Denny Hulme and Jackie Stewart, Levin NZ Tasman 1967 (Digby Paape)

Denny Hulme Brabham BT22 Repco and Jackie Stewart BRM P261, the natty tartan attire of the BRM Equipe a contrast with the more casual Australian approach…Hulmes’ engine is Repco ‘640 Series’ 2.5 litre; original ’66 series Olds ‘600 Series’ block with the ’67 F1 Championship winning ’40 Series’, exhaust within the Vee, heads. Definitive Repco 1967 F1 Championship winning variant is the ‘740 Series’, Repco’s own ‘700 Series’ block and aforementioned ’40 Series’ heads. Early and very important 1967 F1 testing days for Repco, engine making its debut the weekend before at Pukekohe (Digby Paape)

Denny Hulme and Jackie Stewart awaiting adjustments to their cars setup, Levin, New Zealand, Tasman Series 1967…

Digby Paape took these fantastic, evocative shots of Stewart, Hulme and Jim Clark…’I was 22 at the time, my father had been president of MotorSport NZ, and though I was unknown on the North Island I felt I could go anywhere with my Contax, i was masquerading as a journo for the ‘Hutt Valley Motoring Club’, I took all the shots @ F8 @ 250th of a second. Each car only had a couple of mechanics, it was hard to know what was being said. Later on I was the Radio NZ and TVNZ commentator for these and other events, Levin was always hot and the action was close. Close enough for good shots without a telephoto lens’.

Stewart beat Clark in the first Tasman round at Pukekohe the previous week, winning the NZ Grand Prix, the two drivers the class of the field at Levin as well, despite intense pressure Clark won the 50 mile ‘Levin International’ by less than a second from Stewart’s BRM. Richard Attwood was third in another BRM P261 and Frank Gardner fourth in the first of the four cylinder cars, a Brabham BT16 Climax. Denny Hulme retired with ignition problems.

It’s interesting to reflect upon the year to come for each of the drivers?…

Denny Hulme, Brabham BT22 Repco, 1967 NZ Tasman, Levin

Denny Hulme, Brabham BT22 Repco, Levin NZ, 1967 (Digby Paape)

It was a tough Tasman for Denny and his team leader Jack Brabham… they had great unreliability from the new, exhaust between the Vee Repco 640 Series engines, mainly centred around fuel injection and ignition dramas, but the object of the exercise was really to get the engines race worthy for the 1967 GP season in any event.

Jack did have a good win at Longford, the power circuit in Tasmania and last round of the Series.

Repco sorted the problems, the new Repco (as against the 1966 Oldsmobile blocked 620 Series) blocked 740 Series Repco reliable early in the GP season.

Denny broke through for his first GP win at Monaco, but there was no joy in the victory as Lorenzo Bandini perished in his Ferrari in a gruesome fiery accident, which, finally helped galvanise action to improve safety standards on the worlds’ circuits.

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Hulme en route to his first Grand Prix victory, Monaco 1967 in his Brabham BT20, still fitted with the ’66 series ‘RB620’ engine. Jacks car was fitted with the new ‘740 Series’ the engine blowing early in the race. Hill and Amon second and third in Lotus 33 BRM and Ferrari 312 respectively (unattributed)

In a season when five different drivers won a Grand Prix, his consistency paid off, he won the title from Jack with Jim Clark third in the epochal Lotus 49.

1967 CanAm Road America

Can Am Road America 1967 parade lap: #4 Bruce McLaren, Hulme alongside in the other McLaren M6A Chev, Dan Gurney Lola T70 Ford behind Bruce, Jim Halls’ winged Chaparral 2G Chev easy to pick…and the rest maybe some of you can help me with the caption? Denny won the race from Mark Donohue and John Surtees , both in Lola T70 Mk3B Chevs (unattributed)

In a full season, Hulme was recruited by his compatriot Bruce McLaren as his teammate in the CanAm series. Robin Herds’ McLaren M6A Chev was a stunning car and started the teams domination of the series which finally ended when Porsche joined the series, and ruined it! with its 917/10 in 1972.

Denny narrowly lost the series to McLaren but the relationship started a commitment to the team by Denny which endured to the end of his career and saw him race the teams’ F1, CanAm and Indy Cars through to the end of 1974, when he finally returned to NZ.

