Bugatti T251

Bugatti T251 1950s French F1 car

The Bugatti T251 was designed by Gioacchino Colombo. He had formerly worked for Ferrari. F1 cars of the era were typically front-engined - but Columbo's T251 broke with that tradition. Its straight-eight engine was placed behind the driver. The 5-speed Porsche gearbox - and final drive - were unitary with the motor. That gave weight distribution way ahead of its time. All this sat in a tubular space-frame chassis. It was hitched up to deDion axles. The fuel tanks flanked the driver. Again, that presaged later developments in F1.

The catalyst for the T251 was Jacques Bolore. He had recently married into the Bugatti family. It was not long before he was influencing the way the company was run. Since founder Ettore Bugatti's death - in 1947 - racing had been put on hold by the firm. But Bolore had a vision of Bugatti back in F1. Enter the T251! It was unveiled in late '55 - at an airfield, close to Bugatti's Molsheim base. It was there, too, that the car was first put through its paces - though not until March of the following year. Tester was Maurice Trintignant. The T251 was subsequently entered for Reims' French GP. But not without concerns - for testing had revealed serious flaws! Both designer Columbo - and driver Trintignant - were adamant that further development was required. But Bolore's mind was made up. He wanted to go racing - and it was he who now held the reins of power!

Two 251s subsequently went to Reims. In the event, it was all a bit of an anti-climax. The T251's avant-garde weight distribution provided top-notch traction - especially out of slower corners. High-speed handling, though, was hairy! The 251 qualified 18th out of 20 starters. Ironically, it was to retire after 18 laps! The pretext given was that the throttle was sticking ... but it was clear that the T251 was way off the pace. And with Bugatti coffers depleted, there was no money for more development, anyway. All in all, then, a sad end to Bugatti's return to top-flight racing. The T251 project rather fizzled out in a damp squib of under-achievement.

Ferrari California

Ferrari California 2000s Italian sports car

The Ferrari 250 California - launched in 1957 - is one of the most iconic cars ever created. Half a century later, though, came another 'California'. The 2008 model was designed by Pininfarina - the legendary Italian design house. Superb aerodynamics were key to the car's styling. An 'F1-Trac' traction-control set-up helped keep the power usable - especially when exiting bends and corners!

The F1-style Manettino dials on the California's steering-wheel modulated the gearbox, suspension and traction-control settings. Should even their limits be exceeded, an automatic roll bar - and front and side airbags - were deployed. There was a choice of Comfort or Sport modes. At track-days, however, safety controls could be switched off ... apart from ABS braking, that is.

The California produced power in abundance. Its 4,300cc V8 made 460bhp. That catapulted the California to 193mph. Torque was on tap from way down low. A 7-speed semi-automatic transmission saw to that. The California was light - its chassis and body both fashioned from aluminium. Inside, there was a roomy and comfortable cabin. And plenty of luggage-space. The retractable top completed the set of creature comforts. So, like its fabled 250 predecessor, the Ferrari California was built for speed. But - also like that car - it was kitted out for cruising, should that have been what was required.

Norton Commando Fastback 750

Norton Commando Fastback 750 1960s British classic motorcycle

Unlike some of its 'Brit Bike' brethren, the Norton Commando Fastback 750 was a smooth and comfortable ride. This was due in no small part to Norton's 'isolastic' engine-mounting set-up - which dialled out the worst excesses of the parallel twin's 'vibes'.

Norton had long prided itself on the good handling and road-holding of its products - and the Commando was no exception. In '73, Peter Williams took the bike to the toughest road test of all - an Isle of Man TT race! He departed the 'island' with the Formula 750 trophy.

The Commando Fastback's performance on the road was almost as impressive. The 745cc motor put out a resounding 58bhp. With the bike weighing in at just 418lb, that equated to a top speed of 117mph. As was only to be expected from such a sound all-round package, the Commando sold well. Sadly, though, not well enough to save Norton from its financial date with destiny. But - for its uncommon blend of style and substance - the Norton Commando Fastback 750 will forever be revered by the classic bike community.

Austin A90 Atlantic

Austin A90 Atlantic 1940s British classic car

If ever there was a car which spanned two countries, it was the Austin A90 Atlantic. Both Austin and Pontiac emblems adorned the A90's bonnet. Built in Longbridge, England, it was one of the cars blazing a trail out of the post-Second World War slump. The Austin Atlantic was the first British car built primarily for the American market. Sadly, its trans-oceanic mission would fail. Stateside, they were used to 6- or 8-cylinder engines. So the A90's 4-pot tally did not make the cut. When an Atlantic broke 63 stock-car records in a week at Indianapolis - and sales still did not pick up - it was clear the American Dream was not going to come true in this case!

