Bring back some good or bad memories


April 23, 2024

Colin Chapman, the Founder of Lotus Cars, With His Esprit S2 and the “John Player Team Lotus” Cessna 414

Pictured here is Lotus founder Colin Chapman, a Series 2 Lotus Esprit, and a private plane decked out in Lotus F1’s John Player Special livery. The photo was taken in 1978 or 1979, judging by the car, and well, overall style of the picture.

Colin Chapman with a Lotus Esprit S2

Chapman smiles confidently here because at this time, Lotus was truly at the peak of its powers. On the racing front, Team Lotus easily won the 1978 Formula Constructor’s Championship with the help of drivers Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson, who took first and second, respectively, in the Drivers Championship. One year earlier, the first-generation Esprit made a memorable turn in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

It was also around this time that Chapman forged an alliance with a promising American auto executive, John DeLorean. In the late-1970s, things were good for Chapman and Lotus.

Lotus Esprit Series 2

Unfortunately though, many of you know where the story goes from here: Team Lotus gave up its previous dominance in Formula 1 as the 1970s became the 1980s, but more crucially, Lotus’ involvement with DeLorean proved to be a disaster.

Sadly, Chapman passed away of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 54. Of course, his legacy is greater than many who lived twice his age, but still, an unfortunate end. Lotus isn’t involved in motorsports much anymore, but Chapman’s road car company survives and remains true to his philosophy of “simplify, then add lightness.”

1 comment:

  1. Sorry latest Lotus cars are far from being light. Look at the Eletre…. Colin’s moto is dead.




Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10