Newsletter October 2010 – Number 27
Lotus spotted in our travels (an occasional feature)
Museums round the world you may not have heard of: Car Museum Scuderia San Martino
Questions from our readers
Lotus Types 30&40 [1964 -1965] (Responding to a readers request)
Social History Series: Lotus Cars, Popular Culture and Product Placement
Lotus books (recommended reading)
Lotus books(one the library).
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:
Automobile Museum of San Martino in Rio and Scuderia San Martino
Via Barbieri 12-42018 San Martino in Rio (RE) – Tel and fax: 0522 636133 – CF91025850354 –email@example.com
San Martino in Rio is a small town in the Po Valley, located in the area among the territories of Modena, Reggio Emilia, Correggio and Carpi.
On the first, second and third Monday of each month (excluded August and public holidays) from 9 to 12 p.m. the Scuderia prepares the documents necessary for the old cars of its associate members.
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?
The following are recent questions:
Are you doing the quiz this year ,if so can we make it easier
Jake and the lads from the Red Lion
4. LOTUS Types 30&40 [1964 -1965.]
The A&R is offering this item as a result of a request from one of our subscribers.
We are happy to respond in this manner and hope other suggestions will be forthcoming.
This is not a technical dissertation or catalogue of race results but rather a wider appreciation and interpretation.
The Type 30 and 40 and thought to be amongst the less successful of the Lotus competition cars.
The author would suggest a re-examination and when seen in a different context perhaps these machines might be re-evaluated.
The A&R approach is to measure and contrast for the purpose of evaluation. The author therefore recommends the forthcoming article on the Ford Fairlane Lola GT that has a direct relevance to understanding both the context and performance of the Types 30 and 40.
The Continuum and Context
The Types 30 and 40 ought be seen in context of Lotus development.
The editor makes these connections and links.
- Type 19 Sports Racer 1960
- Type 23 Sports Racer 1962
- Type 25 F1 1962
- Type 26 Elan 1962
- Type 28 Lotus Cortina 1962
- Type 29 Indianapolis Car 1963
- Type 30 Group 7 1964
- Type 34 Indianapolis Car 1964
- Type 38 Indianapolis Car 1965
- Type 40 Indianapolis Car 1965
- Type 46 Europa S1 1966
- Type 47 Racing Europa 1966
The conventional wisdom or history suggests that Chapman had hoped to win a contract/ commission to develop a sports racing car for Ford. This did not materialise and went to Lola and that the Types 30 and 40 were inferior attempts at competition.
The editor would suggest the reference to the continuum of Lotus development and its breakneck speed. Chapman and Lotus had developed extremely successful links with Ford and the reason for loss of the commission is not really known but Lotus had track record and real urgency to deliver.
Whether Le Mans history impacted cannot be known.
Lotus achievements were staggering with one or more new products per year. This has to be understood in the context of their labour force and income [sadly objective information does not exist although its important to make some ball park calculation] but it was not the budget that Ford was able to commit. If the product was less than successful over stretching might have been the cause.
Should have Ford invested rather than Lola the result might have been very different and perhaps it ought be recalled that although the Lola spawned the Ford GT40 it was not spectacularly successful in its own right and the GT40 only came good after a multi million $ research and development programme.
It’s worth noting the Ford Fairlane Lola GT launched 1963 and the Ford GT40 was completed in 1963 and raced 1964.
The author also suggests other possibilities that might have impacted on the design and performance of the 30&40. It might have been intended that the car was to be a closed coupe and some additional stiffness might have been imparted to the chassis .The other feeling is that perhaps some where in the background the 30 &40 were intended to grow into an integrated family of sports cars commencing with a relatively small capacity Ford engine. These models might have performed far better without the enormous and heavy V8.
It cannot be known if the Europa was conceived directly or indirectly from the 30 &40 but it suggests whatever Chapman’s inadequacies he never failed to move on and incorporate lessons at devastating speed. The knowledge gained was also probably carried through from the Europa to the Esprit range.
In defence of the Type 30 & 40 they were sold at very competitive prices [believed circa £3,700] and this enabled many to reach, afford and participate in a class of racing that might not otherwise been available. Many were developed and significantly improved. They were possibly too powerful for their aerodynamics and with the expense of wind tunnel testing they were in unknown territory. Later in the 1960’s the early generation of super cars were still experiencing front-end lift.
Conventional wisdom says that these models were a relative failure; they might not have sold in the volumes of the Eleven and 23 but a respective number were made.
These models were extremely beautiful and almost the last of an era. Although not the greatest of commercial and competition success they were not an absolute failure for such a small company without subsidy from government or mass production.
