Posts Tagged ‘Richie Ginther’

fazz 1

(GP Library)

Brand spanking new Ferrari 156, the aluminium body still unpainted awaits its Modena test in early 1961…

fazz 2

(Klemantaski)

Its all happening in this shot.

Its the first track test in April 1961 of the new 120 degree 1.5 litre DOHC, 2 valve V6 which offered a lower centre of gravity to the dominant cars of that year. Phil Hill was crowned World Champion of course, in a year of tragedy for the team, ‘Taffy’ von Trips lost his life at Monza late in the season.

Bending over the car’s nose is Luigi Bazzi, Ferrari’s ‘Senior Technician’ of the time, the large fella to Bazzi’s left is famed ‘panel basher’ Medardo Fantuzzi who made the sexy bodies of these cars and many other Ferrari’s. Carlo Chiti, the cars designer, has his hand in the cockpit. Richie Ginther, ace racer/tester gets comfy before the off. In the hat behind Richie is Romulo Tavoni, Team Manager and leaning against Enzo’s Ferrari 250GT is the chief himself and Phil Hill.

Credits…

GP Library, Louis Klemantaski Collection

Tailpiece…

enzo

(Klemantaski)

An earlier test than the one above, this chassis fitted with the 65 degree V6. Chiti is at left then the boss, another gent and copiously making notes is famous Ferrari engineer, Mauro Forghieri, then in his early days with the Scuderia. I’m intrigued to know who the mechanic is.

Its a stunning shot of the cars unbelievable lines, their purity complete with the Borrani’s off the car…

Finito…

richie

(Schlegelmilch)

One of the BRM mechanics shows his mates some naughty pictures on his iPhone 6S, Zandvoort, Dutch Grand Prix July 1965…

The shot says everything about the regard the BRM team had for their old driver. By that stage Richie was driving for Honda, famously the American won the very last race of the 1.5 litre F1 for Honda in Mexico City that year.

image

Stewart #12 and Hill #10 BRM P261’s in the 1965 Zandvoort paddock (Schlegelmilch)

At Zandvoort the growing competitiveness of the RA272 was again on display, Richie qualified the car 3rd and finished 6th, the race won by Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 Climax.

The BRM’s finished 2nd and 4th, Stewart in front of Hill, both in P261’s. Dan Gurney was 3rd in a Brabham BT3 Climax.

Checkout my article on the early Honda GP cars;

https://primotipo.com/2014/12/12/honda-ra271272-1-5-litre-v12-19645-gp-cars/

Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch

Tailpiece: Richie Ginther’s Honda RA272 during the Dutch GP , 18 July 1965, Rainer has captured such an unusual view of the North Sea circuit…

image

(Schlegelmilch)

 

 

richie

Richie Ginther surveys the damage he has inflicted upon his factory Ferrari during the 1960 Targa weekend…

The local kiddo’s are either surveying the scene with sympathy or thinking about what they can liberate from Enzo’s nice, new red car!

In fact the shot is a bit of a mystery upon doing a bit more research.

The Ferrari drivers were reshuffled after several accidents in practice of which this seems to be one as it isn’t the car in which Richie started the race with Cliff Allison. That was the #202 de-Dion rear axled TR59/60 pictured below; and in which Richie went off line passing a car and smote a tree a fatal blow for the car on lap 5.

image

Cliff Allison before the Targa start in the 250 Testa Rossa shared with Richie Ginther (unattributed)

Allison himself had a huge ‘character building’ accident in practice when a tyre failed in the Ferrari TRI/60 (independent rear suspension Testa Rossa) he was scheduled to share with Phil Hill.

So, the question is what model Ferrari is the one pictured at the articles outset? It looks as if it may have side-draft Webers, is it an old Monza ‘praps? One for you Ferrari experts.

The race was won by the Jo Bonnier/Hans Herrmann Porsche 718 RS60 a much more nimble conveyance around this circuit than the 3 litre V12 front-engined Fazz…

image

Graham Hill sitting in Jo Bonnier’s winning Porsche 718 RS60, Graham was cross-entered in the car. Don’t bend it Graham please! Hill was 5th is a similar car shared with Edgar Barth (unattributed)

Credit…

GP Library

monaco 1961

A famous win for Moss, Rob Walker and the Lotus 18 Climax…

1961 was the first year of the 1.5 litre F1; Ferrari were dominant with their powerful 156’s, the little V6 was the most potent engine, the chassis not a patch on the best of the Brits but overall the Scuderia had a great year.

However, the mastery of Moss prevailed several times during 1961. The first of these performances in his lithe, nimble 1.5 Coventry Climax Mk2 engined Lotus 18 is portrayed in the season opening event by John Ketchell’s art.

