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Lotus 72 launch day

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#1 marksixman

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 17:59

Hi Everyone, my first post, so hope this goes well !!


Whilst researching a question on the Lotus 72 for a local motorsports quiz group, I came across an image of Graham Hill apparently driving a GLTL 72 on the Press launch day at Hethel (06/04/1970).  There are plenty of images of Rindt in the car that day, but does anyone here have any knowledge of Hill driving as well ?


It struck me as odd, given that he was by then a Rob Walker driver.


Thanks for reading, Mark.


#2 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 18:50

Michael Oliver's Lotus 72 book sas that Hill drove the car and has a photo.  Apparently, at that time, the second 72 was destined for Rob Walker.

#3 marksixman

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 08:26

Thanks for that information Roger. I shall set my question with more confidence !



#4 Gary C

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Posted 18 January 2021 - 17:15

I think they did it as a favour to Graham, after all he done for the team, especially in 68 and after after his biggie in the 49 at the end of 69 at the Glen.

#5 d j fox

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Posted 24 January 2021 - 01:35

....,although Rob Walkers Lotus 72 didn’t debut until the Oulton Park Park Gold Cup Race 22nd August.1970 .All reliable sources state that this was 72/4 . I was at practice for this event and saw Graham Hill and crew member drilling holes in the windscreen and fixing the mirrors......!

#6 JtP2

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Posted 26 March 2021 - 15:04

I am sure GH had a contract for 1970, but Lotus and John Player were concerned about his injuries and future career. Chapman went to the hospital and told GH this and that he had done a deal for him with Rob Walker and that he would be provided with a Lotus 72. Obviously with the 72's troubled birth and Lotus manufacturing processes the car did not materialise as quickly as hoped. But Hill had a GLTL contract for 70 and was intended to have a Lotus 72 before the end of 69. So Hill being at the launch and sitting in the car would not be out of place. One must remember the place held with the general public in the UK at the time.


It is a rare instance of Chapman doing the honourable thing for someone who had held Team Lotus together when most needed. 

#7 marksixman

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Posted 06 July 2021 - 10:38

Thanks JtP2, your comments tie in with what I have heard from others I have contacted.


Sorry I didn't spot your post sooner.