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Lotus 72 Formula 1

The 72 was yet another innovative design by Colin Chapman featuring inboard brakes, side-mounted radiators in sidepods, as opposed to the nose-mounted radiators, which had been commonplace since before the war, and an overhead air intake. The overall shape of the car was innovative too, resembling a wedge on wheels which was inspired by the earlier Lotus 56 gas turbine car, and the layout taken from the Lotus 63 four-wheel-drive project testbed. The shape made for better air penetration and higher speeds. In a back-to-back test with the Lotus 49, the 72 was 12 mph faster with the same Cosworth engine.

Chapman's efforts produced one of the most remarkable and successful designs in F1 history. Taking the stressed engine layout technique from the Lotus 49 and adding advanced aerodynamics produced a car that was years ahead of its rivals. To begin with, however, problems with the handling of the car had to be overcome, due to a lack of 'feel' caused by the anti-dive suspension geometry which was designed to prevent the nose of the car dipping significantly under braking and the anti-squat set-up at the rear, which was supposed to stop the car 'squatting down' under acceleration. Once the suspension was modified, there were no further problems. The car caused a sensation amongst the media and fans, with many people clamouring to see the remarkable car in action. A total of 9 chassis were built. The car competed in Formula 1 from mid-season 1970 and was very successful until it was no longer competitive against the Ferrari 312T and the Brabham BT44 and was retired after the 1975 season.

1:36 Scale

Corgi made the car in 1:36 scale featuring Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Petersen as drivers. Early releases were in the authentic John Player Special livery which was changed to Texaco in later releases in a move to remove tobacco advertising from children's toys. Production ran from 1973 to 1979 with JPS graphics and from 1979 to 1983 with Texaco graphics. The JPS 1973 release, is noticeably heavier than the later release and appears to be rather more solidly made. The price guides make no differential between the earlier and later releases.

1:18 Scale

This is one of a pair, the companion piece is a McLaren released in 1975, the scale is 1:18 and the car is 230mm long. It has fun feature in that the wheels come off, they unscrew using a central nut and a key provided. The Lotus was released in 1974 as Emerson Fittipaldi's 1972 World Championship winning car in John Player Special sponsorship colours. During the lifetime of the model the cigarette sponsorship was removed and replaced with Texaco in the same black and gold colours. The model was deleted in 1977

Post Mettoy - There was a 1:36 scale release of this car in 1995 as part of the Donnington Collection

1973 1973 1979 1974 N/K
Corgi Toys 154; Lotus 72 Formula 1; John Player Special; Emerson Fittipaldi; RN1, Black Helmet w Orange Stripe Corgi Toys 154; Lotus 72 Formula 1; John Player Special; Ronnie Petersen; RN1, Blue Helmet Corgi Toys 154; Lotus 72 Formula 1; Texaco; Ronnie Petersen; RN1, Black Helmet Corgi Toys 190; Lotus 72 Formula 1 John Player Special; Emerson Fittipaldi; RN1 Corgi 190; Lotus 72 Formula 1 John Player Special; Texaco; RN1
Corgi Toys 154; Lotus 72 Formula 1; John Player Special; Emerson Fittipaldi; RN1, Black Helmet w Orange Stripe Corgi Toys 154; Lotus 72 Formula 1; John Player Special; Ronnie Petersen; RN1, Blue Helmet Corgi Toys 154; Lotus 72 Formula 1; Texaco; Ronnie Petersen; RN1, Black Helmet Corgi Toys 190; Lotus 72 Formula 1 John Player Special; Emerson Fittipaldi; RN1
(1:18 Scale)
Corgi Toys 190; Lotus 72 Formula 1 John Player Special; Texaco; RN1
(1:18 Scale)

1995        
Corgi 97377; Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth V8; 1972 Italian GP 1st; Emerson Fittipaldi; RN6        
Corgi 97377; Lotus 72D Ford Cosworth V8; 1972 Italian GP 1st; Emerson Fittipaldi; RN6        

 


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Last Edit: 03/03/2023 Corgi Classics Cars Home Page Added 02/07/2022