Honda RA272 – 1965 Mexican Grand Prix – Richie Ginther
As I've previously mentioned, this was the year I got back into modeling (well, FINISHING models) after a fifteen year hiatus brought on by the birth of my first child. This time I'm showing off one of the last kits I finished back before my break. This is Tamiya's 1/20 Honda RA272 Formula 1 car as raced by American driver Richie Ginther in the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix. Honda made some significant revisions to this car during the '65 season, most notably a repositioning of the engine that resulted in a lower center of mass. Ginther won this race, giving Honda and Goodyear each their first F1 victory. This was one of the most technologically advanced cars on the grid, with its high-revving, transversely mounted, 48 valve, 1.5 liter 60° V-12 mated to a transverse, six-speed gearbox positioned ahead of the differential, a decade in advance of the Ferrari 312T. This arrangement resulted in a short wheelbase and a low polar moment that made the car very nimble, and it was also very powerful. Honda had the car sorted very well by then, but the '65 Mexico Grand Prix was also the last race of the 1.5 Liter formula. I often wonder what might have been possible had a number of teams been successful in lobbying for an extra year of the 1.5 Liter formula, what with John Surtees joining Honda for '66 and the engineer's confidence that they could develop the engine to produce 14,000 rpm and as much as 240 bhp.