Posts Tagged ‘Lotus 33 Climax’

(Getty)

HRH Prince Phillip during a ‘cooks tour’ of Coventry Climax Ltd, Widdrington Road, Coventry on 21 June 1966…

I tripped over these photographs searching for shots of the FWMV four-valve heads- that 1.5 litre V8 was the engine Jim Clark used to win his 1963 and 1965 F1 titles in the rear of Lotus 25 and 33 chassis, the second of his cups was won using the four-valver.

Unsuccessful as i was in my search for an image of one of the final iterations of this lauded engine, i did find this beauty of a ‘normal’ two valver with HRH alongside- who are the technicians exchanging cam timing details with the chief i wonder?

(Getty)

The one below of the Prince wandering towards the 1.5 litre, still-born, FWMW Flat-16 made me chuckle as it reminded me of a DC Nye anecdote which goes along the lines of the Climax hierachy showing off the ultimate expression of their design and precision engineering capabilities- which was singing its supreme song on the test bed, but conversation was impossible, so Climax Managing Director Leonard Lee instructed revs to be cut back- a fatal mistake as 5000rpm or more was needed, below that critical number savage torsional vibration caused the quill shaft to break with plentiful mechanical mayhem following shortly thereafter- which it did. Whilst not an engineer the royal understood that something was amiss, making soothing sounds of sympathy, he wandered further along the corridors.

Check out the engines below- FWMV show engine, FWMW 16 in the right foreground, an outboard to the left of Lee, but what is the Amal fed four in front of the Prince?

Coventry Climax MD, Leonard Lee, HRH, Wally Hassan with hands in suit pockets behind and others- any clue folks? (Getty)

 

Prince Phillip sussing a CC dyno before sixteen cylinder carnage sets in (Getty)

None of the four FWMW engines laid down ever found their way into the cars designed for them- oil drainage, pumping and windage losses and time pressures ensured that- the 1.5 litre formula ended and Climax decided not to continue in racing so the Lotus 39, Brabham BT19 and Cooper T80 never raced with the sixteen cylinder engine for which they were designed but with a 2.5 Climax FPF four, 3 litre Repco Brabham 620 V8 and 3 litre Maserati V12 instead.

Theoretical advantages of higher revs, greater piston area and better breathing of the sixteen were never realised, but that FWMV four valve V8 delivered the goods even if its advantage over its more conventional sibling was marginal, mind you, in 1.5 litres 5 bhp makes a difference particularly if Clark J was behind the wheel of the car to which said engine was fitted.

(MotorSport)

What a jewel of a thing and what might have been had the 1.5 litre formula lasted another year? FWMW 16 on the test bed in 1965.

The antecedent engine of the Flat-Sixteen conceived by Climax Technical Director Wally Hassan and Chief Designer Peter Windsor-Smith was the 38hp ‘Featherweight’ 1020cc, SOHC four- from little things do big things grow. The two men set about design and construction of a 1.5 litre, twin-cam, two-valve, fuel injected sixteen cylinder engine with central power take off with projected power of circa 240-250bhp @ 12,000rpm after extrapolating the power of the best of the FWMV’s to the greater piston area of their proposed new engine.

Whilst twelve and sixteen cylinder engines were considered, the sixteen modelled best using the bore/stroke ratio of the successful Mk3 FWMV of 0.76:1- this provided for a bore and stroke of 54.1mm by 40.64mm giving a piston area of 23cm. Using the previously achieved 4.5bhp per square inch of piston area gave the 250bhp projection.

Lets not forget competitive pressures were the cause of this exciting engine’s birth- both Ferrari and Honda were racing twelves which showed promise, but 1964 ended up a battle of V8’s- Ferrari, BRM and Coventry Climax of course, with John Surtees’ Ferrari 158 taking the titles by the narrowest of margins.

