Art Appreciation: Early Honda F1

10 responses to “Art Appreciation: Early Honda F1”

  1. Pilote says:

    Bring back national racing colors! (I know, I know–a pipe dream…)

    While we’re at it, bring back 50-aspect ratio treaded tires!

  2. John A. Frye says:

    Neat article and good collection of shots, but there’s several cars pictured, not just the RA271 from 1964. To clarify: Large top color photo is Bucknum’s RA272 (1965) which is the chassis developed the year after the RA271 was run. The black and white car catching air is the RA273, the first three liter Honda F1 car developed the year following the RA272. (pictured is John Surtees at the Nurburgring in 1967-the car is fitted with a developmental exhaust that is seen on the RA300 at the following race) The car in a state of disassembly is again the RA272.

    • Harlo says:

      Thanks for the corrections John. I’m disappointed because I spent quite a bit of time trying to confirm that these were all 271 but I guess I’ve proven my own point about the Hondas being under my radar. I’ll edit the post title to try and salvage what’s left of my reputation.

      • John A. Frye says:

        Hi Harlo, I understand the confusion especially with the two 1.5 liter cars. I’ve collected around 1000 pictures of the Honda grand prix cars from 1963-1968 and organized them by year and race. That specific segment of Honda history is my one specialty; it’s nice to see someone else take an appreciation to the Honda cars of that period.

    • M Needforspeed says:

      Oh, John Frye .So you are not the only one. But my collection is only focused on the RA 273 and RA 300
      (not a true Honda that one) and I have roughly 630 pics .

  3. M Needforspeed says:

    Oh, John Frye .So you are not the only one. But my collection is only focused on the RA 273 and RA 300
    (not a true Honda that one) and I have roughly 630 pics .

  4. formodelar.1 says:

    Now if you did the same with its arch Rival – the ” Ferrari 312 ” and posted the pictures together, well that would be… Heaven!!!
    You see! Honda Pictures on their own doing nothing for me as I’m tifosi as Luigi in the film ” CARS ” says ” I ONLY SUPPORT THE FERRARI’S “…

  5. Mike Jacobsen says:

    Yeah, lovely. Alas, I witnessed schlesser’s death at Rouen in ’68 in the magnesium 3 litre car; regardless of what Honda ads say, the wreck was due to car failure, not Jo. Either the throttle stuck open, or the brakes failed completely–had I been able to hear the engine I would know, but I was 150 yards down the hill and other cars passing closer made that impossible.

    • John A. Frye says:

      History has absolved Jo Schlesser of any blame for the accident-the RA302 had no place being in a race. Surtees was wise to deem the car undriveable, Nakamura agreed, but Mr. Honda’s orders to push the water cooled car due to the tie in with the 1300 passenger car, he didn’t listen to the criticisms. It was probably his biggest mistake and regret and was one of the key reasons that he began to understand that the voice of the engineer was just as valid as the president of the company. A moment of tragic humility. Even with the car’s major shortcomings, it was one of Denis Jenkinson’s favorite grand prix cars of all time because of the raw radical design and innovation. The second RA302 chassis, tested by Surtees and David Hobbs still was not up to snuff apparently by the end of the season and was garaged. Though the GP cars are still run at the Motegi museum, I don’t that I’ve ever heard of the RA302 being fired up. Surtees said when he tested it, you would hear the head studs breaking off with “pings” as the block cooled at different rates in different areas.

    • John A. Frye says:

      You’re lucky to have been around to watch races in that era. Amazing, spectacular, but dangerous days. Jo’s death was inexcusable and tragic.

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