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  Lotus 34 Ford
 

  Article Image gallery (24) 34/2 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1964
Numbers built:3
Designed by:Colin Chapman
Predecessor:Lotus 29 Ford
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:July 31, 2017
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIt was with great expectations that Team Lotus and the Ford Motor Company planned their second assault on the Indy 500 after Jim Clark had finished second at the Lotus Ford debut in 1963. Now with experience under their belts and more time to prepare, the new-for-1964 Lotus 34 Ford looked set to finally break the stronghold of the archaic yet deceivingly quick front-engined 'Roadsters' on one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

The new Lotus was very much an evolution of the Type 29 used in 1963. The single biggest change came from Ford in the form of brand twin-cam, four-valve cylinder heads for their all-aluminium V8 engine. Compared to the push-rod version used the previous year, this raised the power by over 50 bhp to 425 bhp. This almost brought the car level in terms of power with the much heavier Indy Roadsters with a relatively small weight increase.

Now mated to a two-speed ZF gearbox, instead of the Colotti used in 1963, the mighty V8 was mounted in Lotus' familiar full-length monocoque chassis. It was similar to the one used for the Type 29, which itself was a derivative of the 1963 Formula 1 World Championship winning Type 25. A point of much debate between Lotus' Colin Chapman and Ford was the choice of tyres. Chapman got his way with running stickier Dunlop tyres, while Ford would have rather used the sturdier but harder Firestone tyres.

Ahead of the 1964 Indy 500, Lotus built up three cars for the planned two-car effort with Jim Clark and Dan Gurney as drivers. Ford would have liked to see the third example entered for AJ Foyt but Chapman was adamant that it was wise to have a spare car in case of an accident in practice. The sticky tyres worked well for Jim Clark, who qualified the new Lotus 34 Ford on pole position for the race ahead of an earlier Type 29, while Gurney started from the second row.

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  Article Image gallery (24) 34/2 Specifications