolds and internal mechanical design permitting simple but effective four-cylinder extraction.
  • Oil pump, filter and water pump located below exhausts
  • Internal oil chemistry and mechanics analysed/ i.e. minimum friction loss
  • Use of “O” ring seals
  • 10/12mm? Spark plugs
  • Its believed the DFV is constructed from 3550 parts [see web reference below]

The DFV permitted Chapman and his designers:

  • Compact engine with potential for short wheel base or alternative component distribution/ deployment/ wheelbase
  • Possibility of body width of approximately 27”
  • Light weight with competitive power output [power to weight ratio]
  • Acting as chassis component permitted weight reduction in remaining chassis
  • Fuel efficiency, reducing carrying capacity, hence reduced space and weight or less refueling
  • Aerodynamics, profile frontal area reduced i.e. determined by engine cross section
  • Greater access for maintenance no chassis obstructing engine
  • Centre of gravity reduced with potential for optimum concentration
  • Engine power to match opposition so advantage could be achieved through chassis and performance
  • Consistent engine performance over race distance.
  • Consistent engine through quality control productionisation discipline

British Industrial Design

The editors consider it a grave omission that the DFV engine has not been accorded greater status in Industrial Design circles considering its International impact and particularly how it became the mainstay on British Motor acing for over a decade.

To many it’s referred to as the “Immortal Ford –Cosworth DFV”

Considering that the engine became so legendry winning twelve drivers titles between 1968-1982, [including a further two for Team Lotus in 1972 and 1978] and ten Constructors Championships. It powered two Le Mans winners and provided something of a mainstay to F3000 and CART.

It is considered the most successful FI engine of all time. The winner of 155 World championship GP’s.

“One of the most revered pieces of engineering throughout the history of motor sport”

The DFV changed the conventional wisdom. The designers deserve greater recognition based on the success, influence and engineering reputation accredited to Britain.

Cosworth is part of the British engineering Cultural Landscape.

The Proposed CCM&EC

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our 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. Its projected there will be a catalogue for on line purchasing.

In particular we feel that it fully appropriate to have links with Ford. Lotus and Ford history and competition success are interwoven. Both have had a long and continuous presence in Britain. Both retain an interest in motor sport to the present day. Displays at the proposed museum will allow for the interpretation of the Ford connection.


The Ford –Cosworth DFV from its inception until the turbo era was the backbone of International Motor sport and allowed a wide contingent of British entries and providing close racing.

With this came significant prestige and earnings.

The editors consider it a significant part of our sporting and engineering Cultural Landscape and heritage. Part legacy but more so ongoing continuity and aspiration for engineering quality and integrity.

The DFV and Lotus 49 are a case study in creative engineering design, collaboration and marketing opportunity. The design and function of engine and chassis were integrated with the resultant whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Both the package and lessons are inspirational.

The proposed CCM&EC is not a passive acceptance or reverence of the past glory. Our declared aim is to drive inspiration thinking and problem solving in engineering though critical analysis. We believe it has the potential to be the “Exploratory- Laboratory” providing education and exhibitions not available anywhere else.
In summary are objects are:

  • To critically display and interpret the designs of Colin Chapman/Lotus
  • To use the tools of analysis and investigation for inspirational problem solving in current and future engineering matters
  • To use by every means the facilities to create training, work experience and related learning opportunities
  • To celebrate the British sporting and cultural achievements obtained through Motor racing and its related engineering. This will be supported by the development, expression and cultivation of engineering aesthetics.

Lotus: 49.49B.49C.49F. Unique Books. *
ISBN: 1841555185
Lotus, Coventry Climax and Cosworth Engines. Unique Books*
ISBN: 1841555177
Inside the Innovator by Karl Ludvigsen, Haynes, 2010 *
ISBN: 9781844254132
The Lotus Book by William Taylor, Coterie Press, 1999*
ISBN: 1902351002
The Ford Cosworth DFV. Andrew Noakes.Haynes 2007
ISBN: 9781844253371
Motor Racing: The Records. Ian Morrison. Guild Publishing.1987
*A&R Library.


6. Lotus books one for the library



Title: Motor-Cars to-Day
Author: H.E.Milburn
Publisher &Date: Oxford University Press. 1956

On first glance this seems quite a modest book of 300 pages. On examination it is rewarding and contains a very significant forward that seems particularly pertinent to Lotus.
Although not over technical it does provide a good overview of the era as suggested in the title. It is well illustrated with:

  • Diagrams
  • Photographs
  • Exploded drawings

The author liked the chapters on suspension and steering as they helped explain and simplify the principles that Chapman mastered to endow Lotus with its phenomenal road holding and performance.

Milburn also includes a comparison of form and function as the car evolved
1898-1950. This is graphic and a useful reference for designers and those with an interest in coachwork and design aesthetics.

However the author feels that Milburn’s forward is a perceptive insight and has no apology for quoting extensively:

“Wherein lies the fascination with the motor-car? Together with the railway locomotive and more lately the aeroplane, a motorcar probably provides the greatest interest to a boy today. With the passing of the years, the attraction of the locomotive may pall and the aeroplane dismissed without much further thought; but that of the motorcar remains, and the desire to own and drive one is the main aim of both sexes, young and old alike.

There are probably two reasons for this. With some it is the conquest of distance with others the feeling of personal satisfaction in securing a response from a virile mechanism. For, though built with seemingly inanimate metal, a motorcar pulsates with life when running and, under the guidance of sympathetic touch of a true driver, it will respond with all the vibrant qualities of a living creature.

Motorcars have an individuality .Two cars identical in design and appearance, may perform entirely differently. The one may be pleasant to drive while the other may be the very reverse. The reason why has never been explained, but one thing is certain. They respond the most kindly the treatment.

A good definition of a motorcar is that it is “Personal Transport”………
Smaller though the appeal may be. The motorcar makes a strong call for its sporting application .In the realms of sheer speed, British cars have through the years put up a very good showing and motor race meetings have consistently large crowds…………….
Apart from racing other forms of sport include hill climbs and rough country trials, the former drawing large following to watch the exploits of a number of “Specials” and their drivers.” Specials” consist in the main of a lot of engine and the minimum of other requisites!
The Internal Combustion Engine has done more to change the way of life of almost the whole world than any other single invention. It alone, made possible the motorcar, the development of which represents one of the most romantic and exciting achievements of modern times.”

The chapters included are:

  • Historical and introduction
  • The Engine
  • Petrol system and carburettor
  • Diesel Engines
  • Electricity in service of the Motor Car
  • Transmission
  • Final Drive
  • Suspension
  • Steering
  • Brakes
  • Frames and Bodies
  • How Fast How Far.

7. Lotus collectables

Lotus Carlton

£18,000 on ebay (how many are left?)


8. Lotus interest on YouTube

One item on Youtube maybe of interest our readers
A lot of great footage.

Lotus History

Thank you for your continued interest and support

Editors of the newsletter
John Scott-Davies
Neil Duncan
Jamie Duncan (webmaster)