Tag Archives: Rindt

Swiss Hill Climb Champion – Abarth Simca 2Mila Corsa #0051

Keen to promote a sporting image Simca turned to renowned Fiat tuner and racing car manufacturer Carlo Abarth to help them achieve their goal in the early 1960’s.

Abarth Simca 2Mila, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Alongside his work producing performance tuning parts for Simca Abarth developed the 140mph Abarth Simca 1300GT based on Simca 1000 running gear in 1962 which won it’s class in the 1964 World Manufacturers’ Championship for sports cars with drivers Tom Fleming, Otto Linton, James Diaz, Pietro Laureati, Secondo Ridolfi, Hans Herrmann, Fritz Jüttner, Hans-Dieter Dechent, Denis Borel, Ernst Furtmayr, Klaus Steinmetz, Herbert Demetz and Anton Fischhaber all contributing to the manufacturers win.

Abarth Simca 2Mila, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

1964 Abarth also started racing the 2 litre / 122 cui 2Mila that was powered by a motor producing around 200hp, unfortunately the transmission could not cope with the power in the longer races and only Hans Herman recorded a class win in the 1964 World Manufacturers’ Championship for sports cars in the IV. Coppa di Citta Enna while leaving Porsche to win the 2 litre class from Alfa Romeo.

Abarth Simca 2Mila, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

In shorter non championship events and hillclimbs the 2Mila recorded at least 9 further victories and 3 additional class wins up until 1966 by which time the project had been abandoned by Abarth after Simca was merged into Chrysler Europe.

Abarth Simca 2Mila, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

The remaining known overall and class spoils for the model were divided between Eberhard Mahle, Franco Patria 6, Kurt Ahrens Jr, Jochen Rindt 2, Jody Porter and Herbert Demetz.

Abarth Simca 2Mila, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Today’s featured chassis #0051 was bought new by Dr Hans Kuhnis who won the 1965 Swiss GT Championship with it, allegedly Dr Kuhnis had his wife harrang Abarth on the Monday after every event to ensure he had the latest parts in time for the following event.

Abarth Simca 2Mila, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

Middle Barton Garage undertook a restoration of #0051 in 2006, fitting gear ratio’s that give the car a top speed of 155mph for it’s owner.

Thanks for joining me on this “Swiss Hill Climb Champion” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


No Angel – Tom Bower

A couple of weeks ago a friend gave me a copy of No Angel, a biography billed as “The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone” by Tom Bower.

No Angel Tom Bower

As a fan of Formula One who has grown up as Bernie Ecclestone evolved from emerging team owner of the Brabham team into Formula One’s self styled de facto benevolent dictator I found this an extremely engaging book.

The book covers Bernie’s humble beginnings in Suffolk, his days trading toys in the school playground in Dartford to becoming a prominent member of the not so well heeled post war London motor trade.

The Ecclestones were not ones for celebrating anything and Bernie’s sharp mind soon focused on little else except making money through motorbikes, cars, property development and private aircraft.

His unique selling point appears to be ability to sum up the value of anything and everything in an instant and make an offer that was always advantageous to himself.

He became involved in motor racing at Brands Hatch racing Formula 500’s with some success before retiring from the sport after a couple of accidents.

Bernie returned to the sport to manage the career of Stuart Lewis Evans but left the sport after Stuart died from burns sustained from an accident in the 1958 Moroccan Grand Prix.

Through his friendship with Roy Slvadori Bernie became acquainted with a young firebrand named Jochen Rindt and their love of gambling and deal making led Bernie to manage Jochen’s career right up until his death at Monza in 1970.

In 1972 Ron Tauranac accepted Bernie’s offer of £100,000 for the Brabham Formula One team and in 1974 the team started winning Formula One races again and by 1988 when Bernie sold the team for $5 million the team had supplied Nelson Piquet with championship winning cars in 1981 and 1983.

From 1972 on, with the agreement of his fellow competitors Bernie also took on an ever greater part of the deal making that went on to secure start money and prize money for the British Formula One teams.

Soon Bernie was determining which races would be part of the World Drivers and Constructors Championships while securing the increasingly valuable TV rights and profits.

