Lotus Elan

Black Lotus Badges Yet Again

PostPost by: abstamaria » Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:29 am

I wasn't putting forward an argument in favor of one or the other, but just wanted to share the good illustration created by the Manila Sports Car Club for their post. And the fact that they are creating interest in sports cars and Lotus so far away, in both distance and time.

As in the movie The Life of Pi (highly recommended), one is given two versions of a story to believe in. Neither one will have much impact as the choice has become academic, except perhaps on the happiness or well-being of the person deciding. Which version do you want to believe? It is your choice.
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:44 am

Was not trying to argue either. Everyone is open to disagree with me. Did not mean to make it sound that way. Sorry.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 1:21 am

Grizzly wrote:....... and skipping on the 1977 Eclat was the next one to have a Black badge. That is a little confusing because if Colin Chapman had not liked the Black badge then why did it resurface? .....?



My 1978 S1 Esprit also came with a black badge from new - I never understood that one either

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PostPost by: stevebroad » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:14 am

How about:

Black badges were cheaper and it was a coinsidence that Jim Clark died at around the same time, making a good story. The fact that black badges were fitted to many cars during Colin's lifetime tends to scupper the idea that he didn't like them (unless the dislike was trumped by the cheaper price), or that they were just to commemorate Clark's death.

As there appears to be no definitive rule, choose a badge that best suits your colour scheme. If you are a purist, good luck with assertaining which badge was fitted at the factory (unless bought from new)
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:25 am

It is a story that will run and run for sure, and probably not because of the black badge. For many of us, Jim Clark WAS Lotus, and I'm very happy to believe that Lotus put black badges on some production cars to commemorate Jimmy.

But I also went to a talk given by Graham Arnold, who told us about the order for the black badges back in 1967, and how Colin Chapman really didn't like them. Graham used to spin out his stories, but this one was true, or at least the existence of the badge before Jimmies death was true.

Graham had a black S3 Coupe in '67 / 68, and he showed us photos of it taken in 1967, showing the black badge on the front. Still don't believe?

The photos below show his car being tested in Autosport April 5th 1968, 2 days before Jimmy died, and it has a black badge fitted. The photo was obviously taken at some time before April 5th. The black nose badge is also mentioned in the text.

There was also a much earlier black badge fitted as the horn push for Mk1 Lotus Cortinas from August 1964, so the design certainly wasn't new for the black enamel nose badge.

So, as far as I can tell,

The design for the black Lotus badge was developed before the middle of 1964.
The black enamel nose badge did exist before Jimmy died, and was fitted to some cars.
The factory did fit black badges to more cars after Jim Clark died, probably to commemorate the best racing driver ever!

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PostPost by: abstamaria » Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:44 am

The 206/246 forums have an equivalent topic - why does the Dino carry no Ferrari badges? They have the same ingredients, a company run by one man, a devastating loss, a badge, and the reason carried to the grave.

They resurrect it once in a while, too.

best,

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PostPost by: abstamaria » Sat Nov 14, 2015 1:13 pm

This may or may not be helpful, but here is what they said in 1968.

Best,

Andy

AUTOCAR AUGUST 1968 BLACK BADGE (Copy).jpg and
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sat Nov 14, 2015 1:50 pm

So it probably was a combination of both. They were ordered for some reason before Clark's death, but then used to honor his involvement on Lotus. Seems very plausible to me.
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PostPost by: jimj » Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:46 pm

Yes, that`s my understanding and Dinos were named after Enzo`s late son but he thought they were unworthy of the Ferrari brand, having only a V6. Many now wear a Ferrari badge and even a prancing horse shield on the wings. It`s rather refreshing when you see one without, and without the owner`s need to advertise his name on the number plate, just the proper registration. It makes me think the owner is a genuine enthusiast rather than a show off.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:59 pm

I believe in on of the Lotus books there's clear provenance for the black badge predating Clark's death. My '69 Europa has original ones, but it's not on either side of transition. What it is, however, is one of the transition S2's that were the first to use the larger Renault engine. These are also known as "Federal' Type 54's because most of them seem to have gone to the U.S.

The larger engine is otherwise ascribed to the Type 65. Perhaps these designated Europas with the larger engine from other 54's at first? I dunno.

I do believe that in Europas, the black badge carried beyond 1969.

Most accounts appear to treat the Clark association as a convenient romantic tale that makes the less-pretty black badges desirable.
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PostPost by: stevebroad » Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:08 pm

Elanintheforest wrote:Graham had a black S3 Coupe in '67 / 68, and he showed us photos of it taken in 1967, showing the black badge on the front. Still don't believe?

The photos below show his car being tested in Autosport April 5th 1968, 2 days before Jimmy died, and it has a black badge fitted. The photo was obviously taken at some time before April 5th. The black nose badge is also mentioned in the text.

There was also a much earlier black badge fitted as the horn push for Mk1 Lotus Cortinas from August 1964, so the design certainly wasn't new for the black enamel nose badge.

So, as far as I can tell,

The design for the black Lotus badge was developed before the middle of 1964.
The black enamel nose badge did exist before Jimmy died, and was fitted to some cars.
The factory did fit black badges to more cars after Jim Clark died, probably to commemorate the best racing driver ever!

Mark Kempson



So, maybe my 67 E reg Elan was made with the black badges it came with when I bought it.
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:34 pm

I didn't read your good post that way, Tony, so no need to apologize!

Your theory sounds very reasonable, Mark. It marries the two opposing views.

Best,

Andy
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:43 pm

Here is the equivalent Dino conundrum, explained by the Manila Sports Car Club ( and lifted from their Facebook page)-

"The 246 Dino, said to be the most beautiful Ferrari ever, wears nary a Ferrari badge. Is it a Ferrari? ?No!? say some Ferrari owners. ?Enzo Ferrari did not want his name associated with a car with only six cylinders.?

True? Well, Enzo Ferrari is long-gone now and so can?t explain why he wanted the six-cylinder cars, one of which won the manufacturer?s Grand Prix award for him (Phil Hill, 1961, driving the iconic ?sharknose? Dino), to be badged simply ?Dino.?

Dino, of course, is the name of Enzo?s son. Enzo had great plans for his only son, but Dino died at only age 24, devastating his father. Enzo mourned him and visited his grave everyday. In Ferrari?s office, seen here in this 1965 photo by the great Julius Weitmann, the only ornament is a picture of Dino, there on that far wall.

Did Enzo not want his name sullied by the six-cylinder engines his son helped design? Or did he simply want to ensure that his dead son?s name would live forever on these lovely cars, without the distraction of a Ferrari badge? You decide."

image.jpg and
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PostPost by: 661 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:18 am

trw99 wrote:Graeme, was your car registered 1.9.70? According to my records it was made Mar, Apr, May time.

Tim

9 Jan 70 is on the V5 as 1st registered date. When it was built, who knows?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:14 am

We do! Let me know your VIN and I'll tell you!

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Last edited by trw99 on Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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