Jump to content


Photo

Len Terry


  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#1 Mallory Dan

Mallory Dan
  • Member

  • 2,674 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 03 October 2003 - 15:37

I started getting into racing in about 1974, so didn't really know much about this chap at the time. What really inetests me is how well regarded he was in the 60s. From reading about various cars he designed, Ledas/Ford F3L/BRMs come straight to mind, why did people keep giving him work? It seems everything he was involved in flopped big-time.

Or am I seeing it all wrong, please advise !

Dan Rear

Advertisement

#2 Jeremy Jackson

Jeremy Jackson
  • Member

  • 479 posts
  • Joined: May 01

Posted 03 October 2003 - 15:51

Dan,

The Ford F3L was designed by Len Bailey, not Len Terry. But Terry also did the late 1960s BMW F2 cars, and of course the Eagle.

He went quiet between 1970-ish and about 76-77, but unfortunately chose the BRM P207 as a (sort-of) comeback!

#3 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,586 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 03 October 2003 - 15:53

Well, this is from grandprix.com

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
Name: Len Terry
Nationality: Great Britain


A graduate of the highly-competitive 750 Motor Club world Len Terry joined rivals Maurice Philippe and Brian Hart and built a Formula Junior car in the mid 1950s called the Delta. This was followed by another Formula Junior called the Moorland before Terry began to build Terrier Clubman cars in 1958. These were driven successfully by Brian Hart and were followed by Terrier Formula Juniors in 1960. At the same time Terry was building a Gilby sportscar and in 1960 he was commissioned by Sid Green to build a Gilby F1 car and then Terry joined Team Lotus developing the Lotus 25 into the Lotus 33 which was used by Jim Clark to win the World Championship in 1965. The same year Lotus won the Indianpolis 500 and in 1966 Terry was hired by Dan Gurney to design an Eagle chassis which would serve for both Formula 1 and Indycar racing.

In 1967 Terry moved on to BRM and designed the P126 but this was not a great success. In 1969 Terry designed a Formula 2 car for BMW but the programme received a huge setback when Gerhard Mitter was killed and BMW decided not to pursue the project. At the same time Terry was designing a Formula 5000 car for Leda and when this project faltered John Surtees took it over and the car was renamed the TS5. The cars were raced in Britain and America with David Hobbs finishing runner-up in the United States, despite only doing half the series with wins at Donnybrooke, St Jovite, Thompson and Sebring. Italian Andrea de Adamich also raced the cars in America and Europe, where Trevor Taylor also drove one of the Chevrolet-engined devices. Thereafter Terry slipped out of the limelight although he was involved in the Viking Formula 3 project of 1975. In 1977 he made a brief comeback with the BRM P207 but this was not a success.

After retiring from the sport Terry became a dedicated cyclist covering tens of thousands of miles to keep himself amused.

@@@@@@@@@@@@

There is some good stuff in there - the Lotus and Eagle work would be enough to give anyone a good reputation. After that, though, he does seem to have made a career out of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

#4 Ruairidh

Ruairidh
  • Member

  • 1,073 posts
  • Joined: November 02

Posted 03 October 2003 - 16:28

Len Terry also did some work on a contract design basis on the front end (brake/suspension) on the Lotus 77 in 1976.

#5 Mallory Dan

Mallory Dan
  • Member

  • 2,674 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 03 October 2003 - 16:28

Jeremy

You're right about my confusing the Lens, you can see how much I know about the 60s ! But speaking of Len B, what else did he do ? I may have been thinking of him when I said Len T, or did they both do some turkeys ?

Dan

#6 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 03 October 2003 - 18:46

Originally posted by Ruairidh
Len Terry also did some work on a contract design basis on the front end (brake/suspension) on the Lotus 77 in 1976.


Yep, he's the guy who put Ralt uprights onto it! :)

pete

#7 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 3,549 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 03 October 2003 - 19:29

Didn't he design the FF2000 CTG - raced primarily by Neil Bettridge (who later drove the P207 in the Aurora series I think)?

And wasn't there the F3 Viking, which was taken over by Toleman for Rad Dougall briefly?

I seem to recall he wrote a book on Racing Car Design in the late seventies as well which was quite well received at the time.

