Newsletter June 2010 – Number 24
Lotus spotted in our travels ( a new occasional feature)
Museums round the world you may not have heard of: Lomakov`s Museum of antique autos and motorcycles, Moscow
Questions from our readers
Report of the Crystal Palace Revival Sprint 30/31st May
Lotus books (recommended reading)
Lotus books (one the library) – A special one. The promised review of the Karl Ludvigsen book
Lotus interest on YouTube
All previous articles relating to these are held on the website.
1. Lotus spotted in our travels (a new occasional feature)
2. Museums around the world you may not have heard of: Lomakov’s Museum of Antique Autos and Motorcycles, Moscow
Apologies for the bad translation!
You can see most interesting, beautiful and valuable an auto in Russia. Want to receive excursion in this Museum?
For 40 years me and my family were locating, restoring and collecting antique cars and motorcycles, resulting in an unique collection of 85 great historic cars, trucks and bikes.љ The items differ from the “Peugeot” motorcycle of 1914 (which was left by French army troops in Arkhangelsk in 1918) to 1977 “GAZ-13” “Chaika”, the official government limousine that was presented to The Patriarch of Russia Pimen by the KPSU General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. Below I have some of my collection’s gems listed.
There is a “Horch-853”, the same one that was named “Car of the Year” in Paris Auto Show in 1935 and later belonged to Herman Hering, 1936 “Mercedes-Benz-540K” cabriolet C used by German Propaganda Minister Joseph Gebbels, and 1935 “Mercedes-Benz-540SKL” cabriolet A Unique(sole) in the world, 1939 “Mercedes-Benz-320” pulman-limusine, taken from Martin Borman’s family garage, the 1935 Paris-Moscow rally winner “Citroen-7CV”, presented to the Soviet Government by the Citroen’s Chief Engineer Francua Leco, 1949 Russian limousine “ZiS-110”, presented to the Patriarch of Russia Alexiy I by Joseph Stalin. There are also the rarest “BMW-303” from 1933 and the aluminum “BMW-328” of 1938 and the one and only known to exist “ZiS-6” “Katyusha” (the W.W.II Russian Missile Launcher). There are also many examples of the vintage “Harley-Davidson”, “Indian”, “NSU”, “DKW”, “Studebaker”, “Stayer”, “Triumph”, “Ariel”, “Adler”, “Dodge”, “Opel”, “Fiat”, “Ardi”, “NAG”, “Hudson”, “Sax”,љ Russian made “PMZ”, “GAZ”, “ZiS”, “TiZ”, “Izh”, “Red October”, the famous “GAZ-AA” “Polutorka” truck and many other.
3. Question (can you help?)…This time a request
We frequently get asked from around the world quite amazing questions , so far we have used a limited group to try and answer them, not always successfully.
So we now put them on our website and see if any “friends” know the answer.
Still many unanswered questions on our website can you help?.
Dear Mr Duncan,
I am a student from Germany and I study Copywriting/Conception at a private media school in Hamburg. Right now we have the task to develop a direct mailing for the Lotus Evora. As it will be especially sent out to young businessmen, I find the personality of Colin Chapman very inspiring : revolutionary, creative, a natural leader. Now I am trying to find stories and anecdotes about the character “Chapman” and I have huge problems with that. I can’t find books or articles in the libraries here, the only thing useful I found is the movie “The secret life of Colin Chapman” on youtube and some bits of information via Google.
Can you help me getting more facts and stories about his life? I don’t know if you have any pdf articles or a hint where in the internet or somewhere else I can find inspiring stories about him. Stories like the one about his hat, that he was throwing choreographically in the air after a Lotus won a race. It’s just not only the data about his career I am looking for, more the private side of the revolutionary Chapman.
Thank you so much in advance,
I think you will find that the following three books should give you the detail you require:-
1. Colin Chapman – Inside the Innovator
Haynes Publishing 2010
ISBN: 978 844 254132
2. Colin Chapman. The man and his cars by Gerard Crombac
3. Lotus the early years by Peter Ross
4. Report of the Crystal Palace Revival Sprint 30th and 31st May 2010
This very popular event was organised by the Sevenoaks and District Motor Club, sponsored by Ancaster at the request of the London Development Agency and donations were sent to St.Christophers Hospice and The royal London Society for the Blind.
