Cosworth’s first drawings – guides to integration – had arrived at Lotus in July and 49’s design was begun immediately. Maurice Phillippe, one of several de Havilland engineers tempted by the variety and immediacy of motor racing’s challenges, was in charge. Like Chapman, he had caught the racing bug and earned his chops in the 750 Motor Club during the 1950s, his self-built MPS featuring an ambitious and advanced stressed-skin monocoque.
“Maurice was very good,” says assistant draughtsman Geoff Ferris, later a designer at March, Brabham and Penske. “I learned a lot from him. And although Colin was hard to deal with, at the same time I always felt that he was very fair. Though he always wanted something made lighter than you felt you ought, I was very happy at Lotus. You were always looking for something new, to set trends rather than follow. One of the most interesting and exciting times of my career.”
Renowned for a pressure cooker environment, Team Lotus was extra busy, its lock, stock and barrel move from North London to Hethel in Norfolk ramping that default buzz. Charged with cutting a swathe of organisation, chief mechanic Dick Scammell was the vital link between Phillippe’s department and the 49’s fabricators Roy Franks and Colin Knight, plus assigned mechanics Leo Wybrott, Dougie Bridge and Dale Porteous. Not until December, however, was Phillippe able to give the project his undivided attention.
Duckworth, in contrast, could think of nothing else and had to be chivvied, occasionally chided, by fellow director Mike Costin, who had until 1962 been Chapman’s right-hand man but was now firmly established, in body as well as partial name, at Cosworth. Their details drawn by Mike Hall, Roy Jones, Peter Stemp and Paul Sherman-Erpe, the parts necessary for George Duckett’s gradual build of DFV’s prototype began to emerge from Ben Rood’s machine shop. Its valve angle narrowed further (to 32 degrees) to increase the compression ratio, the finished article immediately exceeded its target – 408bhp on the dyno – as well as giving an indication of the lubrication problem that would cause it to miss its original Monaco GP deadline.