Body style: F1 single-seater
The career of racer and engineer Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars, was characterised from his early days by the quest for ever greater efficiency, using simple, often series-produced mechanical components. Every extra pound of weight was eliminated and each part was analysed down to the smallest details. This search for efficiency in Chapman’s design always involved reducing the weight, pushing the limits of the car, sometimes leading to a certain degree of controversy. His work nevertheless took the design of Formula 1 single-seaters forward.
The car at the Cité de l’Automobile, Code 0311, was initially built as a Type 25 in 1963, before being converted to a Lotus 33 in 1964. It is built as an ultra-lightweight monocoque, weighing only 455 kg all told. Its engine is the famous direct-injection Coventry Climax 1.5-litre V8, lightweight and hard-wearing. In 1963, engine output was 198 horsepower, but with the upgrade to Type 33, Chapman got to 210 horsepower, at 10,500 rpm.
With drivers such as Jim Clark, Mike Spence and Peter Arundell, the car achieved an impressive series of results. It entered over 20 Grands Prix, racking up wins including the 1965 Dutch Grand Prix or the Indy 500.
After a successful racing career, this car also became a star of the silver screen, with a role in the film “Grand Prix”. It was around then that it was sold to racing driver Jo Bonnier, and it was later bought by Swiss racer Jo Siffert and then by Fritz Schlumpf.