The Sevenoaks Motor club have a track record of organising sprints at Crystal Place and the Archive and Resource attended between 1997 and 2000. They have raised money to resurface the track and provide safety barriers.
This year approximately 120 cars will be competing on the sprint circuit of around 700 yards. Competitors include historic and modern cars, and classes for alternative fuel and electric vehicles
The event is atmospheric and relaxed as in the 1950’s with the public having close up access to the cars. It has been designed as a family outing and there are static displays, stalls, and the AA Heritage collection. Roary the Racing Car; bouncy castle etc.
Due credit must be given to Jason Andrews and Shelley Albrow of the Sevenoaks Motor Club. The field was well laid out and planned, access in and out was good and there was variety and interest for the whole family.
The CCM&EC were fortunate to have a prime site and Jason and Shelly assisted with finding a Lotus owner to make up our stand. Jason and Shelly were on site and at hand for 3 days and assisted in the set up.
I would also like to thank or historic car owners for bringing their cars and these included an Elite, Elan and Mk.VI and the authors Ford special.
I brought along material relating to the museum proposal, the significance of Crystal Palace in Lotus history and its general contribution in post war motor sport.
The two-day event was well-supported and offered family entertainment and excellent value for money. The organisers suggested attendance of 5000 but this seems low based on he constant throughput of our stand. [The weather was cold on the second day- Bank Holiday Monday]
As a general observation our cars seemed to attract photographers and the cars were posed in different positions; bonnet on / off etc.
The competition side was wide, varied and entertaining with representation of pre and post war machinery that actually competed in period. The relatively small sprint track has an advantage in that a constant stream of machinery is in action with vastly varying exhaust note and handling due to the spread of technology represented. There were good views and public good get relatively close up and see the cars on the numerous corners. The event seems to appeal equally to the drivers who are able to experience parts of the old and undulating circuit some of which is shrouded in mature trees.
The author has taken a selection of photos and although priority has been given to Lotus some of the historic items and indeed Lotus peers and rivals like Cooper are included]
There were alternative fuel cars competing and his added an interesting dimension and significant contrast.
Overall the event was a great success.
The author feels that London with a population of 6-8 m people deserves a race circuit of its own. [In its hay day up too 30,000 attended evens] Crystal Palace provides this and is easily reached by public transport. This may be a considerable importance to international tourists. The venue offers considerable facilities and the potential for major tourist development seems to exist, possibly in conjunction with 2012.
The A&R has consistently argued that London was the epicentre of British post war motor sport and that Brooklands and Crystal Palace had their roles. Crystal Palace up until the 1970’s.
We hope this type of event can be extended and if imagination is applied considerable commercial opportunity seems to exist with the possibility of media coverage etc. and possibly historical themed events extending up to quite recent times. The track was in existence during the Swinging 60’s etc and many events incorporated the track.
The Sevenoaks Motor club set a very reasonable and attractive entrance fee that ensured a wide cross section of the public was able to participate.
If covered facilities could be incorporated, not only would the British weather be hedged against an all season prospect would be available.
We would like to extend a vote of thanks to the organisers and believe here efforts have a much wider impact and enhance London base as a tourism magnate.
We offer them all our support and encouragement with a view to the event being developed to its fullest potential.
More detail can be obtained from the following website.
More pictures from Chrystal Palace next month.
Author John Scott-Davies
A little snippet of information…
Great work with the Museum. There’s a documentary that is being made about Ronnie Peterson and Gunnar Nilsson. Its title in English is Damned ’78 and it is hoped that it will go into post-production this year.
5. Lotus books recommended reading
Title: The International Grand Prix Book of Motor Racing
Published in 1965 this is a wonderful medley of stories by people involved in motor racing in that era.
Stories range from Innes Ireland to Colin Chapman to Alf Francis. A worthwhile book that can be found on Ebay and Amazon.
