Lotus Type 27

Total Production: 35 1962 - 1963
1963 was the final year of the Formula Junior series. Lotus created a new monocoque car for the 1963 season, with hopes that it would also qualify for the Formula 3 series in 1964. The Type 27 was similar in many respects to its sibling, the Type 25. It was very small and narrow; it was a simplistic vehicle that brought it into the price range of many privateers. The front suspension was comprised of upper rocking arms, lower wishbones and inboard coil springs/damper units. The rear was made up of upper links, twin radius rods, reversed lower wishbones and outboard coil spring/damper units. Disc brakes were placed outboard and sat very close to the 13-inch magnesium-alloy wheels. Mounted directly behind the cockpit was the tried-and-true Ford/Cosworth 1.1-liter engine that was tuned to produce an impressive 120 horsepower. The power was sent to the rear wheels through a VW-based Hewland MK4 gearbox.

The Lotus Type 27 was raced before testing and development had concluded. It was immediately obvious that the car would suffer teething problems before its true potential was discovered. The early Type 27's suffered from poor handling caused by the weak monocoqoue. Lotus was able to rectify the problem by replacing the outer fiberglass body with rolled aluminum alloy.

Ron Harris ran the factory Works Team in 1963. Team drivers were Peter Arundell, Mike Spence and John Fleming. At the Oulton Park season opener on April 6th, Arundell was able to secure a victory for the team. The victory was partly born out of luck, as the faster Brabham cars were side-lined due to carburetion problems. Arundell's next victory would come later in the season, at Silverstone on July 20th. This victory was followed by five more successive wins. Arundell finished the season as the Formula Junior Champion, beating Denis Hulme by just one point.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2009