By: Karl Ludvigsen .
Colin Chapman was one of the greatest ever creative forces in the automotive world but he left behind a mixed legacy. Was he an unparalleled innovator who advanced the state of the art of sports and racing cars? Or was he an uninhibited exploiter of the uncredited ideas of others? In death as well as life Colin Chapman excites fevered debate about his achievements and methods.
Now Karl Ludvigsen gets to grips with the legend, digging deep beneath the skin of Chapman and his cars to explore and expose the motivations that drove this mercurial genius.
Renowned as one of the greatest creative forces ever to work in the world of the automobile, Colin Chapman left a mixed legacy. Was he an unparalleled innovator who advanced the state of the art of sports and racing cars? Or was he an uninhibited exploiter of the uncredited ideas of others? In death as well as life Colin Chapman excites fevered debate about his achievements and methods.
Now Karl Ludvigsen gets to grips with the Chapman legend. Renowned for his award-winning studies of the great cars, drivers, designs and engineers, Ludvigsen brings to bear 50 years of study of Colin Chapman's achievements from his design of the world-beating Vanwall chassis to his phenomenal exploits at Lotus. Digging deep beneath the skin of both Chapman and his cars, Ludvigsen explores and exposes the motivations that drove this mercurial creative force.
Chapman's career is analysed by thematic topics, some of which are:
- CONCEPTS Now and why he chose the paths he did to create completely new kinds of automobiles.
- TRANSMISSIONS From the `queerbox' to four-wheel drive and automatic clutches, he never ceased to search for better solutions. SUSPENSIONS The successes and failures of his constant quest for a better marriage between tyres and car.
- STRUCTURES From space frames to monocoques in both road and racing cars he was a master of structural design —when he wanted to be.
- AERODYNAMICS With low drag the criterion in the early days, he exploited de Havilland's engineering know-how. DOWNFORCE Having pioneered aerodynamic downforce, his struggle with its further exploitation in his infamous `twin-chassis' 88.
- MANAGEMENT An inspired exploiter of talent and ideas, he marshalled his own skills and those of others to achieve his aims.
Interviews with key figures in the Chapman story mesh with information from the author's extensive archives to make this landmark book a unique and compelling encounter between the engineer-innovator and the historian-investigator.
Fully illustrated with striking images —many in full colour — from the world-famous , Ludvigsen Library, Colin Chapman — Inside the Innovator is a feast for both the motor-racing enthusiast and the student of technological progress.