Posts Tagged ‘Lotus 33 Climax’

(R Wolfe)

Bugger!

Led Zeppelin first recorded ‘Communication Breakdown’ in 1969, although it was part of their live set from 1968. My whacko brain thought of that song and riff upon seeing this bit of ye olde school communication…

It would have been perfect if the song originated from 1967 given the date of the Brabham Racing Organisation team-leader’s (thaddl be Brabham JA) letter to the General Manager of Repco Brabham Engines Pty Ltd, Frank Hallam Esq is, according to Rodway Wolfe’s handwritten scrawl, 24 May 1967.

These days we have that internet thingy which makes our lives so instant in terms of communication, back then it was ‘snail mail’ or Telex machine if you were from the big end of town. I guess airmail from Surrey, UK to Maidstone, Victoria, Australia was three days or thereabouts? And the same in return with a neato ‘Par Avion’ sticker and a more expensive stamp affixed.

Jack’s note was sent between the Monaco and Dutch GP’s.

BRO had shown plenty of pace early in the season with Brabham and Hulme on pole and with fastest lap respectively at Kyalami albeit Pedro Rodriguez took the South African GP win in his Cooper T81 Maserati.

Jack flicking BT19 around with the abandon so characteristic during 1966-7. RBE740 powered, here ahead of Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax FWMV 2 litre DNF, with Jack’s motor about to go kaboomba (unattributed)

At the following championship round- Monaco, Jack was on pole deploying the new RBE740 Series V8’s power and big, beefy mid-range punch for the first time in a championship round. But an unhappy early ending to the weekend was the Aussie’s new moteur breaking a rod on the first lap of the race. Denny won his first GP in a 620 engined BT20, so it was far from all bad from the team’s perspective- the race tragic for the sad demise of Lorenzo Bandini after a fiery crash aboard his Ferrari 312.

Merde! or Australian vernacular to that general effect- Brabham checks the hole in his nice new 700 Series Repco block, carved up somewhat from an errant conrod- Monaco 1967

But all the same their would have been a bit of consternation in the camp at the time, no doubt a phone call to Hallam was made about the buggered rod, or maybe Frank read about it in the late edition of Monday’s Melbourne daily ‘The Sun’?

The Lotus 49 Ford Cosworth DFV changed the GP world when it appeared in the hands of Clark J and Hill G at Zandvoort on June 4- the need to lift was clear!

So, lets address Jack’s requests.

Sorry about that sketch of Brabham’s requested 700 Series block modifications! Sadly we don’t have it- which is a bumma.

The modified Daimler rods and caps are RB620 bits, not 740- so Jack is after some bibs and bobs to keep alive some of the RB620’s by then in circulation in Europe. Not to forget Denny was still using RB620’s until he got a 740 for Spa in mid-June. The ‘620 Series’ Repco was the first of the Repco Brabham Engines series of race V8’s and was based on the standard Oldsmobile F85 block- ‘600 Series’ block and ’20 Series’ cross-flow heads in Repco nomenclature. The ‘740 Series’ was the new for 1967 motor- ‘700 Series’ bespoke Repco designed block and ’40 Series’ exhaust within the Vee heads.

The water rail changes appear routine race experience evolution, in fact whilst the whole letter is dealing with normal stuff its still interesting, if you know what i mean? And the engine fitters will have been given the bief to watch the chain tensioner fit.

Jack’s checklist of engine parts is interesting.

I thought all of the RBE engine rebuilds happened at Maidstone but clearly that is not the case, some engine work was being done in The Land of The Pom. Interested to hear from you RBE lads on this point.

Brabham and Hallam at Sandown with their newborn, January 1966 (R Wolfe)

The photograph above is of the two participants in the above correspondence at Sandown Park, Melbourne during the 1966 Tasman round. It is a ‘pose for the press’ shot given the race debut of the Repco V8 in the companies home town.

It was the second race for the RBE620 Series V8- the first was a 3 litre unit used by Jack during the non-championship South African GP weekend on 1 January, DNF with a fuel injection pump problem.

