Case Study Creative Thinkers Michelle Miller OI/361 November 29, 2010 Instructor: Theresa Fitts Case Study Creative Thinkers A true creative thinker would be Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Automobiles. Chapman started his automotive industry by building Lotus cars as only racing machines. One-day Chapman decided it was time to give some of the excitement of a racing car to the road. That day came in 1957 when Chapman launched the lotus Seven (Stamm, 2003). The Lotus Seven offered racing car qualities at kit-car prices, with performance achieved through lightweight construction rather than a powerful engine” (Stamm, 2003, p. 139). Many people believe Colin Chapman was a genius. We may be able to believe this when we see that many of his creative ideas are still being used today. Chapman used innovation to create rear the suspension device called struts. This is why they are called “Chapman struts. ” He also used innovation to create something called monocoque unibodies or stressed-skin.
The monocoque replaced the frame and body of a racing vehicle to make it lighter and stronger. This gave the driver more protection in case of a crash. The Lotus Elite was the first car to be presented with this technology in 1958. This was the first car to be made of composites because the entire body of the car was made of fiberglass (Lotus, 2006). Chapman “also pioneered the movement of radiators away from the front of the car, to decrease air resistance at speed” (Lotus, 2006, para. 12).
Chapman also invented ground effect, which is like a partial vacuum under the car by use of venturis that generates a down force that holds the vehicle securely to the road. Chapman’s last major creative innovation was the dual-chassis design. In this design the vehicle was given different suspension in different areas. This innovation was banned by the FIA, but inspired the active suspension that was pioneered by Lotus (Lotus, 2006). Colin Chapman was indeed a genius in the automotive industry.
His innovation, creativity and design will live on forever in many areas of the racing and commercial automotive arena because of his innovative ideas. His creative thinking set the mark for innovation. This is proven when anyone looks at the Lotus name today.
References Lotus (2006) Colin chapman and lotus. Electrick Publications and NJK. Retrieved from http://www. speedace. info/lotus. htm Stamm, B. V. (2003) Managing innovation, design and creativity. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 1(11)