As the A90's foray into stock-car racing had proved, it did not lack for performance. The Atlantic was one of few post-war cars good for 90mph. It was practical, too. Petrol was still being rationed in '48. The A90's fuel consumption was a valuable 25mpg. Its in-line four motor made 88bhp - rounded up to 90, hence the car's name. Peak power kicked in at 4,000rpm. Top torque - all 140lb/ft of it - arrived at 2,500rpm. Four speeds could be selected on the American-style steering-column shift.

Just 7,981 Atlantics were built. Of those, a mere 350 made it to America. But back in '48 - when the A90 took the Earls Court Motor Show by storm - Austin must have been sure they had backed a winner. The new convertible came with all mod cons. As well as a power-hood and -windows, there were an Ecko radio, adjustable steering-wheel, and heater. But as soon as 1951, it was the end of the road for the convertible version. The saloon car followed suit in '52. And that was it for the Atlantic. 'Special relationship' there may be ... but there are some things the UK and USA do differently. The Austin A90 Atlantic was an admirable automobile in many ways. But - to crack the States - four cylinders were never going to be enough!

Ferrari Daytona

Ferrari Daytona 1960s Italian classic supercar

If attendees at the 1968 launch of the Ferrari Daytona were expecting the mid-engined equivalent of Lamborghini's Miura - they were to be disappointed. The Daytona on display that day - designed by Pininfarina - was a front-engined GT car, of the old school. Its multi-tube frame, for example, supported a steel shell.

The Daytona was, nonetheless, the fastest road car in the world, at the time. Flat out, the Daytona was good for 174mph. Its V12 motor meted out 352bhp - via a manual 5-speed 'box. Capacity was 4,390cc. It needed to be - 3,530lb was a lot to lug about. The weight was evenly distributed, though - the rearward gearbox/trans-axle unit balancing out the frontal excess of the engine. Wishbone and coil suspension - on a firm anti-roll setting - provided plenty of traction. A tad difficult around town, the more the Daytona was given its head, the better-behaved it became. Steering lightened up nicely. Road-holding grew increasingly sticky. 1,426 Daytonas were eventually built.

Interior décor was far from lavish for a car of its class. At least electric windows, contoured leather seats, and air conditioning came as standard. Ultimately, though, the Daytona was a sales boon for Ferrari. The car was christened after the legendary American race-track of the same name. Ferrari had enjoyed much success at The Daytona Raceway, over the years. A suitably famous name, then, for what would go on to be one of the most iconic of Ferraris!

Sunbeam Tiger

Sunbeam Tiger 1960s British classic sports car

The Sunbeam Tiger was an Anglo-American hybrid. Built in West Bromwich, England, its roots were in Detroit, Michigan. Almost literally - Rootes being the parent company. Until Chrysler took Rootes over, that is. The Sunbeam Tiger was a Sunbeam Alpine - fitted with a Ford V8. Carroll Shelby - he of AC Cobra fame - did early development work on the Tiger. It was then passed to Rootes. The new 4.2-litre engine was hooked up to a 'top loader' 4-speed gearbox. In turn, a more substantial final drive was installed. The body shell, too, was beefed up. But Rootes were becoming over-stretched. They still had the Sunbeam Alpine in production, after all. Riding to Rootes' rescue came Jensen. Their premises were but a stone's throw away from the Rootes factory gates. It fell to them to complete the Tiger project.

The Sunbeam Tiger's power output was 164bhp. Top speed stood at 117mph. 0-60 came up in 9.5s. Torque from the Ford V8 was plentiful, to say the least. Extra care was required in transferring it to the tarmac - since steering and suspension were suspect. Ultimately, though, the Tiger was good value for money. Americans bought it in their droves. British buyers had to wait a year to do the same.

Everything looked good for the Sunbeam Tiger. Until Chrysler's buy-out of Rootes, that is. The Chrysler top brass took an immediate dislike to the Tiger's V8 motor - mainly, because it was made by Ford! Which would have been okay, had there been a Chrysler V8 to replace it. Actually, there was - but it did not fit! Which was the writing on the wall for the Tiger. Thankfully, Rootes had already built 571 MkII Tigers - complete with a 4.7-litre Mustang motor. One of the highest compliments that can be paid to the Sunbeam Tiger is that it is spoken of in the same breath as Carroll Shelby's AC Cobra. Cars that bear that kind of comparison are thin on the ground, indeed!