The engine above is a 2.5 litre jobbie- easily picked by its long Lucas injection trumpets, this time an oil pump broke- the chassis is the one and only BT19 which carried Jack to the 1966 title, and as can be seen in the Monaco photographs, well into 1967. The RBE620 became a paragon of reliability after some initial traumas were rectified…

The RBE 620 Series engine story is here;

https://primotipo.com/2014/08/07/rb620-v8-building-the-1966-world-championship-winning-engine-rodways-repco-recollections-episode-2/

The RBE 740 Series engine story is here;

https://primotipo.com/2016/08/05/rb740-repcos-1967-f1-championship-winning-v8/

Tailpiece: Denny en-route to Monaco victory aboard an RBE620 powered Brabham BT20, Jo Siffert’s Rob Walker Cooper T81 Maserati behind DNF…

Credits…

Rodway Wolfe Collection, Getty Images, Bernard Cahier

Finito…

(Mirrorpix)

The Coventry Climax ET199 was said to be the first British produced forklift truck, 8 October 1946…

‘Seen here being demonstrated by a girl worker at the Coventry factory that produces the truck. The demonstration included lifting a racing car weighing nearly one and a half tons’ the Getty Images caption advises. I wonder what the ‘racing car’ is?

So, there you go, a Coventry Climax trivia question the answer to which you have always been waiting for!

Post war ‘Climax changed its focus away from car engines into other markets including marine diesels, fire pumps and forklift trucks. The ET199 was designed to carry a 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) load with a 24-inch (610 mm) load centre and a 9 ft (2.7 m) lift height for those with a particular interest in these devices.

The fire pump market and race adaptations of that engine proved rather successful for the company!

(Mirrorpix)

In another bit of trivia Prince Phillip paid the lads in Coventry a visit on 21 June 1966 and is doing his best to show some interest in a 2 valve Climax FWMV V8. Those with a keen knowledge of the company’s history will recall the only works Climax engines deployed in F1 that year was the special 2 litre, 4 valve FWMV Leonard Lee built for Colin Chapman to tide Jim Clark over until the BRM H16 engine was ready to pop into Col’s Lotus 43 chassis. Click here for a short article on the Lotus 33 which used this engine.

https://primotipo.com/2014/09/28/jim-clark-lotus-33-climax-monaco-gp-1967-out-with-the-old/

Credits…

Getty Images, Digby Paape

Tailpiece: Clark in the 2 litre Lotus 33 Climax FWMV V8 at Levin, New Zealand in 1967, he won the race and the series in ‘R14’…

(Digby Paape)

Clarks Lotus 33 ‘R14’ was a chassis which had been kind to him. He first raced it at Brands Hatch in July 1966, and, fitted with the super, trick, only 2 litre version of the Coventry Climax FWMV V8 it had served him well, 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 the Tasman 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!

Finito…

lotus spa

(unattributed)

Team Lotus in the Spa pitlane, Saturday June 12 1965: the 33’s of #17 Jim Clark, Mike Spence and the teams spare chassis…

Sunday was wet, Jimmy ran away with the race from grid #2, Mike was 7th from grid 12. Graham Hill started from pole in his BRM P261 but finished 4th, Jackie Stewart was 2nd in the other BRM and Bruce McLaren 3rd in a Cooper T77 Climax.

spa start

Lap 1 and Graham Hill’s BRM P261 leads into Eau Rouge from pole. You can just see the white peak of Clark’s helmet and his Lotus 33’s left rear wheel right up Hills clacker. Stewart’s sister BRM follows then Ginther’s white Honda RA272, Siffert’s Rob Walker Brabham BT11 Climax, Surtees Ferrari 158 on the outside, Gurney’s Brabham BT11 Climax, McLarens Cooper T77 Climax and the rest…(unattributed)

spa clark

Daunting in the dry positively frightening in the wet. Spa. Clark speeds to victory, he took the ’65 drivers title in his Lotus 33 Climax (unattributed)

Tailpiece: Alone in the Ardennes Forest, Jack Brabham…

brabham spa

Brabham, La Source hairpin, Spa 1965- 4th in his Brabham BT11 Climax (unattributed)

 

 

Stewart and Clark Dutch 1965

Jim Clarks’ Lotus 33 Climax chasing Jackie Stewarts’ BRM P261 through the Dutch sand-dunes…

Jackie had his first F1 drive with Lotus in the non-championship, late 1964 Rand Grand Prix in South Africa, but made the intelligent decision to join BRM for 1965 where he felt he would have the support and time to develop as a driver. Lotus would have been tougher, Clark was the established ace, and Chapmans track record with ‘number 2’s wasn’t good.

