How Would You Like a Brand New ’67 F1 Car?
There are, after all, problems with buying an authentic 1967 GP car. Firstly, they’re mighty expensive. Let’s face it, every Formula 1 car driven in any year is a collectible piece of kit. But 1967 is widely considered to be the absolute high-point of Formula 1. Well, by me anyway. Every driver that scored points in ’67 is an absolute legend: Hulme, Clark, Brabham, Rodriguez, Surtees, Stewart, Hill…. Need I go on? So any of these cars that would come up for auction will certainly command top dollar.
Secondly, They’re tiny. Of course Formula 1 cars are smaller than your family truckster. But 1967 was still the era when racing drivers were almost universally slight fellows. I’m over 6 feet tall, I’m never going to fit into Jim Clark’s Lotus 48B – maybe Dan Gurney’s Eagle (at 6’3″, maybe F1’s tallest driver).
What’s more, even if you could afford one of these marvelous machines, you’d have to have much more money than that to drive it the way it should be driven. These are, after all, delicate machines that have difficult to find replacement parts should you meet the armco. Although if you do have one, I encourage you to drive the hell out of it.
A small workshop in the UK, however, have solved all of these problems. Stuart Taylor Ltd. is manufacturing a small block Chevy powered formula car under the name F1-67 that wonderfully captures the essence of the 1967 Formula 1 season. They’ve wisely chosen not to replicate any particular Formula car, rather their design is evocative of the era without looking to terribly much like any particular car. And it is lovely. The attention to period-appropriate visuals in the bodywork is particularly fun. Although the body is fiberglass, there are rivets located along seams to imitate the look of aluminum construction. I can’t imagine those rivets are functional, are they?
The small block Chevy is certainly an easier and more affordable engine to maintain than any Formula 1 engine, and it still looks the part from a distance (up close, you can see an anachronistic amount of electronic bits surrounding the velocity stacks). The power is transferred through a reconditioned Porsche 911 4-speed. I bet it’s a damn fun drive. In addition to some modern visible electrics, there are a few other bits of modernity that look out of place. I don’t know when the brightly colored red and blue anodized plumbing fittings were introduced — for all I know they were in use in the late ’60s — but they always look too modern to my eyes.
But I’m not here to nitpick. I think this is a fantastic project and I hope they sell a ton of them. I’d love to see a spec series start of these cars, each painted in tribute to a particular ’67 race livery. Who’s in?
More pics at the F1-67 Gallery.