Colin Chapman was a man who liked to push limits and to break new ground. His original thinking was extraordinary and when it came to racing he was able to leverage that originality into some of the most famous race cars ever built. We know he did in in F1, but many people don’t know that he also did it in IndyCar (albeit briefly).
Chapman’s Lotus 29 Indycar of 1963 was part of a massive revolution by moving the engine from front to rear. Next came turbocharged engines, wings, advanced-aero and low-profile tyres. In 1968 Chapman joined the turbine revolution with a Lotus 56 that was a wedge-shaped and was powered by a turbine. They almost won too, were it not for mechanical failures at the end of the race. There were other innovations too, that was the Colin Chapman way. Finally there was the Lotus 64, a four-wheel-drive, wedge car with big wings front and rear. The engine was mounted backwards so it could drive the centrally mounted 4WD transmission. A crash in practice turned out to be the end of the Team Lotus at Indianapolis or any other Indycar race.
Technically Lotus returned to IndyCar in 2011 through a partnership with KV Racing Technology. Lotus provided technical support