Stewart had great relationships with both his countryman Clark and his teammate Graham Hill who mentored and guided him well, that and Stewarts’ natural ability saw him take his first win in Italy later in 1965.

One of racings great ‘mighta beens’ are the potential duels between he and Clark as JYS matured as a driver and finally got a competitive F1 car with the Matras he drove from 1968…

The Lotus 33 rear view…is an interesting study in suspension design and aerodynamics of the mid ’60s GP car. Fully faired cigar shaped body of the BRM in contrast with the naked Lotus. The clutter of the outboard rear suspension and its impact on the airsteam is marked relative to the rocker arm, inboard approach at the front…

Stewart and Clark icecream

Lotus 33 rear

Lotus 33 Climax, Dutch Grand Prix 1965. Close up…ZF gearbox, later series 32 valve Coventry Climax FWMV 1.5 V8, rubber donuts on driveshaft, suspension single top link, inverted lower wishbone, twin radius rods for location fore and aft, cast magnesium uprights, coil spring/damper units and adjustable sway bar, oh so period and gorgeous!  (unattributed)

Photos unattributed…

 

 

agp 67 hill and clark

(Graham Howard ‘History of The Australian Grand Prix’)

Jim Clark and Graham Hill swap notes prior to the start of the 1967 Australian Grand Prix, Warwick Farm, Sydney. It would be a good season for them both…

Their new F1 Lotus 49’s await their return to Europe, the Ford Cosworth powered cars established a package of integrated design which became the F1 standard for the duration of the 3 litre formula. Their is plenty of press interest in the two stars, teammates for the first time in 1967 and Hill’s #5 Lotus 48.

Behind them in the ‘Farm pitlane is Kevin Bartlett’s Brabham BT11A Climax, KB just in shot with his foot on his front Goodyear. Sixth in the race for him, an excellent result in the old car.

agp 67 start

Start of the 1967 AGP. #5 Hill Lotus 48 FVA 1.6, #6 Clark Lotus 33 Climax 2.0 V8, #3 Jackie Stewart on pole, BRM P261 2070cc V8. (autopics.com.au)

The 48 was Lotus’ new car for the inaugural 1.6-litre F2 1967 season. Designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe, it was in essence a ‘mini’ Lotus 49 which made its successful debut in the ’67 Dutch Grand Prix on June 4.

Keen to get in some early season testing of the new car, Colin Chapman sent the first chassis to Australia for the Warwick Farm round of the Tasman Series, the Australian GP that year, held on 19 February for Graham Hill to drive. Hill was popular at the Sydney circuit, the promoters paying plenty of money to get the Brit and his new Lotus to New South Wales for just one race. Of added local interest was that Hill had just returned to Lotus having been a BRM driver since 1960. Mind you, in Australia he raced in our internationals the Ferguson P99, Brabham Climaxes owned by ‘Scuderia Veloce’ as well as various BRM’s.

Jim Clark did all of the Tasman rounds in New Zealand and Australia that summer. He won the title in a Lotus 33 Climax, his 1966 F1 mount ‘R14’ fitted with the 2 litre Coventry Climax FWMV V8 engine with which he started the 1966 F1 season, the first year of the 3 litre F1. He used the car until the BRM engined Lotus 43 was ‘ready’ to race.

The new 48 F2 car had a full monocoque chassis made from aluminium sheet with steel bulkheads front and rear. Bolted to the rear bulkhead was a tubular steel subframe which carried the unstressed FVA engine and ZF gearbox. Front suspension used top rockers operating inboard mounted springs and dampers. The rear suspension was also conventional; single upper link, reversed lower wishbone, twin radius rods and coil spring/ damper units.

