You are correct about my having seen Lotus in the glory days. They figured prominantly in the first 4 Formula 1 races I attended. 1966 Watkins Glen-Jimmy Clark's win in the Lotus 43 when the explosive BRM H16 in back held together for once.
1967-At Monza, I saw Jimmy at his best. He led from pole in the 49, but had to pit after 10 laps or so because he had a puncture. The stop took something like 90 seconds to two minutes! He came out a lap behind, and proceeded to carve through the others like a barracuda going through minnows. Starting the last lap, he was back in the lead (!!) but ran out of fuel and finshed third. You should have heard the ovation he received.(among the drivers he passed with impunity were: Surtees, Rindt,Brabham, Hulme, Graham Hill, Dan Gurney, Pedro Rodriguez, Jo Siffert, Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren-surely one of the strongest fields ever). Then at Watkins Glen, hed dominated so completely that he won with a suspension that collapsed with two laps remaining.
Then in 1968, Mario Andretti made his Formula 1 debut in a Lotus 49 and took pole.
Add to that Mario's WDC in the 79 (had should have won in the 78 as well) and the exploits of Emmo and Peterson and Rindt, and I think you can understand why I hold the Lotus name in such esteem. I always thought that the team should have disbanded after Chapman's untimely death, because Chapman WAS Team Lotus, and it was clear that it could never be the same again.