KTM Adventure 990

KTM Adventure 990 2000s Austrian sports bike

Produced between 2006-13, the Adventure 990 hailed from Austria - home of KTM. It was designed as a dual-purpose machine - equally happy on- and off-road. In large part, that was due to its engine - an LC8 liquid-cooled 4-stroke 75° V-twin. Clocking in at 999cc, power output was 105bhp. With a dry weight of 461lb, the Adventure maxed out at 123mph.

The bike was honed by the rigours of the Paris-Dakar Rally. Probably not much pre-release testing was required after that! The Adventure's long-travel suspension came courtesy of Dutch masters WP. The bike's flexible tubular steel frame was among the many parts which were near-identical to those on Fabrizio Meoni's KTM 950 desert racer. Indeed, he had won two of the three Paris-Dakar rallies preceding the Adventure's launch. A serious sales pitch!

Styling-wise, the 990 was supermodel tall and svelte. But this was a supermodel that packed a punch - as in 100 N-m of torque, at 6,750 rpm. And with its chromium-molybdenum trellis frame, the Adventure could roll with the punches, too. As far as all-round capability comes, then, the KTM Adventure 990 was about as versatile as a motorcycle gets!


BMW 3.0 CSL 1970s German classic sports car

The 'L' in CSL stands for Lightweight - and BMW invested much time and money in making it so. The rationale behind the CSL was to homologate BMW's 6-cylinder coupé, for European Touring Car Group 2 racing. The list of the car's light components was a long one! There were skinny body panels, a fibreglass back bumper, and racing latches on the bonnet. In addition, the CSL had Plexiglas side-windows, and alloy-skinned opening panels. Interior trim, too, was grist to the weight-saving mill. And under-body rust protection, and sound muffling - or the lack of them - all contributed to the super-svelte package. In the end, 400lb was shaved off the base model. As it turned out, the CSL's top speed was not much changed - remaining at 135mph. Acceleration, however, was vastly improved.

To cope with all this hard-won 'grunt', BMW stiffened the suspension. Bilstein gas shock absorbers incorporated state-of-the-art progressive-rate springs. Wheels were chunky Alpina 7″ alloys. Chrome wheel-arch extensions were added, to keep things street-legal. The first CSLs came with a 2,958cc engine - normally-aspirated, and producing 180bhp. In '72, BMW took the bore out to 3,003cc - qualifying the coupé to compete in the 3-litre Group 2 series. In the process, output was upped to 200bhp. Bosch electronic injection was also fitted - in place of the twin Zenith carburettors.

Thus far, the CSLs had all been left-hand drive cars. But '72 saw a right-hand drive CSL released in the UK. Known as the 'RHD City package', the car had 'boy racer' performance, as well as comfort in abundance. In this case, BMW restored most of the weight-saving features they had previously so painstakingly removed! But that was not enough for all British buyers! There were those who complained that the Scheel bucket seats were difficult to climb into. And the CSL's lightweight alloy panels - more prone, as they were, to accident damage - were not to every Brit's taste. Nor, indeed, was the price tag - more than both an Aston Martin or Jensen. Just 1,095 cars were built. Ultimately, though, the BMW 3.0 CSL was an 'homologation special'. And CSL coupés would go on to have great success at race-tracks around the world.

Lamborghini 350GT

Lamborghini 350GT 1960s Italian classic sports car

The 350GT was Lamborghini's first production car - way back in March '64. Coachbuilders Touring - of Milan, Italy - were tasked with styling the car. Their work was based on the 350GTV prototype. Touring's bodywork was composed of alloy panels. They were hung on a Superleggera steel frame. The 350GT's light body was key to its top speed of 152mph. The solid round-tube chassis was held up by coil spring and tubular wishbone suspension. Girling disc brakes stopped the plot.

Gian Paulo Dallara and Giotto Bizzarini engineered the 350GT. Power was supplied by the trusty Lamborghini V12. The crankshaft of the quad-cam 60° motor was machined from a single billet. Complete with side-draught carburettors - to allow for a low bonnet line - that made for 280bhp. Capacity was 3,464cc. The 5-speed transmission - and steering box - were by ZF. The rear differential was by Salisbury. Fast, smooth and tractable, the 350GT handled well, to boot. Both in terms of form and function, then, that first Lamborghini production run was off to a flyer!

