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Lotus and the Hobbs Mechamatic

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#1 blueprint2002

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 04:47

In December 1963, “Motor Sport” reported that Colin Chapman had been considering the use of a 5-speed version of the Hobbs Mechamatic Gearbox for the Lotus 25, which of course dominated the GP world at that time.

I have not been able to find any other mention of this, in contemporary or later publications, including “Theme Lotus”, but there can be little doubt of the veracity of the report. Apart from the standing of the magazine, it is well known that ACBC was always looking for a better and quicker way of shifting gears (his “queerbox” being one example), and the clutchless-shift feature of the Hobbs must surely have appealed to him. The results achieved by David Hobbs with his Elite would also have made some impression. And, of course, he was right, though it took 25 more years before it was proved by Ferrari.

Does anyone know of any report or book in which Chapman’s findings or conclusions are covered? Or even a verbal mention of his views? Was the Mechamatic ever installed in a Lotus single-seater, possibly F2/F3/FJ, even if it was never raced? Or in any other single-seater, apart from Lotus?

Thanks in advance.