Lotus 47 page
That is the car that made the Lotus 47 so absolutely attractive to me. It is the third one on a picture that shows the periscope car and a white Ferrari 275 LM in Brands Hatch at BOAC-Race 1967 (47GT- 03, John Hine/Jaimie Greene). It is so beautiful that the Ferrari in front looks ugly. And what road holding and handling (and skill) the shot displays! It also leaves the greatest impact on the beholder, the Ferrari being a little bit offline and the snorkel car right in the nowhere between two bends. What pleasure must the driver have had in that very moment. ( Pleasure naturally only temporary with the opponents disappearing in the distance.)
I can also proudly state that I had my first 47 in 1966, prior to anybody else. My father had aquired her to improve his son´s skills in controlling rear wheel driven cars and downshifting unsyncromesh gearboxes. We would practise on our grandmother´s little farm in upper Bavaria before passing our licence tests brilliantly. (Autobahn München-Salzburg can be seen in the back)
I followed him in this tradition.
You are listening to a 47, Recording is "Sounds Of The Nuerburgring" 1968, 1000km Race
67 47 chassis have been produced according to the documents at Lotus, including 4 replacement units and 7 47Fs, the latter being a road going version with radiator fan, ventilation system, metalastic suspension bushes, a "Cortina GT "TC engine that was combined with a Renault transmission. Very! few 47As with bolt on bodies in Europa S2 style have been built, so if you find one it might be a converted 47. A swap to lift off bodies seemed to be a sensible idea at the time. Little production took place between the numbers 30 and 50, but from 47 to 85 nearly every number existed or served as a replacement/donator for a crashed vehicle. Several cars did not leave the slightest mark outside the production list and might as well never have come into existence. AFAIK the number of 47s made is between 46 and 48 cars. The capital letter R stands for early frames that where bought from various sources throughout the production range, whereas the early bodies came from Special Mouldings and where made of thinner fiberglass. The later cars are 46As.
The so called type 52, a shelved Europa one off project with a TC and a Renault gearbox, might as well be a Fata Morgana, as LOTUS COMPONENTS made exactly that sort of car when they adopted the 47 for the road. The 52 desribed in Chris Harvey´s book "Elite, Elan and Europa" was actually Rob Walkers 47F.
As far as the 47 described below is concerned, I purchased it from Swiss racing driver Hansuli Büchi, who initially went to prepare the car for further racing and rebuilt it into these fantasticly original conditions. With no possible use in sight he stopped restoration 15 years ago. Photo is how I got it. I had to take parts off to refurbish them, but chassis and body have never been apart. The original engine was missing as in most specimen. Replacement engine is a 1971 BRM TC Conversion stage III phase IV with Group 5/Formula B specifications with a Tecalemite-Jackson Fuel Injection or Weber 45 DCOEs.
Lucasslide valve injection also came with the engine, but will cause fatal installation problems as the Escort mounted engine has a different metering unit arrangement. It does not work anyhow, so they say. Neither did the original T-J fuel injection. More though, it is said to have caused the destruction of the prototype No 1. A pin shaped metering device may have punctured a membrane and thus put the car on fire. This is being made unlikely by the statement of a development engineer, who declares that a faulty weld on the fuel tank broke and soaked the car withfuel.
This specific car was built early in 1968 as 47GT/71 with chassis No EJG1, engine No C13 067, gearbox No 139.
It had been ordered byJohn Sprinzel, a fairly well known English driver. If he ever raced it, he did so shortly and carefully. The car soon went to an Viennese artist named H. Müller, who used the pseudonym Horst Mundschitz. He put an interesting pink colour scheme on the orange car as well as no glory (forgiven) and no damage (greatly appreciated). It is the Austrian National Fortyseven and "competed" against Nicki Lauda in a Porsche 908 in a minor national race in 1970. It also carried a FVA engine later on In 1984 it was sold and transferred to Swizzerland.
Therehad not been just a single one just to look at in 1998 in this part of the world. The YELLOW LOTUS BOOK-First Edition car is now in Japan. I saw her before transportation and my heart stood still. Fortunately I had acquired GT/71 in advance. I am convinced now more than ever that only one few racing cars exceed the 47 in beauty: The Ferrari 206S, Chaparral 2F, Ford 3l, Ferrari 250LM, Ford GT40....?
Fortunately knowledge of the whereabouts and the history of these cars has greatly improved. It has not been possible to compile a book though. Too many "mysteries". I hope that this does not go for eternity.
Pictures and Details
Car with original orange color and pink Austrian application
This is how it looked when I got her in 1999
This is how they come
The BRM engine
Engine data: Bore 83.5, ballanced Hepolite pistons and Cosworth rods, FoMoCo-EN40 crankshaft, Brian Hart pump, Lucas 4221 ignition, drysump, jackshaft shortened, cover stating Engine No 68022045, Valves 1.625 and 1.330 in.
The Tecalemite Fuel Injection
MK2 System "Kent Crossflow"
Restoration 1998 - 2009
Car is now repainted and put together. Greatest problem so far: Alignment and adjustment of the doors, getting the starter motor through the welded frame, attaching the Aeroquip oil pipes to the non standard oil pump, trying ot fix the alternator drive, install the engine gearbox unit etc.
On the day before the opening of the Donington Festival the door catch got stuck and after one hour of pulling,pushing and shaking I was forced to take out the pin and refit the door all alone after midnight. One night I was desperately trying to fix the roll bar, and I could not get the rods aligned with the chassis. I gave up and sent a deep sigh upwards.In that very moment the bolt slipped right in. Thanks, ACBC! The highlight: A friend, first owner of an S2 for 30 years, works with thecompany that owns Neiman Locks. I got new keys within 24 hours.
Small picture offers a view on the engine driven high speed T.J.-fuel pump located at the left front end of the engine. Highly inaccessible!
Tail piece of exhaust came via air mail within 72hours! Thank you, Peter!
You cannot claim knowledge of the car until you have managed to get the TC engine into the car! In my modest opinion the only way is to put it on the passengers`s seat.
The car was then perfectly assembled, electrics working, starter turn, but there is no oil pressure because I mixed up the pipes atthe oilpump down in the inaccessible depths of the frame engine assembly. I had to take the engine out again. The problems with this application of the engine are just ridiculous. I would say, if you can do it, you can only do it three or four times in your life. The oil pipes have to be tightend during the loweringinto the bay, and the Tecalemite pump has to be mounted afterwards, not without a major fumbling that starts in the region of the driveshafts.
p.s.:After another couple of years I am definitely stopping further major work and will only make adjustents. If the car does not run properly I will leave it to a future breed of mechanic monkeys.
p.p.sIt appears that exactly this case has now occured. After a brief attempt to start the engine there was perfect caffe latte (oil/water) in the lubrication system.
The "men"behind the cars
47owners to be meet someplace near the Blue Mountains