MCS

#8 Rainer Nyberg

Rainer Nyberg
  • Member

  • 1,756 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 03 October 2003 - 19:42

Some designs credited to Len Bailey are :

Politoys FX3 Formula 1 car (1972)
Mirage M6 Group 6 car (1972)
Gulf Mirage Group 6 car (1973)
Magnum 813 F3 car (1981)
Ford C100 Group C car (1982)
EMKA C83-Aston Martin Group C car (1983)
EMKA 84-Aston Martin Group C car (1984)

Btw is Mark Bailey related to Len?

#9 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 3,549 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 03 October 2003 - 19:47

Rainer

I thought we were talking about Len Terry !!!

Do you have a list of Len Terry's designs then...?!!

MCS

#10 Cirrus

Cirrus
  • Member

  • 1,534 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 03 October 2003 - 19:48

seem to recall he wrote a book on Racing Car Design in the late seventies as well which was quite well received at the time.



Yes - I lent my copy out some years ago, and never got it back. I think it was called "Racing Car Design and Development", co-written with Alan Baker and it came out in about 1973. A large part of it was taken up with an analysis of all Len Terry's designs, but it did contain some other useful stuff. I seem to recall him musing that there was probably some huge breakthrough coming in aerodynamics - it's a bit ironic that he was doing a patchup job for Lotus at the very time that the breakthrough was happening. I also vaguely remember seeing his name on some early GA drawings for the Ralt RT3.

#11 Dave Wright

Dave Wright
  • Member

  • 267 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 03 October 2003 - 21:31

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
I started getting into racing in about 1974, so didn't really know much about this chap at the time. What really inetests me is how well regarded he was in the 60s. From reading about various cars he designed, Ledas/Ford F3L/BRMs come straight to mind, why did people keep giving him work? It seems everything he was involved in flopped big-time.

Or am I seeing it all wrong, please advise !

Dan Rear


I think you are seeing it wrong. Len Terry drew the Lotus 29 which came second at the Indy 500 in 1963 and designed the Lotus 38 which won the Indy 500 in 1965. He also designed the Eagle which I believe did well in USAC (I'm not really familiar with USAC).

#12 Rainer Nyberg

Rainer Nyberg
  • Member

  • 1,756 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 03 October 2003 - 21:54

Originally posted by MCS
Rainer

I thought we were talking about Len Terry !!!

Do you have a list of Len Terry's designs then...?!!

MCS



I just somehow got the impression that Len Terry actually had been mistaken for Len Bailey by the original poster.

About Len Terry, I don't have much else on him apart from what has already been said on the thread.

BRM P126, P133, P138, P207. Eagle T1G. Surtees TS5.

And the a couple of F3 cars the Viking TH1 of 1976 which was successfully driven in Sweden by Conny Ljungfeldt among others. There was also the Technic TT773 of 1977.

#13 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,963 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 03 October 2003 - 21:55

Not only that...

The Eagle F1 car, as Jeremy Jackson has already noted, was hardly a failure. It had a win, after all, and it continues to win, every day that someone looks upon its shapely lines...

#14 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,589 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 04 October 2003 - 21:44

I do not have the time at present to come back with a full rebuttal of some of the scurrilous comments made aout Len Terry. I will do so in due course, no doubt.

His book with Alan Baker gives a more than comprehensive picture of his skills. He was so bad as a designer that Chapman repeatedly sought him out for key projects. He also had to cobble up mods to the Lotus 19 to be able to take the V8 engine, some job starting with Chapman's traditionally robust spaceframes.

Len's problem was often that he got involved with the wrong people at the wrong time, or that he had his hands tied, either financially or technically by his client qv Alpine for their 1962 Le Mans car . In some cases he was only a consultant and did not do the detail work.

As ever, if the car is a success it is the manufacturer who takes the credit, if it a duff car, then the designer gets the blame, whatever the reason, and in motor racing there are always plenty of reasons to stop a good design being successful, just as there are always good drivers who only come good when they get in a top car, and the longest book is the Book of Excuses.


He did much work outside pure racing car design, including producing a very quick action refuelling rig for Indy cars. Hd no one that side of the pond thought about it before, or could they simply not come up with something that did the job, remember we are in the land of the Roadsters,? It took Len's lateral thoughts to take it to them with a solution, as shown in his book.

