Lotus Elan

Dear Colin.......

PostPost by: 661 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:34 am

This has been posted elsewhere and is said to be Jochen Rindts letter to Colin Chapman.
Interesting if true
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:05 pm

I thought the main (...) reason of his fatal crash in Monza the following year was the removal of aerodynamic elements front and rear to gain top speed... a strategic decision if so, not an engineering or fabrication failure.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Feb 07, 2021 9:20 pm

I've seen it cited as a brake-shaft failure. Maybe more then one cause ganged-up on him?
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:18 pm

Depends on who you speak to.

John Miles - his teammate that season - said the car was wildly unstable without wings, and it was known Rindt was running mismatched tyres that wouldn’t get up to temperature for a couple of laps.

Equally, John Miles experienced a brake half shaft failure earlier in the season that threw the car half across the road.

So I guess we will never really know the true cause that initiated the accident.

The other factors of course were, that the Armco failed. If it hadn’t then the car would not have wedged it’s nose under the guard rail and ripped itself in half.

Additionally, and the saddest part of it all - was that Jochen wouldn’t wear crotch straps. Thus when the car got stuck under the guard rail, split in half, he sunk down into the cockpit and his own seatbelt throttled him.

All very, very sad.

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PostPost by: benymazz » Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:09 pm

It's a sentiment that has been expressed many times by other contemporary drivers for Team Lotus... Dan Gurney was quoted as saying the following:

"Did I think the Lotus way of doing things was good? No. We had several structural failures in those cars [Indianapolis Lotus 34 and 38]. But at the time, I felt it was the price you paid for getting something significantly better."

Looking back now it's hard to avoid noticing how many drivers were killed or seriously injured in Lotus racing cars...

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