The design influence of the Ferrari Flat-12 engine showed in that Climax contemplated the motor being used as a stressed member so chassis mounting points for the combined crankcase and cylinder block were provided on the crankcase and heads, of which there were four- four sets of four cylinders.

The crankshaft had central take off to minimise the torsional vibrations of such a long piece of exotic metal- the crank was laid out as two, four-throw single plane-units running in five main bearings but turned through 90 degrees to each other with their inner ends shrunk onto a central spur-gear. The spur gear passed power to an output shaft running below the crank at 80% of engine speed to suit the gearing of the ZF and Hewland transmissions used contemporarily.

1954 ad for the Coventry Climax Featherweight powered firepump unit. In 1951 the prototype 1020cc OHC, two valve, single carb, inline four produced 36bhp @ 3500rpm and delivered twice as much water as an existing unit which weighed double the weight of the Climax FW

 

Vic Berris cutaway showing the elegant simplicity…of the Climax FWMW Sixteen- oh what mighta been! Specifications as per text

The heads, as described above, used two valves and a single plug- the included angle between the valves was 48 degrees with inlet tracts designed for the port type Lucas fuel injection with which the designers were well familiar- Lucas also provided the transistorised ignition system.

Trains of spur gears running off the central power takeoff drove oil pressure and scavenge pumps down below and and the twin overhead camshafts and auxiliaries above the takeoff. Auxiliaries were located outta the way atop the crankcase comprised twin fuel injection pumps, the distributors and alternator- whilst the motor sounds huge it was small- only one inch longer than the FWMV at 30.9 inches and 22.6 inches wide.

Design commenced in 1963 with the first run on the dyno in late 1964- the major problem, as Prince Phillip will attest, was severe torsional vibration at low revs. A stronger replacement took too long and also failed- the best seen on test was 209bhp, none of the problems were insurmountable but the 1965 season was underway with developments of the good ole FWMV good enough to do the job.

Richie Ginther’s Honda RA272 V12 win at Mexico City in the very last Grand Prix of the marvellous 1.5 litre Formula in late October 1965 was perhaps a portent of what may have been an amazing battle between the Ferrari and Honda twelves and Climax sixteen in 1966 had the Formula run one more year, ignoring the small matter of Climax’ withdrawal from racing of course…

Etcetera…

(M Hewitt)

Further research- not exactly the shot of the heads I was after but a great view of the four-valver’s camshafts, plugs and gear driven cams which were characteristic of this Mk6 engine used by Clark and the Mk7 allocated to the Brabham Racing Organisation- the two only 1.5 litre FWMV four valve engines.

The mechanic (who is it folks?) got the Lotus 33 back together in time for Jim to win the Dutch Grand Prix the following July 1965 day from Jackie Stewart’s BRM P261 and Dan Gurney’s Brabham BT11 Climax.

(MotorSport)

Denis Jenkinson eliciting information on the specification of the three Lotus 33’s at Spa in June 1965.

The #17 machine is Jim’s race car fitted with the four-valve engine- note the low level exhausts fitted to his two cars whereas the #18 Mike Spence 33 has a much earlier spec Climax fitted with two-plane crank and crossover exhaust.

Jim won come raceday from Stewart and McLaren’s Cooper T77 Climax with Mike seventh on a circuit where the extra 10bhp or so would have made a hellluva difference.

(unattributed)

Still in the Spa paddock, note the distinctive ribbing on the cam covers of the four valve engine compared with the two valve motor shown in the drawing below. Low level exhausts, Lucas fuel injection- output of this FWMV Mk6 was quoted as 212bhp @ 10,300rpm and 119 lb/ft of torque at 8,900rpm.

ZF five speed transaxle, rubber donuts at the driveshaft inner ends, outboard non-ventilated disc brakes and rear suspension comprising single top link, inverted lower wishbone, two radius rods, coil spring/damper unit and magnesium upright- period typical and oh-so-effective, the rear end bite, traction of the 25/33’s was said to be one of the performance differentiators compared with the BRM P261.