They have found favour with historic racers and remain magnificent and worthy competition to the likes of Ferrari, Lola, McLaren and Chaparral.
The Design and Aesthetic [see photographs]
The Type 30& 40 were designs conceived to conform to Group Seven and Can –Am racing. They were designed and built c 1964 by Chapman, Len Terry [who may have had reservations for various reasons and other engineers at Lotus] the company was at Chesthunt during this period.
The considerable aesthetic beauty of the Type 30 &40 models possibly emanates from their organic forms. This might also have contributed in part to some of the handling failures. The chassis relative to the V8 was another consideration. The car depending on gearing, at least theoretically was capable of 150 mph plus.
The dimensions and hence proportions:
26.5” high top of windscreen
Note an average approximation has been made across both cars.
It might have raced in the “Big Banger” class but this was no brute.
The original prototype body was believed to have been executed in aluminium and subsequently in glass fibre.
The 30&40 and a symphony of sensuous curvaceous flowing curves in elevation and section. Large handsome and imposing. Voluptuous. It has presence. Large hansom imposing.
The undulating wave like form is far more pronounced than the 19 or 23. The respective wings height front and rear visually indicate/ articulate /communicate / orientate and hence identify form and function. Of course this is reinforced by cockpit position also.
The screen fuses, integrates and nestles between the rounded domed top wheel arches.
The extremely reclined seating position dictates the long cockpit opening and Perspex screen angled back on a sharp rake.
Seen head on all the main design features and proportions are accentuated. The profile is an exaggerated bent wire “M”. The considerable width is apparent across the shallow “bonnet” which forms a flat-bottomed valley between the parabolic curves of the front wheel arches. Under which a spare wheel was mounted.
The low set nose is a bunted arrowhead in to which two radiators are ducted. The Perspex headlamp covers suggest night racing can be considered.
When fitted with a roll bar the car loses some of its undulating grace and the hard-edged geometry of these bars breaks the uninterrupted flow of the original design.
The rear elevation has certain symmetry with the front but in the “valley” there is an engine cover .The 13×7 tyres speak of the era and the power being delivered from the V8.
The author likes and admires the aesthetic of the Type 30 &40.They are perhaps amongst the last of the “organic” shape prior to the perhaps more efficient aerodynamically but less visually appealing sharp edged, squared off and flat surface wedge bodies.
The 30&40 possess harmony and poise despite their bulk and power. This might be helped but the undulating profile and very low build. Seen at rest or in motion all lines and proportion flow and integrate with a homogeneous 3D totality.
The design has expression and vocabulary and clearly distinguishes which is front and rear and which way the car travels. This is not always the case with mid and rear engine cars. They often became schizophrenic and the viewer does no know which way they are facing.
The power and performance of these “Big Bangers” produced some brutish Tyson looks but the Type 30&40 retained much of the lithe muscular and athleticism of Ali.
The cockpit was entered via relatively long drop down doors. The driver was required to surmount a wide cill that housed petrol tanks. The black plastic seats ran flat to the floor and the driver as mentioned was in a very inclined position approximately 40degree lean backwards. Most drivers’ eye line was just above the Perspex screen. A small diameter leather rimmed Motolita steering wheel was often fitted.
The backbone chassis formed a prop shaft tunnel that rose from the floor to approximately outstretched elbow level. The dashboard is believed to have formed part of the body and relatively small instruments were fitted possibly including revcounter , speedo, water and oil temperature, oil pressure and toggle switches.
Of course the gear change lever is on the right hand site for the rear-mounted gearbox.
Finished in Team Lotus colours of BRG and yellow with stripe. it accentuated the low purposeful build. The knocks on hub wheels were complementary and not excessive.
Lotus sports Racers. [Colin Pitt] Unique Motor Books. ISBN: 1841554308
The Lotus Book. William Taylor. Coterie Press. ISBN: 1902351002
Cut away drawings by James Allington and Dick Ellis for Autocar.
5. Social History Series: Lotus Cars, Popular Culture and Product Placement
NO1. THE PRISONER.
1.1.INTRODUCTION AND CONCEPT OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT
In this article we will examine:
The cult status that Lotus cars have achieved
The concept of Product Placement
An introduction to the Prisoner
A description of the anti hero
Examine and analyse the content of the programme
Examine the role of the Lotus Seven and Opening clips [see also A&R article on the aesthetics of the Seven]
Describe and evaluate the role of Portmerion as a location and treat subject as an extension of Long and winding Road series with route plan etc.
Provide a brief critique of the new version
List references etc.
The A&R attempts to explain the iconic status of some of the Lotus cars in the wider social context and events of their time.
The mass media has permitted products and services to reach a world audience and on occasions penetrate deep into a collective psyche.
