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Istoria marcii Lotus

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lotus 1948lotus logoIn 1948, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman - an engineer and passionate racing enthusiast - built his first car. By spring Chapman had finished the Mark 1 which he based on an old Austin Seven. His new creation became the first Lotus in history.

Chapman joined the RAF upon graduation as a civil engineer in 1948. He built his second trials car, the Mark 2, during his leave periods. It included a unique feature called a “jelly-joint” which Chapman based on his extensive studies of tractor front suspension systems. The Mark 2 was considered state-of-the-art and was also the first Lotus viable as a road car. It was sold in 1950 to Mike Lawson who quickly went on the win the Wrotham Cup.

In 1951 Chapman designed and built his first circuit racing car, the Mark 3. Again based on the Austin Seven, it is adapted to conform to 750 Motor Club specifications for the 750 Formula. An aluminum body minimized weight. Combined with Chapman’s engine expertise, the Mark 3 went from 0-50 mph in 6.6 seconds and reached an impressive top speed of 90 mph.

The Lotus Engineering Company was formed in 1952. Chapman built the lighter and more powerful Mark 4 for Mike Lawson who was looking for a replacement for his Mark 2. The Mark 4 subsequently took fourth at the Colmore Trophy Trial, fifth at the West Hants Motor Club Knott Cup, and another fifth place finish at the RAC Trials Championship. A planned Mark 5 was never built. But Lotus does build a space-framed Mark 6 racer which includes the first Lotus chassis completely designed by Colin Chapman. It went on to become Lotus’ first series production car with approximately 100 produced over the course of two years.

Team Lotus was established in 1954 and had considerable and immediate success. Colin Chapman took first place in the Silverstone Sports Car Race and Peter Gammon took second, both driving the aerodynamic Mark 8.

The production run of the Mark 6 finally ended in 1955. By then Chapman had committed full-time to his small yet flourishing factory. The immense popularity of the Mark 8 created great demand for similar cars of smaller and larger engine sizes. To meet this demand, Chapman built the smaller and more agile Mark 9 and the larger 2-litre Mark 10.

This was also the year that Lotus was accepted into the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which permitted them to display their wares at the Earls Court Motor Show.

For 1956, Chapman decided to concentrate his focus on one basic model – the Lotus Eleven. It was developed as a descendant of the Mark 9 to offer three basic models that met a variety of different requirements.

His work that year clearly paid off when the following February, Chapman was honored with a Ferodo Gold Trophy for outstanding British contribution to sport of motor racing.
The legendary Lotus Seven was born in 1957.

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