The great cockpit view shows Moss chasing Jack Brabham’s Cooper T55 Climax and Richie Ginther’s Ferrari 156.

grid

Grid shot: #20Moss Lotus 18 Climax, #36 Ginther’s Ferrari 156 and #28 Clark Lotus 20 Climax front row. Gurney’s Porsche 718 and Phil Hill’s Ferrari 156 on row 2 (unattributed)

image

Hill’s Ferrari, Clark outside #28 , Moss inside with the missing bodywork, #16 Tony Brooks BRM P48/57 Climax#36 Ginther and the silver nose of Gurney’s Porsche 718 (GP Library)

 

Credit…

John Ketchell, GP Library

Tailpiece: Maestro Moss…

moss mastery

Moss Mastery; totally relaxed as he gets every bit of performance out of the chassis of his year old Rob Walker owned Lotus 18; works drivers Clark and Ireland are in the new Lotus 20. Side bodywork removed to provide cooling air on the hot May day. Moss won Lotus’ first championship GP win with this victory (Geoff Goddard)

monaco 1958

Quite a stunning 1960 Monaco Vista…

I was trawling the internet, as i do, looking for the photos which inspire the articles i create, one of the reasons why this blog is so nuttily diverse is to do with that approach.

I found this shot, unattributed as most of them are, but saying ‘Monaco 1966’ which it most definitely is not!

Its one of those ‘the more you look, the more you see shots’; the steam train, four nurses sitting together, the working port, none of your fancy-schmancy big yachts of today and of course the car itself!

Thats the tricky bit; its not sharp in focus but i think it might, might be Luigi Musso’s #34 Ferrari Dino 246 in the ’58 race.

richie

GP debutant Richie Ginther on his way to 5th place in the Ferrari Dino 246P ‘008’, Monaco 1960. (unattributed)

Since posting this shot reader Grant Perkins has done some research and confirmed the photo is actually of Richie Ginther at Monaco in 1960 in the Ferrari Dino 246P…

Stirling Moss won the race in Rob Walker’s Lotus 18 Climax, Chapman’s first championship win as a manufacturer, from Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T53 Climax and Phil Hill’s Ferrari Dino 246.

The shot is historically significant as Ginther made his GP debut that weekend and his mount, the Ferrari 246P, the Scuderia’s first mid-engined racing car, competed for the first time.

Monaco 1960 is also significant for the long awaited but far too late appearance of Lance Reventlow’s Scarabs. These superbly engineered but heavy, unwieldy front engined cars entered GP racing just as Ferrari, the last team racing a front-engined car experimented with its mid-engined replacement. A tangent too far for this article but an interesting topic for another time.

scarab

Monaco 1960. #46 Chuck Daigh and #48 Lance Reventlow Scarab’s #34 Ginther’s Ferrari 246P. (Dave Friedman Collection)

Ferrari built the 246P in secret, it was tested at Modena by Hill, Ginther and factory tester Martino Severi on 22 May, the design perceived by its drivers to have too much weight at the rear causing the nose to lift under acceleration.

Despite the fact that a Cooper won their first Grand Prix in Argentina in 1958, in Moss’ hands and Jack Brabham’s Cooper win in the 1959 World Championship was the first for a mid-engined car and further that Ferrari’s front engined Dino’s were struggling to keep up, Carlo Chiti had to fight hard to build a mid-engined prototype.

Ferrari’s conservatism was proven time and again over the years, they were not often innovators or early adopters, some examples; the change from drum to disc brakes, wire wheels to alloys, carburettors to fuel injection, ladder frame to spaceframe chassis, spaceframe chassis to monocoque and so on.

Fortunately the car, allocated chassis number ‘246-0008’, showed enough promise to race at Monaco on 29 May. By the end of the year ‘0008’ had morphed from a prototype 2.5 litre F1 car into a 1960 1.5 litre F2 ‘156’, becoming an F1 156 with the GP rule change from 2.5 to 1.5 litre engines from 1 January 1961.

‘008’ became Giancarlo Baghetti’s race chassis for 1961 and part of the amazing start to his F1 career; the Italian famously winning his first 3 GP’s; Syracuse, Naples and finally the French GP, in so doing Giancarlo became the only man to ever win his first championship GP.

So ‘0008’ won the first of many GP’s the 156 design took in 1961 on its way to dual World Titles; the Drivers and Manufacturers in 1961.

Their isn’t a happy ending for the chassis though, Giancarlo spun out of the wet British GP at Aintree a week after his Reims win doing enough damage to ‘0008’ that it was scrapped…mind you, Ferrari famously destroyed all of the 156’s at the end of the 1962 season when the cars were as uncompetitive as they had been fast the year before.

