Chapman Talks Lotus. 1968.
I could watch this for the opening title cards alone. The cold open on the first lap of a GP panning to Chapman with the word “millionaire” reversed out without explanation. The production quality is almost kitschy and the commentator and interviewer seem much more in the financial outcomes than the successes on track. Despite a bit of cheese, it’s a marvelous artifact of one of the high points of team Lotus and a rare opportunity to see extensive interviews with Chapman and Graham Hill in one of the most intense and exciting eras in the team’s history. It’s also a great to see Chapman trackside diagnosing a mechanical failure in Jackie Oliver’s car. It’s a great insight into the inner workings of the legendary engineer’s mind.
I particularly enjoy seeing a bit of the Lotus offices. It could have been a prototype of Stirling-Cooper’s offices, but with a Lotus formula car plunked in the middle of the typing pool.
Cameo appearances by Bette Hill and Bob Dance!
“Colin Chapman: The Man And His Cars” by Jabby Crombac is an excellent bio, even thought it was “authorized” (by Hazel Chapman). Brilliant engineer, but not someone you’d want to work for.
Fascinating look at the personalities behind the teams. Aside from the interviewer’s frame of reference (tedious millionaire B.S. questions), very well done!
You gotta love how he takes the opportunity to capitalize on Jackie Oliver’s crash and sow doubts into Bruce McLaren and his team. I am sure he knew it wasn’t a bellhousing failure, but he was waging a form of psychological warfare to keep the upper hand. That is Chapman in a nutshell. A very crafty fellow.