Iconic Formula 1 Lotus 72 Restored

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HMG Paints have utilised their industry leading Advanced Colour Design Service to assist with the restoration of the iconic 1970 Team Lotus Chassis number 5, which was famously raced by Emerson Fittipaldi.

Clive Chapman, Managing Director of Classic Team Lotus: “Given my father’s constant focus on the future and the team’s perennial battle for more space, it is extraordinary that this car survived for so many years. I think it is a mark of the sentimental attachment that my father, the driver and the team had for her. I have really enjoyed the painstaking restoration to date and am keen to show-off the skill of all those involved.”

Every care has been taken to preserve the originality of what is such an important part of Team Lotus history. In particular the majority of the monocoque is intact and is still in the original paint along with some of the original bodywork and the rear wing.
With reference to the original design drawings and with expertise from Team Lotus personnel of the period, the car has been rebuilt to exactly as raced to Grand Prix and World Championship glory. The monocoque has been reunited with one of the period engines and the gearbox is also period.

By courtesy of HMG Paints’ expertise, this has extended to being able to paint the car in the famous black and gold livery with cellulose paint as originally used. Fittipaldi was reunited with his restored World Championship winning car at the prestigious Amelia Island Concourse in Florida, the restoration received a firm thumbs-up from Emerson.

Steve Kennedy, HMG Paints Advanced Colour Design Technician commented “It’s been an honour to assist Clive and Team Lotus on this project. The work the team have done in restoring the car is remarkable, and we’re proud that the team utilised our paints to recreate what is considered one of the most iconic liveries in racing history.”

Built around the fourth type 72 monocoque, the Lotus type 72 was constructed by Team Lotus in 1970 and identified as number 5. She was raced in 20 Grand Prix by Emerson Fittipaldi, from 1970 to 1973. Emerson raced her in Gold Leaf colours to win the 1970 USGP, thereby securing Jochen Rindt’s posthumous World Championship. Famous victories with 72/5 in the 1972 Austrian and Italian Grands Prix made Emerson the youngest ever World Champion.

A dramatic win at the legendary Montjuic Park circuit was the perfect start to the 1973 ‘European’ season, but then it was the end of the road for 72/5 at Zandvoort, when Emerson crashed heavily in qualifying for the Dutch GP. The wreckage languished in the Team Lotus stores for 40 years, somehow surviving numerous clear-outs, until 2013 when the team decided to have a go at repairing the tub. Miraculously the badly damaged left-hand side was recovered and the decision was taken to rebuild the car.

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