Author Topic: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72  (Read 12386 times)

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Offline Lou Drozdowski

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Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« on: Thursday,December 18, 2014, 09:31:17 AM »
Remember when, motor sport was introduced to tobacco? or, All the nice girls...love a sailor.
 With special thanks to an article written by Ken Davies.

The popular perception is that this major breakthrough in securing revenue for motor racing was brokered by the imaginative and creative Colin Chapman. But, for the record the first appearance of Gunston cigarettes on the cars of John Love and Sam Tingle at Kyalami in a non championship race was the watershed event.
 Chapman however, would be the first to test the waters of corporate sponsorship in January 68 at the Lady Wigram Tasman meeting. Having secured the amount one hundred thousand pounds the Players Navy cut logo appeared on Clark and Hill's Lotus 49.
 At first, the organizers balked and threatened to disqualify the team but, Chapman relented stating that Clark was the drawing card and the event was doomed to fail if not allowed to race. Winning handily in New Zeland, Chapman's next foray was to bring the red & white cars to Brands Hatch for the race of champions. This time it was England's  ITV who complained after the second practice session. Broadcasting would be cancelled if the logo remained, so Chapman duly had the mechanics tape over the sailors beard and the race was televised. Chapman realizing the poor quality of TV at the time had his victory and kept the sponsors happy.
 
The rest is history, as Monaco 1968 is commonly regarded as the beginning of tobacco money in F1...less we forget the beard.

  Before continuing with the fabled liveries of Gold Leaf / John Player and the type 72...
I begin this topic with Clark's 48 pictured at Hockenheim in his last race as a tribute to the "Flying Scotsman". ld   


   
« Last Edit: Saturday,December 20, 2014, 04:33:50 AM by Lou Drozdowski »

Offline BDA

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years"
« Reply #1 on: Thursday,December 18, 2014, 10:15:44 AM »
I think sponsorship started the end of what I'll call the "romantic" period but ushered in the "modern" age. The distinction I'm trying to draw is similar to the difference between college football before and after money became involved. It's the difference between a sport and a business.

That's certainly not to say that the money that started trickling - and then rushing - into racing was bad. There were lots of benefits, not the least of which is to make it available to more people and thus increasing its popularity. Of course the money allowed for amazing technological advancements - many of them finding their way to more pedestrian vehicles. But I don't think it is arguable that for good or evil, the "flavor" of F1 changed.

On the more general issue of money in racing, an interesting story was told in the move, "1" (available on Amazon Prime and Vudu). Bernie Ecclestone purchased world wide television rights for F1 races for $1M and turned to the ten top teams and offered to sell it to them for $100K each. All but one turned him down because they thought they could use that money for more testing!

Offline Lou Drozdowski

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #2 on: Saturday,December 20, 2014, 04:02:53 AM »
The car that most defined the whole first half of the 1970's was the Lotus 72. It's partly because the 72 participated in as much as 6 seasons and 74 World Championship races while winning 20 Grand Prix, 2 driver championships and 3 constructor titles. Designed by Maurice Phillipe and supervised by Colin Chapman the 72 would bring many unique and revolutionary changes to formula one.
 It's wedge shape was taken from the ill fated type 56 and rule changes would see the first side mounted radiators and air box fitted to improve aerodynamic flow. All 4 brake systems were now inboard to take advantage of un sprung weight. Anti dive and anti squat geometry along with a full rear wing would ensure a constant road clearance irrespective of fuel load under acceleration or braking.
The 72 would make it's first appearance in Spain 1970...teething troubles would see drivers Rindt and Miles struggle and the following BDRC trophy race at Silverstone would also bring poor results. After modifications the 72 finally came good with Rindt winning four consecutive races and insure his huge lead in the drivers standing. ld   

Offline BDA

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #3 on: Saturday,December 20, 2014, 07:18:02 AM »
Were rule changes required to allow side mounted radiators?

The late '60s and early '70s was a period of a perfect storm in racing. Huge simultaneous advances in aerodynamics, engines, and tires made for quantum leaps on performance and Chunky was at the forefront of the first two.