Lotus 25 and early FWMV Weber carbed Mk1 or 2 V8 drawn (unattributed)

Credits…

Getty Images, Doug Nye, M Hewitt, MotorSport, Vic Berris, Coventry Climax, ‘1 1/2 Litre Grand Prix Racing: Low Power, High Tech’ Mark Whitelock

Tailpiece…

(Getty)

A capable pilot, Prince Phillip about to leave Coventry, no doubt he had promised the Queen he would be back in London before afternoon tea- Westland Wessex ‘chopper?

Finito…

(P Newbold)

Jackie Stewart eases his BRM P261 chassis ‘2614’ into the Sandown Paddock after practice…

It wasn’t going to be a great day at the office for the plucky Scot. He started well, passing Jack Brabham on lap 9 for the lead but the crown wheel and pinion gave up the ghost on lap 11 of the race won by Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax V8.

I think the car behind Jackie is Denny Hulme’s Brabham BT22 Repco-  right of picture behind the attractive chick with white ‘flairs’, eagle eyed Holden fanciers will spot Repco’s HR Panel Van, one of two which carted the two team cars of Jack and Denny around the country that summer.

(P Newbold)

Clark ponders changes to ‘R14’ a chassis which was very kind to him in Australasia that summer- he won five of the eight rounds and took the Tasman Cup for the second time.

The chassis went back to Hethel with Jim, he raced it in the early F1 races of 1967- for the last time at Monaco before the race debut of the epochal Lotus 49 Ford DFV at Zandvoort on June 4.

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

(M Feisst)

Stewart was the reigning Tasman champion, the ex-F1 BRM P261 still had the speed to win the Tasman, but, stretched to 2.1 litres, the V8 put out that little bit of extra power and torque which stretched the transmission beyond its comfy limits. The cars Achilles Heel caused too many retirements that summer but the other Great Scot took two wins on the tour all the same. Click here for an article on this engine and series of cars; https://primotipo.com/2016/02/05/motori-porno-stackpipe-brm-v8/

JYS with Light Car Club of Australia, the lessee/promoters of Sandown,  President Arnold Terdich- Arnold is the son of 1929 AGP winner Arthur Terdich, he won in a Bugatti T37A (P Newbold)

 

Stewart’s BRM P261 ‘2614’- jewels of long-lasting racing cars. Amongst the greatest of 1.5 litre F1 cars, then ‘gap fillers’ as the outrageous 3 litre P83 H16 was developed in 1966/7 and formidable Tasman cars fitted with 1.9 litre and finally 2.1 litre P111 BRM V8’s- the gearbox was not designed with so much power and torque in mind… (M Feisst)

Jack suits up below for the off with the omnipresent Roy Billington in attendance. I wonder when his time with Jack started and finished?

One of the things all these shots have in common is the very casual nature of racing at the time. The current World Champ is there for all to see and say ‘gedday mate and good luck!’

In fact he didn’t have good luck at all- he was out with ignition dramas having completed 27 of the races 52 laps with Denny retiring a lap earlier due to selector failure in the Hewland ‘box- not a happy home weekend for Repco at all!

It wasn’t that simple though, the weekend proved a long one for the Brabham and Repco boys.

In 1967 the tyre-war was on in earnest with Dunlop, Firestone and Goodyear vying for honours. Jack’s car was fitted with some wider 15 inch wheels made by Elfin (or perhaps more accurately Elfin wheels cast by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) to take the latest, wider Goodyears. To do so, changes were needed to the rear suspension.

(F Nachtigal)

Jack did the quickest time on Friday and then the Repco lads popped in a fresh motor overnight- he then set pole on Saturday from Stewart and Hulme.

On Sunday Jack won the 10 lap preliminary from Stewart at a canter but as the BT23A crossed the line the Repco engines timing gear broke. With that, the crew set about another motor change in the limited time available, popping another RBE ‘640 Series’ 2.5 litre V8 into the svelte Ron Tauranac designed spaceframe chassis.