6. Lotus books one for the library
COLIN CHAPMAN –Inside the Innovator.
Haynes Publishing 2010
ISBN: 978 844 254132
The A&R was able to conduct a wider review by taking a copy to the recent Crystal Palace revival sprint. Here several Lotus enthusiasts and indeed authors were able to examine it.
In general there was a positive response.
First impressions are important .The book felt quality in size weight and obvious quantity of illustrations. The cover design and first flip through reminded me of Hugh Haskell’s “Colin Chapman’s Lotus “ and Terry and Baker’s “Racing Car Design and Development” Perhaps these first impressions were reinforced by the colour scheme and excellent numerous photographs and illustrations.
One of the significant features of this book is that Karl has had access to Colin Chapman archive held by classic Team Lotus. Karl has included many of the drawings made by Colin’s hand. I believe these to be important and list them:
Lotus 30 family range proposal dated 3/10/1963
Transaxle detail dated c 1957
Schematic layout of Indianapolis single seater dating from mid 1960’s.
Schematic layout of F1 single seater c1977
Hub designs dating from late 1970’s
Sketch of “Optimal basic structure”
Future specification of F1 car c 1975
Venturi for Type 80
I personally thought the strengths of Karl’s book are:
The historical comparisons and tracing of some earliest origins.
The overall level, quality, and variety of illustrations, diagrams etc
The period photographs
The personal photographs of Colin that covers the progress of his life in motor sport. These can be seen reflecting the real man; his concerns, triumphs, failures, highs, lows and the ever-present determination.
In addition I liked the inclusion of the commendation that accompanied the award of the Ferodo Trophy. This ought be read and appreciated as a significant benchmark.
Karl’s inclusion of a substantial bibliography is both a measure of his impartiality and provides useful cross-reference whilst suggesting lines of enquiry.
My personal favourite chapters were No1. Conceiving Concepts and No12 Coda to Chapman. Here Karl is able to introduce some extremely important and valuable comparisons. For instance perhaps for the first time Colin Chapman has been compared with Brunel. Controversial as this might be I believe it to be extremely important not only as a means of impartial analytical comparison but also as a means of appreciating that engineers have aesthetic sensitivities often well defined ad that further more they contribute to a nations wealth and technological progress.
In particular I liked the inclusion of quotations form Setright
“The Lotus is a machine for driving as a house by Corbusier is a machine for living” and later suggesting the basis of the Lotus appeal in that it appeals to
“ To those that have sensual and cerebral appreciation…”
Karl developed this them and made further reference and comparison of Colin Chapman and the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
This approach is justified on several intellectual levels and they cannot be ignored. Colin Chapman was a qualified structural engineer [and could have just as easily pursued a career is this field and or the built environment.] often substituting for architects in designs determined by structural calculations.
Colin and the architects mentioned had significant aesthetic appreciation and Colin’s drawings mentioned earlier indicate that he could articulate this. Perhaps too often in the past it has been assumed that engineers have little soul or somehow lack a cultural appreciation. In Colin’s case this is untrue. The evidence would suggest within Colin existed an artist as nearly all his creations might be classed as rolling sculpture and more beautiful as a result of their functionality. He wished to imbue his creations with more than utility and his design mantra was for elegance.
At the A&R we feel that this aspect ought be given more prominence and dissemination.
Although Karl makes comparison with these famous architects my personal assessment is that Colin might have had affinity with the Bauhaus School and their discipline of form and function and their concern for lightness and structural purity. Both the architects and Colin had their failures but these were often part of idealism in searching and experimenting with new concepts.
“ A man who never made a mistake never made anything”
These are themes to which we will often return at the A&R.
We welcome the addition of Colin Chapman – Inside the Innovator to our library. We will make reference to it in the future. In the meanwhile if any of our users are having difficulties obtaining a copy or would like further clarification please contact us.
Author John Scott-Davies
7. Lotus collectables
Lotus Exige Pop Art
8. Lotus interest on “Youtube”
One item on Youtube maybe of interest our readers
A lot of great footage.
Thank you for your continued interest and support
Editors of the newsletter
Jamie Duncan (webmaster)