From mid-engined 2.5 litre F1 prototype at Monaco on May 6 1960 to 1.5 litre F1 winner at Syracusa on 25 April 1961, ‘0008’s story is a short but historically significant and interesting one.

ginther

Enzo Ferrari and the Ferrari 246P designer, Carlo Chiti, watch Martino Severi testing their first mid-engined car ‘246-0008’ at Modena May 1960. (unattributed)

modena

Phil Hill testing the Ferrari 246P at Modena 1960, the suburb oh-so-close to the circuit! Compare the body of ‘0008’ here with its Italian GP spec. (unattributed)

1960 Monaco Grand Prix…

Ginther qualified the new car 9th, between the front engined Dino’s of Von Trips 8th and Phil Hill 10th. In the race Hill was 3rd, Richie 6th and Von Trips 8th but not running at the finish.

ginther monaco

29 year old Richie Ginther makes his GP debut at Monaco 1960. Ferrari 246P. (Dave Friedman Collection)

monaco

Ginther’s new developmental mid-engined Ferrari Dino 246P-0008 #34 beside the conventional front-engined 3rd placed Dino 246 of Phil Hill at Monaco in 1960. Difference in size not that great at this stage. Some sources say Ferrari acquired a Cooper to understand that cars packaging and suspension geometry ‘tricks’. (unattributed)

fazz zand

Ferrari 246P in the Zandvoort pitlane 1960. (unattributed)

The team took the 246P to Zandvoort for the following Dutch GP but the engine, which had not been rebuilt’ was burning and blowing so much oil that it was unraced…

Ginther raced a conventional front engined Dino as did his teammates, they were comprehensively blown off by large numbers of Lotus and Coopers, Ginther in 12th was the quickest Ferrari qualifier; Von Trips was 5th, Ginther 6th and Phil Hill retired with engine failure on lap 13.

The race was won by Jack Brabham’s Cooper T53 Climax on the way to his second title on the trot.

zandvoort

Cars being marshalled before the start of the Dutch GP on June 6 1960. #3  Ginthers Ferrari Dino 246, #5 Alan Stacey Lotus 18 Climax DNF, #12 Bruce McLaren Cooper T53 Climax DNF, #9 Tony Brooks Cooper T51 Climax DNF, #6 Jim Clark Lotus 18 Climax DNF. (unattributed)

Ferrari Dino 246P Technical Specifications…

Whilst ‘0008’ car didn’t race at Zandvoort, photographer George Phillips took some rare shots of a Ferrari too little has been written about, the car practiced with the number ‘3T’.

front

246P front suspension by upper and lower wishbones, coil spring/koni dampers and roll bar. Disc brakes. (George Phillips)

side

Chassis ‘Tipo 543’, welded tubular steel, described as ‘Cooper’ in style if not in the quality of the welding! Borrani wire wheels 15 inches diameter, Dunlop tyres 5.25/6.5 inches wide front/rear. Wheelbase 2300mm, track 1200mm front and rear. Fuel capacity 150 litres. Weight wet 452kg. (George Phillips)

engine

Engine ‘Tipo 171’ derived from the Tipo 134. 65 degree, all alloy, DOHC, 2 valve V6. Bore/stroke 85X71mm, capacity 2417cc. 3 Weber 42 DCN carburettors, twin plugs fired by Marelli magneto, dry sumped. 265bhp@8300rpm. (George Phillips)

rear sus

Rear suspension upper and lower wishbones, coil spring/Koni dampers and roll bar. Gearbox ‘Tipo 543’ 5 speed and reverse, LSD, note also the clutch location at the back of the ‘box. You can just see the top of the inboard brake rotor beside the chassis member. (George Phillips)

Development of the 246P and its Evolution into the 156…

Ferrari decided to abandon further development of the 246P as a 2.5 litre GP car and focus their attention on the front-engined Dino’s for the balance of the season and the future 1.5 Litre GP car for the new Formula 1.

The basis of the new 1.5 litre F1 engine was the Vittorio Jano designed 1.5 litre ‘Dino V6’ already used in Ferrari’s front engined F2 car’s which first raced in 1957.

Von Trips won the 1960 F2 season opening Syracuse GP in March 1960 in one of these cars, ahead of 2 Coopers.

syracuse

Taffy von Trips winning the 10th Syracuse GP, 19 March 1960. Ferrari Dino 156. He won from the Cooper Climaxes of Trintignant and Gendebien. (George Phillips)

Chiti progressively modified the engine, initially retaining the 65 degree angle but then changed to 120 degrees, the wide Vee angle has the benefit of the very low centre of gravity and rear bodywork which was as much a styling signature of the 1961 156 as its ‘sharknose’. ‘Definitive’ spec 1961 156’s raced with the 120 degree engine, but the 65 degree was also used. ‘0008’ was always fitted with the 65 degree spec unit.

solitude

Taffy von Trips at Solitude in ‘0008’ in 1960. LF wheel off the deck. Ferrari 246P/156, victorious over the Porsches. (unattributed)

The test bed for the new engine was the 246P ‘0008’. After the car with revised bodywork and 1.5 litre V6 was fitted it was tested at Modena and then entered at the 10th Solitude F2 GP, Germany on 24 July where Taffy von Trips belted the Porsche 718/2’s, a great F2 car on their home ground, the aristocrat lead home Hans Hermann, Jo Bonnier, Graham Hill and Dan Gurney, all in factory Porsche’s.