Jack and Jim both made ripper starts but Clark’s 2 litre Lotus was soon overhauled by Hulme’s 2.5 litre Brabham and Stewart’s 2.1 litre BRM. Brabham and Stewart then tussled before Jackie passed Jack- who then retired a lap later near Dandenong Road. It transpired that a soldered ignition wire pickup had come off the flywheel- repaired later, Jack re-entered the race completing 27 of its 52 laps.

1967 Tasman Series…

https://primotipo.com/2014/11/24/1967-hulme-stewart-and-clark-levin-new-zealand-tasman-and-beyond/

http://www.oldracingcars.com/tasman/1967/

Etcetera: Sandown…

Here are a few more photographs from that meeting- Peter Newbold was patrolling the paddock and so too was Mike Feisst who visited the Warwick Farm and Sandown Tasman rounds whilst on a trip over from New Zealand.

Between them, their pit shots capture the flavour of the times in a manner which on-circuit stuff on its own never entirely does.

As you will see, the entry for that meeting was truly mouth-watering in its variety and depth!

RBE 640 V8- the 1966 ‘600 Series’ Olds F85 block and new for 1967 ’40 Series’ exhaust between the Vee heads. Gearbox is a Hewland HD5 (M Feisst)

Brabham’s BT23A Repco awaits Jack and Roy Billington.

Despite passing into David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce after Jack had finished with it, this car probably under-achieved really.

Greg Cusack and Phil West raced it for David but by then the mantle of local aces had shifted from the retired Bib Stillwell to Spencer Martin, Kevin Bartlett and Leo Geoghegan. Put any of those fellas in BT23A at that time and a championship could have been won assuming a measure of Repco 2.5 litre reliability, a quality not necessarily plentiful…

https://primotipo.com/2017/01/04/scuds/

(M Feisst)

 

Bob Jane had only just taken deliver of his Elfin 400 Repco ‘620’ 4.4 litre V8 from Garrie Cooper and his merry band of Edwardstown artisans- the 1967 Tasman round support races were his first serious events in a car which had a rather chequered and tragic history, click here for the story; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/06/belle-of-the-ball/

(M Feisst)

The Touring Car entry was ‘top shelf’ as well and led by crowd favourites from Melbourne, Norm Beechey above in his Chevy Nova and Sydney’s Pete Geoghegan below- the latter still racing the first of his two Mustangs.

Who won the battles on that weekend folks?

(M Feisst)

Pete’s ‘Stang is lining up for scrutineering, by the time I started racing a decade and a bit later the concrete pad was still in the same spot albeit there was a permanent roof providing the poor marshalls with some necessary protection from the elements.

That paddock was ‘heaven on a stick’ from a spectators viewpoint- so much was compressed into a small space but it was a pain in the tit as a competitor, it was as tight as a mackerel’s bum with a halfway decent entry list of cars. When things got too tight we Formula Vees were banished to an area of our own on the outside of Shell Corner (turn 1) which made us all grumpy at the time! And yer could no longer easily see all the other goings on.

Geoghegan’s Mustang in 1967; https://primotipo.com/2017/10/17/he-came-he-saw-he-conquered/

(M Feisst)

Leo Geoghegan bought the ex-works Lotus 39 Climax Jim Clark raced throughout the 1966 Tasman at the duration of the series racing it during the 1967 Gold Star Series without much success due to recurring engine dramas.

Having said that the car behaved itself rather well on this weekend as Leo finished second in the race to Clark albeit he was 50 seconds back- this was the highest place finish by any local driver throughout the series.

It was not the last time Geoghegan gave the internationals a run for their money in this car either. Leo passed Frank Gardner in the latter stages of the race and was then lucky when Martin’s BT11A Brabham gifted Leo second with half-shaft failure.