Of course it is a mass market that manufactures pursue with the associated economy of scale. How to tap this mass audience becomes a very significant driving force.
The 1960’s were a rich and diverse decade of many contradictions but in some respects a Renaissance allied to new consumerism.
Britain its designs and culture sport, historic events, personalities, music, fashion etc.
Were particularly significant and have become indelible for many of the generation.
Not least amongst these are two television programmes: The Prisoner and The Avengers.
On the back of these programmes Lotus cars reached unparallel audiences that would not have been reached by conventional sales and marketing. Neither would the products have been given such powerful associations and identities.
In two articles the editor will examine these programmes and their significance and how by product placement and association two Lotus cars were to achieve worldwide renown and even today their reputations and legends have barely diminished.
The editor suggests that our readers might wish to further their appreciation of the subject by looking at our respective articles on the aesthetics of the two models in question .The Lotus Seven and Elan
Product Placement and Popular Culture
Of late there has been something of a reaction against the concept and seen not effective, as it once might have been.
However the principle is very powerful and stands to reach a mass audience it might not otherwise achieve. Product placement might under certain circumstances be considered more subtle and persuasive than conventional advertising.
The James Bond films have particularly embraced the concept. The primary products have been cars, watches, and alcohol. However the so-called soaps have attempted to introduce the idea in a range of household products and through fashion.
Manufacturers have provided pieces and even purchased involvement. They do so with the knowledge of demographics, the advertising potential, and a disciplined timetable, merchandising and related opportunities. This commitment is based on the persuasive identification element. In modern terminology it will be cool.
The appearance of two Lotus cars in the mid late 1960’s was an unbelievable coup of considerable magnitude. Two separate cars both totally and authentically caught the mood and imagination of a generation. This was achieved in a decade of youth and its spending power.
Perhaps what is special about the Prisoner and The Avengers is that the product placement might have been genuine and not merely cynically bought in an attempt to seek audiences. Both programmes were significant creatively in their own right and this ought be remembered. It in effect may have doubled the impact of the cars.
The appearance of classic cars has become almost obligatory in many films and TV programmes. To the extent that there is museum of the Cars a Star.
Some of the most memorable have been
Ford / Triumph
Lotus [again in James Bond]
In the case of “The Italian Job” the Mini was almost the outright star.
The appearances and impact of the Seven and Elan are unlikely to be exceeded in terms of identification and correctness as complementary extension of character.
In both cases the cases had unspoken scripts. They were companions and heroes / heroines alike. Some might argue they took the roles for them selves.
So powerful is the associated grafted imagery and symbolism that the cars become instant legends and indelible.
In our two articles we explore and evaluate the two programmes and tease out their importance and how the respective cars became icons.
Where related topics meet the editor attempts to cross reference readers to other related articles.
1.2.BRIEF INTODUCTION THE PROGRAMME.
The Prisoner is a significant phenomena that has acquired iconic status and a considerable cult following.
It also starred the Lotus Seven.
The Mail on Sunday once heralded that
“ One of the most admired television series of all time”
Its general critical acclaim has seen it estimated as one of the most original series ever on the TV.
Very much a programme of its time; access for some remained unfathomable, unintelligible, infuriatingly complex, oblique, ephemeral but highly watchable and engaging.
Even those who did not watch the actual programmes usually are aware of the concept of the endless enigma.
It posed more questions than it answered.
The author would suggest that both the success and indelible images engendered are based on the following components: which we will examine in turn.
The Concept as an expression of the era.
The Anti-hero as portrayed by Patrick McGoohan.
The opening clips featuring the Lotus Seven
Portmerion and location.
1.3.THE ANTI HERO.
The hero of the series is played by Patrick McGoohan [1928-2009]. He had previously played the agent in Danger Man. This had been successful both commercially and artistically.
In the opening sequence McGoohan the viewer extrapolates he a secret agent tendering his resignation; no full explanation is provided.
His appearance is that of a tall handsome athletic man in the 30-40 age group. He is clean-shaven and has short hair for the era.
In dress he is often seen in a formal suit, or black blazer with white trim and matching “pumps”. The overall impression is that of suave, intelligent and cultivated person.
He subsequently develops his character as enigmatic, resourceful, confident, honourable and moderately stiff upper lipped.
It emerges, and we might identify that he may be an anti-hero. His speech is rich in language, innuendo and double entendre.
He presents as a man of integrity and is encapsulated in his famous cri de Coeur
“I am not a number .I a free man …………I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered”
In the deliberate ambiguity of the programme were are allowed to make a construct that this man of principle and integrity may have been exploited, cynically used, an attempt to corrupt, manipulated, deceived or even made expendable.
