Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Lotus Engineering Co

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of 7 Tottenham Lane, Hornsey, London, N.8. Works: Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Herts, Makers of Lotus sports racing cars.

1952 Lotus Engineering Ltd was formed by the influential engineer Colin Chapman.

The Company's first factory was in old stables behind the Railway Hotel in Hornsey. Team Lotus was active and competitive in Formula One racing from 1958 to 1994.

c.1955 Graham Hill joined the engineering department[1], working on gearbox development before starting his racing career.

1950s Mike Costin became technical director; Keith Duckworth joined when Hill left, as gearbox development engineer[2]

1958 Duckworth left to set up Cosworth Engineering together with Mike Costin, who continued with Lotus on a part time basis until the expiration of his contract in the early 1960s.

1958 Group Lotus was set up to take over the existing businesses including Lotus Engineering Co

1959 The company moved from Hornsey to Cheshunt.

1959 Managing Director: A. C. B. Chapman. Directors: S. F. Chapman; H. P. Chapman. Production Manager: N. J. Clark. Chief Engineer: M. C. Costin.

1962 Registered office at Cheshunt.

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Elan 1600, Elite, Super Seven 1500 and Cortina. [3]

1966 The group moved to Norwich. The company occupied a modern factory and road test facility at Hethel, near Wymondham. This site was the former RAF Hethel base and the test track used sections of the old runway.

1968 Group Lotus Car Companies Ltd was incorporated as a public company. The motor racing activities were entirely separate from the company, being in Team Lotus Ltd; nevertheless the company received considerable publicity benefits from its association with racing[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Apr 30, 1956
  2. The Times, January 27, 1996
  3. 1963 Motor Show
  4. The Times, Sep 30, 1968