Further testing and development of ‘0008’ followed. With many of the British teams punting on the Intercontinental Formula for 1961, Ferrari were developing a formidable weapon for the new 1.5 F1, the implementation of which was confirmed much to the Brits chagrin as they wouldn’t have  competititive engines until 1962.

At the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September Ferrari raced ‘0008’ in what was getting close to the 156’s definitive 1961 specification,‘0008’ in 1.5 litre F2 form was raced by Taffy Von Trips to 5th place fitted with an auxiliary fuel tank amongst the 2.5 litre GP cars.

taffy front

At the Italian GP in September 1960 Ferrari ran Taffy von Trips in 246P/156 ‘0008’. Both this and the shot below show how much more ‘svelte’ the car became compared its Monaco spec in May…not as small as the best of the British cars mind you, but in ’61 the Brits were hamstrung by lack of suitable/competitive engines. (Archie Smith)

von Trips had the 1.5 ltre F2 class to himself outrunning Hermann’s Porsche 718/2 by a full lap. Phil Hill won the race, the final GP victory for a front engined car but it was a hollow one; the sneaky Italians decided to have their 1960 race on the combined Monza road course and banking to maximise the chances of the old-tech Fazz’s winning the race, power the Ferrari’s only advantage over the 4 cylinder Coventry Climax FPF and BRM engined cars. The Brits then told the organisers to ‘jam it’ on safety grounds and most boycotted the event.

taffy rear

von Trips 246P/156 ‘0008’ in the 1960 Monza paddock. Note how much different the rear bodywork is compared with its 246P Monaco spec. (Archie Smith)

grid

Phil Hill’s winning Ferrari Dino 246/60 ‘0007’ # 20 is pushed onto the 1960 Monza grid ahead of von Trips Ferrari Dino 246P/156 ‘0008’. (Archie Smith)

von trips

Taffy von Trips ready for the off, Monza 1960. Ferrari Dino 346P/156. (Archie Smith)

VI Gran Premio di Modena F2 1960…

The final race appearance for the ‘0008’ in 1960 was Ferrari’s home event at Modena on 2 October.

In the same way that Ferrari beat the Porsche’s at Solitude in July so it was that Jo Bonnier’s Porsche beat Richie Ginther in the front-engined 156 from Taffy von Trips in the new 246P/156 suffering from fading brakes.

Hans Hermann was 4th and Edgar Barth 5th, both also driving 718/2 Porsche’s.

bonnier

1960 Modena F2 GP. Jo Bonnier’s Porsche 718/2 leads #26 Ginther’s front engined Ferrari Dino 156 from von Trips mid engined 246P/156. (unattributed)

trips

von Trips Ferrari 246P/156 F2, #10 Edgar Barth Porsche 718/2, #28 Hans Hermann Porsche 718/2. Modena GP 1960 grid. (unattributed)

trips 2

Taffy von Trips, Ferrari Dino 246P/156 ‘0008’ F2, Modena GP 1960. (unattributed)

carlo

The brilliant, portly Tuscan engineer and 246P/156 designer Carlo Chiti explains to von Trips how to get the best from his car. Italian GP, Monza 1960. (Archie Smith)

1961 Beckons…

This development work on the new-fangled mid-engined concept was very successful, the 156 the dominant GP car of 1961; it took the Constructors Championship for Ferrari and Drivers title for Phil Hill. But lets not forget the role the 246P/156 ‘0008’ and Chiti’s development skills and prodigious work output made in that remarkable transition from the back to front of the grid in less than 12 months…

ferrari 156 cutaway

Cutaway drawing of the Ferrari 156 F2 car ‘0008’ in 1960 trim. Spaceframe chassis, double wishbone & coil spring/damper suspension front and rear. ‘Tipo 188’ 1.5 litre 65 degree, DOHC, 2 valve 2 triple -choked Weber carbed V6 giving circa 180bhp in 1960 spec. 5 speed gearbox, Dunlop disc brakes. (James Allington)

Etcetera…

front 2

More detail; von Trips Dino 246P/156 Monza 1960.  (Archie Smith)

butt shot

Ferrari Dino 246P/156 butt shot. Monza paddock, Italian GP 1960. Fairing of the chassis with bodywork of this series of cars, and its aero advantage, superb. (Archie Smith)

monza

Willy Mairesse in his 2.5 litre GP Ferrari Dino 246 tows von Trips 1.5 litre F2 Dino 246P/156 to a good time in the little car, Monza banking. Italian GP 1960. (Archie Smith)

ferrari

The boss at Monza to both suss his new car and the opposition. Enzo Ferrari, Monza, 1960, car is Barth’s factory Porsche 718/2 F2. (Archie Smith)