All this extra activity led to many arguments with fellow team owners, race organisers and of course the authorities posing in blazers who liked to think they were in charge.

Tom Bowers book tells of several offers Bernie made to both the Formula One teams and even the sports governing body to invest in their own future which were repeatedly turned down which Bernie took as a signal to take an ever deeper cut of the profits particularly from the TV rights and fees race promoters pay to secure an event on the championship calendar.

Bernie certainly does not come across as an angel backing all comers until it is time to see the green backs, dumping anyone who does not meet his exacting demands like a lead balloon, but through it all he does come across as extremely passionate about the sport even though by the time any one race has ended he is already on his way to the next.

I spent a couple of weeks over the Christmas break reading the book and I’d recommend No Angel to anyone who has an interest in motor sport or making money, unfortunately my interest has only ever been in the former.

Thanks for joining me on this “No Angel” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a car called “Elvis”. Don’t forget to come back now.


April Fool ? – Lotus 72 B #72/R1

On the 1st of April 1970 the press were invited to see the Lotus 72 for the first time. The clean wedge shape was a return to the theme from the 1968 Lotus 56 Indy Car and Lotus 58 Formula 2/Tasman car.

Lotus 72C, Goodwood Festival of Speed

When the car was first tested by works drivers Jochen Rindt, John Miles and John Walkers driver Graham Hill they all reported the cars innovative front anti dive and rear anti squat suspension which aimed to reduced suspension travel under braking and acceleration was difficult to drive on the limit.

Lotus 72C, Goodwood Festival of Speed

As a result of this Jochen Rindt got his 1970 championship campaign under way with a fortuitous win in Monaco driving an updated four year old design in the form of a Lotus 49 C.

Lotus 72C, Goodwood Festival of Speed

At the 1970 Dutch Prix Lotus arrived with the second 72 chassis #72R2 updated to C-specification, with the anti dive and anti squat features of the suspension removed, for Jochen Rindt to drive which he found much more to his liking and proceeded a sting of four successive wins in Holland, France, Britain and Germany which gave Jochen what would become an unassailable lead in the World Championship.

Lotus 72C, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Unfortunately during practice for the 1970 Italian GP when he was testing #72/R2 without any wings, under braking an inboard front brake shaft broke, sending the 28 year old Jochen into a crash barrier post with fatal results.

Lotus 72C, Goodwood Festival of Speed

New team leader Emerson Fittipaldi won the last race of the 1970 season driving a new 72 C. Jochen Rindt became the only posthumous World Champion and Lotus won their 4th Constructors Championship. For 1971 the Lotus 72 C proved to be not quite so competitive against Jackie Stewart and the Tyrrell Team, but otus would bounce back with the upgraded Lotus 72 D in 1972.

Lotus 72C, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Lotus 72 #72/R1 is the only remaining 1970 spec car left, it was the car shown to the press on April 1st 1970 and subsequently entered and raced for Jochen’s team mate John Miles in original and B spec with only the anti squat removed from the rear suspension. John’s best result was a 7th place finish in the 1970 Dutch Grand Prix.

The Lotus 72 spawned many successful imitations including the McLaren M16 multiple winning Indy car and the McLaren M23 multiple world championship winning Grand Prix car.

Today’s Grand Prix and Indy cars all fitted with side radiators in side pods can all be said to be descendants of the Lotus 72.

Note the cockpit surround of #72/R1 has a shallow perspex screen from a later post 1972 Lotus 72.

Thanks for joining me on this “April Fool ?” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cut and Bury – Lotus Ford 64

After coming close to winning the 1968 Indianapolis 500 with the Pratt & Whitney gas turbine powered Lotus 56 driven by Joe Leonard the powers at Indianapolis decided to ban gas turbine power and all wheel drive for the 1969 season, but eventually relented and allowed all wheel drive vehicles that had wheels no more than 9″ wide all round. Rear wheel drive vehicles were allowed to go to 14″ wide wheels at the rear.

