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Russell Sheldon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The initial pictures of the VMG Lotus 72D were a bit confusing, as it showed the car with a three-tier rear wing as used in some races in 1971 (in GLTL colours), but with the high air-box that was used in 1972 (JPS colours).


Image courtesy of Slotcenter

I'm pleased that VMG has solved the mystery, by releasing the car with a single-plain wing, representing the 1972 Emerson Fittipaldi World Champioship winning car, and the Lucky Strike Lotus 72D that Dave Charlton campaigned in the South African Championship and also made a one-off appearance at the British round of the World Championship in 1972.





Both cars are available from Ciberslot.

Kind regards

Russell
 

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well it looks pretty good with the livery and correct rear wing... but why oh why is Fittipaldi showing off that he can win a race with one hand?
 

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mmm!


That's one good looker!
Nice that they fixed the rear wing thing too. I hope they fixed the scale too... Are there any further info on the actual scale of the car? Or is the wheelbase still 87mm (as previously mentioned), giving a scale of 1:29,2?

Toby
 

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Premium Member
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"...that's how good a car the 72 was..."

Ask Ronnie and Jochen first.


It WAS a great design, but just as any Lotus, a bit weak at the knees and marginal in its construction. It is highly possible that both accidents are due to the failure of the under-sized or improperly engineered in-board front brakes driveshafts.

The 72 remains as one of the most beautiful and inventive F1 designs. I REALLY hope that MG-V used this opportunity to bring it back to a more palatable and useful scale.
 

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But where were the missing bolts from the armco, TSRF??? Was it you wot had 'em? The case is still open....

Colin Chapman, hero or villain?
 

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Hero or Villain?

Neither! Just a good bloke trying his best in pre-computer era to maximize the minimalist approach to stress engineering.

As far as the Armco, ask Jackie Stewart, he came up with the idea.
Then ask Renzo Pasolini, Jarno Saarinen and Christian Ravel what they think about it.
A clue: you have to die first and ask permission to St Peter for an interview.
Regards,

Mr. Pea
 
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Colin Chapman, Built road cars that I loved. 1967 Elan SE and 1968 Lotus Cortina both cars were wonderful to drive when they work correctly in the case of the Elan it was not very often as it had a stage 4 engine but when it did it was unbelievable.

RR.
tx. HERO
 

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Russell Sheldon
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I hope that VMG does the Team Gunston car as well -- after they have done a Gold Leaf Team Lotus version, of course!

Pictured is a 1/43rd Quartzo die-cast:


Kind regards

Russell
 

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You lost me there, I'm afraid, Mr Pea.

Mr Stewart did a good job on the armco, but they should have been put up properly.

But would our Colin be happy to be remembered as a maker of 'Good road cars' I wonder?

The Lotus 72 did have a long life, longer it may be said than some of it's drivers.

Anyway. Can I rephrase the question? Colin Chapman; Genius or Amateur Jim Hall?
 

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Russell Sheldon
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Can I rephrase the question? Colin Chapman; Genius or Amateur Jim Hall?

I'm not sure where this is heading, but I shudder to think where it could go... Don't we already have enough problems in this world! ;-)

Joking aside, I admire both men hugely, but I don't think that one can really compare Colin Chapman to Jim Hall. Both were brilliant engineers and innovators; so much so that there were occasions when their innovations were so far ahead of the rest, that the officials ruled against them in an attempt to level the playing field. Both had their failures; the Lotus 40 (referred to as a Lotus 30 with 10 more mistakes), the Lotus 63 4-wheel-drive F1 car, and the Chaparral 2H immediately come to mind.

Colin Chapman designed cars that won numerous World Championship Grand Prix races, as well as Formula 2, Indianapolis and other formula and sports car races (including the Index of Performance, 1100cc and 1500cc classes at Le Mans in 1956), in addition to road cars. By comparison, Hall built only a handful of sports racing and Indy cars. The Chaparral's had their victories, including Indianapolis and World Championship sports car races, but brilliant though he was, not even Hall's secret relationship with General Motors (who took over Lotus in 1986) was enough to beat the McLarens in the Can-Am series. By comparison, the better Lotus racing cars were totally dominant on the day. In 1965, Jim Clark led every lap of every race that he finished and Team Lotus titles included the F1 World Championships, the Indy 500, the Australian Tasman series and the British and French F2 titles

Among the innovations that Hall brought to the sport during the mid-60's was automatic gearboxes, cast aluminium alloy spoked wheels, moveable spoilers and adjustable high-mounted wings, auxiliary-generated vacuum ground-effects and fibreglass monocoque chassis, although the Lotus Elite road car, built in 1957, had a fibreglass monocoque chassis. By comparison, the Lotus 25 (monocoque chassis and driver-moulded seating), Lotus 49 (using the engine as stressed member and corporate sponsorship!), Lotus 72 (inboard brakes and no structure in front of front axle), Lotus 78 (ground effects) and Lotus 92 (active suspension), each had innovations that are still being used today in both racing and road cars.

Both men were brilliant but, in my personal opinion and based on what I've read about both, Chapman more so and on a much bigger scale. Delorean aside, that is! Flame-proof suit on!

