Lightweight Legacy

Fransiscó's Lightweight Hall of Fame

We honour those who are our lightweight hero's. Those who are synonomous with lightweight and put it on the map, created a lightweight legacy. Simply because it is fun and because they deserve the recognition. Do you have suggestions, please let us know at

  • Colin Chapman
  • Julius Wolff
  • Colin Chapman

    Colin Chapman (1928 - 1982) was a famous British structural engineer, famous for founding Lotus Cars and Team Lotus, the Formula 1 team that won a total of seven Constructors titles and six driver titles. Chapmans designs stood out in its days by focussing on lightweight and excellent handling, instead of the common philosophy of large high horsepower engined racecars. This is excellently reflected by his most famous quote's:

    "Simplify, then add lightness"


    "Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere."

    Some notable innovations:

    • Monocoque chassis, although not invented by him, he successfully introduced it into racing where it is used to this day. (Type 25)
    • Centralised radiator for improved weight distribution. (Type 72)
    • Using the engine as a structural member (Type 43)
    • Carbon Fibre Monocoque (Type 88)

    Notable cars are:

    • Lotus 7
    • Jim Clarks Lotus 25 
    • Lotus Elan
    • Lotus Esprit

    His legacy lives on, in our opinion best demonstrated in the first generation Lotus Elise. Regarded by many as the perfect execution Colin Chapmans philosophy of lightweight engineer: Simplify, then add lightness".

    His constructions, specifically in motorsport, where often so lightweight, that they only barely survived during the races. In his opinion the car should only survive until the end of the race. His prioritisation of weight over power put lightweight on the map and this earns him the spot in the Lightweight Hall of Fame.

  • Julius Wolff

    Julius Wolff (1836 - 1902) was a German scientist and surgeon. He came up with the hypothesis that the bones of humans and animals adapt to the stress exerted on them. If over time a bone is loaded more, the bone will reinforce itself to resist the increased load. Also valid the other way around. If the bone is subjected to a lower load over time, it will remodel itself and the bone will be less dense and weaker as a result.

    In the early 1990's Wollf's hypothesis, called Wollf's law, was proven and transformed into a mathematical model. This model is the basis for what we now know as Topology Optimisation, a software tool widely used nowadays to create lightweight components and structures. 

    Nature is an excellent source of inspiration and a guide to novel, innovative and high performance structures and systems. Julius Wolff was the one who learned from nature and came up with the insight about bone growth. As the grand father of Topology Optimisation, Julius Wollf earns his spot in the Lightweight Hall of Fame.   

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