Frank Gardner was third in Alec Mildren’s Brabham BT16 Climax FPF- an F2 chassis with a big-beefy FPF popped into the frame, Chris Irwin was fourth in the other 2.1 litre BRM chassis ‘2616’, then Kevin Bartlett, in Mildren’s other car, the ex-Gardner Brabham BT11A Climax which KB drove so hard and well in 1966/7. Then came John Harvey, three laps adrift of KB in Ron Phillips’ Brabham BT14 F2 car powered by a big 1860 cc Lotus-Ford twin-cam.

Leo contested the 1967 Australian Tasman rounds with the Climax fitted and then gave the car ‘a birthday’- John Sheppard and the Geoghegan lads adapted the chassis to take a Repco ‘740’ 2.5 litre V8, this created one of the sexiest ever open-wheelers to race in Oz, whilst the car was uber fast reliability remained an ongoing issue. The story of this machine is here; https://primotipo.com/2016/02/12/jim-clark-and-leo-geoghegans-lotus-39/

(M Feisst)

Peter Mabey eases himself out of Frank Matich’s brand-new and sinfully good-looking Matich SR3 Oldsmobile V8.

Later that year FM raced two of these chassis, Repco ‘620’ 4.4 litre V8 engined, in the Can-Am Series, the SR3 story is tangentially told in this piece on its successor, the SR4 Repco; https://primotipo.com/2016/07/15/matich-sr4-repco-by-nigel-tait-and-mark-bisset/

(M Feisst)

Gay Cesario brings a little bit of Italo-French style to the Sandown pits with his Abarth Simca 1300 GT.

The speedy Italian acquired the car in his native country and then drove it from one end of Italy to the other, both car and family migrating to Australia in the mid-sixties. Click here for the story; https://primotipo.com/2018/02/13/abarth-simca-1300-gt/

(M Feisst)

The two BRM P261’s of Stewart- ‘2614’, on the truck and Chris Irwin ‘2616’ on terra-firma. Nifty looking and aerodynamic full rear bodywork atypical by then.

Engines of the cars are to different specifications, Jackie’s is fitted with an exhaust within the vee motor and Irwin’s the more classic cross-flow set up with the former ‘de-rigueur’ in F1 in 1967- Ferrari, Repco-Brabham, Honda and BRM produced engines of that specification. That Stewart’s car is fitted with the exhaust within the vee arrangement tends to suggest it was the quicker at the time. Irwin’s car is about to be scrutineered.

One of the P261’s raced at the Phillip Island Historic Meeting not so many years ago driven by Rob Fowler, I think- man what a car at bulk-revs singing its way down the main straight and into Southern Loop- and well driven. Personal bias hereby declared.

(M Feisst)

I suspect Mike Feisst had a ‘heads up’ as to the garages in Melbourne where some of the Tasman cars were being fettled over the weekend- for sure this shot is not at Sandown Park.

The Aston DB4 GT Zagato has Victorian plates, I wonder which of the two (?) which came to Australia in period it is. It looks well used which is rather nice. Laurie O’Neill had one which Doug Whiteford and Pete Geoghegan gave a bit of a gallop, but wasn’t there another too? Intrigued to know which chassis this is and whereabouts the shot is taken. Check out this article on the cars; https://primotipo.com/2015/09/22/aston-martin-db4gt-zagato-2vev-lex-davison-and-bib-stillwell/

Flinders Street Station maybe for the photograph below, in Flinders Street itself down towards the ‘Banana Alley’ vaults?

The Holden FC aft of the Aston DB4 GT provides valuable context- I reckon yerv always got to see the exotica of the period juxtaposed with the transport we plebians used at the same time to see just how marvellous they were. My mums new Morrie 1100 was plated JEN-108 in 1965, so I’m thinking this Aston is perhaps a 1966 drop, James Bond plate duly noted?

