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  Lotus 8 MG

  Article Image gallery (7) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1954
Numbers built:7
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter building open wheeled specials like the Mark VI, Colin Chapman set out to design Lotus' first streamlined sportscar. The very slippery bodywork was penned by Frank Costin. To test its efficiency Costin was strapped to the bonnet to study wool tufts at high speeds. Colin Chapman drove the 8 up to 110 mph in these tests. The huge wings on each side of the rear ensured straightline stability at high speeds.

In the 1954 Colin Chapman proved the potential of the MG engined 8 with many class and outright victories. However one of its biggest assets, the strong tubular chassis, was also one of its biggest flaws. The chassis was built very close around engine to ensure rigidity but this meant removing an engine took 12 hours and installing it again 24 hours. This didn't allow for easy maintenance and at the end of the year Chapman turned back to racing the 6. For the 1955 season, Lotus designed a new sportscar but with a shape very similar to the 8.

The featured example is one of only seven built and is seen here at the 2002 British Racing Festival on the Dutch Zandvoort circuit.

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  Article Image gallery (7) Specifications