Yep, thats the exact same story i heard directly from Martin. One set of bodylines. Period. I think i may even have seen a copy of them..
You seem very unhappy when i said that Duca was not being hired as Technical Director.. well I didn't say they hired him as the tea boy... It is simply that the title was not in general use at that time, not for a few more years as I recall. I began in F1 in 1984 and the first time I heard it was a couple of years after that. He was hired as an all round fountain of knowledge, a complete 'racer' who had very recent experience of a quick car, of what we now call 'race engineering' (back then the title was only just coming into use and Lotus had just hired two dedicated 'race engineers'), some design experience of his own (in the dim and distant past), more importantly recent experience of 'directing' or 'managing' a team of designers, bit of practical aerodynamics, knowledge of structures, quite a bit of suspension knowledge and perhaps crucially, a good understanding of racing tyres. He also knew everyone and how it all worked..
So a pretty useful bloke to have around in the circumstances. Also a nice friendly chap (most of the time). If the title Technical Director had been in use thats what he would have been hired as, thats why i said he eased himself into the role, maybe he helped to invent it by giving technical direction to the design team and laying out a list of requirements. But designer of the car ? No. In contrast Martin was and is a superb Designer and for many years Chief Designer, but more of a specialist. Innovative, quick thinking, very much a Lotus man. I think they made a good team and i also believe they got on very well. It should be quite telling that inspite of taking the 'credit' for the unloved 93 Martin remained in position as Chief Designer through the next few pretty successful years.
I can't see any contradiction in what Martin was quoted in saying with what I have been saying here, in what was , afterall, a tribute article written after Gerard had just passed away . By the middle of 1983 just about every team could see that a smaller 'pit stop special' was potentially the way to go. What is a bit strange is Gerard's story about digging through the museum to find an 87 or 91, in part because he would have been very familiar with it anyway, and also because the same car was still being raced as a type 92 at the time he visited Hethel. Maybe that was whilst the team cars were still in North America and away from base.
Anyway, Ducarouge confirmed something that many were already thinking and gave a team that was certainly scratching its head the confidence to go ahead. Not a decision to be taken lightly, either financially, technically, or logistically. One bit that hasn't appeared in print is that they may have been holding back because the 93 chassis was actually stiffer than those earlier tubs, and had a better front geometry. One puzzle is why the 94 didn't adopt the pull rod suspension from the 92 rather than reverting to another iteration of the rockers used on the 87-91. I've never got to the bottom of that one.
So, there we are. That's the story that i have heard from those that were there at the time. There is always a backstory to what you read in print and as far as you wanting more 'evidence', well, we aren't sitting in a court of law and you ain't no judge... Believe what you want to, i'm happy with what i was able to learn from the people who were involved at the time.
Regading avatars, i prefered your first one actually, and i've been looking through the selection, but i haven't found one that quite fits the bill, so i'll have to disappoint....