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The Lotus 39


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#1 SJ Lambert

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 09:30

What a stunning car, designed for Jimmy to utilise the still born Coventry Climax flat 16 cylinder 1 1/2 litre F1 engine, shelved and then pressed into service as a Tasman car and then going to Leo Geoghegan who also fited a 2 1/2 litre Repco Brabham and used it as an ANF1 car, it is to me just about my favourite aluminium moncoque racing car!

 

SJL5498-2.jpganonymous pictures website



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#2 SJ Lambert

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 09:36

Des Piggott has supplied this pearler taken by his good friend Ian Nicholls at Sandown - Solid Gold!!! Thanks Des & Ian!

 

 

44486014-1809262462505580-26398960220792



#3 JtP2

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 09:59

what is the black hose/ cable under the nose and the black butterfly on the top of the lower wishbone? I am sure they were not fitted in period.



#4 SJ Lambert

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 10:12

The butterfly is a suspension arm reflection, not sure what the hose is doing.



#5 SJ Lambert

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 10:14

SJL5286-2.jpg



#6 JtP2

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 10:44

SJ Lambert, thank you, see it now.



#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 10:56

It also spent time with a 1.6-litre twin-cam...

The Repco engine was in and out a bit during the early period as Leo had a lot of problems with it and went back to the Climax for some meetings.

#8 SJ Lambert

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 19:42

SJL5292-2.jpgscreencapture



#9 E1pix

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 04:02

I can barely conceive how lovely it had to sound with twelve 93cc pistons!

#10 Michael Ferner

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 07:02

Probably not quite as good as with all 16 on duty...

#11 2F-001

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 10:48

Presumably just a typing mistake, since Eric got the arithmetic right! :-)

Did the FWMW ever run in a chassis, or did it not progress beyond the dyno?

#12 Glengavel

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 10:57

AIUI, the 39 was a 33 with the rear end chopped off to allow the FWMW to be fitted as a stressed member - but what was subsequently done to fit the FPF?

The 39 was not a great success for various reasons; Clark did better the following year with a more-or-less standard 33 with a 2-litre FWMV. The 39 probably seemed a good idea at the time.

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 11:58

The car had a tubular frame aft of the chopped-off tub...

Perhaps James has some photos which can detail that?

#14 SJ Lambert

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 00:16

84-C0-C9-FC-29-A2-4576-B0-B7-18-B6857194

#15 SJ Lambert

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 00:17

C48-C7934-C49-C-4-D67-82-DA-E75-ED7-FBB1

#16 SJ Lambert

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 00:19

4-D493-FB9-15-CD-4-E9-B-BE56-BA882-C2254

#17 SJ Lambert

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 00:20

FC2-F0-F20-6-B2-F-4-BC7-938-D-9-C02-CCD6

#18 SJ Lambert

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 00:20

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#19 SJ Lambert

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 00:43

I’m not sure if the FWMW ever made it into the back of the 39......

84-A0242-A-A4-E3-4056-8-BD3-DBA27-AC6559

Edited by SJ Lambert, 24 October 2018 - 00:47.


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#20 JtP2

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 01:04

Lucky if it made it off the dyno.



#21 Wirra

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 03:09

The car had a tubular frame aft of the chopped-off tub...

 

I'm not so convinced of that Ray. The rear lower section appears to include folded, punched and riveted sheet-metal. Whether it is additional wrapping to a tubular frame, a separate pontoon or a continuation of the tub I can't be sure from these photos.

 

https://primotipo.co...egans-lotus-39/



#22 SJ Lambert

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 04:30

They had it on and off the dyno but gave up on it as fresh problems presented as overcoming  initial problems led to discovery of recurring valve spring problems   - it seems the do list was too long, apparently.....

 

 

https://www.motorspo...ill-showing-res



#23 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 06:13

Not very hard to work out that drag of 16cyl was a LOT higher than any 8. Probably not twice as much but a good way there. Just the drag of TWO distributors would be quite high. Let alone oiling loss.

And in reality any percieved advantage of 16 holes was never going to be achieved, So tiny that it would be a nightmare to work on. As it seems was the case.

While the V8 was proven I suspect a V6 would have been better and a bit smaller as well.



