The best cars I ever drove were the John Player Special, which gave me the 1972 Formula One World Championship, and the Penske that took me to many Indycar wins—and the 1993 Indy 500, too. Both cars could adapt to the different circuit characteristics that each championship series, at that time, had. However, if I had to make a choice it would have to be the JPS Lotus 72.
Colin Chapman was a most fantastic designer and the Lotus 72 was so incredibly far advanced for its time. The technology, shape, and design of the car proved the genius of Colin; it broke the mould of everything around. All of the other cars were still designed in the cigar shape, but, the 72 was a radical step beyond the others with its wedge shape, it had inboard brakes—another advanced step. It was so advanced I was able to race with the same chassis, #5, for four years 1970-73; do you think a modern racing driver would ever believe it? Unbelievable. Some would say that there were certain changes from the outside, but I can tell you I had the same monocoque for all those years. I really became at one with the car. A few years ago, at a historic meeting, I was reunited with the car, which I believe is looked after by Colin’s son, Clive Chapman, and it was a wonderful experience.
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