Grand Prix History in Scale Models

1972, Emerson Fittipaldi, Lotus, RBA, RBA / Fabbri F1 Collection, World Champions

1972 Lotus 72D Fittipaldi

Lotus 72 which had been designed by Colin Chapman for 1970 season had the completely new shape achieved by chisel-shaped nose and radiator intakes mounted on the cockpit sides for better air penetration and higher speeds, as opposed to the nose mounted radiators which had been commonplace since the 1950s. The suspension, too, was innovative breakthrough for the coil-springs had been replaced by torsion bars. In a back-to-back test with the Lotus 49, the 72 was 12 mph faster with the same Cosworth engine. In its original form the car had anti-dive suspension  which was designed to prevent the nose of the car dipping significantly under braking,  and the anti-squat set-up at the rear, which was supposed to stop the car ‘squatting down’ under acceleration. But these characteristics led to poor handling of the car and were subsequently removed. Too modifications, 72B and 72C appeared later in 1970. With anti-squat removed, the car was designated 72B, while 72C had both anti-squat and anti-dive features removed and had an extensively strengthened monocoque. 72D first appeared at the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix. The D differed from C mainly in having more conventional rear suspension that incorporated parallel lower  links instead of wishbones and twin radius rod. For the 1972 season Lotus 72D retained the same basic design. New car built for the start of the European season in addition to the revised rear suspension also had modified top front wishbones, conical oil tank at the rear rather than flat oval previously used, and the modified mounting of the rear airfoil. Lotus team got sponsorship from the John Player tobacco company resulted in the renaming of Gold Leaf Team Lotus into John Player Team Lotus. Brazilian young star Emerson Fittipaldi continued to drive for Lotus for the third season, and successful British Formula 3 driver Dave Walker was signed as the second driver. For Fittipaldi it was the outstanding season. With 5 wins the Brazilian became the youngest World Champion at age of 25.

Driver No.Entrant
Emerson Fittipaldi8John Player Team Lotus
Scale ManufacturerCollection
1:43RBA Collectibles / IXO RBA / Fabbri
Auto da Corsa i Miti Della Formula 1
Cat. No.QualityRarity
No. 32

4 thoughts on “1972 Lotus 72D Fittipaldi

  1. What initially lead me to this homepage was my search to understand why there is a small white sun in the livery on this model. I have this very model and was wondering, but cannot find this answer anywhere. It doesn’t seem to have been on the real car which annoys me… Do you know anything about it?


    1. If you mean the white circle on the left side pontoon (below the letter E), then this is a fuel filler cap. The rubber fuel tanks were located on both sides of the car between the radiator pod and the front suspension. The tanks were filled throughh this cap. It was present in this place on 72D as well as on earlier modifications of the 72 model.
      This cap is also visible on many Lotus 72 scale models – see other 72 in my collection.

      Оn cheap models (like this RBA), the cap is not part of the cast, but is made in the form of a glued decal.

      Please see detailed 72 cutaway drawing from the Lotus 72 Manual:


      1. Thx alot for the reply. But still I don’t understand why it looks like a sun in this particular model.. If it was only a white circle I would have no issues with it 🙂 Do you have any idea?


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