Throughout the 1960s and '70s, one F1 team stood above all others. Lotus built cars that led drivers to legend and changed motorsport forever. The 49 was one of those revolutionary machines.
A new design for one of our old favourites.
Founded in 1948 by Colin Chapman in what used to be a stable in a railway hotel just outside of London, it took only a few years for Chapman to split off from the original project to focus on his main objective: racing cars. Team Lotus was born and made its first appearance in Formula One at the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix with the Lotus 12, taking their first win at the 1961 USA Grand Prix - a remarkable feat in F1 history for a new team. But Team Lotus' dominant streak only started in 1963 with Jim Clark and the Type 25, winning seven out of the season's ten Gran Prix, repeating the victory in 1965. In 1966, chassis 43 was introduced with a BRM engine in response to new regulations, but the new car proved unsuccessful.
This brings us to the 49. Introduced in 1967, Type 49 was the first-ever F1 car to use the engine as a structural part of the chassis. It also signalled Lotus' rupture with BRM and the beginning of Ford-Cosworth's long and quite successful stint as an F1 engine supplier. The naturally-aspirated 400 bhp 3.0L V8 DFV engine (Double Four Valve) was funded by Ford and developed by Cosworth for Team Lotus' chassis 49 at the request of Chapman. It wasn't long before the new car made a name for itself. In its first outing at the '67 Dutch Grand Prix, Graham Hill got pole position and led the first 10 laps before retiring, leaving teammate Jim Clark to take the win for Lotus. Though Clark scored three more wins that season, reliability issues paved the way for Brabham and Denny Hulme to take the trophies home.
At the end of the season, Ford backpedalled on the exclusivity part of the deal and made the DFV available for other teams, becoming the dominant engine for years to come - between '67 and '85, 155 out of 262 GPs were won by DFV-powered cars.
For the 1968 season, the 49 returned wrapped in Lotus' new sponsor, Gold Leaf. The red and gold livery became famous for being the first time a works F1 team painted its car in the sponsors' colours. In a battlefield full of Cosworth DFA engines, with Ferrari as the sole exception in the top teams, Jim Clark won the opening South Africa GP and the Tasman Series in Australia. Tragically, Clark died during the break between the first and second races in a Formula 2 accident at Hockenheim. With staunch DFV-powered competition from McLaren and Matra, Graham Hill took the Drivers' title from Jackie Stewart and, with Swiss teammate Jo Siffert, snatched the Constructors' title for team Lotus.
The 49 went on to race successfully and score big points up until its replacement mid-1970 season by the Lotus 72, the precursor to modern-day F1 aerodynamics. The era of the cigar-shaped Formula One car was over. And perhaps none looked better than the pure '67 green and yellow Type 49.
80% Combed Cotton, 17% Polyamide, 3% Elastane. We use seamless knitting to create a sock with no stitches.
Wash inside out (40ºC/100ºF max). Do not tumble dry, iron, bleach or dry clean.
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