(M Feisst)

 

(M Feisst)

Their was a bit of chatter online about this chassis being Graeme Lawrence’s McLaren M4A Ford FVA but I reckon Mike Feisst’s photo is also at Sandown and the car is an Elfin Mono- an outboard suspension second series car.

Two such were entered in the Sandown Park Cup by Ian Cook (7th) and Jack Hunnam (DNF) with Hunnam’s Mk2D the most likely choice I think. Having said that my friend, and Mono racer/restorer James Lambert will correct me if I have goofed! The engine is a 1.5 litre Lotus-Ford twin-cam, these very quick machines ran in the ANF1.5 category- effectively Australia’s F2 at the time.

(M Feisst)

Motor Racing Royalty in Australia in the mid-sixties was David McKay’s Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM.

It was always, even in 1965 when it first arrived new from Maranello, a bit heavy to beat the sprinters but the car won three Surfers Paradise Enduro’s on the trot and was steered by some great drivers including McKay himself, Jackie Stewart, Spencer Martin and the brothers Geoghegan.

(M Feisst)

I’ve written about this wonderful machine, now owned by Ralph Lauren (what a waste of a RACING car) at length too;

https://primotipo.com/2014/07/03/pete-geoghegan-ferrari-250lm-6321-bathurst-easter-68/

I think Kiwi Andy Buchnan was racing, and owned the car at this stage in 1967?

(M Feisst)

Hillman had a great reputation in Australia at the time the ‘Grunter’ was popular aided and abetted by its 1968 London-Sydney Marathon win. The ‘Coventry Climax’ engine inspired Imp I always thought was a thinking mans alternative to the Mini- as ubiquitous in Australia as anywhere else on the planet.

The ‘works’ Improved Production Imps were raced (and built?) by Melbourne’s Graham ‘Tubby’ Ritter and youthful man-about-town Peter Janson. Norm Beechey had an occasional steer of these things as well- on this weekend the cars were raced by Ritter and Bruce Hindhaugh in car #22- the latter of Gown-Hindhaugh Engines in Elgar Road, Box Hill.

(M Feisst)

Alec Mildren added the teams second Alfa Romeo GTA to the trailer of cars sent from Sydney to Melbourne- both Kevin Bartlett and Gardner raced the car with FG twiddling the wheel that weekend.

Another favourite car, I wrote an article about these rather special Autodelta built ‘105 Coupes’ a while back, it is a tome about Alec Mildren Racing and Bartlett too; https://primotipo.com/2014/11/27/the-master-of-opposite-lock-kevin-bartlett-alfa-romeo-gta/

Love the Ford ‘Cusso’ towcar behind (M Feisst)

No doubt those wheels are very light but there is something very ‘povvo’ about that aspect of a Porsche 906 at least visually?

Alan Hamilton would have been outgunned that weekend aboard the first of his 906’s with the Matich, Jane and Niel Allen (Elfin 400 Olds) big vee-eights present but this car always punched above its weight and was driven exceedingly well by the gifted son of Porsche importer Norman Hamilton. Click here for a feature on Hamilton and his cars;

https://primotipo.com/2015/08/20/alan-hamilton-his-porsche-9048-and-two-906s/

(M Feisst)

The Morris Cooper S was a mainstay of Touring Car Racing globally at the time of course, not least in Australia where Mini Kings included Peter Manton and Brian Foley- others who spring to mind include Don Holland and John Leffler- Leffo starting a career in the BMC products which all the way through to winning a Gold Star, the Australian Drivers Championship in an F5000 Lola T400 Chev in 1977.

This car is Jim Smith’s- later the owner/racer of the crowd pleasing, ex-works Rover 3500 Repco Holden V8.

(M Feisst)

Seeing Peter Woodwards’s ex-Leo Geoghegan/Niel Allen Lotus 26R reminds me I’ve written a track test of me mate David Mottram’s Lotus Elite Super 95, I must pop it up.

