I like people who challenge the status-quo…in fact I most respect people who challenge the status quo. Whether it is in science, writing, art, or motoring. In the history of the automobile, there are several names that instantly come to mind; Colin Chapman would definitely be one of them.
This is a fantastic 5-part documentary uploaded onto YouTube, and originally aired on Channel 4 in the UK several years ago. A pleasant way to spend 50 minutes—-even if his fall wasn’t nearly as graceful as his rise.
Colin Chapman , like every other genius of any ilk was ‘ flawed . That takes nothing away from the man’s Genius mind you ….. but they’re ( we’re ) ALL flawed .
A great paraphrase by the character ” Mal ” from the TV series ” FireFly ”
” Seems to me there’s never been a man thats had a statue , plaque or a monument made to him that wasn’t one kind of a bastard or another ”
Never have truer words been spoken 😉
Whatever might be said concerning Chapman’s later and personal life, he remains the one man who changed the face of automotive design, generally and racing car design dramatically and in particular.
Following on from John Cooper’s rear-engined concept, Chapman added clever suspension re-think as well as later, monocoque construction.
Unfortunately, continuing innovation became increasingly costly and Lotus failed to throw off sufficient spare profit to properly support Team Lotus.
Chapman’s gaining support from Gold Leaf set in place an avalanche which sadly, ruined motor sport for all time: and coincidentally set the bar far higher than Lotus might aspire.
Despite all his tremendous work and effort, personal wealth able to compare with the explosion of conspicuous consumption of the insane 1970s, eluded Chapman and it is reasonable to forgive him for seeking some reward towards the end.
As Balzac wrote, behind any great fortune lies a crime……………..