Modern Formula 1 is almost all about aerodynamics. The art of directing airflow around a car seems quite mundane today, but when Colin Chapman first added ‘wings’ to his Lotus 49B in 1968 in order to generate downforce it was a revolution.
As is often the way with innovation, the other teams first tried to ban the Lotus, and then copied it, including its innovative use of the Cosworth DFV engine as a structural component in the chassis, and much of Chapman’s design is still in standard use in F1 today.
Chapman’s Lotus 49 won both the Constructor’s and Driver’s World Championships twice, and also lays claim to being the first ever Formula 1 car to feature a racing livery, again – normal now, but a revolution in the 1960s.
This exquisite recreation of one of the greatest (perhaps the greatest) Formula 1 car ever designed comes from previous bloggee Lucas Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) who continues to upload his extensive catalogue of beautiful historic racing cars to Flickr.
Luca’s 1968 Lotus 49B features working suspension, steering, and a beautiful replica Cosworth DFV V8 engine, and you can see more of the build as well as his other incredible creations by clicking the link to his photostream above.
Race car building legend Luca Rusconi (aka RoscoPC) has been building his stunning historic racing cars for the best part of a decade. He’s recently uploaded another one of his glorious creations to Flickr (where we hope many more will follow), and thus we’re able to publish it here. It’s also one of the weirder racing cars in Luca’s garage, although it might not look remarkable at first glance.
Any classic racing fan will know of the incredible performances of the Lotus F1 team. Led by Colin Chapman, and powered by the legendary Cosworth DFV engine, the partnership delivered four Driver and five Constructor World Championship titles. However, before the DFV was ready Chapman needed an engine to put into his new 43 Formula 1 car for the 1966 season. He turned to previous Championship Winners BRM, and their unique P75 H16 engine.
Yup, H16. Basically two Flat-8 engines stacked on top of one another, yet only 3 litres in capacity. Unfortunately the unusual design was unusual for a reason – reliability. Or lack of it.
Heavy, extremely complicated, and constantly breaking, the BRM engine in Chapman’s Lotus 43 caused it to retire from every race bar one during the 1966 season. However, that one finish was a race win at the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, showing that when it worked, the Lotus 43 was quick. Really Quick.
The following year in ’67 the new Cosworth DFV 3 litre V8 engine was ready, Ford added their sponsorship to it (in a stroke of marketing genius), and the year after that the DFV starting a Championship Winning streak that went unbroken for seven years.
BRM’s mental P75 H16 engine was quickly forgotten, although the team continued to produce Formula 1 cars until the late 1970s, and Lotus forged on with a Cosworth partnership that was to become one of the most successful ever seen in the sport.
However, we think the Lotus 43 BRM H16 deserves a little recognition. It was a race winner after all, and for a brief moment two of Britain’s greatest F1 teams combined to produce something, well… a little bit crap.
RoscoPC’s homage to that disastrous partnership pictured here was first built in 2010 and is now available to view in wonderful detail on Flickr. It features working steering, suspension, beautiful detailing, and – of course – a recreation of one of the maddest engines ever seen in Formula 1.
You can see all of the images of Luca’s incredible Lotus 43 build at his photostream via the link above, and if you’re curious to know what an H16 Formula 1 engine sounds like, click here…
Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s philosophy is more true today than it has ever been. Excess weight in car design is a very bad thing, and it’s something that has got out of hand in recent times. It ruins handling, acceleration, braking, and fuel consumption, yet auto manufacturers seem to have shown little concern for it over the last two decades.
Finally however, after cars becoming increasingly heavy with each successive generation, emissions and fuel consumption concerns have forced manufacturers to rethink the way that their products are designed. For the first time in, well… ever, the next generation of a car is usually lighter than the model it replaces.
The problem of excess weight is much the same with powered Lego creations, blighting performance and – just like real cars – requiring more and more power to overcome it. It’s therefore a refreshing change to find a builder who has focussed on stripping as much weight out of their creation as possible, all in the name of performance.
This wonderfully minimalist remote control 4×4 trophy truck is the work of previous bloggee paave, and it only requires one motor for drive and another for steering to give it remarkable off-road ability. You can see paave’s truck in action on both Eurobricks and MOCpages, whilst we congratulate ourselves on writing a whole post about excess weight without mentioning your Mom. Damn…