Etcetera The First 246 Test Session…

Here are a series of photos from the Getty Archives of the first test day at Modena in May 1960. Ferrari is present as is Carlo Chiti, the driver in all of these shots is factory test driver Martino Severi. Car is unpainted, perhaps Ginther not present on day #1.

enzo 1

Ferrari, Severi, Chiti (Getty)

enzo 2

246SP lines clear in this shot, front engined styling on a mid-engined car! Ferrari back to camera (Getty)

enzo 3

(Getty)

enzo 4

Hand formed aluminium panels of the prototype clear as are Borrani ‘knock-ons’ and Dunlop disc brakes (Getty)

enzo 5

The boss looks on and contemplates this big change in the design of his cars, the Scuderia got the hang of it quickly enough! (Getty)

Check out this brief article i wrote about the Ferrari 156 a while back…

https://primotipo.com/2014/12/21/ferrari-156-duet-ricardo-and-phil-spa-1962/

Also see this article on Giancarlo Baghetti which covers the 1961 record of both him and 156 ‘0008’ in 1961…

https://primotipo.com/2015/05/08/giancarlo-baghetti-lotus-49-ford-italian-grand-prix-1967/

Some great Monaco 1960 Race Footage…

Photo Credits…

George Phillips, Dave Friedman Collection, Archie Smith, Getty Images

Bibliography…

F1 Technical, F2 Register, 8W.forix.com, James Allington cutaway drawing, barchetta.cc, Doug Nye ‘History of the GP Car 1965-85’

Tailpiece: Lets Leave Monaco by Train as we Arrived…

train

(Dave Friedman Collection)

Finito…

 

image

The beautifully finished and trimmed cockpit of Clarks’ Lotus 25 at Monaco 1963. Leather bound Mota-Lita steering wheel, a dash full of Smiths instruments including its famed chronometric tach and right hand change for the 5 speed ZF ‘box. Naked aluminium of the monocoque chassis below the shift lever. (Yves Debraine)

The tell-tale on Jim Clarks Lotus 25 after his retirement from the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix is at 9500rpm…

He was comfortably in the lead of the race by 14 seconds when the car engaged 2 gears at once on the entry to the Gasometer hairpin. Graham Hill inherited a lead he maintained to the race’ conclusion.

image

Clark in classical pose. Lotus 25 Climax. (Eric Della Faille)

The Lotus 25, the first ‘modern monocoque’ appeared at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1962 and was much copied for the 1963 season. For ’63 the car remained much unchanged other than small details and power increases from the Coventry Climax FWMV 1.5 litre quad cam, 2 valve V8.

Lucas fuel injection was adopted and a changed bore/stroke ratio allowed higher rpm and power.

Lotus retained the ZF gearbox but also tried a 6 speed Colotti-Francis ‘box and later in the season a Hewland 5 speed transmission which would soon become ubiquitous.

image

Surtees gesticulating at the fast approaching Ginther. (Marti)

John Surtees and Richie Ginther in Ferrari T56 and BRM P57 respectively scrapped for much of the race, this shot is on the entry to the Gasometer hairpin. Ginther tries to pass with Surtees gesticulating in protest.

Ginther finished second to teammate Hill, with Surtees, sitting in a pool of oil and with falling oil pressure finished fourth and set fastest lap on the last lap and the lap record. McLaren was third in his Cooper T66 Climax.

image

John Surtees eyes focused on a Monaco apex, Ferrari T56/156. (Yves Debraine)

Ferrari competed with interim cars for much of the season using the V6 engines which won the World Championships in 1961. The 1964 car appeared at Monza powered by a V8, the development of the car in ’63 setting up Surtees’ tight title victory in 1964.

dark

Surtees again, here chasing winner Graham Hill’s BRM P57. (unattributed)

clark monaco lotus 25

Clark enroute to what seemed a certain victory, before the intervention of gearbox dramas in his lithe, lissom utterly luvverly Lotus 25. (Unattributed)

hill winner

To the victor, the spoils. Graham Hill ‘The King of Monaco’ after the first of his 5 wins in the Principality. (Getty Images)

image

Lotus 25 Climax cutaway drawing by James Allington…

This short article makes no attempt to put into perspective one of the most successful and influential racing cars of all time, the first ‘modern monocoque’ includes amongst its relatives all monocoque racing cars built since its debut at Zandvoort in May 1962.

‘Monocoque’ construction by riveted ‘D section’ light alloy longerons attached to fabricated steel bulkheads front and rear.