He was also working at a time before computers did all the clever stuff for designers in a fraction of the time, and at a time when many new technical frontiers were being encountered.

It may interest you that there are some of us, particularly Dr Mike Lawrence, famed as a knowledgable writer, qv his range of published works, mostvrecently his book on Chapman, who regard Len especially highly and feel that a biography is long overdue. Far from having anything to hide, Len has everything to tell the world about. But like many talented men, he also possesses modesty.

I must urge you to try to find out more before you dismiss a man of Len's reputation, track record and ability

Roger Lund.

#15 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 04 October 2003 - 21:51

It may interest you that there are some of us, particularly Dr Mike Lawrence, famed as a knowledgable writer, qv his range of published works, mostvrecently his book on Chapman, who regard Len especially highly and feel that a biography is long overdue. Far from having anything to hide, Len has everything to tell the world about. But like many talented men, he also possesses modesty.


I've talked in the past with Dr Lawrence about this - he and Len are really keen to do a book, but Mike claims "there's no market for it" - mind you he says that about almost everything these days!

(Mike also tried to do a book about Eric Broadley - Eric wasn't interested then Lola went titsup - and Ken Tyrrell - sadly Ken didn't think it'd be worth it :( - I like Mo Hamilton's book, but I think a Mike Lawrence book on Tyrrell would've been a real "folk epic" masterpiece....)

Colonel Capps needs to sign him up for Six of One Press ASAP!;)

pete

#16 Ruairidh

Ruairidh
  • Member

  • 1,073 posts
  • Joined: November 02

Posted 05 October 2003 - 03:41

Originally posted by bradbury west
I do not have the time at present to come back with a full rebuttal of some of the scurrilous comments made aout Len Terry. I will do so in due course, no doubt.

AND

I must urge you to try to find out more before you dismiss a man of Len's reputation, track record and ability

Roger Lund.


Roger, I don't read any scurrilous comments or dismissal of Len Terry's reputation. Honestly I see a somewhat open and confused question (I'm still not sure if we should be talking about Len Terry or Len Bailey?) and, with respect to Len Terry, what I see are a number of answers all pointing to pieces of evidence of success without anyone putting together a coherent, linked answer. The theme that does seem to be corroborated by you is "skilled guy, but often in the wrong place at the wrong time".

This thread had also reminded me of a question that I still don't know the answer to - which is how one judges the comparative success of a designer's career? For example Gordon Coppuck - great success with the M23 but, IIRC, not much else. Maurice Phillipe - arguably ditto with the T72. Ralph Bellamy - M19 and a chunk of the T78 but also the T76. What I'm trying to convey is an impression that many of these guys had real success with one design which they weren't able to replicate - or is that impression false? and if so were these guys (and others) deserving of high reputation or was it the case of right place, right idea right time?

Regards

#17 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,887 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 05 October 2003 - 09:58

I think designers generally get a raw deal as far as book coverage is concerned. After all, the drivers are just the lucky ones who get to play with the toys....If someone brought out "F1 designers of the 60s and 70s" I would be there like a shot.

Who recalls those Rock Family Tree things?...they fascinate me, and I have often wondered whether a similar thing could be constructed for F1 teams, showing how the key people have moved around.

Which leads me on to a "Where are they Now" type question. For an obscure reason, I would like to contact ex March, Williams, McLaren, possibly Xtrac designer, Ray Stokoe. If anyone knows any specific details please E Mail or PM me.

#18 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 06 October 2003 - 02:25

Originally posted by bradbury west
I do not have the time at present to come back with a full rebuttal of some of the scurrilous comments made aout Len Terry.


Originally posted by Ruairidh
Roger, I don't read any scurrilous comments or dismissal of Len Terry's reputation. Honestly I see a somewhat open and confused question (I'm still not sure if we should be talking about Len Terry or Len Bailey?) and, with respect to Len Terry, what I see are a number of answers all pointing to pieces of evidence of success without anyone putting together a coherent, linked answer. The theme that does seem to be corroborated by you is "skilled guy, but often in the wrong place at the wrong time".


