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The first outing of 49/3.


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#1 Gary Davies

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 10:44

I've always wondered. When I got to Silverstone for the 1967 Grand Prix, Graham Hill appeared in a Lotus that looked as though it was the product of a wild night involving a 33 and a 49. I'd heard that he'd pranged the 49 during final practice on the Friday but that was about all I discovered on the day.
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Upon the arrival of Motor Sport some two weeks later I read the story. Here's the potted version, derived from D.S.J's report in the August issue.

Having set the second fastest time (after you know who), Hill, who had noticed that his car (49/1) was a bit "twitchy", was returning to the pits when a rear radius arm mounting gave way. The resultant collision severely damaged the car, in particular tearing the monocoque around the area of the right front wheel.

The car being deemed unrepairable, Chapman decided to return the wreck and the mechanics to Norwich where they descended upon chassis 49/3, which was under construction at the time. Jenks described 49/3 as "a much modified car that would, in effect, be a MkII version of the Lotus 49, nothing fitted anything and lots of parts had to be made."

As to the bodywork, D.S.J. refers to it only as "... the earlier type of windscreen and nose ..."

As a mere stripling in 1967, I had no access to the pits or paddock and so I at no point got close to the car ... so here's my question.

Did anyone here get to see the racecar close up? What was the bodywork? To me, it closely resembles a 33, but, heck .. it seems from the Motor Sport pic to fit so well. If it was 49 bodywork, why was it painted like a 33? No 49s were painted that way (were they??). And if it was from a 33, surely it couldn't have fitted so nicely around the suspension arms?

There must have been a TNFer either more resourceful or better credentialled than I who got close to this car.

Perhaps Justin could ask his dad!

Vanwall

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#2 Bernd

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 10:55

Lotus 49 Story of a Legend saves the day!
R3 was significantly different from previous 49's. It was skinned using a heavier gauge aluminium. The access hatch & fuel filler were combined. The addition internal 'baffle' bulkhead was incorporated into the front of the tub from new, therefore the side skins were one sheet from the rear bulkhead to the front. All subsequent 49's were built this way. It also had longer fairings behind the front rocker arms, to spread the load and try and prevent kinking from heavy braking forces.

New forum member Doug Nye is personally attached to this car he may be of more help as to why the car was 'retro' painted. All I know is that it was the only nosecone available at the time. I personally believe it was a heavily modified 33 nosecone.

#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 11:08

Blimey - I've only been aware of Atlas for five minutes and here I am being cited as a possible source of info. Yes, I had 'R3' here at home for a year and it was finish-restored by Michael Cane of Emka-Aston Martin and Gulf-McLaren F1 GTR fame, sometime Williams F1 team manager etc, super chap. Where the car's completion in 1967 is concerned - picture the scene. Graham's just hit the wall in his assigned car late in practice, folding back one wheel into the monocoque. Short-term it's curtains for that car. At Hethel the build crew have 'R3' some days away from completion. The call comes from Silverstone and they pitch in...frantically. They are short of several items. Some are cannibalised from the damaged car, there's a spare Type 33 nose cone ready-painted, in the stores. It's pulled and stretched and squeezed and fettled to fit. The car is rushed to Silverstone. Graham leads the race in it, duels with JC, has a failure and finally a major engine blow-up going past the pits. Striding through the paddock later he approaches his long-time friend Cyril Posthumus, of 'Motor Racing' magazine. Cyril - the most decent and sympathetic of men - calls quietly 'Hard luck Graham...' - to which the great man grins and replies magnanimously 'Yeah - bugger innit!".

F1 drivers are these days schooled to be - perhaps - not quite so direct. Pity innit?

DCN

#4 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 14:09

I remember asking the same question once before!

THe windscreen surround on Hill's car was the same as used at the cars' first two races at Zandvoort and Spa. It was changed for Le Mans. The modifications to the 33 nosecone must have been extensive: the bodywork around the top suspension pick-up points is quite different and the 49 was a "full" monocoque unlike the bath-tub 33. Also, the 49 always looked a bigger car.

#5 Gary Davies

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 14:20

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Blimey - I've only been aware of Atlas for five minutes and here I am being cited as a possible source of info.


OK, Doug, I'll start the sycophancy since I started this thread.

Noblesse oblige! :p

Wonderful to have you here.

Vanwall.

Oh, and thanks for unravelling the wee mystery.

#6 Allen Brown

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 18:41

Doug

Good to have you here.

And about time!