The information direct and indirect that he holds along with his experience and resourcefulness make him dangerous, capable of subversion, sabotage anarchy and generally the enemy within. Its suggested he might be capable of exposing critical information or decisions that may be both secret and perhaps contrary to public and democratic interests.
In fact we are given little information and much is implied or remotely deduced. We learn of his character in his conduct and his fight for liberty. This is not so much a physical fight but mind games, psychological and mental chess.
What we actually see and know is his physique, dress, vocabulary, home, his Lotus Seven and his determination to gain his liberty.
How we “read” a person from this information is very human as is what we place importance on.
The Lotus Seven is an important piece of personality extension and mirroring. We have a dual reflection in one direction the known reputation of the car to which we can marry the personality of the owner.
Both of whose reputation and image is enlarged as a result of their identification and projection. It’s difficult to separate them out. Its possible too that in our mind association and the nature of indelible imagery one is more readily recovered than the other but none the less there was a dual existence or interdependency.
The Lotus Seven may have been heading for iconic status prior to The Prisoner. After which it was assured.
6. Lotus books recommended reading
Flywheel “Memories of the open Road.”*
Webb and Bower 1987.
This is a touching little book that contains more that might be imagined.
In many respects is real living history, it’s about motivation under harsh conditions but its optimism relates to the future. It speaks volumes about freedom. It also acknowledges the Commonwealth needs. The reader should appreciate that many of the soldiers would have significant impact on post war more support in a range of capacities.
This small volume is also a fascinating insight into culture and in ways looks back with nostalgia but essentially forward. As in case/ debate about streamlining [nb present day green and petrol concerns etc]
Not quite a manifesto but it does so important seeds.
Ex military personnel like Arthur Mallock [U2] would have a considerable impact on post war clubman’s racing and in the process the development of Lotus. Ex servicemen would probably mutate wartime technology, as did Colin Chapman particularly from aviation but also in logistics organisation and planning.
The book is beautifully and lovingly illustrated. The style of drawing indicates the best of the amateur but high quality that characterised this era. The illustrations in watercolour are very evocative, capturing the spirit and essence of the machines and driving pleasure. The inclusion of known and trusted brands was perhaps a link with home, security and a reputation and safeguard.
The editor also suggests that readers might like to study our “Long and Winding Road Series” as there is a period perspective in both that might allow the reader to pick up threads and have deeper insights to the culture, motivating forces and embryo technology that would appear post war.
The authors explain that the book:
“Is a facsimile reproduction of a unique collection of motoring magazines produced during WWII in a prisoner of war camp in Mulhberg, Germany.
Each edition was drawn and scripted by hand and circulated around the camp for members to read and pass on. The first being produced in May 1944 and the last March 1945.”
Royalties from the book are donated to the Red Cross.
Summary of the ideal car
Austin racing car
History of the M.G
Fastest on Earth
Independent all –round
All weather racing kit
Things to come & Reawakening [poem]
Stagnate and Streamline
Ought there be a TT
Hints Tips and Do You Know.
This small book, highly illustrated on 240 pages is an important social document and commentary. More important in some respects than academic tomes. It ought be read in context of the contribution and cultural context of the motorcar in the 20C
* This item donated by Neil Duncan and available through the A&R Library.
7. Lotus books one for the library.
Specialist Sports Cars*
This is a good book. It us relevant to Lotus history as it covers many of the major competitors. These can be better assessed and analysed in both competition and commercial terms.
It is also a piece of social and technological history of motoring. There was a dearth of specialists in the immediate post war period, now most lost and a very different turnkey approach exists.
The editor liked:
Good model range covering road and race
Period memorabilia illustrations
Photographs and engineering drawings / illustrations
The record of geographical locations were these specialist were based [noting the significance of London]
I think it helps to list the marques that are featured:
- Deep Sanderson.
- Gordon Keeble
There is also mention of some significant “Show Cars” and these include:
- Ikenga [David Gittens 1968 body by Williams & Pritchard?]
- Quest [Derek Meddings c 1968]
- Siva [S530] [Neville Trickett c 1971]
- Probe 15. [Dennis Adams c 1969]
Some were just one off but they had an impact on aesthetic design and were influential concepts often overlooked but sometimes their design clues appearing else where.
Indirectly this book through the cars tells a story of the personalities, engineering and changing regulation.
It’s worth the effort to appreciate the range, quality and contribution to motor racing, and perhaps to rekindle the sense of innovation, improvisation and invention that many of these small manufacturers possessed.
Further research can be achieved via the Internet.
*Copy available through A&R Library.
8. Lotus Collectables
9. 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)