Roger,

I have to second the notion forwarded by Ruairidh as to whether there are any "scurrilous comments" about Len Terry. If there are any, perhaps I need to change the prescription for my glasses.

I have always had the general notion that Len Terry is a character of some note here, being one of those who managed to live an interesting life as well as do interesting work.

Don

#19 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 06 October 2003 - 09:33

Originally posted by David Beard
I think designers generally get a raw deal as far as book coverage is concerned. After all, the drivers are just the lucky ones who get to play with the toys....If someone brought out "F1 designers of the 60s and 70s" I would be there like a shot.

Who recalls those Rock Family Tree things?...they fascinate me, and I have often wondered whether a similar thing could be constructed for F1 teams, showing how the key people have moved around.

Which leads me on to a "Where are they Now" type question. For an obscure reason, I would like to contact ex March, Williams, McLaren, possibly Xtrac designer, Ray Stokoe. If anyone knows any specific details please E Mail or PM me.


I'm working on a sort of family-tree thing for racer.demon and the 8w chaps. It's a bit rough at the moment, and spends more time on the 70s-90s 'cos that's the era I know most about, but it shows where people, designs and occasionally chassis migrated from team to team....

Advertisement

#20 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,887 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 06 October 2003 - 09:45

Originally posted by petefenelon


I'm working on a sort of family-tree thing for racer.demon and the 8w chaps. It's a bit rough at the moment, and spends more time on the 70s-90s 'cos that's the era I know most about, but it shows where people, designs and occasionally chassis migrated from team to team....


That sounds good..is there anything to see yet?

#21 2F-001

2F-001
  • Member

  • 2,278 posts
  • Joined: November 01

Posted 06 October 2003 - 11:02

The aforementioned book also lists Mr. Terry as being involved in design work to varying degees for

Gilby A & B

the Kincraft

a Shelby CanAm project

the BRM engined Gulf Mirage coupé

the DFV engined Gulf Mirages (the late sixties ones)

various Leda / McRae / Malaya Garage cars

Allan McCall's Tuis

a Honda F1 replica, in 1969 (what was that?)

an unfinished F1 project for Eifelland in 72 (Stommelen's sponsor, presumably - weren't they a caravan maker, or something?)

and of course a whole pack of Terriers.

the book is:
'Racing Car Design and Development' by Len Terry and Alan Baker, MRP, ISBN 0 900549 20 3

#22 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,589 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 06 October 2003 - 11:17

I had no wish to give cause for offence, or to re define the meaning of words. If anyone feels slighted, I apologise. I have had some close contact with Len in recent times over some research, a nd he is an amazing chap, possibly too frank for some in this sanitised PR-speak world, but he achieved a great deal, often in the face of not the best circumsatnces, often being a great innovator.

He also had a great regard for the safety of the driver, with separate frames built outside the cockpit area on his earliest cars , also adding strentgh,qv the Gilbey car and the mk6 sports racer.

The proof of the effectiveness of his cars, from the earliest days, when Tony Youlten and Brian Hart were the class of their fields, was reflected in the brilliant drive in the front engined Formula Junior race at the Goodwood Revival meeting by "veteran" driver Derek Walker, against very strong opposition from a superb pole position. Derek, traditionally an Oulton Park and Northern circuits specialist seems to have been racing since the time when that car was new. He himself can tell many stories about Len.

Again, no wish to offend, but credit where credit is due.


On the subject of books, it seems that very little of quality can expect to sell more than 2000 copies. Nevertheless, the thought of a Mike Lawrence penned book on Tyrrell was pretty exciting. What are people buying? Must be picture books of modern Ferraris and the like "driven" by tyre smoking TV car show presenters. Forgive the cynicism.


Roger Lund.

#23 Mallory Dan

Mallory Dan
  • Member

  • 2,674 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 06 October 2003 - 12:16

As I started the thread, I must apologise of I've slighted Len Terry in anyway, it was merely an attempt to find out a little more about him, which the replies have done very well. Thank you all, and sorry for confusing some of Len Terry's work with Len Baileys.

Speaking of designers, any opinions on Frank Dernie ??

