Posts Tagged ‘Lotus 49C Ford’

charlton

Dave Charlton fettling his Brabham BT11 to which he has just bolted a ‘brand spankers’ 3 litre Repco F1 RB620 V8…

I must admit this shot as a ‘who, what, where and when’ had me tossed! I thought the face was familiar, but given it was from Nigel Tait’s Repco Photographic Archive I figured it was an RBE technician installing the little V8 into one of Jack’s Tasman cars in Melbourne. Completely wrong! The installation of engine to chassis was done in South Africa, exactly where I am intrigued to know.

But at the back of my brain I did recognise the driver although its Charlton’s Lotus 72 days which resonate with me most. This Brabham, the BT11 was a very successful ‘Intercontinental’ model in Tasman racing and in South African National Formula racing. Bought for Charlton by South African enthusiast Aldo Scribante, it was originally delivered with the ubiquitous 2.5 litre Coventry Climax FPF 4 cylinder engine.

charlton bt 11 cliamx color

Charlton in the Climax engined Brabham BT11, Q8 and unclassified. Pedro Rodriguez won the race in a Cooper T81 Maserati, South African GP 1967 (Dave Kent)

Dave did the full South African season in it in 1966, not really challenging local rival John Love’s Brabham BT20 Repco. After cranking in the Repco V8 he won the ’67 Rand Autumn Trophy race. Into 1968 he raced on in the BT11, Love updated to an ex-works Lotus 49, the rivalry between the two drivers over the years intense and fair.

charlton sa gp 68

1968 South African GP, Dave in Scribante’s Brabham BT11 Repco. Q14 and DNF gearbox, the race won by Jim Clark’s Lotus 49 Ford, the great Scots last GP win (Doug Brown)

Charlton was a South African citizen but was born in Yorkshire in 1936, migrating to SA with his mother in his early teens.

He first rose to prominence after winning the 1960 SA GP sportscar supporting race in an Austin Healey 100/6. He later raced an ex-Whitmore Lotus 22 in Europe without much success and returned to SA with a depleted bank balance. Some great drives in a Lotus 20 Ford twin-cam bought him to Scribante’s notice and the rest as they say is history; South African F1 champion from 1970-75, 13 championship Grands Prix appearances. He died in February 2013.

After claiming a number of wins in the Brabham over the following season Charlton upgraded to a Lotus 49C Ford taking the 1970 South African F1 title (and 12th place in the South African GP). In a renta-drive he drove a factory Brabham BT33 in the ’71 South African GP, his engine failed mid-race.

charlton lotus

The two great rivals in South Africa for over a decade; John Love March 701 Ford 2nd and Charlton Lotus 49C Ford 1st, Leeukop Corner, Highveld 100, 1971 Kyalami (Brian Watson)

He went to to the UK to collect a Lotus 72D, racing it in the 1972 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, in spite of losing practice time to mechanical issues he qualified 13th.  His engine dropped on to seven cylinders on the warm-up lap, but the car won him the domestic SA championship for three consecutive seasons.

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1972 British GP, Charlton leading one of the McLarens into Druids Hill, Lotus 72D Ford, DNF gearbox, the race won by Fittipaldi’s works 72D (Brian Watson)

For 1974 Charlton’s Scuderia Scribante team acquired McLaren M23/2, which Peter Revson had driven to victory in the 1973 British Grand Prix. Charlton dominated the domestic scene to a new level despite Ian Scheckter’s pace in a Lotus 72. Charlton took six wins and won a fifth consecutive championship.

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Kyalami 1972, perhaps the Highveld 100 but help welcomes from South African enthusiasts. #2 John Love Surtees TS9, #1 Charlton Lotus 72D and #3 Willie Ferguson Brbham BT33, the blue McLaren M10B Chev perhaps Kipp Ackerman (Brian Watson)

The following year Scheckter raced a Tyrrell 007 and Charlton won twice but eight podiums in a year of consistency won him the title again. He sold the M23 on to Aussie John McCormack, who converted it to Formula 5000 spec and notched up further successes in the domestic Gold Star championship, while Charlton switched to Formula Pacific and won that for four consecutive seasons.

