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1955 Lotus 9

The Lotus Mark IX

The first car built with regard to aerodynamics at Lotus was the 9. Its strange body was the work of Mike Costin who designed a fully enveloped body which could be described as streamlined. The chassis was designed to accept a multitude of engines from the MG unit to a more potent Coventry Climax FWA.

As fitted with a Coventry Climax FWA, Colin Chapman and Ron Flockhart drove a Lotus Mk9 at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans. After 99 laps they were black flagged for going the wrong way on the course. Because of this sole effort many cars with the Coventry Climax engine are called ‘Le Mans.’

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1955 Lotus 9

Specs & Performance

type Racing Car
built at England
engineers Colin Chapman
production 24
succeccesor 1956 Lotus 11
engine Coventry Climax FWA Inline-4
position Front, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
fuel feed Twin SU Carburettors
displacement 1098 cc / 67.00 in³
bore 72.4 mm / 2.9 in
stroke 66.6 mm / 2.6 in
compression 9.8:1
power 53.7 kw / 72 bhp @ 6100 rpm
specific output 65.57 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 171.43 bhp per tonne
body / frame Aluminum Body over Steel Spaceframe
driven wheels RWD
front brakes Discs
rear brakes Inboard Discs
f suspension Swing Axles w/Coil over Dampers
r suspension de Dion Tube Axle w/Coil over Dampers
curb weight 420 kg / 926 lbs
wheelbase 2222 mm / 87.5 in
front track 1232 mm / 48.5 in
rear track 1207 mm / 47.5 in
length 3607 mm / 142.0 in
width 1422 mm / 56.0 in
height 851 mm / 33.5 in
transmission MG 4-Speed Manual
top speed ~205.95 kph / 128 mph
0 – 60 mph ~7.8 seconds