#24 Glengavel

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 06:40

I'm not so convinced of that Ray. The rear lower section appears to include folded, punched and riveted sheet-metal. Whether it is additional wrapping to a tubular frame, a separate pontoon or a continuation of the tub I can't be sure from these photos.
 
https://primotipo.co...egans-lotus-39/


That article mentions:

"Colin Chapman needed a mount for Jim Clark to defend his Tasman title, he won it in 1965 with a Lotus 32B Climax, the unused 39 sitting in the corner of the Team Lotus workshop was ideal.

He tasked designer Maurice Phillippe to modify the engine bay of the car to accept a Coventry Climax 2.5 litre FPF engine. The 39 was different from its siblings in that the ‘D-shaped’ side pontoons of the chassis were ‘chopped off’ at the bulkhead aft of the drivers seat and a tubular steel subframe substituted to carry the CC Flat-16. Changes were made to the frame to accommodate the FPF.
"

This indicates the FWMW wasn't a stressed member; don't know where I got that idea from.

#25 Roger Clark

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 07:41

Theme Lotus has a picture of the 39 engine bay and FPF. The caption says: “... the original perforated-angle booms intended for the 16-cylinder engine are visible low down”. I can’t understand how such booms would fit round a flat engine but it suggests that the original concept had neither a fully stressed engine nor a tubular frame.

The flar-16 never developed the power expected of it and the V8 had shown, particularly in Mark VI form, that it wasn’t needed. By the end of 1965, Honda and Ferrari were showing the benefits of smaller cylinders. It would have been fascinating to see how the FWMW developed if the formula hadn’t changed in 1966.

#26 Alan Baker

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:33

While 1.5 litre V-8s, V-12s, Flat-12s and Flat-16s are all very interesting technically, the fact is that Cosworth was getting similar power  from a "stock-block" four cylinder 1.6 litre engine a year later! If the 1.5 litre formula had continued and Duckworth had been asked to design a 1500, it may well have been a four.



#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 11:43

Originally posted by Wirra
I'm not so convinced of that Ray. The rear lower section appears to include folded, punched and riveted sheet-metal. Whether it is additional wrapping to a tubular frame, a separate pontoon or a continuation of the tub I can't be sure from these photos.
 
https://primotipo.co...egans-lotus-39/


You're quite right, Peter...

The frame did have folded and punched sheet metal, but the idealogy was that of a tubular frame with triangulating and bracing.

#28 cooper997

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 20:57

Wrap around cover from the NZ annual

 

1966-NZ-Annual-cover-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#29 MCS

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 21:10

Great thread.  Terrific images - that last one quite wonderful.  Once upon a time... (a better time, dare I say)...



#30 cooper997

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 21:19

Previously posted on TNF.

 

John Sheppard with Leo G's Lotus 39 Repco.

 

Geoghegan-Lotus-Sheppard-TNF.jpg

 

For those interested the ace spannerman is featured in the new issue (#105) of Australian Muscle Car, that came out yesterday.

 

Stephen



#31 cooper997

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 21:45

A couple of random shots during the shuffle of setup day at Motorclassica

 

2018-Motorclassica-23-TNF.jpg

 

2018-Motoclassica-24-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#32 Bloggsworth

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 21:55

A couple of random shots during the shuffle of setup day at Motorclassica

 

2018-Motorclassica-23-TNF.jpg

 

2018-Motoclassica-24-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen

 

So elegant compared with the modern bewinged monstrosities.



#33 cooper997

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 00:43

From February 27, 1966 Sandown International - rd7 Tasman meeting.

 

1966-Sandown-Tasman-event-2-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#34 SJ Lambert

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 01:03

The BRMs sure meant business that year!



#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 02:39

They did...

A much more modern engine, and even if it was just under two litres it had the legs of the FPF.

Thanks, Stephen, for your pics. They show clearly how it was essentially a tubular structure at the back with some sheetmetal bracing.

#36 Wirra

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 03:20

It may be that the Repco V8 and subsequent smaller capacity engines each had a separately manufactured rear frame. I understand that when Stephen Fryer and Harry Galloway were resurrecting the car for Dawson-Damer the original Maurice Phillippe frame was discovered in the rafters of Alan Stanfield's "rat factory" workshop at Mascot - the find was a highlight of the project.

 

Stephen is looking through his shoeboxes of photos from his D-D days to see if he has any images of the 39 rear, sans motor.

 

Apparently Stephen and Harry were always at D-D to make a replica of the 39 in Leo's Repco V8 configuration but they didn't prevail in their goal.


