THIS MONTHS FEATURE SPOTLIGHT
In our previous feature on ground effect last month we touched on the innovations of Team Lotus. For this month’s spotlight feature we focus on the man behind one of motorsports most famous teams, Colin Chapman.
Colin Chapman was born in North London in 1928. He studied structural engineering at University College London, where he gained his degree in 1950. While studying he joined the University of London Air Squadron and learned to fly.
Following a brief commission in the RAF he took a job selling Aluminium to the construction industry, a role where his knowledge of structural engineering served him well. In his spare time, he designed his first race car which he based on an Austin 7, racing it at local events. He named the car Lotus which was rumoured to be after the nickname he gave to his girlfriend Hazel, later to become Mrs Chapman.
Driving the car himself he achieved some success, and with the prize money he developed the first officially named Lotus, the Mark 2. Chapman immediately began to demonstrate his innovative flair modifying the engine extensively to create more power. The results instantly paid dividends.
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