Lotus Ford 64, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Colin Chapman rose to the challenge of building a car to the new regulations with the financial encouragement from Andy Granatelli’s STP Oil Treatment. The Lotus 64 was a new chassis which was powered by a 700hp turbocharged double overhead cam Ford V8 motor driving an all wheel drive system that was lifted from the Lotus 56 as indeed was much of the rest of the chassis.

In order to connect the motor to the mid mounted gearbox the motor had to be mounted backwards so the drive came from the front, as on the ill feted Lotus Ford 63 all wheel drive Grand Prix car.

Mario Andretti, Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt were lined up to drive the three team cars and a spare was built just in case of unforeseeable eventualities. Straight out of the box the cars were on the pace of the gas turbine Lotus 56 from the year before setting record speeds. However Mario Andretti’s car had a rear hub failure which sent him into the wall. Mario was lucky to get away with superficial burns to his face and after it was determined the failure was due to a design fault that could not be rectified in the available time frame the three Lotus 64’s were withdrawn from the race.

Mario jumped into the #2 Hawk Ford belonging to Granatelli and promptly qualified 2nd to AJ Foyt and then won the race after Lloyd Ruby was knocked out of contention by leaving the pits with his refueling hose still attached.

Andy Granatelli wanted to buy one of the remaining 64’s but when negotiations broke down Colin Chapman is alleged to have ordered the now engineless cars be returned to Hethel, Lotus home base, where he promised to take a hack saw to them personally cut them up and dig a whole and personally bury them. As it turned out all three cars were put in a shed.

Jochen Rindt’s #80 is seen above sans motor, this is the second of the three remaining 64’s to have emerged in recent years the other one has a correct Ford motor installed.

Thanks for joining me on this “Cut and Bury” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first car to record a 200 mph average closed circuit lap during a race. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fourth Season Swan Song – Lotus 49C #R6/2 & #R10

For 1970 Lotus had planned to have the 4 Wheel Drive Lotus 63 ready to challenge for championship honours however even Mario Andretti could not capitalise on any of the cars supposed advantages during 1969 and so the Lotus 49 was updated for a fourth season of competition with 13 inch front wheels to make use of the latest Firestone Tyres as a stop gap while the design and build of the Lotus 72 was finalised.

Lotus 49C, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The car seen above is Lotus #R6/2 the second car to carry the #R6 chassis plate. The first incarnation of #R6 was the first 49 to be built to ‘B’ spec. Unfortunately it was written off by Jackie Oliver during practice for the 1968 French Grand Prix, and in order to make use of existing travel documents the eighth Lotus 49 to be built was given the #R6 chassis plate and is known as #R6/2. Some parts of #R6/1 damaged beyond repair by Oliver are thought to have been used in the replacement #R6/2 seen here, Rob Walkers privately entered 49 #R7, and the #R12 show car built for Ford which was donated to the Donington Museum.

In it’s second incarnation #R6/2 still in high wing ‘B’ spec was used by Graham Hill to win the 1968 Mexican Grand Prix which clinched the 1968 World Championships for Graham and Team Lotus. Graham continued to use #R6/2 in 1969 before the car was given to Jochen Rindt to drive. Jochen scored his first two Grand Prix victories with R6/2 the 1968 US Grand Prix with the car in ‘B’ spec and the 1970 Monaco Grand Prix with the car ‘C’ spec with the low triple plane rear wing that was designed for the Lotus 72. Jochens win at Monaco would be the third consecutive win in the Principality and also the 12th and final Grand Prix win for the Lotus 49 type.

Lotus 49C, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The second Lotus 49C featured today appears to be chassis #R10 which has given me a bit of a mental run around. This car appeared at Goodwood last year in high wing ‘B’ spec.

Lotus 49C, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

As you can see from my heavily revised Lotus 49B blog the car started life as Lotus 49 #R5 and for reasons that are not clear the car was renumbered #R10 and sent to the Antipodes for Jochen Rindt to use in the Tasman Series.

Lotus 49C, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Graham Hill used #R10 to win the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix as he had done in 1968 when the car carried the chassis #R5. In 1970 Graham drove #R10 in the 1970 Monaco Grand Prix to fifth place when it was loaned out to the Rob Walker team for whom he was driving.