Whilst most folks wax lyrical about the Elite as one of the best looking cars ever, I agree, for me the slightly more butch Elan 26R is a contender albeit not strictly a road car of course. See this short article about the car here; https://primotipo.com/2018/04/15/perk-and-pert/

Peter Woodward later won the Australian Sportscar Championship in the one-off Elfin 350 Coventry Climax FPF. He ‘nicked’ the championship in 1970 taking points in two of the three rounds from Frank Matich who did not race the awesome SR4 all season and Niel Allen in the 5 litre Chev F5000 engined Elfin ME5.

What became of this 26R after Peter Woodward finished with it?- to John Fraser in Queensland, but perhaps some of you can fill in the gaps. Is the car still in Australia?

Credits…

Paul Newbold, Mike Feisst on The Roaring Season, Frank Nachtigal, oldracingcars.com, sergent.com, Terry Sullivan, Dale Harvey, Rob Bartholomaeus

Tailpiece: All Eyes on Australia’s Finest…

Which is as it should be of course!

Jack steers BT23A-1 through the gravel Sandown paddock towards the grassy Esso compound only a few more steps away. He wore that gold ‘Buco’ (i think) helmet a lot in 1967! It may be summer in Australia but by the look of the adoring kiddos its a chilly Melbourne day.

Photos of this place bring back many happy memories of roaming the Sandown paddock just like these youngsters, although i was never as nicely dressed as the brothers in yellow and wearing a tie!

Finito…

(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;

Click to access 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, Roger Linton

Tailpiece: 1967 AGP Warwick Farm…

(R Linton)

Start of the race from the pit counter.

Hill’s Lotus 48 FVA at right, Clark, Lotus 33 Climax and Jackie Stewart, BRM P261 on the front row. Brabham is behind Stewart and Denny Hulme behind Jack in Repco ‘640’ V8 engined Brabhams

Finito…

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 13 January 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 Motor Sport 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 were 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 finished 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 primary object of the exercise was really to get the engines raceworthy for the 1967 GP season in any event. Jack did have a good win at Longford in his BT23A, 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’ engines were reliable early in the GP season.

Denny broke through for his first GP win at Monaco, 620 engined, but there was no joy in the victory as Lorenzo Bandini perished aboard his Ferrari 312 in a gruesome, fiery accident, which finally helped galvanise action to improve safety standards on the world’s circuits.

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

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 blew early in the race. Hill and Amon second and third in Lotus 33 BRM and Ferrari 312 respectively (unattributed)

 

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 Can-Am series. Robin Herd’s McLaren M6A Chev was a stunning car, concepted by he and Bruce, 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 team’s F1, Can-Am 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’ which made 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 2 litre version of the Coventry Climax FWMV V8 had served him well in 1966, he drove the car when the heavy BRM ‘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 Brabham Repcos and the BRM P261’s, the latter so dominant the year before. The two 2 litre FWMV V8’s were shipped to the Antipodes, the Mk8 1976cc engine was created by using the big 72.39mm bore of the 1964/5 Mk4-7 engines with the 1961/2 Mk1-2 60mm longest stroke to create a circa 245bhp motor. With the ‘R14’/2 litre FWMV combination Clark won five of the eight Tasman Series 100 mile races, three- at Wigram, Lakeside and Sandown were Tasman Cup championship events, the other two at Levin and Teretonga were non-championship races.

Clark raced a Lotus 43 BRM 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, those duties had been faithfully carried out by Graham Hill.