The 48 used the Ford Cosworth FVA, one of two engines contracted from Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin by Ford. Significantly the engine proved Duckworth’s design direction for his F1 V8, the Cosworth DFV which made its race debut at Zandvoort in the back of the equally new Lotus 49. The FVA’s design commenced in July 1965, its first bench test was in March 1966 and its first race in July 1966. The engine was well tested prior to its trip to Australia in the summer of ’67.

The remarkably successful unit combined a four-cylinder cast iron Ford Cortina block with an aluminium Cosworth head. FVA was an acronym of the ‘four valve assembly’ or ‘four valve type A’ of the engine’s new head. Twin overhead camshafts were used of course, driven from the crankshaft by gears. Equipped with Lucas fuel injection, the dry sumped engine developed circa 220 hp @ 9000rpm.

Ford-Cosworth-FVA

Ford Cosworth FVA Engine Cutaway drawing by Theo Page.

Graham Hill qualified Lotus 48 chassis ‘R1’ well amongst the Tasman Formula 2.5 litre engined cars, 3rd on the grid with only the V8 engined cars of teammate Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart’s BRM in front of him. He may only have had 1.6 litres but the chassis was clearly good and Hill was always been quick around Warwick Farm, the Sydney circuit a very technical one.

Stewart was very fast throughout the Tasman, he won it in ’66, but the BRM’s gearbox was at its limits with the greater stresses of the P60 BRM V8, now at 2070cc and developing much more power and torque than the same engine in its original 1.5 litre F1 guise ever produced. But the car held together at the ‘Farm, Jackie won from Clark and Frank Gardner in a Brabham BT16 Climax FPF, the old 2.5 litre F1 Climax four cylinder engine well and truly outclassed by ’67.

Hill’s new Lotus 48 expired with gearbox maladies on lap 25 but he gained valuable miles on the brand new chassis in advance of the European F2 season, which both he and Clark contested.

Intended as a customer car, the 48 was exclusively campaigned by Team Lotus during 1967, privateers used uprated 41’s. The new Lotus was quick but encountered the Brabham BT23, one of Ron Tauranac’s most successful designs. The 48 won four F2 races in 1967, three in Clark’s hands, the fourth by Jackie Oliver in the combined F1/F2 German GP at the the Nürburgring.

Whilst the Brabham BT23 was the car of the season many of its victories were taken by ‘graded drivers’, notably the ‘King of F2′ Jochen Rindt, whilst graded drivers did win races they could not score championship points. The 1967 title was won by Jacky Ickx using both Matra MS5 and MS7 chassis’, FVA powered.

Lotus continued with the 48 in 1968, 4 chassis were built in total, but struggled again with the dominant Brabham BT23’s. Jean Pierre Beltoise won the ’68 title in a Matra MS7 FVA. 1969 would be a ‘different kettle of F2 fish’, the Dave Baldwin designed Lotus 59 a much more competitive tool.

gh lotus 48 cockpit

Graham Hill tucked into the comfy cockpit of his beautifully finished Lotus 48. He is on the grid of the ‘Guards 100’, Snetterton in March 1967. Hill was 2nd to Rindt’s Brabham BT23. (Max Le Grand)

III Gran Premio Barcelona, Montjuic, Spain 31 March 1968…

untitled

Jim Clark, Lotus 48 FVA, Montjuic, Barcelona 1968. (Unattributed)

Jim Clark aviating his Lotus 48 during practice for the first European F2 event in 1968.

He started the season strongly with victories in his Lotus 49 in both the South African Grand Prix held at Kyalami on 1 January and the Tasman Series, including the Australian Grand Prix at Sandown Park, Melbourne. Jim won 4 of the 8 Tasman rounds, his Lotus used the 2.5 litre Ford Cosworth V8 variant, the ‘DFW’ so he came to this F2 event ‘razor sharp’.

