Having devised the monocoque Lotus 25 for use by the works team, Colin Chapman decided to build a 'conventional' back-up spaceframe design which he would also sell to privateers. The 24 was a completely different design from its predecessor, the 21, and used much of the same suspension as the 25. Both Coventry Climax FWMV and BRM P56 engines were generally fitted, with at least one example running with the Coventry Climax FPF four-cylinder.
The Lotus 24 made its debut at the 1962 Brussels Grand Prix. Jim Clark put it in pole position for the first heat, but retired after only one lap. Two weeks later Clark won the Lombank Trophy race at Snetterton. Its first World Championship event was the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix, where it finished second with Trevor Taylor. However, that would be its best Championship finish; the Lotus 25 had arrived on the scene and was obviously the way ahead, much to the chagrin of those who had paid good money for their 24.
The 24 continued to be run by private teams in 1963 and 1964 with limited success, and by 1965 only one World Championship entry was made, Brian Gubby failing to qualify for the British Grand Prix.
1 Points were awarded on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis to the first six finishers at each round, but only the best placed car for each make was eligible to score points. In 1962 only the best five results from the season were retained, and only the best six results for 1963, 1964 and 1965.
2 Total points scored by all Lotus-Climax cars, including points scored by drivers of Lotus 25 and Lotus 33 variants.
3 Total points scored by all Lotus-BRM cars, including points scored by drivers of Lotus 25 and Lotus 33 variants.