Inside, the 350GT was a blend of user-friendly luxury. There was, for example, a synchro-mesh reverse gear. Just 143 350GTs were built. From the start, then, exclusivity was part of the package! While in many ways different from the Lamborghini supercars of today, that first 350GT had all the allure and panache that were to become so synonymous with the marque.

Ferrari F50

Ferrari F50 1990s Italian supercar

There was only one car with which Ferrari were going to top their F40 - the F50! In fact, it was less of a flat-out racer than its predecessor - providing its passengers with more by way of comfort. That said, the F50 was still far from luxurious. Especially, for a car that retailed at £330,000. But, the leather-covered carbon-fibre seats, at least, were a nod in that direction. And, at the front, the spring/damper set-up was transverse - rather than longitudinal - to allow for extra leg-room. The F50 gave a smooth ride - given its performance prowess, and the 'firmness' of its computerised damping system. The V12 engine - and 6-speed 'box - delivered usable power. And the combination of titanium uprights, magnesium wheels and all-metal ball joints produced ultra-precise steering.

With a top speed of 202mph - and lightning-quick reflexes - the F50 was, in effect, a race/road hybrid. Its 5-litre motor, for example, made a heady 521bhp! The 5-valves-per-cylinder V12 had its roots in 1990's Ferrari 641/2 F1 car. Peak revs for the road-going unit, though, were 8,500rpm - rather less than the 14,000 of the GP racer. But, with chain drive spinning its quad overhead camshafts - the F1 car used gears - the noise from the road car was still ear-splitting! Just 349 F50s were built. 'Health and safety' may have thought that a good thing!

So, the F50 was technically awesome. But, of course, a true supercar needed styling to match. Up to the plate stepped Pininfarina. The esteemed Italian design house unveiled a visual feast of tastefully-placed lines. Ducting was particularly delicious. Cowled projector headlights lit up the F50's front-end. Inside, the LCD instrument panel was straight out of F1. The F50 was even fitted with a 'black box' flight recorder, for goodness' sake! For sure, it was track day-inclined ... brakes and suspension were both race-derived. But, give it a road with enough scope - and the Ferrari F50 could unleash a lifetime of thrills in a single drive.

Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40 1980s Italian supercar

The F40 was christened in honour of forty years of the Ferrari marque. It was boss Enzo Ferrari's brainchild ... but even he had to get board approval! Once given, the F40 project was passed to stylists Pininfarina. It took only a year for the F40 to go from concept to production. It helped that it was based on the Ferrari 288 GTO. In theory, the F40 was a roadster. It required little modification, though, to go racing. In large part, that was down to its weight - or lack of it. For a car that cost $275,000, there was a noticeable lack of creature comforts. The cabin verged on the spartan!

The F40's low weight was due to the composite materials used in its bodywork. They were 20% lighter than their metallic equivalents. That - plus the absence of interior décor - meant the F40 tipped the scales at just 2,425lb. When that was combined with the 288 GTO V8 motor, the results were explosive! The 3-litre twin-turbocharged engine was fitted with sequential ignition and fuel injection. There were silver/cadmium con-rod bushes - and nicasil-coated liners. That all added up to 478bhp. If needed, another 200bhp came courtesy of 'competition mode'.

The F40 topped out at 201mph. 0-60 arrived in 3.9s. At the time of its release - in 1987 - that made it the fastest road car Ferrari had yet produced. It remained in production until 1992. Even the standard version featured a raft of competition parts. It had Group C brakes, 3-piece wheels, and removable rear bodywork. Oh, and soft fuel cells. The Ferrari F40's racing pedigree could not have been clearer!

Iso Grifo

Iso Grifo 1960s Italian classic car

There were just 504 of the Iso Grifo built - in ten years. We are talking exclusive! But then, it was styled by Bertone. The 'Grifo' was based on the Rivolta GT car. Ex-Ferrari engineer Bizzarrini shortened the chassis - for added agility. It was then passed on to Bertone. After that, Iso started to think of it a potential rival to Ferrari!

Time to add some speed to the mix! Enter the Chevrolet Corvette. Well, its engine, at any rate. The iconic American V8 imparted some serious 'grunt' to proceedings. That did not please the European purists. But for those content with beautiful bodywork - plus supercar oomph - things were gelling nicely! The top-spec Grifo came with the 7-litre version of the Chevy V8. With a fair wind, that made it good for 170mph. It hit 70 in first gear! The V8 unleashed 390bhp. And all the while, Bizzarrini's reduced wheelbase was helping transmit that power to the tarmac. The full complement of brake discs was wisely provided.