Offline Lou Drozdowski

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday,December 23, 2014, 08:17:29 PM »
Were rule changes required to allow side mounted radiators?

No not required...Sorry for the misconception, the issue of keeping the weight towards the rear was really the main reason. With fuel bladders mandatory and a good frontal area for aero to begin with, more rear weight bias was needed for traction. The following season would see side impact crush sections required and most teams went away from frontal radiators. ld     

Offline BDA

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday,December 23, 2014, 08:46:10 PM »
Yeah, that's what I thought. I suspect that Chunky was influenced by Chaparral. They were the first modern car to have side radiators that I'm aware of. That was '66. Movable suspension mounted wings also came from Chaparrals till they were banned and thus the chassis mounted wings on the 72.

That's all I'm going to say about Chaparrals! I don't want to get carried away and being a big Chaparral fan, I easily could and this is a Lotus forum! :)

Besides the factors you mentioned vis a vis side radiators, another advantage was there was of course less plumbing and less water. I didn't know that side impact crush zones had come into play that early. But maybe that's not that surprising. A friend drove a mid '70s March Formula Atlantic car that had foam filled fiberglass bulges on the side of the tub that were supposed to absorb some side impact and they certainly would lag F1 technology.

Cool cutaway picture! Thanks!

Offline Lou Drozdowski

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #6 on: Friday,January 02, 2015, 04:15:35 PM »
I have always admired the stunning black and gold scheme.
  The JPS branding would make the Lotus 72 one the most visual appealing and recognizable liveries in F1. ld


       

Offline BDA

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #7 on: Friday,January 02, 2015, 06:29:18 PM »
Agreed. The black/gold livery on all the Lotus F1 cars was the most stunning of all the cars at the time.! IIRC, back then, it was thought it was bad luck to paint your car black. Another barrier broken by Chunky!

Offline Lou Drozdowski

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #8 on: Thursday,January 08, 2015, 04:10:40 PM »
Back in the day when...It was OK to light up. I thought this appropriate for the topic. ld

Offline BDA

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #9 on: Thursday,January 08, 2015, 04:54:31 PM »
I expect Jochen was smoking Gold Leaf and Gunnar was smoking JPS!

Offline BDA

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday,January 14, 2015, 05:57:54 PM »
I just watched "The Secret Life of Colin Chapman" on youtube. In it they say that although his cars were sponsored by cigarette companies, Chapman didn't like cigarettes and didn't want people to smoke at work. I guess smoking in public was something he couldn't control, especially if you're sponsored by a cigarette company!


Offline Lou Drozdowski

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #11 on: Saturday,January 24, 2015, 10:02:09 AM »
In retrospect...The death of Jochen Rindt was avoidable for the fact he was never comfortable in the cockpit with a 6 point harness. Although suffering serious leg injuries at the time of his Monza accident, it was the submarine effect that cost him his life. Post race inspection determined one of the inboard discs failed causing the car to pitch. His lap belt buckle had cut his jugular vein and precious time was lost while he was removed from the wreck.
 The attached photo is from the ill-fated practice session. ld 

Offline BDA

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #12 on: Saturday,January 24, 2015, 10:07:31 AM »
It is also my understanding that he chose to drive his car without wings. In the movie, "1", John Miles said driving the 72 without wings scared him to death. The irony is that Rindt, who was not shy about telling Chunky that he would not drive a certain car because it was too dangerous, was killed when he made his car more dangerous.

Offline Lou Drozdowski

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #13 on: Monday,February 02, 2015, 01:37:18 PM »
Now that's what I call a serious Lotus 72 lover...ld
« Last Edit: Monday,February 02, 2015, 01:38:58 PM by Lou Drozdowski »

Offline BDA

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Re: Lotus F1 "The tobacco years" type 72
« Reply #14 on: Monday,February 02, 2015, 04:32:17 PM »
That really is serious! I think he goofed, though. The 72 was a great car, but the 79 was probably prettiest car of the modern era.