Front suspension by upper top rocker operating inboard mounted coil spring /damper unit, lower wishbone and adjustable sway bar. Rear suspension by upper top link, inverted lower wishbone and coil spring/damper unit and adjustable sway bars. Cast alloy uprights front and rear.

Girling disc brakes, rack and pinion steering.

Wheelbase 91 inches, track front 51.5 inches, rear 51.75 inches, overall length 146 inches, dry weight 990 pounds. Wheel sizes 5X15 front and 6 or 6.5X15 inches at rear.

Coventry Climax FWMV 1.5 litre 90 degree V8. Bore 67.8mm, stroke 51.6mm, 1496cc, Lucas fuel injection, compression ratio 10.5:1, weight 290lb, 194bhp @ 8500rpm.

ZF gearbox mainly used in 1963 but Colotti and Hewland also tried.

Clark and Chapman

Clark and Chapman with a ’63 spec 25, its essential elements as described above. (Unattributed)

Clarks 1963 Championships…

Clark Zandvoort 1963

Jim Clark, Dutch Grand Prix June 1963. Jim zooms his Lotus 25 between the North Sea sand dunes at Zandvoort on his way to victory. (Yves Debraine)

That Jim Clark and the Lotus 25 were the fastest combination in 1962 was not in doubt but Coventry Climax reliability was not as great as BRM’s that year. In 1963 the promise of ’62 was realised with Clark winning five Grands’ Prix and both the Drivers Championship for himself and the first Manufacturers Championship for Lotus.

Clark finished second in a Lotus 29 Ford in his first foray to Indianapolis and further demonstrated his versatility with wins in cars as diverse as the Lotus 23 sports car and Ford Galaxie touring car/saloon that year.

Clark became the standard by which other drivers were judged in 1963, if not earlier.

Auto Year 13

The cover shot of Clark is at the Dutch Grand Prix, Clark won on the 25’s debut there in 1962 and in 1963 and 1964, all in 25’s and in 1965 in the updated Lotus 33 also Climax FWMV V8 powered.

Oulton Park Gold Cup 1963…

clark winning oulton gold cup 1963

Not only did Jim Clark win the Oulton Park Gold Cup during 1963 but he also recorded some stunning in car footage at the Cheshire circuit in his Lotus 25, such footage very rare at the time.

There were four Non-Championship F1 races in the UK alone in 1963, lucky Brits! The footage is amazing on so many levels not the least of which is a drivers eye period view of the circuit; typical track edges, the lack of run off areas and the topography of trees, ditches and the like for the unwary…and this is a circuit devoid of the ‘special obstacles’ of the ultra dangerous road circuits of the day on which Clark raced. The Nurburgring, Spa, Reims, Pescara and Longford here in Australia spring to mind.

Ok, he is not racing but the precision and accuracy for which he was renowned is also on display…

An ace in every sense of the word.

clark atop 25 oulton park 63

Etcetera…

Lotus 25 camera car

Clark tootling thru the Oulton paddock in his ‘camera car’, its a bit hard to pick out the beefy mount against the dark background. And to think in the day of the ‘GoPro’ this was how it was done only a short time ago. Even when the specialists at Channel 7 in Australia popularised in car footage in the ‘Bathurst 1000’ in the late 70’s the heavy rig occupied a good percentage of the rear seat area…progress! (Unattributed)

image

Photo Credits…

Yves Debraine, Eric Della Faille, Marti, James Allington cutaway drawing, Automobile Year 13, Peter Windsor

Finito…

 

 

 

Ginther Spa 1965

Richie Ginther in search of the La Source Hairpin apex, with photographers’ assistance, Honda RA272, Belgian GP, Spa 1965…

Soichiro Honda was a talented engineer who created the largest motorcycle manufacturing company in the world, it could be said that he helped mobilise the masses in many ‘Third World countries’.

He was a passionate racer himself and in the early 1960’s started to challenge the dominance of the European motorcycle marques, notably MV Agusta on the circuits of the world.

Tom Phillis

Aussie Tom Phillis broke thru for Hondas’ maiden GP win in the 1961 Spanish 125cc GP. Honda entered all the 125/250cc events from 1960, Honda won both titles that year. Honda entered 500cc racing in 1966, and took 138 wins in its ‘first sortie’ to the World Championships, before taking a break in 1967 (unattributed)

By that time Honda R&D already had a Cooper T53 Climax, a 2.5 litre F1 car to tinker with and study, they announced their entry into Grand Prix Racing in 1964, a sensational 1.5 litre transversely mounted V12 stressed-skin chassis car their weapon of choice.

image

Honda had started building road cars, the S600 and S800 sports cars and by 1972 built their first Civic, a car which didn’t revolutionise the class but bought amazing standards of refinement and performance into the market for the time. It was the first of many outstanding mass market cars which would define the marque as the ‘Japanese BMW’ in the eyes of many.

