Hazel Chapman (1927-2021)

Hazel Chapman (1927-2021)

Hazel Chapman (1927-2021)

The global Lotus community is saddened to learn that Hazel Chapman, the wife of Colin Chapman and co-founder of Lotus, has died aged 94.

Her contribution to motorsport and the motor industry in the latter half of the 20th century should not be under-estimated. She was a successful racing driver, a shrewd businesswoman and the rock upon which the Lotus foundations – since 1948, when the very first Lotus car was made – were built. Her involvement in the development of the Lotus business was almost without equal at the time, in a world where women so often played second fiddle to their husbands.

Matt Windle, Managing Director, Lotus Cars, commented: “This is a very sad day for everyone around the world associated with Lotus. Without Hazel Chapman there would be no Lotus. The entire Hethel team, and those working at our facilities around the world, send their sincere condolences and best wishes to the Chapman family.”

Hazel Williams was born on the 21 May 1927 in North London. She met Colin Chapman at a dance in 1944 when he was just 16 and she a few months older. As the couple’s relationship developed, Hazel’s parents allowed Colin to build what became the first Lotus – the Mark 1 – in the lock-up garage at the back of their house in Hornsey.

Colin gained a commission into the Royal Air Force, so Hazel continued with the building of the Lotus Mark 1 and then the Mark 2. Competition success in races entered by Hazel and Colin resulted in new commissions for their automotive services. With Hazel’s commercial acumen, their first Lotus business was formed on 1 January 1952. It became a limited company later in the year, funded by payment of £25 from Hazel herself.

Hazel and Colin married in 1954 and as the business grew Hazel took a seat on the board of a number of their companies, including Lotus Cars, Team Lotus and Lotus Components.

She was not only an astute businesswoman but took on a matriarchal role within the organisation, the epitome of the phrase ‘Behind every strong man is a stronger woman’. She prided herself of working with almost every Lotus Formula 1 driver including iconic motorsport names such as Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna. She was also a founder of The Dog House women’s motorsport club.

Widowed in 1982, Hazel recognised that Lotus Cars needed new ownership to secure its future and played an instrumental role in its sale. She became a Director of Classic Team Lotus, the Chapman family business which preserves the cars and legacy of the brand’s global racing success.

Hazel maintained a close interest in all things Lotus, for example, she ‘signed off’ the 100,000th Lotus road car in 2018. Tradition dictated that Hazel was always shown the latest Lotus road car prior to it being unveiled to the public. That wonderful custom continued into the modern era, and she viewed the Lotus Evija with her son Clive Chapman two weeks before its debut in July 2019.

LDC Calendar 2022

LDC Calendar 2022

Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show

Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show

Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show

The Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show is the show to attend whether you are looking to reignite your passion for cars, finish a restoration project or simply want to reminisce with family and friends over the beautiful completed classic cars on display.

The event brings together 1000+ cars on display; 150+ car clubs representing a wide variety of marques and models; 250+ exhibitors and autojumblers including restoration companies, services providers and product suppliers; the Classic Car Auction; celebrities; car competitions; practical workshops on restoration skills and lots more.

So make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to source all the tools, knowledge, services you need in one place while enjoying the cars and activities on offer.

Exclusive Club discount tickets are available for Club members. To access the discount simply get in touch by emailing info@lotusdriversclub.org.uk along with your membership number and we’ll happily send you the discount information.

Annual General Meeting at the Silverstone Museum

Annual General Meeting at the Silverstone Museum

Annual General Meeting at the Silverstone Museum

The Annual General Meeting of the members and officers of the Lotus Drivers Club will take place on Saturday 2 April 2022 starting at 10 am at the Silverstone Museum, a former Second World War RAF hangar that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art 4000m visitor attraction. Members registering to attend via the AGM Members Package will benefit from entry to the newly opened Interactive Museum, access to the Hospitality Suite, the Heritage Track Walk and dedicated circuit-side Lotus parking. Located within the Silverstone Interactive Museum building, the cafe is open to members. Serving barista coffee, a range of teas, sandwiches, salads, soup, paninis and toasties, pastries, cakes as well as a range of cold drinks.

Early Bird tickets for the AGM Package, which includes access to the Silverstone Interactive Museum and Heritage Track Trail from 12 pm are available at £10 per person (ends midnight 31 January 2022). Tickets booked from 1 February to 19 March are available for £15 per person. Tickets are available on the day at the normal rate of £25 per person.

Those attending our AGM are reminded that the current Covid-19 protection measures must be followed to safeguard themselves and others.

  • please wear a face-covering while not seated, unless exempt from the requirement to do so
  • please use the hand sanitiser on arrival

Please find a link below, for your consideration, to the committee nomination form which shows the current incumbent in each role and asks for any nominations you may have for any of these roles. Please note that you, as the proposer, and the candidate must both be Club members and you must both agree to this form. Please note that the closing date for submissions via the form is 19 March 2022. Any received after this date will not be considered.

The AGM will start at 10 am and is only open to members of the Lotus Drivers Club. Entry to the AGM is free but excludes access to the Museum and Heritage Track Trail, available with the AGM Members Package.

Registrations for the AGM Members Package at the discounted rate ends midnight on 19/3/2022. The Early Bird rate is available until midnight on 31/1/2022. Entry on the day is available at £25 per person.

Wye Valley Driving Adventure

Wye Valley Driving Adventure

Wye Valley Driving Adventure

We’re pleased to announce that the Lotus Drivers Club will be returning to the idyllic Wye Valley and Forest of Dean for a weekend driving adventure in 2022.

Taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday 16 – Monday 18 April 2022, the weekend will provide an opportunity for members to discover the area whilst relaxing in the evening at a former 17th-century hunting lodge set in the heart of the idyllic Royal Forest of Dean. The Club will also be attending the Coleford Carnival of Transport which takes place on the streets of Coleford on Easter Monday.

If you haven’t had the good fortune to experience one of the clubs popular Driving Adventures, we can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. They provide a driving experience where like-minded enthusiasts can drive their cars through beautiful scenery on some of the best driving roads enjoying great company along the way. Catch up with your new friends every evening in great hotels to dine and talk about your adventures that day and of course your pride and joy.

The accommodation has been arranged and will be available to members who have registered for the weekend. There is limited availability but we can recommend alternative accommodation nearby. To confirm your place and to help us manage numbers please click on the link to confirm your registration for the event. The Club charges £5 per person and covers the administration work involved in planning and running the weekend which is undertaken by our willing Club volunteers. This small fee also includes entry to display with the Club at the Coleford Carnival of Transport on Monday 18 April.

For more information please email driving@lotusdriversclub.org.uk

Event registration is charged per person.

Once registered you will be contacted by the event organiser to confirm accommodation details and updates prior to the event.

Please be aware that due to current COVID-19 restrictions imposed on hotels and restaurants, places on this tour are limited and, as is Club policy, taken on a first come first served basis. Once places are fulfilled, we will run a reserve list to offer places should they become available and restrictions allow. Please continue to watch our website for updates for this and all our events.