1981 Lotus 88B

1981 Lotus 88B

  • ◎Designed with an ingenious twin-chassis construction, the inner chassis holding the cockpit
  • ◎The monocoque body was mostly made from carbon fiber, one of ground breaking designs in the early 1980s
  • ◎Only 2 units were produced
  • ◎Due to FIA regulations, the car was never officially raced in F1 and has gained an almost mythical status as a racing car
  • ◎The car is part of a private collection owned by Mr. Katsuaki Kubota, winner of the Historic Monaco Grand Prix raced with Classic Team Lotus Japan
  • ◎Powered by a Ford DFV engine
  • ◎Chassis No. 88B/2 (Primary chassis), No. 87/2 (Secondary chassis)
  • ◎In race ready condition

Team Lotus developed Lotus 88B for F1 Championship 1981. It had a unique twin chassis structure, but it is a legendary car which never driven in the races. Team Lotus guided an innovation in F1 racing since 1958’s F1 racing. Ground effects car, Lotus 78 created the downforce from making a venturi structurer under the side pontoon. After this, a ground effect car became in trend for F1 racing. The problems occur such as a rigidity of chassis after downforce and porposing while constructors followed this trend. Posture change was strengthened for the solution, but it causes drivers' physical problems. FISA reinforced to tighten Grand effect car for grand effect cars like making new regulations to prohibit the sliding skirt. Team Lotus developed two new technologies for solving all of issues. The first new technology is the high rigidity of carbon monocoque chassis which was devised at same time as DuPont chemical. Second one is a twin chassis which connected secondary chassis above spring/damper unit. According to this, when the record passes over 60km/h, a primary chassis goes down and stable the downforce. On the other hand, second chassis can able to secure a mechanical grip. When it became known to other people, other teams opposed. Even though they passed the car inspection and had a free practice on the opening day of Long Beach GP, they got complains and they are banned to entry the race. Again, they just ended participating the free practice at Brazil GP. In Argentina GP, they are even disqualified at the car inspection. Team Lotus entered England GP with their new motorsport 88B. They are able to run at free practice, but they got complained again and could not entry the race. After all, they finally made type 88 and this is really important for active suspension later on. Only two units of 88/88B were produced and the car which we are introducing is one of them. It is registered just for Nigel Ernest, Car No.2. Primary chassis is 88B/2 and secondary number is 87/2. After racing retirement, the car is stored at Chapman family for long period of time. But in 2008, the car was driven by Katsuaki Kubota at FIA master’s series. The car won the prizes of Hockenheim and Monza awards. After all, the car sent to Japan, and then the car was displayed and run at so many classic events including the event, 2012 JAPAN LOTUS DAY. Takuma Sato drove the car at F1 Japan GP in 2015. The car has a necessary document for Historic F1 Race entry and it is still a mint condition which can be entry for the race.



Chassis No. JPS87/2 JPS88B/2