1965 Lotus-Ford Race Car

Summary

This is one of the seminal cars in American racing history. In 1965 Scotsman Jimmy Clark drove this car to victory in the Indianapolis 500. A few years earlier legendary road-racer Dan Gurney concluded that the proper application of European formula-one technology could capture the Indianapolis 500. He brought Ford Motor Company together with Colin Chapman, English builder of Lotus sports and racing cars. The combination resulted in a lightweight Lotus chassis powered by a specially designed Ford V-8 engine. With its monocoque chassis, four-wheel independent suspension, and rear-mounted engine, the Lotus-Ford effectively killed the traditional Indy roadster and established a new paradigm for American race cars. Engine: Ford V-8, double overhead cam, 256 cu. in., 495 hp

This is one of the seminal cars in American racing history. In 1965 Scotsman Jimmy Clark drove this car to victory in the Indianapolis 500. A few years earlier legendary road-racer Dan Gurney concluded that the proper application of European formula-one technology could capture the Indianapolis 500. He brought Ford Motor Company together with Colin Chapman, English builder of Lotus sports and racing cars. The combination resulted in a lightweight Lotus chassis powered by a specially designed Ford V-8 engine. With its monocoque chassis, four-wheel independent suspension, and rear-mounted engine, the Lotus-Ford effectively killed the traditional Indy roadster and established a new paradigm for American race cars. Engine: Ford V-8, double overhead cam, 256 cu. in., 495 hp

Artifact

Racing car

Date Made

1965

Subject Date

31 May 1965

Creators

Chapman, Colin, 1928-1982 

Ford Motor Company 

Group Lotus PLC 

Place of Creation

United Kingdom, England, Hethel 

United States, Michigan, Dearborn 

Creator Notes

Chassis made by Group Lotus in Hethel, England and designed by Colin Chapman. Engine made by Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan.

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

77.21.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Material

Aluminum (Metal)
Fiberglass
Leather
Rubber (Material)
Vinyl

Color

British racing green
Dark green
Yellow
Black (Color)
White (Color)
Red

Dimensions

Diameter: 2.76 in  (Bore)

Length: 2.87 in  (Stroke)

Height: 34 in

Width: 74 in

Wheelbase: 96 in

Length: 161 in

Weight: 1250 lbs

Inscriptions

on nose: Lotus emblem on each side of body: LOTUS POWERED BY FORD (painted on body)

Specifications

Make & Model: 1965 Lotus-Ford oval track racing

Maker: Lotus Cars, Cheshunt, England, and Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan

Engine: Ford V-8, double overhead cams, 256 cubic inches

Transmission: 2-speed manual

Height: 31 inches

Width: 73 inches

Wheelbase: 96 inches

Overall length: 156 inches

Weight: 1250 pounds

Horsepower: 495 at 8800 revolutions per minute

Pounds per horsepower: 2.5

Competition History: Qualified second for the 1965 Indianapolis 500 and finished first, averaging 150.686 miles per hour. Driver: Jim Clark.

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