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 then a further four 1967 races, but Dennys’ consistency got him over the line that year in the equally new Brabham BT24, lets not forget that it, too, was cleansheet in terms of chassis and engine that year. Click here for a piece on the Brabham BT24; https://primotipo.com/2017/12/28/give-us-a-cuddle-sweetie/

The Lotus 49 package was dominant in 1968, but sadly Clark’s 1968 South African GP triumph, off the back of his third Tasman Cup win, was his last, he died tragically in a Lotus 48 Ford FVA  as a consequence of probable tyre failure in the during the ‘Deutschland Trophae’ Hockenheim F2 race on 7 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 Lotus after Clark’s 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 Cup wins…

Mechanical woes, particularly weaknesses in the BRM P261’s transmission crown wheel and pinion cost him victories, but his speed was apparent and close to Clark’s- the two races he won were biggies too- the NZ GP at Pukekohe and AGP at Warwick Farm. 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 awaited the young Scot.

He had won his first Grand Prix in the lithe, nimble P261 in Italy in 1965 but it was then a ‘long time between drinks’ in F1, his undoubted speed was finally reflected in wins when he departed to Team Tyrrell which started running Ford DFV engined Matras in 1968, his first title came in 1969 aboard the glorious MS80. Click here for an article on that Matra; https://primotipo.com/2016/07/01/matra-ms80-ford/

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)

 

image

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 run their course…

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’. Indeed it was.

Photo Credits…

Digby Paape, Eddie Whitham, Doug Shaw Collection

Tailpiece: Pukekohe 1967…

Love the hats on the gals at the motor racing!

Clearly they have a penchant for ‘Rice Trailers’- it seems said equipment made the trip across the Tasman as well as the two cars, not the happiest of Tasmans for the Repco-Brabham crew despite an ‘all out’ effort to take the Tasman Cup.

Finito…

clark

Jim Clark in his last Championship drive of a Lotus 33…

Colin Chapmans’ revolutionary family of cars, the Lotus 25/33 had been kind to Jim, World Championships in 1963 and 1965 in his symbiotic relationship with Chapman, his Team, his Cars.

The ’25’, introduced at Zandvoort in 1962 was not the first ‘monocoque’ chassis but it was the first ‘modern one’, all Grand Prix cars, indeed most racing cars can trace their parentage back to the 25 and the trends it set.

The good ‘ole multi-tubular spaceframe wasn’t dead mind you, Brabham were still winning Grands’ Prix in 1969 with their BT26, but even Brabham changed to aluminium sheet ‘tubs’ in 1970 as the use of ‘bag’ safety fuel tanks effectively precluded spaceframes.

At Zandvoort in 1967, the following race Chapmans’ Lotus 49, and its Ford Cosworth engine again set a standard all others followed, much as the ’25’ did in 1962, the ’72’ did in 1970 and the ’78’ did in 1977…

clark 2

Clark qualified his 2 litre Lotus on the third row amongst the 3 litre cars, spun on lap 2, battled his way up to fourth from fourteenth, his race ending on lap 43 with a duff shocker. This tragic race claimed the life of Lorenzo Bandini who died when his Ferrari caught fire after an accident with the straw bales on the outside of the corner where Clark is pictured. Denny Hulme won the race in a Brabham BT 20 Repco. (Pinterest)

hill

Graham Hill in the other Lotus 33, BRM powered did better than Clark, finishing second, always a happy hunting ground for Hill who won the race 5 times. Amazing shot, he looks a bit wide! (Cahier Archive)

lotus 33

Lotus 33 : aluminium monocoque or stressed skin chassis, inboard suspension at front by top rocker and lower wishbone, coil spring damper unit within the tub. Rear suspension outboard by single top link, inverted lower wishbone, 2 parallel radius rods and coil spring/ damper unit. Coventry Climax 2 litre, by this stage, DOHC, 4 valve V8, 5 speed ZF gearbox, just a lovely, successful bit of kit…! (Bruno Betti)

Photo Credits…

Pinterest, Bruno Betti cutaway drawing, Cahier Archive

Tailpiece: You don’t often see the super smooth Clark with so much attitude on a car. Here he is giving the 33 plenty of welly ahead of Dan Gurney’s Eagle T1G V12, Dan’s car out on lap 4 with fuel pump problems so ’tis early in the ’67 race…

jim

(unattributed)