Sorry again,

Dan

#24 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 06 October 2003 - 12:59

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
As I started the thread, I must apologise of I've slighted Len Terry in anyway, it was merely an attempt to find out a little more about him, which the replies have done very well. Thank you all, and sorry for confusing some of Len Terry's work with Len Baileys.

Speaking of designers, any opinions on Frank Dernie ??

Sorry again,

Dan


Good aero bloke, reasonable mechanical designer, overshadowed a lot by Patrick Head during his time at Williams. Hesketh 308E and Lotus 101 were widely thought to be nice pieces of work within the severe budgetary constraints he was operating in. Possibly not a good bloke to work on high-tech stuff - at his best working on relatively simple cars.

Not necessarily a top-flight designer but near the head of the second rank, and at his best when paired with a strong technical director?

#25 Ruairidh

Ruairidh
  • Member

  • 1,073 posts
  • Joined: November 02

Posted 06 October 2003 - 17:53

Originally posted by petefenelon


Good aero bloke, reasonable mechanical designer, overshadowed a lot by Patrick Head during his time at Williams. Hesketh 308E and Lotus 101 were widely thought to be nice pieces of work within the severe budgetary constraints he was operating in. Possibly not a good bloke to work on high-tech stuff - at his best working on relatively simple cars.

Not necessarily a top-flight designer but near the head of the second rank, and at his best when paired with a strong technical director?


When Dernie arrived at Lotus, contemporary reports had him full of disdain for the last car produced under Duca (IIRC stiffness was his particular beef). I'd have to say that (even taking into account the financial realities of the last years of the Camel deal) his cars distinctly unimpressed me. Pete is right the 101 recieved plaudits on launch but then little in the way of results or speed. Am I being too hard?

#26 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 06 October 2003 - 19:47

Originally posted by Ruairidh


When Dernie arrived at Lotus, contemporary reports had him full of disdain for the last car produced under Duca (IIRC stiffness was his particular beef). I'd have to say that (even taking into account the financial realities of the last years of the Camel deal) his cars distinctly unimpressed me. Pete is right the 101 recieved plaudits on launch but then little in the way of results or speed. Am I being too hard?



I think the combination of Senna and active suspension masked a lot of potential weaknesses in the later Ducarouge Lotii... When all's said and done, Ducarouge wasn't exactly a superstar either ;P

pete

#27 Ruairidh

Ruairidh
  • Member

  • 1,073 posts
  • Joined: November 02

Posted 06 October 2003 - 20:32

Originally posted by petefenelon



I think the combination of Senna and active suspension masked a lot of potential weaknesses in the later Ducarouge Lotii... When all's said and done, Ducarouge wasn't exactly a superstar either ;P

pete


I don't altogether disagree with the comment re: Duca (although I remain grateful for what he brought to Lotus in '83 and the '85 car was a thing of beauty) but that wasn't what I was trying to focus on.

My point is that I think it is at least arguable that Dernie came in, assessed (rightly or wrongly - but certainly in a manner that became public) the existing Lotus as a piece of c*** and then did little better with his designs.

Am I missing something?

#28 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,887 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 06 October 2003 - 21:06

Originally posted by Mallory Dan

Speaking of designers, any opinions on Frank Dernie ??


In 1977 or 78, I went for a job interview at Ogle Design in Letchworth. I was surprised when Tom Karen (the Ogle boss) asked me of I heard of Frank Dernie, who had applied for the same job. I think I connected him with Hesketh at the time. I was certainly surprised that he was seeking employment outside the racing industry. I wasn't offered the job...don't know if Frank was.

Not at all relevant...but I thought I would tell it anway. :

#29 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 3,549 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 10 October 2003 - 19:33

Didn't Warwick and Donnelly have their huge crashes in F1 Lotuses designed by Dernie...?

I can remember some very critical and scathing remarks being made about his design abilities from people within the industry at the time of his tenure at Lotus.


