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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.

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.


6 responses to Honda RA272 – 1965 Mexican Grand Prix – Richie Ginther

  1. Back when F1 cars still had stick shifts. I built a few of these Tamiya models back in the day and really liked them. You did a fine job on your model.

  2. Your model looks superb, Steven. And what an interesting story.
    Well done!

  3. Really nice work, lots of good attention to detail. I really like these racers – the ones that followed, not so much.

  4. Nicely done, I had this kit years ago, bought it when stationed in Japan. Stupidly gave it away, every time I see a great build of it like yours I kick myself! Beautiful!!

  5. This is a great little kit and you made the most of it. Interesting theory about expanding the 1.5 litre formula, I’m sure that Lotus with Jim Clark would have given Honda a run for their money.

  6. Well done Steven, looks good, nicely detailed.

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