By now, the Grifo was going head to head with the Ferrari Daytona, and Maserati Ghibli. For a firm the size of Iso, that was some achievement! Sadly, financial woes were set to plague it, in later years. Iso finally succumbed to the fuel crisis, in '74. But by then - in the form of the Grifo - they had produced a thoroughbred sports car of the highest order.

Lotus Europa

Lotus Europa 1960s British classic sports car

Powerful though it was, the Lotus Europa was no F1 car. And yet, in a way, that was what it was all about. Colin Chapman - legendary boss of Lotus - wanted a roadster that handled like it was in a GP! Okay, that might be stretching it a bit - but he certainly wanted to simulate the mid-engined layout, which had become such a prevalent part of F1.

In short order, the Lotus 'Europe' was up and running. The name was changed to Europa for trademark reasons. Handling-wise, the car was everything Chapman had hoped for. Road-test reviews were upbeat - at least as far as cornering was concerned. Steering was light - and the Europa felt perfectly poised. The rear suspension - comprised of lower wishbones and transverse top links - was key to that stability. The laid-back driving position made sweeping through bends all the more fun. Brakes were suitably solid.

But the Europa was not without flaws. Creature comforts were in short supply. With a heavy clutch - and jarring ride - the Europa was not exactly user-friendly. Side window-opening problems did not help. And rear vision - or lack of it - bordered on the unsafe. Lotus did address the issues, giving the Europa a mini-makeover. It stayed in production until '75. Almost 10,000 Europas were built, in a nine-year run. Standing just 42″ 'short' - and with a drag coefficient of only 0.29 - the Europa's aerodynamic credentials were never in doubt. Built in Hethel, Norfolk, its goal was to bring F1-style handling to the roads of the UK! And while that was, of course, an impossible task, it came as close to realising it as a sports car had yet done.

Ferrari 275 GTB

Ferrari 275 GTB 1960s Italian classic sports car

The Ferrari 275 GTB was not just beautiful to behold - it was technically innovative, too. For example, it brought suspension to the Ferrari table, in a way that had never been seen - or felt - before. The result was a car which looked like $1,000,000 ... and had handling capabilities to match. For once, the Ferrari engine - the alloy 60° V12 - was not the centre of attention. It was trumped by the transmission! For optimal weight distribution - and, with it, top traction - the motor and gearbox were separate. The two were linked on early models by a slender prop shaft - and later, by a stiffer torque tube. When double-wishbone rear suspension was added to the mix, this Ferrari was uniquely positioned to make the most of the 280bhp from its single-overhead-cam motor. An automotive marriage made in heaven, the 275 GTB was exquisitely styled by Pininfarina. Plus, it had 150mph on tap ... every last drop of which could be poured safely onto the tarmac!

Scaglietti built the GTB's body. They were but a stone's throw away from Ferrari's Modena HQ. Scaglietti's steel metalwork was then transferred to Pininfarina, to apply the finishing touches. The GTB's frame was multi-tubular - in familiar Ferrari fashion. There was a set of Borrani alloy wheels - complete with knock-on centre hubs. As sporty 2-seater coupés go, from the outside the GTB was about as good as a Berlinetta gets! The interior did not let the side down, either. Suitably well-equipped, its focal point was the deliciously-designed Nardi steering-wheel.

Launched in '64, there would be several versions of the GTB. '65's 'Series Two' model sported a longer nose, and a smaller air intake. And in '66, the quad-cam GTB/4 was fitted with six carbs and dry-sump lubrication. The wind-in-your-hair option - the GTS - was aimed squarely at fair-weather American buyers. All GTBs are rare - there were only 200 of them built. Especially scarce, however, are the 9 NART Spiders - and the 12 lightweight aluminium racing GTCs. A landmark Ferrari, if ever there was one, the GTB was the point at which the Modena marque transcended mere beauty - and started to deliver on every level. Of course, the perfect road car does not exist. The Ferrari 275 GTB, though, probably came as close as any!

Indian Four

Indian Four 1940s American classic motorcycle

As its name suggests, the Indian Four sported a longitudinal inline-four engine configuration. Which provided a top speed of 90mph. Pretty quick, in '42.