Allen

#7 fines

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 18:55

Why was he allowed to keep his starting position? :confused:

#8 DOHC

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Posted 17 February 2002 - 19:28

Hi 49ers,

I've heard a different story of R3's nosecone at Silverstone, essentially the same as the story told in Mike Oliver's book "Lotus 49 -- the story of a legend" on page 48:

--- There wasn't even a spare fiberglass nose, so a makeshift solution was adopted, as Porteous recalls: 'It had an aluminium nose. It was one of the early bucks that Jim the aluminium guy had made to make the fiberglass ones out of. And we used that one because we didn't have anything else to put on it...' The slightly incongruous looking car was topped off with an earlier air-defelctor windscreen.

So it seems that it might not have been a 33 nose after all but some kind of "template" nose. Also the first drawings of the 49, inside the cover of Olivers excellent book, indicate that the air intake was more elliptic in shape from the beginning -- the air intake looks more like Hill's R3 nose on Silverstone and didn't have the typically flat underside.

Regards

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 February 2002 - 13:16

Would it not have saved a great deal of time at the end of the cobble-up to simply mask up the 33-style stripe?

I'm also sure the 49 was a bigger car than the 33...

Welcome, Doug...

#10 fines

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 21:49

Originally posted by fines
Why was he allowed to keep his starting position? :confused:

Nobody able to say why? In those days practice times were connected firmly to the chassis in which they were recorded, as you all should know...

#11 Roger Clark

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 23:01

Originally posted by fines

Nobody able to say why? In those days practice times were connected firmly to the chassis in which they were recorded, as you all should know...


That's not wholly true. At the next race, the German Grand Prix, Hill qualified in Clark's car (49/2), set his best practice time in 49/3 and raced 49/1.

#12 fines

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 23:09

I smell a rat! Chassis plate engineering, perhaps?

#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 23:12

Don't get too confused by this car swopping malarkey from the modern viewpoint of car/driver combinations using the same race number all season. In the period in question remember that each successive race's organisers might apply different numbers to the F1 entries, and when it came to practice, qualifying, race there was often frantic peelingoff of relevant numbers from one car, and sticking duplicates onto another in order to get one's driver on the grid. Some organisers took an exceedingly dim view of number swopping between chassis, others didn't care or turned an indulgent blind eye. Raymond Roche at Reims would detonate if he suspected a team of trying to qualify one car under another's number. At Silverstone and in Italy - as long as your car was red - a blind eye would be turned. I remember several occasions on which one saw numbers being swopped amidst a scrum of mechanics and press and hangers-on, but no officials. Few people let on... And sometimes when they did, as I have said, organisers would adopt the Nelsonian approach.

49/3 was smashed to pieces at the National Motor Museum some three years ago. I almost cried when I saw the wreck. It has been brilliantly saved and rebuilt by Rick and Rob Hall at Folkingham, with only the original rear tub closing plate being replaced in its entirety, but it is displayed today with a clear windscreen fitted which is wrong - the originals were yellow-tinted, but today suitable material seems to be unavailable. I am pressing for this glitsch to be corrected cosmetically by colouring the moulding, somehow. The initial crash impact against a tree in the Beaulieu grounds not only banana'd the monocoque, twist in torsion and bend in beam, but also smashed wheels and suspensin, broke the DFV off the back of the tub and the ZF gearbox off the back of the engine.

If I had been present I would have killed the unfortunate driver on the spot. I was not - and I was able to sympathise subsequently with the poor chap - who suffered terribly in his head for what he had done to this 100A1+ original car. Concussion and a broken rib or two served the silly bugger right.

Yrs, etc - Unsympathetic of Farnham.

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 23:22

Maybe you could add to the thread about the French GP of 1956, Doug?

It's around here somewhere... who qualified what and for whom being the issue.

That's also the thread that raises the issue of grid positions being allocated to a chassis irrespective of the name on the bum in the seat.

#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 February 2002 - 09:52

Ray - haven't got time at the mo to take a proper look at the '56 French GP and the sight of the length of that thread is somewhat chastening BUT, I have checked with DS's notebooks and in his neat handwriting, in pencil, he has recorded the following:

GRID - Fang 10 Cast 12 Col 14

Schell NS Schell 22
26 crossed out

Moss 2 Behra 4 Haw 24

So that's the front 3 rows as noted from the pits or press stand, wherever he posted himself for the race. Previously, during practice, he only noted times he believed, and they were probably those clocked by the Vanwall pit - which he'd cross-check with the organisers' official bulletin. They 'usually' matched.