Click here for my article on McLaren M23/2 which has some material on Charlton’s racing of that great car; https://primotipo.com/2014/07/24/macs-mclaren-peter-revson-dave-charlton-and-john-mccormacks-mclaren-m232/

Charlton died in February 2013 aged 77.

dc lot 72 sidways

Charlton during the 1973 South African GP @ Kyalami with his Lotus 72D all nicely balanced on the throttle (Stuart Dent)

Etcetera…

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Charlton at Kyalami in the BT11 still Climax engined in 1967 (Ken Stewart)

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Charlton this side in the BT11 Repco with John Love in his BT20 Repco in 1968 (Dave Kent)

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Carlton again in the BT11 Repco (Deon Smit)

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Paid guest drive of the works Brbham BT33, inside Denny Hulme’s McLaren M19, SA GP 1971 (Deon Smit)

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Charlton at the wheel of a factory Lotus 72, 1971 British GP (unattributed)

Credits…

Nigel Tait Collection, Repco Ltd Archive

Tailpiece: The flag drops-Luki Botha Brabham Repco, John Love Cooper Climax and on the far side Dave Charlton Brabham BT11 Repco, 1967 Coronation 100 …

charlton burnout

(Deon Smit)

 

lotus 72

Amazing composition, Jochen Rindt en route to the 72’s first victory, the car was still competitive in Peterson’s hands, winning four Grands Prix in 1974…

The car made its championship debut at Jarama in April 1970 and was already in ‘C’ spec by Monaco, major changes centred around taking out the anti-dive and anti-squat geometry of the front and rear suspension respectively. Easy to say but it involved ‘unpicking’ the tub to do so.

Their was no joy in the Zandvoort win for Jochen as his good friend Piers Courage perished in his De Tomaso 505 Ford during the race.

Chapman showed his hand with the wedge shaped, Pratt & Whitney turbine powered Lotus 56 at Indy in 1968, but the 72 with its wedge shape, hip radiators, torsion bar suspension and inboard front brakes, lowered unsprung weight and putting a distinct rear weight bias set a new F1 design benchmark and aerodynamic direction, as Colin Chapman was want to do every few years!

Few cars are as competitive for so long, the venerable 72 was pushed into service long after it’s useby date as a consequence of its successor, the Lotus 76’s failure to produce the goods in 1975.

Another of my top 10 racing cars ever! Click here for a feature article about this car; https://primotipo.com/2018/05/24/jochens-bt33-trumped-by-chunkys-72/

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(Pinterest unattributed)

Rindt ahead of the Jacky Ickx Ferrari 312B, he placed third- Jochen scored the Lotus 72’s first victory.

monaco 70

(Pinterest)

The passing of the baton from the Lotus 49C to the Lotus 72 at Monaco 1970.

The 72 was not race-worthy, so Rindt elected to race a 49 and won its last Championship GP. Car # 2 is John Miles’ Lotus 72 he is leaning against the pit counter this side of Chapman in the red Gold Leaf Team Lotus jacket. Rindt’s winning 49C is behind or beyond car # 2.

John will be a bit grumpy. Chapman wanted him to stick with the 72 to get some race miles under its belt whereas John would rather race the tried and true- and predictable 49 around this most unforgiving of circuits. He missed the cut and did not race.

lotus 1

(Autosport)

Cockpit of Rindt’s Lotus 72 at Zandvoort in 1970, as luxurious as the Elan of the day!

Mota-Lita steering wheel, Smiths chronometric tach and subsidiary instruments, ‘tell-tale’ is at about 10,000rpm. ‘Fire-bomb’ button surrounded by red, chassis plate under the left hand side of dash gauge, fibreglass bodywork, aluminium monocoque chassis, ducts for inboard discs all there.

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(unattributed)

Cutaway drawing showing the essential elements of another of Chapman’s masterpieces.

Aluminium monocoque, wedge shape, hip radiators, Ford Cosworth DFV V8 which gave about 420bhp in 1970, Hewland FG400 transaxle, torsion bar springs, inboard front and rear brakes.

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(Pinterest)

This is somewhat of a poignant shot in the context of Jochen’s tragic Monza 1970 death.

Jochen famously refused to wear the crutch straps of his six-point Willans harness, only the shoulder and waist straps. The absence of the usual coil spring/shocks aids front aerodynamics of the car, whilst the fire extinguisher (far right of photograph) is mounted legally it has been done so pointlessly given a minor frontal impact would remove it from its mountings. The inboard discs and driveshafts, one of which failed causing Rindt’s accident are clearly shown.

rindt british gp

(Pinterest)

In this case the photographers toes mark the apex- Druids Hill, British GP, Brands Hatch 1970. A win for Jochen after Jack Brabham’s Brabham BT33 Ford ran low on fuel on the last lap, poor Jack managed to coast home in second but it was a lucky one for the Austrian on a day his old boss had the edge in speed.

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(The Cahier Archive)

Wonderful Bernard Cahier portrait of Jochen in his Lotus 72 Ford, 1970.

Photo Credits…

Autosport, Pinterest, The Cahier Archive

Finito…