The Lotus 25 re-wrote the design books when it debuted in 1962. But it had people talking for more than just its design and looks!

      After much debate with Frank Costin and research in endless aeronautical journals Colin Chapman used aircraft technology to come up with the stressed skin monocoque chassis, providing light weight with exceptional rigidity. This concept had first been used by Voisin in the C6 laboratoire of 1923 and although the car was unsuccessful it proved the chassis ideology would work. Now thought of as an iconic car the Lotus 25 was revolutionary at the time, well actually it wasn’t that revolutionary really...... It wasn’t the first monocoque chassis by a long way, that distinction going to the 1923 Voisin, nor was it the first British car with monocoque chassis as both the Jaguar D-type and E-type had monocoque central sections, but, it was the first F1 monocoque chassis.

      Chapman designed two cars for 1962 both to similar specifications, the 24 had a standard space frame chassis while the 25 had the brand new monocoque. In both cases the driver was almost lying down, frontal area was minimised by the slim body and the Climax engine was the preferred power unit. Allegedly, when John Cooper inspected the car on it’s debut in Holland he asked Chapman were he’d put the chassis.

      Chapman chose to sell the 24 to his customers as the premier model available, then used the 25 exclusively with the works team. When his customers were regularly beaten by the 25 they were outraged and complained bitterly.....Chapman simply told them the 25 was an unproven design and it wouldn’t have been right to sell them an experimental car. Most people still saw this as a form of gamesmanship and the story rumbled on in the background for some time.

      In ‘62 Jim Clark took the car to three wins but was let down by an engine failure in the last race allowing Graham Hill, and BRM, to take the championships. In ‘63 the car really came good and Clark stormed to the title taking 7 wins, one of which was the British GP, and Lotus were constructors champions.

     In ‘64 the 25 was still competitive but engine failure in the last round again robbed Clark of a championship. Lotus continued to run the 25 until its replacement, the 33, was ready for mid-season in 1965. The 33 was a logical development of the 25 and bore a strong family resemblance, most of the changes being in the suspension area to accommodate wider tyres.

     The 1963 British Grand Prix returned to Silverstone after two years at Aintree and the fans turned out in force to see Jim Clark. But Clark had a poor start from pole and was swamped by Brabham, Gurney, Surtees and Hill. The race slowly turned into a story of engine failures and fuel shortages that allowed Jimmy to climb back through the field and win by over twenty seconds from John Surtees and Graham Hill. And the fans loved it!

                                                                       1/20th scale kit.

                                                                           Built by Ian.

       Built straight from the box in the late 1990s this was the cutting edge of kits at the time. Excellently detailed and engineered it was very straight forward to build. Painted with Halfords car paints and citadel acrylics.

       Ian chose to spray the yellow of the wheels over grey primer instead of the recommended white primer in an effort to tone the yellow down to match the decals better. This technique can be useful at times to subtly change the shade of a colours, either to match decals or to show differences between cars of older vintage but that should be the same colour.