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How a mistake helped create a Lotus F1 icon

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John S:
Found this story about Lotus discovering ground effect works best with sides of car touching the ground, by accident. What fortunate discovery.


I have a problem with, and don't buy, that story of "luck".....  :stop:

I can't imagine, the genius that Colin was, that he would have missed out on, or disregarded, Hall's work with the Chaparral 2J.......   :DntKnw:

I guarantee he would have surmised the advantage of the skirts from Jim's work years earlier.  ;)

Anything's possible a side effect for a medicine
to treat chest pains made Pfizer billions

Methinks you missed me pernt entirely....... ;)
I understand accidental/lucky finds happen. I just don't believe this entertaining story as Colin would surely have been aware of Jim Hall's skirted 2J of 1970.
A  Japanese friend of mine (barely spoke English), with Japanese racing magazines, told me, while discussing racing at lunch in high school in '71-2 (I'm certain, I graduated in '72 and never saw him again....you out there Mssr Itokawa?), of Chapman's working on ground effects behind the scenes........  8)
I had never seen/heard about this via anything available here (U.S.).  :DntKnw:

Excerpted from https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/a32350/jim-hall-chaparral-2j-history/ :
"There's more. To create a negative pressure vacuum that would suck the car to the ground, the car featured skirts around the rear three-quarters of the car. Hall approached General Electric to use its relatively new invention, Lexan: a polycarbonate plastic material that was light, flexible, strong, and most importantly, unbreakable. The skirts moved up and down through a system of cables, pulleys, and machined arms that were bolted to the suspension. The result was a near-constant alignment to the road surface. With the fans on, the car would hunker down by two inches."

John S:
Well, whether initial anecdotal story about Lotus is correct - or not - thanks for sharing the Chaparral 2J article with us, it's just brilliant.  :good:

Can also see this may be where Gordan Murray's Brabham BT46B Fan car has it's roots. 


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