Jim Clark, Lotus 33 Climax, NZ Tasman, Levin 1967

Jim Clark, Lotus 33 Climax, Levin 1967. ‘R14’ was the last of the trendsetting Lotus 25/33 series built, the first ‘modern-monocoque’ making its debut in Holland 1962…Clarks 2 litre V8 was giving away some power to most of his serious competition, the 2.1 litre BRM’s and 2.5 litre Repco’s but his driving abilities were more than up to closing the deficit (Digby Paape)

Clarks Lotus 33 ‘R14’ was a chassis which had been kind to him… he first raced it at Brands Hatch in July, and fitted with the super, trick, only 2 litre version of the Coventry Climax FWMV V8 had served him well in 1966, he drove the car when the heavy ‘H16’ engined Lotus 43 was unsuited to the circuit or circumstances. His best result against the new 3 Litre F1’s was a strong third in Holland.

He won theTasman series in ‘R14’, assisted greatly by the unreliability of the Brabhams and the BRM P261’s which had been so dominant the year before.

He raced a Lotus 43 in South Africa, the first GP of 1967, then ‘R14’ for the last time at Monaco, finally getting his hands on the Lotus 49 at Zandvoort. By that time he was a British Tax exile so the first time the Scot saw the car was when he drove it in Holland, he hadn’t even tested the thing!

Jim Clark, Lotus 49 Ford, Dutch GP June 1967

Jim Clark on his way to a debut win with the Lotus 49 Ford, Dutch GP, Zandvoort June 4 1967…both engine and chassis changed the face of GP racing in an instant…(unattributed)

The car was ‘right’ from the start, he won on its debut, and a further four 1967 races, but Dennys’ consistency got him over the line that year.

The Lotus 49 package was dominant in 1968, but sadly Clarks’ ’68 South African GP triumph, off the back of his 1968 Tasman Series win , was his last, he died tragically in a Lotus 48 FVA  as a consequence of probable tyre failure in the Hockenheim F2 race in April.

The king of the 1.5 litre formula proved he was also king of the 3 litre formula in 1967, and anything else he drove!

Graham Hill heroically galvanised the team after Clarks death, winning the title in 1968, and provided leadership Chapman initially did not, grieving for Clark as he understandably was.

Jackie Stewart took two Tasman Series wins…but mechanical woes, particularly weaknesses in the cars crown wheel and pinion cost him victories, but his speed was apparent and close to Clarks.

Unlike Jim, who had the F1 Lotus 49 to look forward to, BRM persevered with the heavy, complex and slow ‘H16’ engined BRM P83/115 in 1967.

It was to be a long, character building year…a second and third in Belgium and France respectively but retirement in all eight of the other championship rounds.

Jackie Stewart, BRM P83, Nurburgring 1967

Jackie Stewwart wrestling his big BRM P115 ‘H16’ BRM, Nurburgring 1967. He was running fourth when the transmission failed, ‘yumping’ hard on the ‘tranny at the ‘Ring! Hulme won the race in his light, nimble Brabham BT24 Repco (unattributed)

He had won his first Grand Prix in the little P61 BRM in Italy in 1965 but it was then a ‘long time between drinks’ in F1, his undoubted speed finally reflected in wins when he departed to Team Tyrrell which started running Ford DFV engined Matras in 1968, his first title coming in 1969.

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Team Tyrrell ran Matra F2 cars in 1967, Jacky Ickx taking the Euoropean F2 title, and Jackie Stewart, pictured here in an MS7 FVA at ‘Oulton Park’ took one championship win…and critically the team took the view the cars would be successful in F1…(Eddie Whitham)

What duels there may have been as Stewart matured as a driver and took on his friend and countryman Clark?…mind you we saw it in the 1967 Tasman as they were in essentially cars of equal performance, albeit JYS BRM often did not run for long enough for the duels to occur…

As Digby Paape says ‘how lucky we were to see the international drivers in current F1 cars as we did in those wonderful 2.5 Tasman years, the equivalent of seeing Schumacher in that years winning Ferrari’…

Photo Credits…

Digby Paape, Eddie Whitham, unattributed

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