MCS

#30 Reyna

Reyna
  • Member

  • 630 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 05 April 2004 - 07:24

Len Terry - Terrier type numbers:

LT1- 1.958 Terrier Mk1 1172 Formula Sports car
LT2- 1.959 Terrier Mk2 1172 Formula Sports car
LT3- 1.960 Gilby-Climax 1100 sports-racing car
LT4- Terier Mk4 Formula Junior
LT5- 1.961 Gilby-Climax FPF/Gilby-BRM V8 Formula 1
LT6- 1962 DRW-Terrier Mk6 sports-racing car
LT7- ? Terrier Mk7 750 Formula Sports cars project, not built
LT8- 1964 Alpine Renault A210
LT9- 1966 Eagle T10 Formula 1
LT10- 1967 King Cobra Shelby Can-Am
LT11- 1967 BRM P126 Formula 1
LT12- 1968 Mirage-BRM M2/300 Group 6 sports car
LT13- Not allocated
LT14- 1968 Honda RA301 Formula 1 replica
LT15- 1968 Leda-Nathan Formula 5000 project, not built
LT16- 1968 Formula 2 project, not built
LT17- 1968 Surtees TS5 Formula 5000
LT18- 1969 BMW/Dornier F2
LT19- 1969 Mirage-Ford M3/300 Group 6 sports car
LT20- 1970 Leda Formula 5000
LT21- 1970 Eagle Indianapolis car
LT22- 1970 Leda F5000 revised rear suspension
LT23- ? Indianapolis project
LT24- ? Road car project
LT25- 1971 Leda Formula 5000
LT26- 1971 Leda GM1 Formula 5000
LT27- 1972 Leda GM2 Formula 5000
LT28- 1972 Leda-Tui Formula 2/B/Atlantic/3/Super Vee

(source Autosport december 16, 1971)



????- 1975 Viking TH1 F3
????- 1977 BRM P207 F1
????- 1977 Technic TT773 F?


Could anyone complete this list ???

#31 Bill Colson

Bill Colson
  • New Member

  • 28 posts
  • Joined: April 04

Posted 05 April 2004 - 08:31

In case nobody has yet considered it : Len Terry was the principal designer for the Lotus Mark 15, one of today's most sought after sports-racing cars.

#32 karlcars

karlcars
  • Member

  • 603 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 05 April 2004 - 08:57

Just a note on Terry's design for BMW, as built by Dornier and BMW's own people....

This was pretty darn successful, toward the end of 1970 being one of the quickest if not THE quickest F2 cars...as I found when writing about it for an upcoming article in BIMMER. As often happens, this was in spite of its builders making a cockpit surround removable instead of an integral part of the tub as Terry had intended. Then, largely for internal political reasons, the program was scrubbed just when it was set to rape and pillage in 1971.

#33 Richard Line

Richard Line
  • Member

  • 61 posts
  • Joined: December 03

Posted 05 April 2004 - 11:29

Having rebuilt one of the BRM P207 chassis for an Ex friend a couple of years ago it's not difficult to fathom out why his comeback was short lived. Some may blame the engine but, having been involved I can say it was all horrible :cat:
Regards Richard Line.

PS I know where there two for sale if your daft enough

#34 Richard Line

Richard Line
  • Member

  • 61 posts
  • Joined: December 03

Posted 05 April 2004 - 11:33

"Lotus 15" wasnt that the one that only worked in the wet untill they redesigned the suspension.
Regards Richard.

#35 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 05 April 2004 - 11:42

Originally posted by Richard Line
Having rebuilt one of the BRM P207 chassis for an Ex friend a couple of years ago it's not difficult to fathom out why his comeback was short lived. Some may blame the engine but, having been involved I can say it was all horrible :cat:
Regards Richard Line.

PS I know where there two for sale if your daft enough



Looking at the 207 it's so unlike any of Len's other cars that I have to wonder... what went wrong?

Most of his cars were fairly compact, tough and simple.

That thing looked more like a super-sized 312T2 body on a truck chassis! Were there marketing constraints from "Big Lou" and Rotary Watches? ("it has to look like a Ferrari") - such things aren't unheard of, remember when Pacific came into F1, the design team were told to make it look as much like a Benetton as possible for "marketing reasons" - mind you given that it was made up of Reynard floor-sweepings and the then-contemporary Benettons were pretty much done by the departed Reynard F1 design team it probably wasn't that difficult...)

I have a sneaking affection for the 'Stanley Steamer'. Wouldn't want to buy one though ;)

#36 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,887 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 05 April 2004 - 12:22

Originally posted by Bill Colson
In case nobody has yet considered it : Len Terry was the principal designer for the Lotus Mark 15, one of today's most sought after sports-racing cars.