Edited by Wirra, 26 October 2018 - 06:59.


#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 03:41

Yes, from these pics it does seem that the top tubes might be a little close together to fit the Repco V8...

Remembering, of course, that the Repco V8 fitted in where an FPF did in Brabhams. But these tubes look closer.

#38 cooper997

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 05:43

Two champions at Sandown

 

1966-Autosportman-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 13:52

Or three?

Isn't that Jackie's tartan on the next helmet?

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#40 Wirra

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 16:28

Jackie is long gone. Hill held off Clark for 36 laps.

I suspect that is the pair lapping a 1.5 ltr car. Cusack?

#41 cooper997

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 17:20

Jim's Lotus 39 win was at this February 13, 1966 Warwick Farm International meeting

 

1966-Warwick-Farm-Tasman-event-5-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#42 bradbury west

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 19:26

The little Elfin Imp looks an interesting prospect, other than that it is an Elfin with an Imp engine, is there any more info about it?
Roger Lund

Edit.
Overcoming my idleness, I did a quick internet search and there are some interesting photos of a neat little racer of which several were manufactured, apparently. At one stage Kevin Bartlett drove one. I would be interested to know more about the modifications to the engine, and the time period when it was raced first of all. Can our Elfin experts help me?
RL

Edited by bradbury west, 26 October 2018 - 20:21.


#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 21:10

The Imp engine had a pair of Webers and was bored to 956cc, or even a few more...

The fascination was all the McGuire's. Jim and Carmen McGuire were Rootes Group specialists and had previously fitted a Hillman engine to a Jolus which various drivers steered for them.

Upgrading to the Elfin, which was essentially a Catalina chassis (but I think with 4-wheel discs) they planted KB in the car and it's probably fair to say that it confirmed his talents and helped land him the Mildren drive.

This little car, with KB at the helm, certainly outperformed a lot of other cars and was a credit to the McGuires. Jim and Carmen were very professional with their preparation and presentation of this car and their subsequent cars, the Elfin Mono with the Lancia V4 driven by Noel Riley and the Elfin 600 with an Alfa engine.

They were in the late sixties arriving at the circuit with their lightweight trailer behind Cars like the then-new Sunbeam Rapier fastback.

#44 cooper997

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 08:31

Jim's quali session from February 20, 1966 Lakeside AGP/Tasman meeting.

 

1966-Lakeside-Feb-Event-2-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#45 cooper997

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 01:20

A bit of a collaborative effort between the photographer and Mark Bisset sees John Ellacott's February 13, 1966 Warwick Farm photo being added to this thread. Jim is on his way to winning the Tasman race.

 

JE-Clark-Lotus-39-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen

 

(and before anyone takes it the wrong way, John wants it on here)



#46 cooper997

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 06:40

Another fine study from the lens of John Ellacott.

 

Note the hole in front of the screen and signage not on the restored car.

JE-Clark-Lotus-39-closeup-TNF.jpg

 

Stephen



#47 bradbury west

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 10:02

Thanks, Ray
Roger

#48 cooper997

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 04:37

David McKay's take on the Warwick Farm Tasman meeting

 

1966-Tasman-WF-MM-report-1.jpg

 

1966-Tasman-WF-MM-report-2.jpg

 

Stephen



#49 ellrosso

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 08:46

I have posted two of my favourite David Keep pics of the Lotus 39 - pit lane, Longford and into the Viaduct with Clark leading Jackie Stewart. I only saw the car live in Leo Geoghegan's capable hands at the Symmons Plains Gold Star round where he actually led Bartlett for the first few laps before the superior "Yellow Submarine" Mildren Alfa took over and gradually edged away. The 39 was always immaculate and so impressive in appearance - simple Castrol livery with seemingly just the right amount of chromework to bodywork.

Fitted perfectly with Leo's smooth driving style. Pete's Mustang and the Lotus were a great combination.435-K-Clar-66-lo.jpg330-K-JClark-66-lo.jpg434-K-Clar-66-lo.jpg438-K-Clar-66-lo.jpg1344-H-LGeo-69-lo.jpg



#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 09:47

Ray Parsons with Clark, John Pryce walking by in the third pic and it looks like David McKay leaning up against the post in that pic, which makes sense with the Scuderia Veloce board right there...

And I think that's Peter Bakalor talking to McKay with the glasses on.