Emerson Fittipaldi made his first three Grand Prix starts in #R10 towards the end of 1970 scoring a best 4th place finish second time out in the 1970 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Thanks for joining me on this “Forth Season Swan Song” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


White Elephant – Lotus 63

The thinking behind the Lotus 63 intended to capitalise on the lessons learned from the all wheel drive Lotus 56 Champ Car, which nearly won the Indy 500 in 1968, and replace the Lotus 49 for the 1969 Grand Prix season.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

Colin Chapman recognised that the 3 litre / 183 cui Ford Cosworth DFV V8 which he had been responsible for commissioning with Ford finance had more power than the Lotus 49 could properly utilise even with the aid of wings which generated downforce on the wheels when in motion.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

Having learned about the benefits of all wheel drive from the Lotus 56 Indianapolis programme Colin Directed Maurice Phillipe to design an all wheel drive car for Grand Prix racing, this was by no means the first such Grand Prix vehicle the 1961 Ferguson P99 featured such a transmission and won the non championship 1961 Oulton Park Gold Cup with Stirling Moss at the wheel.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

The fuel cells for the 63 were built into the sides of the car and under the drivers seat !

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

The mounting of the Cosworth DFV broke with tradition having the clutch at the front driving the four wheels through shafts mounted in tunnels on the left hand side of the car. The second pipe from the left in this photo is connected to the radiator at the front.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

To reduce unsprung weight and improve handling the ventilated disc brakes were mounted in board front and rear.

Lotus 63, Donington Park Museum

Graham Hill tested the Lotus 63 once and refused to race it feeling the car was unsafe, Jochen Rindt managed a best second place in the non championship 1969 Oulton Park but like Hill was not keen on driving a car with his feet ahead of the front axles and his legs beneath them !

Grand Prix novice John Miles who did the bulk of the testing for the model, because Chapman thought he would lack any preconceptions to hinder development, managed one non points finish from four starts and Mario Andretti crashed in both races he started with the Lotus 63. By the end of 1969 the car was running with a heavy drive bias to the rear thus negating the advantages of four wheel drive and so the car was abandoned as a white elephant in favour of the new Lotus 72 design which would set the Grand Prix world alight in 1970.

The Lotus 63 featured today is regularly on view at the Donington Park Museum.

Owner driver Roger Dawson – Damer lost his life in an accident while driving his Lotus 63 at the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘White Elephant’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow when I’ll be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Maserati Merak. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS I hope you will join me in wishing GALPOT contributor Ralf Pickel a speedy recovery from a nasty accident at Hockenheim in which he broke both legs last week.


Choice Of Champions – Lotus 49B #R10 & #R12

The story of the Lotus 49 in all of it’s guises is inextricably linked to the one component that was a decade ahead of it’s time the Ford DFV motor, which did not win it’s last race until 1983 and was still being used in 1985 running against turbocharged powered cars.

Lotus 49B, Goodwood, FoS

The Lotus 49 was originally built to compete in the 1967 Formula One season for drivers Jim Clark and Graham Hill. Colin Chapman had arranged for Ford to finance the building of the 3 litre / 183 cui Ford Cosworth V8 engine which like the BRM H16 Colin had used in 1966 was to be used as an integral component of the chassis, ie, if you take the motor out of the car the rear wheels would no longer be connected to the rest of the car sufficiently to be able to even push it.

Lotus 49B, Goodwood, FoS

The Lotus 49 design, credited to Maurice Phillipe, was based on the 1965 Indy winning Lotus 38 which Len Terry is credited with being responsible for. Jim Clark drove the Lotus 49 to a debut win in the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix. The Type 49 in all it’s guises won 12 Grand Prix in total the last a lucky last lap win at the 1970 Monaco Grand Prix with Jochen Rindt at the wheel.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

These air ducts, introduced on the 49B in 1969, allowed air to pass through the radiator and escape over the top of the car, where as on the original car the air had passed through the nose cone and out the sides of the car ahead of the front suspension units.

