For the first post of 2013, I'm breaking the format of our history posts by noting an event that all car fans should keep on their calendars. It was 61 years ago on Jan. 1 that a British aerospace engineer launched his own car-building business, in the garage of his father's pub, using 50 pounds borrowed from his fiancee. From that meager start, Colin Chapman grew Lotus Cars into the British equivalent of Ferrari, winning seven Formula 1 championships and the Indianapolis 500. More notably, Chapman created the modern open-wheel race car -- a mid-engine, lightweight machine that uses aerodynamics to suction itself to the tarmac and corporate advertising to pay for itself. Had he not suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 52 in 1982, Chapman's legacy would have been far darker; his entanglement with John DeLorean was leading to a likely prison term for embezzlement. Instead, his ideas have outshone his troubles, even though we often misquote his mantra: "Simplicate, then add lightness."