In 1947, Colin Chapman’s secondhand car business failed, a direct consequence of the UK’s post-war economic crisis.

Only 19 at the time, all that Chapman was left with was a tired old Austin 7. Not one to sit by and watch the world pass him by, the teenager teamed up with two mates – Colin Dare and Rodney Nuckey – and proceeded to strip down, modify and rebuild the Austin.

Chapman’s engineering know-how led to some innovative suspension and engine modifications and, in November 1948, what would later be referred to as the Lotus MkI was complete.

From these small beginnings, three score and ten years later, the company that Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman founded can look back not only on a series of innovative road cars, but also an enviable motorsport record. Indeed, during the 1960s and 1970s, Lotus was dominant on the world’s race tracks and especially so in Formula One. Between their first entry at Monaco in 1958, through to their final appearance at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix, Lotus scored 79 Grand Prix victories, notching up seven Constructors’ Championships and six Drivers’ Championships.


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