Bill...Welcome!

#37 Brian Lear

Brian Lear
  • Member

  • 108 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 05 April 2004 - 13:41

Originally posted by Bill Colson
In case nobody has yet considered it : Len Terry was the principal designer for the Lotus Mark 15, one of today's most sought after sports-racing cars.


Bill.... Welcome to this forum. I am sure you will enjoy the ride.

Brian Lear
Australia

#38 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 05 April 2004 - 14:14

Might LT23 or LT24 be the Franklen-Palliser F5000 (aka Mildren-Chevrolet)?

#39 Reyna

Reyna
  • Member

  • 630 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 05 April 2004 - 14:58

Originally posted by David McKinney
Might LT23 or LT24 be the Franklen-Palliser F5000 (aka Mildren-Chevrolet)?

The Palliser-Franklen F5000 designer was Len Bailey.

Advertisement

#40 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 05 April 2004 - 15:17

:blush:

#41 David Birchall

David Birchall
  • Member

  • 3,004 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 05 April 2004 - 16:39

I don't think I have seen what was Len Terry's first failure mentioned here; the Lotus 17. Strut suspension at the rear and at the front! And on a car the size of a pram! My understanding is that it was the only time Chapman ever "recalled" one of his designs and fixed it for free. He replaced the abortive front suspension with double A arms. A close friend over here owns what must surely be one of the very few still fitted with front struts. Not successfully.
David B

#42 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,589 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 06 April 2004 - 14:35

Originally posted by David Birchall
I don't think I have seen what was Len Terry's first failure mentioned here; the Lotus 17. Strut suspension at the rear and at the front! And on a car the size of a pram! My understanding is that it was the only time Chapman ever "recalled" one of his designs and fixed it for free. He replaced the abortive front suspension with double A arms. A close friend over here owns what must surely be one of the very few still fitted with front struts. Not successfully.
David B






Len was working to Chapman's instructions. ACBC was obsessed with his strut concept. Len had to sort it out. Chapman was desperately trying to out-Lola mlk1 the Lola mk 1 so compactness was a sine qua non. Also remember the 17 was intended to take a 750cc Climax motor, so weight and small size were essential. Again Len had to work to Chapman's orders. Len's book explains a lot

Roger Lund

Paid up member of the Len Terry Fan Club

#43 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,589 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 06 April 2004 - 14:48

Originally posted by Bill Colson
In case nobody has yet considered it : Len Terry was the principal designer for the Lotus Mark 15, one of today's most sought after sports-racing cars.



Bill,
Many thanks for the positive words about Len Terry. The 15 was the class of the field in its day, as some of us remember, or nearly so.

You will enjoy TNF I am sure.

Just remember

Everyone has 20/20 hindsight, and there is none so wise as the man who does not know the facts.

Roger Lund

drw research

#44 David Birchall

David Birchall
  • Member

  • 3,004 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 06 April 2004 - 15:56

Originally posted by bradbury west






Len was working to Chapman's instructions. ACBC was obsessed with his strut concept. Len had to sort it out. Chapman was desperately trying to out-Lola mlk1 the Lola mk 1 so compactness was a sine qua non. Also remember the 17 was intended to take a 750cc Climax motor, so weight and small size were essential. Again Len had to work to Chapman's orders. Len's book explains a lot

Roger Lund

Paid up member of the Len Terry Fan Club


I don't think that the 17 was "intended to take a 750cc Climax motor'. It was designed for the 1100cc sports racing class but with the 750 motor was competitive for the Index of Performance at LeMans. I accept your point that it was probably Chapman who insisted on the struts front and rear.
I wasn't intending to denigrate Len Terry~the Terrier front engine FJ was a lovely car that he designed in the same period.
David B

#45 MCS

MCS
  • Member

  • 3,549 posts
  • Joined: June 03

Posted 11 May 2004 - 20:01

Originally posted by petefenelon


I'm working on a sort of family-tree thing for racer.demon and the 8w chaps. It's a bit rough at the moment, and spends more time on the 70s-90s 'cos that's the era I know most about, but it shows where people, designs and occasionally chassis migrated from team to team....