Honda were on a climb and motor racing was a part of the plan to develop innovative technology, resilient engineers and promote and build the Honda brand.

Soichiro Honda

Soichiro Honda watching the performance of one of his ‘bikes, at close quarters! during the 1960 Isle of Man TT (unattributed)

Honda RA271…

The chief engineer of the project was Yoshio Nakamura, later to become the CEO of Honda.

The initial prototype, the RA270F was a space frame car, derivative of the Cooper, and was tested extensively at Arakawa on 6 February 1964 and then Suzuka, by many including Jack Brabham. Brabham and his partner Ron Tauranac were to race Honda 1 litre, 4 cylinder engines in their F2 Brabhams, winning the European F2 Championship in 1966.

In fact Honda had decided to be an F1 engine manufacturer, not the builder of their own chassis and had entered into a partnership with Lotus, but problems with Lotus’ existing Ford agreements precluded contract execution by Lotus…so Honda built the chassis after all.

Honda RA270F prototype

Soichiro Honda with the RA270F prototype spaceframe F1 car in 1964, he was one of many who tested the car. (Honda International)

The definitive RA271 used a stressed skin monocoque chassis which ended at the rear of the cockpit to which was mounted the transverse 60 degree 1495cc V12.

A tubular subframe picked up the rear suspension assembly which could be unbolted and wheeled away.

The engine used DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder and was fed initially by 6 Keihin carburettors mounted across the frame behind the cockpit. Fuel injection was being developed and was soon adapted to the engine. Power takeoff was by spur gears from the centre of the crankshaft driving directly into a transverse shaft 6 speed transaxle.

Honda RA271 Monza 1964

Honda RA271, Monza 1964, the fuel injected version of the engine appeared for the first time. The engine developed circa 220bhp@11000rpm in 1964, more than was claimed for the BRM and Coventry Climax V8’s and about what Ferrari claimed for their championship winning V8 that season. (unattributed)

Front suspension was by top rocker operating inboard mounted coil spring damper units and lower wishbone. Rear was by reversed lower wishbone, single top link with outboard mounted coil spring damper units and two radius rods providing lateral location. Sway bars were adjustable front and rear.

Dunlop disc brakes were used and Goodyear tyres, Honda and Brabham the first users of Goodyear in F1.

RA271 rear

‘Things Go Better With Coke’… cheap oil catch tank! RA271 rear end showing upper and lower wishbones, coil spring damper units. Rear mounted battery and alloy casing of the 6 speed Honda transaxle mounted aft of the engine where it was parallel with and driven from the centre of the crankshaft. Rear Dunlop discs inboard. (unattributed)

Ronnie Bucknum…

Bucknum and mechanics Monza 1964

A Honda mechanic, Yoshio Nakamura and Ronnie Bucknum working things out upon the RA271 race debut…Nurburgring pit apron 1964. None of the ‘flash surroundings’ for mechanics of the modern era. (Bernard Cahier)

Somewhat bizarrely the Japanese, as if to emphasise the experimental nature of the car chose Bucknum, a little known American sports car driver to pilot the car, his family owned a Honda dealership in the US and he raced an S600 at home. These days a ‘Superlicence’ would not have been issued!

He tested the car extensively in Japan before the cars first race in the German GP, at the Nurburgring, what a baptism of fire for car and driver in August 1964!

Bucknum qualified the RA271 slowest, no disgrace and then drove a steady race in the wet, the power curve of the engine somewhat peaky, and was in 11th place when a steering problem caused him to crash out of the race.

Bucknum German GP 1964

Ronnie Bucknum during the 1964 German GP upon Hondas debut. He drove the RA271 sensibly in difficult, wet conditions, crashing out after steering problems (Honda International)

The team missed the Austrian GP but returned with the definitive fuel injected version of the engine at Monza, qualifying mid grid and racing in fifth before overheating problems intervened.

In the US he retired with a blown head gasket to finish the teams truncated first season.

1965, Final Year of the 1.5 Litre Formula…

Ginther Spa 1965 RA272

Ginther in the RA272, wet Spa 1965, not for the faint hearted!

Honda were more serious about its 1965 campaign building a new car, the RA272 and signing Richie Ginther ex-BRM and Ferrari, and a noted test and development driver to lead the team, retaining Bucknum for a second year.

The team were based in Amsterdam, the centre of their distribution operation in Europe.

The power of the engine was increased from circa 220bhp@11000rpm to 230bhp@12000rpm with chassis weight reduced by 30kg.

Minimising heat build up became key as the engines lost power significantly as the races wore on, Ginthers ‘bonzai’ starts came to nought as the engines lost grunt.

The cars appeared at Monaco, qualifying up the back and both dropped out, Richie with a UJ failure and Ronnie with gear change maladies.

