FORMULA 1: LOTUS 49-FORD
owntown Motown, June 5, 1983:
Milan’s Michele Alboreto wins the United
States Grand Prix East. His Tyrrell 011
fitted with a final fling, short-stroke
variant of Cosworth’s DFV, this is the
155th GP victory for Formula 1’s
greatest engine. Remarkably, it comes
almost 16 years to the day since its first.
Sand-blown Zandvoort, June 4, 1967:
Scotland’s Jim Clark wins the Dutch GP.
His Lotus 49 is tailored to an engine
designed to suit its chassis – indeed, form
half of its chassis – and Team Lotus and
Cosworth Engineering, their combined
genius united by four bolts, have changed
Formula 1 forever: integration rather
This is the countdown to that
groundbreaking maiden victory.
The governing body confirms F1’s next
set of regulations: from Jan. 1, 1966 it
will be for (minimum) 500kg/1,110lb cars
powered by naturally-aspirated 3-liter – a
doubling of cubic capacity – or
supercharged 1.5-liter engines.
Coventry Climax announces that it will
not build an engine for the new F1;
existing customers have 10 months to
source an alternative. Lotus boss Colin
Chapman, shocked initially, senses
opportunity and approaches Cosworth’s
Keith Duckworth. Though incapable of
working in the same building, they have
since 1960 combined to dominate the
junior formulae, using modified Ford
engines. Intrigued, Duckworth suggests a
ballpark £ 100,000 ($320,000 at the time)
for the design and initial development of
a 3-liter V8, plus the supply of five units
to Lotus and their maintenance for a year.
Chapman’s bids for backing receive only
tea and sympathy until his meetings with
Ford of Britain’s Walter Hayes and Harley
Copp: the former, a pipe-smoking
ex-newspaper editor for whom Chapman
had written columns, is responsible for
motorsport as Director of Public Affairs;
the latter, Kansas-born, is a Rolls-Royce
and motorsport enthusiast who joined
Ford’s recently incorporated UK arm as
Director of Engineering and Product
Development. Convinced by the
Chapman-Duckworth ticket, Hayes’
subsequent proposal at a policy
committee goes through on the nod, as
AOB: £ 100,000 is peanuts relatively.
Monday, May 31
Clark’s Lotus 38 scores the first
Indianapolis 500 victory for a rear-engine
car and Ford engine. Chapman’s stock in
Detroit is high, even though he’s ruffled
quite a few FoMoCo feathers.
A 3,000sq.ft extension to Cosworth’s
Northampton, UK, base commences.
Cosworth undertakes a four-cylinder,
The Lotus Cars
founder had won
Coventry Climax-powered F1 drivers’
titles in 1963 and
’ 65, but would go
on to win another
four and five,
the Cosworth DFV.
(MAIN) After putting his Lotus 49-Ford on
pole for its 1967 Dutch GP debut, Graham
Hill led the opening 11 laps, before a problem
for the barely-tested DFV engine put him out.
(BELOW RIGHT) A Ford-powered victory for
Jim Clark and Lotus in the 1965 Indy 500
provided the necessary feelgood factor for
when it came to FoMoCo signing off on DFV.