Pete

Forgive me for being so direct, but were you able to finish your "family-tree thing?"

MCS

#46 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 11 May 2004 - 20:10

Not yet. I've promised Mattijs a complete draft in the next few weeks, so I'll have to knuckle down and revise it!

#47 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,346 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 11 May 2004 - 20:23

Reading through this thread reminds me of Len's help on many occasions.

He it was who first drew my attention to Colin Chapman's jealous reaction to anything introduced by Eric Broadley.

When Eric's lovely little Lola-Climax sports cars first toppled the Lotus 11s from pre-eminence in the 1100cc sports-racing class, Colin's reflex action was the tiny Lotus 17 with its front suspension struts which bound-up under cornering load as a bicycle pump does when you add a side-load to it and try to continue pumping...

Having been "only obeying orders" with the initial 17 design it was left to Len and his workmates to sort that one out.

After Colin and the Indy Lotus 29 had shown Ford Detroit how to forge ahead in serious motor racing, it was Chunky who expected Ford's coffers to empty into his pocket. He was miffed in the extreme - then - to see Eric Broadley taken into the Ford fold instead in the Ford GT programme.

His reflex action was the Lotus-Ford 30 backbone-chassis sports-racing car - "this'll show 'em".

When Len came back on board he was able to back up others in predicting the backbone frame - "...panelled in sheet so thin it was like an old Duckham's oil can..." - would be nowhere near rigid enough. When the Series 1 30s began to twist, chassis took on a permanent set after a hard session at Brands Hatch, and stress ripples were left clearly visible in the backbone skinning...then Tony Hegbourne had the Ian Walker Racing 30 S1 break in half around him...again it was Chunky who walked away from his own latest Broadley-beater, snorting "...well if you're so bloody clever you sort it out then...".

And then there was the case of the Lotus-Cortina A-frame...and the....and the...and the....

DCN

#48 Garrypolled

Garrypolled
  • New Member

  • 24 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 11 May 2004 - 20:52

I recall Len Terry having an office/shop in Poole, Dorset, sometime in the 60s. It became McRae Cars and then went on to be Penske's UK base of operations. Friend of mine named Peter Chaldecott was a draftsman for Len Terry about that time. If Peter is still around cars, maybe someone can ask him what was going on then.

#49 ian senior

ian senior
  • Member

  • 2,140 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 12 May 2004 - 11:41

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Reading through this thread reminds me of Len's help on many occasions.

He it was who first drew my attention to Colin Chapman's jealous reaction to anything introduced by Eric Broadley.

When Eric's lovely little Lola-Climax sports cars first toppled the Lotus 11s from pre-eminence in the 1100cc sports-racing class, Colin's reflex action was the tiny Lotus 17 with its front suspension struts which bound-up under cornering load as a bicycle pump does when you add a side-load to it and try to continue pumping...

Having been "only obeying orders" with the initial 17 design it was left to Len and his workmates to sort that one out.

After Colin and the Indy Lotus 29 had shown Ford Detroit how to forge ahead in serious motor racing, it was Chunky who expected Ford's coffers to empty into his pocket. He was miffed in the extreme - then - to see Eric Broadley taken into the Ford fold instead in the Ford GT programme.

His reflex action was the Lotus-Ford 30 backbone-chassis sports-racing car - "this'll show 'em".

When Len came back on board he was able to back up others in predicting the backbone frame - "...panelled in sheet so thin it was like an old Duckham's oil can..." - would be nowhere near rigid enough. When the Series 1 30s began to twist, chassis took on a permanent set after a hard session at Brands Hatch, and stress ripples were left clearly visible in the backbone skinning...then Tony Hegbourne had the Ian Walker Racing 30 S1 break in half around him...again it was Chunky who walked away from his own latest Broadley-beater, snorting "...well if you're so bloody clever you sort it out then...".

And then there was the case of the Lotus-Cortina A-frame...and the....and the...and the....

DCN


So does this mean that Len made ten more mistakes and was responsible for the Lotus 40?

#50 gilby

gilby
  • New Member

  • 21 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 19 October 2004 - 14:57

one of Len Terry best design













Posted Image