Lotus 20 at the 2012 Donington Historic Festival. RK

Lotus 20 at the 2012 Donington Historic Festival. by Robert Knight -

Lotus 20
was a Formula Junior car built by Lotus for the 1961 season as a successor to the Lotus 18.

The chassis was a spaceframe, clothed in fibreglass bodywork. It had front double wishbone suspension, but the rear had a lower wishbone with the driveshaft being fixed length and therefore used as a top link. Originally fitted with Alfin drum brakes at all four corners, it was soon upgraded to discs in front and inboard drums at the rear. Equipped as standard with the Ford MAE engine and with either a Renault Dauphine gearbox or Hewland-modified VW box.

Compared to the Lotus 18, the 20 had a much reduced frontal area and lower centre of gravity, aided by the fact the driving position was reclined so the driver was nearly lying down, compared to being nearly upright in the Lotus 18.

Lotus 20B

The 20B was the same as the 20, but with sway bar and stock inboard drum brakes in the rear. Occasionally, 20Bs ran with other engines, such as a Lotus Twin Cam, and therefore didn't race as a Formula Junior, but in other series such as the Tasman series.