Lotus 49B, Goodwood, FoS

Producing around 400 hp when it first became available, Colin Chapman had an advantage over every other car in the field with the light and reliable Cosworth DFV which had years of development ahead of it that would see it’s output reach just short of 500 hp in 1985. Unfortunately, for Colin Chapman, realising that they needed to be seen running against other competitive teams Ford renegade on it’s exclusive deal with Lotus at the end of 1967 and allowed Ken Tyrrells Matra team to use Ford engines as well in 1968. By the mid 1970’s only Ferrari and BRM were the only regular runners not using Cosworth DFV’s.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

In 1968 Brabham and Ferrari copied the high aerofoil concept first seen on the Chaparral 2E Can Am car in 1966 and on the 1967 Chaparral 2F in the World Prototype championship, a month later the Lotus 49B with new rear hubs to carry the 400 lbs of downforce generated by the rear wing appeared at the French Grand Prix.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

This photo shows clearly how big an issue rear grip was back in 1968 not only is their a rear wing but the Hewland gearbox is surrounded by a large oil tank in an effort to distribute as much weight to the rear of the car as possible to improve road holding.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

The inverted aeroplane wing shape and light construction of the rear wing can be seen here, in 1969 similar wings were attached to the front hubs as well, but two bad accidents caused by collapsing wings for Lotus Team mates Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt led to these devices being strictly controlled from the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix on.

Lotus 49B, Donington Park Museum

So far as I can tell the chassis seen here, in the first, second and forth photo’s, at Goodwood is #R10. Chassis R10 was probably the original 49 #R5 which for reasons that are not clear was renumbered.

While carrying the #R5 chassis plate the car was raced in his second world championship winning year by Graham Hill to win the 1968 Monaco Grand Prix, #R10 was subsequently used by 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti to win pole for his first Grand Prix start in the 1968 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

Future 1970 champion Jochen Rindt was the first to use running with a 2.5 litre / 152.6 cui version of the Ford Cosworth DFV. Jochen won two Tasman Championship races in #R10.

Reigning 1968 World Champion Graham next used #R10 to win the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix. The following season Graham was driving the Lotus 49 #R7 for the privateer Rob Walker team which he crashed beyond immediate repair during practice at Monaco. Fortunately Lotus number 2 driver John Miles had failed to qualify for the race in #R10 and so it was hastily repainted in Rob Walkers colours the night before the race for Graham to drive. He finished 5th despite having broken his legs in the 1969 season ending US Grand Prix driving the same chassis just 7 months earlier !

1972 & 1974 double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi made his Grand Prix debut in Lotus Ford 49 #R10, at the British Grand Prix in 1970.

Finally the first race I ever recall seeing on TV was the 1968 British Grand Prix which was led by first Graham Hill, then his team mate Jackie Oliver before being won by Jo Siffert all three were driving Lotus 49 B’s Jo’s being the odd one out being entered by Rob Walker, who GALPOT regulars may recall had a lot of success running Stirling Moss in his Lotus 18 during the early 1960’s. Jo’s victory was the last to be recorded by a private entrant in a ‘customer’ non works customer car.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘Choice Of Champions’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres. I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

24 04 12 PS Tim Murray has kindly pointed out that I originally incorrectly attributed the design of the Lotus 49 to Len Terry when it should have been Maurice Phillipe, apologies for any confusion. If you see an error of fact anywhere in GALPOT blogs please do not hesitate to inform me in the comments box. Thanks to Tim for the correction.

03 08 12 Serious Errata further reading of Micheal Olivers “Lotus 49 the story of a Legend” has shown that the car which is seen in the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th photo’s above at the Donington Collection is actually chassis #R12 and not chassis #R10 as seen in the 1st, 2nd 4th photo’s above, there are several distinguishing features which should have made this obvious at the time I originally posted this blog including the black ‘Lotus Ford’ lettering on the nose various decals and the chrome exhaust at the rear !

Chassis R12 was built up as a show car, for the Ford Motor Company, using the floor from the Lotus 49B R6/1 which was crashed by Jackie Oliver at the 1968 French Grand Prix. Built as a non runner chassis #R12 is consequently the only Lotus 49 which has never been raced, it was donated to Tom Wheatcroft’s Donington Collection when Ford no longer had a use for it.

Sincerest apologies for this error.