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Lotus 87 - Cosworth, Chassis 873 at the 2005 Silverstone Classic. WM

Lotus 87 - Cosworth, Chassis 873, at the 2005 Silverstone Classic, by Wouter Melissen - Ultimatecarpage.com

The Lotus 87 was a Formula One racing car used by Team Lotus in the second part of the 1981 Formula One season and in the first race of the 1982 season.

The Lotus 87 was pressed into service during the first European round of the 1981 season, it was not immediately successful but Team Lotus drivers did manage to rack up points as the development continued.

Weight was the primary enemy, at a time when the more powerful turbocharged engines quickly became more reliable.

Towards the end of the year a Type 87B was introduced, which was lighter.

Although not particularly successful, certainly by Lotus' standards, the Type 87 did hold some distinctions, together with the McLaren MP4, it pioneered composite chassis' in Formula 1 and Elio de Angelis' Austrian Grand Prix victory was the last before Chapman's untimely death.

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