Ginther RA272 Monaco 1965

Ginthers’ RA272 Monaco 1965. Ginther DNF with a driveshaft failure in the race won by Hills’ BRM P261. Note the evolution of the cars rear suspension compared with the RA271 above. Much neater and ‘conventional’ single top link and inverted lower wishbone. (unattributed)

The Belgian GP was typically wet, Ginther qualified fourth and finished sixth, Bucknums’ transaxle failed. Both cars failed to finish at the French GP with ignition problems although Richie qualified 7th.

Spa 1965 Belgian GP start

The sheer majesty of Spa…treacherous wet ’65 GP won by Clarks’ Lotus 33 Climax. From the start its Hill and Stewart in BRM P261’s, Ginther, Honda RA272, Siffert, Brabham BT11 BRM, Surtees, Ferrari 158, Dan Gurney, Brabham BT11 Climax, Bruce McLaren, Cooper T77 Climax, Jo Bonnier, Brabham BT7 Climax and the rest…(unattributed sensational shot)

The Honda was well suited to the wide open spaces of ex-RAF airfield Silverstone, one car was entered for Ginther, he duly qualified 3rd and lead from the start, the Honda yowling its way out front, he ran third for much of the race but again ignition problems ended his race.

British GP 1965

British GP, Silverstone start 1965. Ginther is 3rd on the grid. Clark is on pole in his Lotus 33 Climax, Hill alongside in BRM P261, then Ginther RA272 and on the outside Jackie Stewart in the other #4 BRM P261. Ferrari 1512 #1 is John Surtees. (unattributed)

He again qualified 3rd at Zandvoort and lead the race but then spun twice and finished 6th.

Honda missed the Nurburgring but reappeared at Monza with engines mounted lower and using sleeker bodywork, Bucknum qualified 6th and Richie 17th after various dramas but both ‘popped engines’ again failing to finish.

Both cars finished for the first time at Watkins Glen in the US Grand Prix, Bucknum an uninspired 13th and Richie 7th having again qualified 3rd.

And so onto the last race of the season and of the 1.5 litre formula. The Magdalena Mixhuca circuit at Mexico City was the venue for the Mexican Grand Prix, famous for the difficulties caused for engines at a height 7500 feet above sea level.

Ginther again! qualified 3rd and Bucknum tenth. At the drop of the flag Richie simply took the lead and ran off into the distance, the little jewel of an engine never missing a beat scoring Hondas’, Goodyears’ and Ginthers’ first Grand Prix victories.

Bucknum was a strong 5th. Hondas fuel injection system, problematic at times was one of the reasons for the Mexican success, thriving at the higher altitude.

And so Honda won a famous and well deserved win and would be back late in 1966 with a heavy but powerful 3 litre V12 engined car, the RA273…

Ginther Mexican GP 1965

Richie Ginther lead the Mexican GP in 1965 from start to finish, heat and altitude notwithstanding. He is swinging his RA272 into Horquila Corner, the hairpin. (Bernard Cahier)

As an enthusiast i love those marques which have racing as part of their DNA, for that Honda have their founder to thank.

Soichiro Honda gave the following press conference speech after the Mexico win, i love the insights it provides into his thinking about how ‘racing improves the breed’.

He said, ‘Ever since we first decided to build cars we have worked hard and been willing to take the most difficult path. Now we must study the reasons why we lose, and do the same when we win, so that we can use that knowledge to improve the quality of our cars and make them safer for our customers. Thats our duty. Once we had established our goal, we decided to choose the most difficult path to get there. This is why we entered the Grand Prix series. We will therefore not be content with this victory alone. We will study why we won and aggressively apply those technologies to new cars’.

image

Honda RA272 cutaway

Honda RA272 cutaway drawing by Yoshiro Inomoto

Etcetera…

Honda Team Nurburgring 1964

Honda unload their RA271 at the Nurburgring upon their GP debut, German GP 1964. (unattributed)

Ginther and Hill Zandvoort 1965

Graham Hill and Richie Ginther dicing at Zandvoort, Dutch GP 1965. Hill 4th in his BRM P261 and Richie 6th in his Honda RA272 in the race won by Clarks’ Lotus 33 Climax, Clark the ’65 Champ. (unattributed)

Honda RA272 engine

Honda RA272 engine; 1495cc 60degree, transversely mounted DOHC, 4 valve, fuel injected V12. Circa 230bhp@13000rpm in 1965. (Bernard Cahier)

Honda RA272 cockpit

Honda RA272 cockpit. (unattributed)

Ginther celebrating his Mexico victory 1965

Ginther and engineer Nakamura celebrate their 1965 Mexican GP victory. (unattributed)

Sources…

Doug Nye ‘The History of The Grand Prix Car 1945-65’, Honda International

Bernard Cahier, Yoshiro Inomoto

Finito…