The car that came to be known as the Lotus Mark II
was created in 1949, while Colin Chapman
was serving with the RAF
. For his second car Chapman built on the knowledge gained from building and competing in the Lotus Mark I
, so he again used the widely available and inexpensive Austin 7
chassis as a starting point. He boxed in the chassis rails and replaced the cross members with stronger tubular braces. He swapped the Austin engine for a Ford engine and transmission, first from a Ford 8
, then from a Ford 10
, but retained the Austin 7 rear axle. To be able to use a wider tire, Chapman adapted Ford pressed-steel wheels. He modified the engine as far as the club rules would allow.
Chapman used this chassis and running gear to support a cigar-shaped body with a rounded nose. It has rudimentary cycle-type fenders. The result was a very competitive trials car, but one also suitable for circuit racing. Chapman used the car to compete in events sponsored by the 750 Motor Club
. Although Chapman built the car to compete in English Trials events, he also entered the car in track events, such as Silverstone
, where he won in his class. From that point forward, Chapman concentrated on designing and constructing cars for race circuits instead of trials.Ford Sidevalve
- Config: S4 SV
- Displacement: 1172 cc
- Bore/Stroke: x
- Accessed February 17, 2006
- Tipler, John, Lotus and Caterham Seven: Racers for the Road The Crowood Press,......