Colin Chapman : Inside the Innovator Hardback
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 400 pages, Illustrations (chiefly col.)
- Publisher: J H Haynes & Co Ltd
- Publication Date: 06/05/2010
- Category: Motor cars: general interest
- ISBN: 9781844254132
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Review by Shrike58
Organized on a thematic basis, Ludvigsen examines how Chapman's skill set as a technologist impacted each portion of his race and road cars, from chassis, to engine, to aerodynamics and so on. While some might fault Chapman for his ruthlessness, it's hard to imagine how he would have gotten as far as he did on generally so few resources. The biggest fault might have been Chapman's magpie-like mind, which was more interested in spinning ever newer ideas, instead of refining the best concepts he and his staff originated.As for the fiscal and ethical debacle that was Chapman's involvement with the DeLorean project, Ludvigsen demurs from rendering judgement. However, Ludvigsen also pulls no punches about Chapman's addiction to the creative accounting needed to keep his empire afloat, his tastes for the finer things in life, and his scofflaw mentality that the rules were meant for other people but not for him. While the signs were there in middle age Chapman was loosing his touch (witness the debacle that was the Lotus 88 F1 car), his performance in the defendant's box had he not died would likely be remembered as epic; the man did relish a challenge.