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Lotus-Ford Indy car: did Henry Ford II feel conned out of publicity by Chapman

Discussion in 'British' started by bitzman, May 5, 2019.

  1. bitzman

    bitzman Formula 3

    Feb 15, 2008
    2,185
    I was reading about the rear (actually mid) engined Lotus Ford indy car but couldn't find ref. that said Henry Ford II was miffed because the car came labeled Lotus- Ford not just a Ford. So the impression was, though Ford ordered the car Lotus got the publicity. I notice when Ford assigned Abbey Panels to make GT40 chassis you never saw them labeled as Abby Panels Fords. Now when it came to Lola's Broadley, Ford GT components were tested in the Lola but only a few say the Ford GT40 is a rebodied Lola, Ford avoided the PR disaster that time. Have any '60s racing buffs ever read that Hebry Ford II was wary of foreign suppliers who might usurp the creditability of Ford as an innovative company?
     
  2. bitzman

    bitzman Formula 3

    Feb 15, 2008
    2,185
    1. I got an answer why Ford did not take to Colin Chapman from the Lotus club. I think this is what made them rule Lotus out on their endurance racing plans.Martin Hopkins (Club Lotus Member) is an acknowledged Lotus “Encyclopedia on legs” and has given me the following information:


    "In the years you enquired about, Colin Chapman was running a Lotus car powered by a Ford pushrod V8 at the Indianapolis 500. Ford wanted Colin to use Methanol fuel and Firestone tyres (the latter because of a commercial tie up at the time). However, Colin insisted on using Petrol because of it’s higher energy density and hence requiring fewer fuel stops. (Methanol used approx. 140% more fuel).

    Colin also insisted on using Dunlop tyres and this was the main reason for the fallout between Colin and Ford. The Dunlop tyres over-heated and chunked near the end of the race, resulting in Lotus-Ford losing the race.

    Ford reportedly found Colin too “Inflexible” and felt that he should have been following their instructions rather than the other way round!


    This is all documented, according to Martin, in a book about the Indianapolis 500 Brickyard by Andrew Ferguson."

    Any opinions?
     

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