Despite Clark’s speed, Jackie Stewart won the race in his Matra MS7 FVA, Jim was tagged by Jacky Ickx at the first turn, a ‘bonzai’ move down the inside taking out the innocent Scot, deflating a tyre and rearranging the rear suspension. Ickx was involved in another accident on lap 2 and retired. Karma at play!

The shot below is of #1 Clark, with Hills nose in shot, in the middle is an innocent Jochen Rindt, Brabham BT23 FVA. Ickx shot off down the road in his Ferrari 166. The next F2 round was the ‘II Deutsche Trophae’ at Hockenheim the following weekend.

mont clark

Hill’s Lotus 48 nose, Jochen Rindt caught up in the melee in his Brabham BT23 FVA and Clark, Lotus 48 FVA. (Unattributed)

mont clark 2

End of Clark’s race, flat tyre and shagged rear suspension. Lotus 48 FVA. Barcelona 1968. (Unattributed)

YouTube Footage of the Barcelona Race;

Hockenheim 7 April 1968…

Jim Clark before the off and (below) in the early stages of this fateful, awful race and the probable high speed tyre deflation which caused the accident that claimed the champions life.

clark and sims

Jim Clark, relaxed before the off and Dave Sims. Hockenheim 7 April 1968. Lotus 48 FVA. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

clark lotus 48 hocken 68

Clark, Lotus 48 FVA, Hockenheim 7 April 1968. (MotorSport)

Lotus 48 Technical Specifications…

Chassis; aluminium monocoque with rear subframe. Front suspension; lower wishbones, top rocker actuating inboard coil spring/dampers, roll bar. Rear suspension; reversed lower wishbones, top links, twin radius arms, coil spring/dampers, roll bar
Steering rack and pinion, Brakes, discs all-round, Gearbox ZF 5DS12 5 speed.
Weight 420 kilo / 926 lbs. Length / Width / Height 3,797 mm (149.5 in) / 1,727 mm (68 in) / 762 mm (30 in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2,330 mm (91.7 in) / 1,473 mm (58 in) / 1,473 mm (58 in). Wheels (fr/r) 13 x 8 / 13 x 10

Ford Cosworth FVA

Pretty much the ‘engine de jour’ of the 1.6 litre F2 from 1967 to 1971, the FVA won all of the European titles in that period.
Cast-iron Ford Cortina 1600 ‘116E’ 5 bearing block, aluminium head, 1,598 cc. Bore/Stroke 85.7 mm/69.1 mm, DOHC, 4 gear driven valves per cylinder, Lucas fuel injection and electronic/transistorised ignition. Circa 220 bhp @ 9000rpm.

Those with a strong technical interest in the Cosworth FVA and its role in relation to the subsequent Cosworth DFV V8 Design will find this treatise of interest;

http://www.grandprixengines.co.uk/cosworthstory.pdf

Etcetera…

clark pau 1967

Mini Lotus 49 indeed! Clark in his svelte Lotus 48, Pau GP 1967. 4th behind 3 Brabham BT23’s; Rindt, Hulme and Alan Rees. (Unattributed)

clark jarama 67

Clark in his Lotus 48 from Jackie Stewart’s Ken Tyrrell entered Matra MS7, both Ford Cosworth FVA powered, 1st and 2nd, Chris Irwin’s Lola T100 3rd, Jarama, Spain July 1967. (Unattributed)

oliver german gp

Jackie Oliver jumping his works Lotus 48 into 5th place, and first F2 finisher, German GP August 1967. He drove a great race, Hulme victorious in his Brabham BT24 Repco. (Unattributed)

hill oulton brian watson

Hill on the way to 3rd place in the Oulton Park ‘Gold Cup’ in September 1967 amongst the F1 cars, Jack Brabham won in his BT24 Repco from Jackie Stewart in a Matra MS7 FVA F2 car. (Brian Watson)

hill 48 in 68

Graham Hill in the Tulln Langenlbarn, Austria paddock in July 1968. NC with insufficient laps. Rindt won the race in a Brabham BT23C. ‘Chequered Flag’ truck contained the McLaren M4A driven by Robin Widdows also DNF. (Unattributed)

lotus 59

For the sake of completeness…this is the Dave Baldwin designed, spaceframe chassis F2 Lotus 59 which succeeded the 48. ‘Twas an FF/F3/F2 car, much more successful than the Lotus 48 but again the Brabham BT 28/30 gave it a good run for its money! Here G Hill at the Pau GP in April 1969 with high wings having only weeks to run before being outlawed by the FIA during the Monaco GP weekend. Hill DNF with fuel metering unit failure, Jochen Rindt victorious in the other Winkelmann Racing 59B. (Unattributed)

