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2013 Hall of Fame: Colin Chapman

Colin Chapman started out by building light, small racing cars for himself in the 1950s and by the time the team folded in 1994, Lotus had won 79 Grands Prix, six Drivers’ Championships, seven Constructors’ Championships and the 1965 Indianapolis 500.

hall of fame  2013 Hall of Fame: Colin Chapman

Along the way, Chapman’s designs and ideas revolutionised motor racing in Europe and the USA. He introduced the monocoque chassis to Formula 1, pioneered rear-engined Indycars and later gas turbine engines, developed the Cosworth DFV as a stressed member of the chassis in F1 and brought the first rudimentary wings into the top level of motor sport. That was just the 1960s.

In the ‘70s he made aerodynamics the most important part of F1 design with wings and the ground effect concept, changing the sport forever. If Colin Chapman had an idea, the rest were usually left in his wake, attempting to copy his designs. Even his failures – the 4WD 63 and twin-chassis 88 – could have been game changers under the right circumstances.

Colin Chapman’s legacy is one of excellence and innovation and, just over 30 years since his death, his ideas still resonate in the world of racing today.

Visit Colin Chapman’s page on our Hall of Fame website for features, videos and galleries.

Add your comments

2 comments on 2013 Hall of Fame: Colin Chapman

  1. Alex Milligan, 27 February 2013 22:51

    Bravo MS for Colin Chapman being inducted to the Hall of Fame. A maverick and innovator, he is sadly missed and how many of us would love to see his like in current F1 racing.

  2. Listerine, 5 March 2013 01:18

    Quite surprising that old Chunky wasn’t in the Hall of Fame already. A reminder of more interesting times, for his extraordinary cars never failed to delight, whether they were the good ones or the bad ones – but especially the good ones like the 25 or like Black Beauty, the gorgeous 79.
    Pity about another howler in the text though. I rather thought Cooper pioneered rear-engined Indycars, two full years before Chapman got to the Brickyard. Once again we see this website’s standards proving unfit to bear Motor Sport’s great name. One would have hoped that at least on an article promoting the Hall of Fame, celebrating the sport’s heritage as it does, there would be a greater effort to avoid getting such elementary historical facts so embarrassingly wrong.

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