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Colin Chapman: Millionaire (Lotus 50 years ago)


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If you've not seen this documentary from 1968, it gives a great insight into Lotus, Chapman and his family when he was becoming established as a wealthy and successful team owner and motoring entrepreneur. Also interesting interviews with Hazel C and the legendary Bob Dance. Hope to see both at Hethel on 29 Sept!

 

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But remember one thing: don't lose your head to a woman that'll spend your bread: Lotus Turbo Esprit (89-11); Lotus Esprit GT3 (12-14): Lotus Evora S (14-17); Lotus Esprit V8 SE "UK Last 15" (18-...) Lotus Emira I4 (2023?...)

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Thought I'd just watch a few minutes of that... 35mins later I wish there was more. Few things stuck out; is it cynical to wonder whether there was competitive calculation in telling Bruce McLaren the bell housing had ripped in half? It was also very striking how genuinely pragmatic Mrs. Chapman was, not so much a marker for those times, but more for the ones we live in now.

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ACBC wasn't going to risk losing lap time from removing the rear wing as a precaution without trying to encourage his rivals to follow suit!

But remember one thing: don't lose your head to a woman that'll spend your bread: Lotus Turbo Esprit (89-11); Lotus Esprit GT3 (12-14): Lotus Evora S (14-17); Lotus Esprit V8 SE "UK Last 15" (18-...) Lotus Emira I4 (2023?...)

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Jackie Oliver reflects on that Rouen crash in the 49 (and love Hazel's suggestion "he probably needs a brandy")

https://youtu.be/MOYq0PjH_5I

 

But remember one thing: don't lose your head to a woman that'll spend your bread: Lotus Turbo Esprit (89-11); Lotus Esprit GT3 (12-14): Lotus Evora S (14-17); Lotus Esprit V8 SE "UK Last 15" (18-...) Lotus Emira I4 (2023?...)

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Great watch. Funny to see how shy he gets everyone the presenter mentions how him being a millionaire. Very humble guy. 

He existed to go racing and beat everyone else through pushing boundaries on technical design. It’s great owning a car brand that has so much history. 

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Thanks for posting a great bit of history. I’m sure we’re all aware that mystery still surrounds where the name Lotus came from. 

One of the stories is, of course,  that it was named after a bathroom fitting.

The narrator in the film actually states that is exactly what CC told him.

I wonder if it’s true?

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The name is talked about briefly in The History of the Lotus VI by Graham Capel. It says that it was a trend amongst the trials car builders that Chapman started out amongst, to give the cars the names of flowers, and mentions a 'Violet Special'. It also says that Chapman used to call his wife his 'little Lotus blossom' and goes on to quote him as having said [one night whilst working late]; 'If you eat Lotus flowers it makes you fall into a trance and forget home and comfort. Look around.We're all here and it's after midnight again'.

Anyway there's a stark contrast between the two documentaries. The older one [from which footage is used in a totally different light in the later one] is almost rose tinted by comparison.

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