The Four's side-valve set-up - 2 per cylinder - gave 40bhp, at 5,000rpm. The longitudinal layout meant overheating could be an issue - as cooling air struggled to find its way to the rear cylinders.

The Four looked every inch the classic American motorcycle. The rakish lines of the fenders were pure Indian. The bike nailed the 'laid-back' look firmly into place. The solo saddle, front forks, and straight exhaust perfectly complemented the relaxed diagonal of the top frame rail. Styling comparisons cannot help but be made with arch-rival Harley-Davidson. But - complete with its in-line motor - the Indian Four was every bit as iconic as anything coming out of Milwaukee. Always open to debate, of course!

Hudson Commodore

Hudson Commodore 1940s American classic car

Founded in 1909, Hudson was a manufacturer of mediocre motor cars. Until 1948, that is - which is when their new Step Down range was launched. Overnight, Hudson became a byword for 'cool'. Even the bottom-of-the-range 'Pacemaker' was sought-after. The 'Commodore' was positively coveted!

Hudson's styling department had been working overtime. The curves of the Commodore's bodywork presaged shapes which would dominate '50s automotive design. Certainly, the Commodore's 'low-rider' profile was ahead of the game. Hence, the 'Step Down' tag. That was due to 'Monobilt' - a unitary-construction process Hudson had developed. The floor-pan was beneath the chassis. Passengers, then, stepped down into the cabin. But Monobilt was more than aesthetically pleasing. It was safer, too. Passengers were surrounded - and protected - by a robust perimeter frame.

As 6-seater saloon cars go, the Commodore was pretty quick. The 8-cylinder engine version made 128bhp - which was good for 93mph. Half a million Commodores were sold. But unfortunately for Hudson - and other small car companies - the automotive sharks were circling. They were small fry, compared to the big fish in the Detroit pool. With Ford, GM and Chrysler nearby, Hudson were always going to be struggling. In '54, the firm bowed to the inevitable. They merged with Nash, in order to stay afloat. Hudson, though, had had its day in the sun. Its 'Step Down' cars - and most notably the Commodore - were stylish, functional, fast and safe. Which is what you want!

Lotus 56B

Lotus 56B 1970s classic British F1 car

The 56B was yet another 'envelope-pusher' from Lotus boss Colin Chapman. Powered by a turbine engine - supplied by Pratt and Whitney - it was to be a new departure for F1. The car had its beginnings in Indianapolis, America. Chapman entered the STP-Paxton turbo car in the '67 Indy 500. It performed well. Driver Parnelli Jones would have won the famous race - had he not broken down, just yards before the chequered flag. Nothing daunted, Chapman returned to Indy in '68. With backing from STP's Andy Granatelli, Chapman hired Maurice Phillipe to design the '56' car. Sadly, Chapman was to experience an unpleasant case of déja vu. Pilot Joe Leonard also broke down, with victory as good as in the bag.

With luck like that, maybe it was time to try another race series! In any event, the American powers that be then banned turbine-powered cars. Chapman decided to move to F1. Sticking with the turbine power the Lotus 56 had pioneered, the 56B was ready for the start of the '71 season. It would have appeared the previous year - but for the death of driver Jochen Rindt, at Monza. Understandably, that threw a spanner in the works of the 56B's development schedule. But - with Emerson Fittipaldi at the wheel - Chapman's latest creation duly rolled onto the grid for the Race of Champions, at England's Brands Hatch circuit. Things did not go well. The 56B bottomed out so much it snapped its suspension. It then crashed out at Oulton Park. Next stop Silverstone - where the 56B started on the front row, for the International Trophy. The first heat did for the suspension again. Fittipaldi, though, finished third second time out.

These initial outings were non-World Championship events. F1 'friendlies', as it were. The 56B's first race that mattered was the '71 Dutch GP. Driver Dave Walker started from the back of the grid - and on a wet track. By the fifth lap, though, he was up to tenth ... notwithstanding turbine throttle lag. Chapman - and the rest of the Lotus team - must have been cock-a-hoop! Unfortunately, it was not to last. Walker subsequently slid off the track - at the Tarzan hairpin. At Monza - a year on from Rindt's fatal accident - the 56B ended up eighth. At Hockenheim - in another non-championship race - Fittipaldi placed second. And that was pretty much it for the Lotus 56B. Ultimately, interest in it lay more in the technical elements of its fabled '70s 'turbo car' power delivery, than in its F1 points tally.