Who could be considered the Chapman or Hall of slot car chassis design, I wonder? There were and are many brilliant constructors, but who were the real innovators?

Kind regards

Russell
 

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QUOTE Can I rephrase the question? Colin Chapman; Genius or Amateur Jim Hall?

Motor Sport (November 2003) ran an interesting feature much along these lines. The article concludes with a quote from Chaparral driver Hap Sharp:

"...we were always up at the front... the fact we didn't win that much didn't seem to matter"

I gather Mr. Chapman may not have felt that way about his cars!

But, now back to Russell's interesting question:

QUOTE Who could be considered the Chapman or Hall of slot car chassis design, I wonder? There were and are many brilliant constructors, but who were the real innovators?
 

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Beppe Giannini
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Anything after Russell's post can only be dictated by nitpicker's envy : in fact, the first car to use the engine as a structural member should be the 8 cylinder 1,500 cc F1 Ferrari
That said, Colin Chapman was certainly a genius. In his age cars and tracks were dangerous to a degree that's not even imaginable today (I quit following racing because of the death of Ignazio Giunti, whom I knew personally)
Chapman cared about safety even a bit less : his F. Junior (21??) had a rear geometry whereby the upright would dig into the track if the tire deflated, the (in)famous Lotus 30 had a central backbone chassis with no driver protection - but these were the times
Even much later, Ferrari's chassis had a tendency to come apart in a crash

Beppe
 

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Scott Brownlee
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'It's only water in a stranger's tear'
Song lyric by Peter Gabriel

It's funny how attitudes to death change. Sixty years ago many people died every day with barely a mention. 80 years ago tens of thousands were ordered to their death every day for little reason.

Even away from wars working in factories or even on farms was much more dangerous. Life expectancy for most was short and death a fairly welcome relief from a life long struggle for scraps of comfort and warmth.

The other night we had several minutes about a minibus crash in South Africa that involved a few Brits. Tragic for those families of those involved, but a lead item on the national news? Several times more people had undoubtedly died in road crashes around the world, hundreds of times more had died of hunger, unnecessary disease or simple old age but get no mention whatsoever.

Yet here we are worrying about a literal handful of rich playboys who chose to get in a racing car who got killed as a result. Like I said, our attitudes to death are odd. We should minimise risk, but we can't blame those in the past for not being as "wise" as we think we are.

As for engineering, Chapman was clever and good at hiring clever people too. In purely engineering terms he was a good plagiarist. You see, just because something is new to motor racing, or more exactly new to a motor racing journalist, doesn't necessarily mean it is new. Chapman was a good applier of ideas, but I wouldn't have wanted to let my children spend long on of a fairground ride he'd designed. However as a motor racing fan I love the cars he fielded and the pleasure they gave me racing.

Scott
 

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I could be the ticket man at Fulham Broadway Station/
I could be an inmate in a long term institution/
What a waste.

Song lyric by Ian Dury

Sorry to bring the level down. But could I try the question again another way;

Colin Chapman- engineering iconoclast or Peter Sellars 'Pink Panther' lookalike?
 

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Scott Brownlee
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Er...

Don't think he looked anything like Inspector Clouseau so I guess that makes him an engineering iconoclast.

But, did you know that it was due to be Peter Ustinov who played the part first, but he dropped out and Sellers got it. Does that qualify as a link to The Grand Prix of Gibraltar?

Scott
 

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Brian Ferguson
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PdL summed up Chapman perfectly, in my opinion, with his comment about his "minimalist approach". Chapman, like all good engineers, avoided "over engineering", which diminishes performance and adds weight and usually complexity as well as cost. Chapman was a combination of businessman and engineer, and he, like his drivers, lived on the edge.

He was not a villain, or anything close. He was a man who pursued a vision, and like most successful men, probably recognized one or two things he probably would have liked to do over again.

Anyone who tries to push the envelope will occasionally suffer a paper cut....
 

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Al Schwartz
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QUOTE (Fergy @ 4 Jan 2004, 11:31 PM)Anyone who tries to push the envelope will occasionally suffer a paper cut....
...but there is a difference between a "paper cut" and the guillotine!

and, being in a nit-picking mode this morning, I believe that both the 300SLR and W-196 sported inboard front brakes (as did the FWD Miller 91) and the early 50's Cooper F III cars carried spoked alloy wheels.

Moving from nit-picking to iconoclastic, I would sugggest that the greatest single impact on the design of racing cars grew out of the observation, made, I believe, by the hot rod community, that it was possible to achieve a coefficient of friction greater than 1 with wider tires, thus paving (no pun intended) the way to current suspensions designed to maintain a flat contact patch.

EM
 

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Brian Ferguson
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So, if I understand, you are implying that Chapman was a poor engineer because he used ideas that others had already developed?


I don't know of any good engineers then. I'm sure many F1 teams of the time wished they had similar "poor" engineering, as they watched a Lotus disappear into the distance.

Surely he deserves some credit and respect for the accomplishments of Team Lotus in their hayday. No?
 
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