Credits…

Graham Howard ‘History of The Australian Grand Prix’

Max Le Grand, autopics.com.au, MotorSport, Rainer Schlegelmilch, Theo Page, Brian Watson

 

pedro spa

Rodriguez victorious at Spa in the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix in his BRM P153, the narrowest of wins from Chris Amons’ March on a circuit made for the Mexicans skill and bravery…

pedro & ricardo 1962

Pedro and brother Ricardo Rodriguez (right) in 1962. Ricardo died at the wheel of a Lotus 24 Climax in the Mexican Grand Prix 1962, the Rob Walker Racing entered cars’ rear suspension failed, the resultant collision killed him instantly at 20 years old. (Unattributed)

pedro in sebring

Pedro cruising through the Sebring paddock in his ‘NART’ Ferrari 330P  (Unattributed)

pedro cooper

1967 British GP, Pedro practices Rindts’ car, Silverstone, Cooper T86 Maserati. 5th in the race won by Clarks’ Lotus 49 Ford. (Bernard Cahier)

spa 1971 rod oli winner

Spa 1000Km 1971, victory with Jackie Oliver in a Wyer Porsche 917K, Siffert/Bell behind and finished 2nd…lookout marshall! (Unattributed)

pedro

Lotus 33 Climax, US GP  Watkins Glen 1966. Team Lotus entered an ‘old nail’ for Pedro, a 2 litre FWMV Climax engined 33 in a one off drive, he qualified 8th but DNF with transmission failure. Clark won in a Lotus 43 BRM. (Unattributed)

pedro and jo spa 1970

Pedro #25 and Jo Siffert #24 , Porsche 917K, Lap 1 Spa 1000Km, 1970. Friends and rivals in the JW Automotive Team, Rodriguez ultimately the better driver. A gaggle of 917’s and 512’s behind. Siffert/Brian Redman won the race, Pedro/Kinnunen DNF with gearbox failure on lap 44.(unattributed)

Rodriguez, Monaco 1967, Coopet T81 Maserati

Rodriguez delicately caressing the big Cooper T81 Maser around Monaco 1967. He was 5th in the race won by Hulmes’ Brabham BT24 (unattributed)

Rodriguez , Porsche 917, Brands 1000Km 1970

Pedro put in a stunning, famous drive to win the Brands Hatch 1000Km in his ‘JW Automotive’ Porsche 917K, partnering with Leo Kinnunen in 1970. He is #10 here ‘hunting down’ the rival ‘Porsche Salzburg’ #11 917K of Elford/Hulme/Ahrens. Oh to have been there! (Unattributed)

pedro portrait

Pedro portrait 1971 (Automobile Year 18)

MHC0177-1024x819fit

BRM P153 at rest, British GP, Brands Hatch 1970. Rindt won in a Lotus 72 Ford, Pedro DNF, prang on lap 58. (Mike Hayward Collection)

pedro 3

Porsche 908/3 1971 (Unattributed)

Rodriguez, one of those drivers who loved racing for its own sake, competed whenever he could was killed in an ‘Interseries’ (European CanAm or Group 7) race at the Norisring, Germany in July 1971.

He had started the season well, lightning fast in both his BRM P160 F1 car and Porsche 917 Sports Car and was pointlessly killed in a race of no importance when a slower car edged his Ferrari 512M into the wall, the car erupted into flames and one of the ‘aces’ of the era died shortly thereafter.

Photo Credits…

Bernard Cahier, Automobile Year, Mike Hayward Collection https://www.mikehaywardcollection.com/

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.

image

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 the Tasman 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 Clark’s. 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 P261 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