8 AUGUST 2022


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Article from BTNews 8 AUGUST 2022

Lotus 72 at Hethel *

Classic Team Lotus, owned by the Chapman family, is offering a Lotus 72 Open Day.

Called a ‘Special’ event and featuring ‘All the 72s’ Saturday 15 October will see the doors of the famous Potash Lane facility open to the first 2,000 enthusiasts to sign up. Hopefully a test track appearance for the cars also.

The distinctive 72 was yet another innovative design by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe featuring inboard brakes, side-mounted radiators in sidepods, as opposed to the nose-mounted radiators, which had been commonplace since before WWII, and followed the Lotus 49, in itself a breakthrough with the Ford-Cosworth 3ltr V8, which powered the 72 as well.  Chief mechanic, as they were called in those days, was Dick Scammel, later to become boss of Cosworth and an MBE.

Unlike today’s Formula 1 cars, can anyone remember Ferrari type numbers, 50 years ago car development was less frenzied and the 72 remained as the ‘works’ car until the end of the 1975 season.

After 20 wins, two drivers' and three constructors' championships, the 72 was retired and replaced by the Lotus 77. This longevity makes it the most successful ever Formula 1 car.

East Carleton Manor, Sunday 26 June, was a fitting venue for the Memorial event for Hazel Chapman, who passed away in December 2021, aged 94. The Chapman, Payton and Hepworth families welcomed around 180 guests to come together to remember Hazel and celebrate her wonderful life.

BTN's Editor-in-Chief Malcolm Ginsberg writes

I have a special affinity with the 72.

One evening in late March 1970 I was working late in the Lotus offices when Maurice Philippe ambled over and asked me to follow him into the hallowed Team Lotus workshop, normally out of bounds.

And there was the first 72.

He then called Colin Chapman (ACBC) who came from his office.  The occasion was the weighing of the car and a very small side bet was taken.  Of course Philippe won!  I felt very privileged.

I went with John Miles to Jarama (Spain) for the car’s first Formula 1 outing, acting as a sort of runner, or pit extra.  Times were different then.


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Brian Brain, Norwich

What about Lotus getting back into Formula One? The owners have the money.