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May 18, 1958 – Lotus makes its Formula One debut
This Day

May 18, 1958 – Lotus makes its Formula One debut

Team Lotus made its Formula One debut today in 1958 at the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying, the opening event for the European racing season. Lotus entered two single-seat Type 12 race cars, which were driven by Cliff Allison and Graham Hill. While Ferrari was the favored team in the face, it was the Brits who took home the checkered flag thanks to the driving of Maurice Trintignant behind the wheel of his Cooper. At the same event, Maria Teresa de Filippis became the first female F1 driver. Both Lotus cars finished the race, with Allison in 6th and Hill in 26th. Anthony Chapman, founder of Lotus Engineering Company and racecar driver himself, took notes at the race and redesigned his cars based on the successes of other competitors. Just two years later a Type 18 Lotus was entered in...
December 16, 1982 – Colin Chapman, Lotus founder, dies
This Day

December 16, 1982 – Colin Chapman, Lotus founder, dies

Chapman at the wheel of one of his own Lotus Eleven sports cars, during practice for the 1956 British Grand Prix Formula Two race. By J Crosthwaite - J Crosthwaite, CC BY-SA 3.0 Colin Chapman, English engineer, automotive designer and founder of Lotus Cars, passed away on this day in 1982 at age 54. Born in Surrey in 1928, Chapman studied structural engineering at University College London. He would later attend University of London Air Squadron before briefly joining the Royal Air Force. His time in the air and around planes would prove to be a valuable experience for him, as his future car designs borrowed heavily from aeronautical engineering. After leaving the RAF in 1948, he went to work building his first race car. Chapman's Mk1, a modified Austin 7, debuted later that year, n...

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