For 1st practice he noted 'Collins slow in car with anti-roll bar uncoupled...Collins in Ferrari-built car does 2:25.6. He then lists in tabular form the 3 practice sessions, and has Collins quickest at 2:25.6 in P1, Schell clocked 2:26.1 in P2 and there he has Fangio with a 2:23.3 and in P3 Castellotti manages his 2:24.6.

There is absolutely no clue in the notes as to any controversy over grid line-up, no mention of any questions being asked, cars swopped, whatsoever. All I would say at this juncture is that the front row was in the correct order - looking at it in planform with Fangio on pole on the LEFT of the circuit - Castellotti in the centre with 2nd fastest time - and Collins on the outside 3rd fastest. In many ways the outside line into the first high-speed corner at Gueux was the more comfortable one to take. Remember those cars understeered! Gueux was not a corner to enter on the inside tight line at high speed, and then srub off onto the outside verge - as poor Musso would discove in 1958.

Row three - Moss, Behra, Hawthorn as viewed from above, were in practice lap time order 2:29.9, 2:27.8, 2:27.3 which means that row was disposed in the conventional manner - fastest on the right (viewed from above), slowest on the left.

Hmm interesting conundrum. I may have the AC de Champagne regs for that race, if I find them I will revert (as they say). But remember for Ferrari in particular that was a complicated weekend. They had umpteen cars, a not very happy driver team, Fangio pumped up and testy, Collins pumped up and happy after Belgium, Castellotti pumped up and jealous, Portago just normally pumped up and horny... Fangio had the oil pressure gauge pipe burst and spray scalding oil all over his midriff and lap, and after that race he flew at The Old Man, regardless of Dino having just died - which was one of the many reasons why OMF and JMF didn't hit it off. OMF needed sympathy and a cuddle, JMF bent his ear...

But, as I say, interesting conundrum...

DCN

#16 Bernd

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Posted 23 February 2002 - 11:27

Doug I understand that R3 is the only original spec 49 still in the world today. Does this apply to the Cossie as well. In other words is it basically in the same state as the car Jimmy drove to victory at Zandvoort... explosive power delivery, shonky brakes and all?
I understand that the power curve of the DFV was substantially improved over the life of the car.

#17 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 February 2002 - 11:45

Bernd - No no no - most regrettably not.

When we brought the car back from South Africa (John Love) it had an empty DFV attached, with a huge hole in the block. This very early 'engine' is still here. Wth it was one of the earliest crankshafts, which is date stamped March 1967 - a treasure. The running engine we obtained for the car was a John Judd-assembled Fittipaldi team unit, which I think had long-distance cams fitted for ease of starting, reliable running, a good demonstrator - not a racer. Two Fittipaldi team guys delivered it to my door. I gave them £4,000 in folding to purchase the unit. They took it back to Wilson Fittipaldi in Reading. Laer that day I heard that the receivers were in at Fittipaldi and the team was history. I met one of the delivery blokes later and he told me how he had handed the cash to Wilson, who counted it carefully, then peeled off a few notes which he presented to each of the two chaps who'd brought the engine down. He said "There you are, I'm afraid that's it - the liquidators are arriving here at lunchtime - you are now unemployed...", he stuffed the rest of the notes in his briefcase, and departed the scene. So I had probably performed the last ever transaction the Fittipaldi team undertook prior to collapse.

In the Beaulieu accident 'my' engine was damaged quite severely. The impact against the tree was so great it even bent the cylinder head studs on one bank as the head was displaced lengthwise on the block! I am not sure how extensive the repairs had to be, but I can find out.

Overall, apart from the tub and running gear - my 100A1plus+ rating was something of an exaggeration - for example we had to remould the nose cone (underside of the original worn away to fag paper thickness by the 49'scelebrated dive under braking characteristic). But the tub was FANTASTICALLY original. I wrote about the car's restoration in 'Classic & Sportscar' - all about bolt heads shaved off on suspension pick-ups which one could see clearly in the later '67 race photos. The old lady simply talked to you if you had the wit to understand....a lovely, lovely thing.

As I said, when I first saw it smashed, abused - violated - I came very close to tears. Silly old ---.

DCN

#18 DOHC

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Posted 02 March 2002 - 20:40

Gary C has a web site which among other things has an interview with Bob Dance and a nice picture of 49/5 taken at the ROC in 1968:

http://www.users.glo...dance/index.htm

This clearly has a non-standard nose cone for a 49, and its shape is the same as the nose on 49/3 at Silverstone, 15 July, 1967. It's not only the air intake which has a different shape, but the rocker arm fairings also go "deeper," both in Gary C's picture and those from the British GP in 1967.

I have no idea if this information might be useful, but maybe there's someone who also remembers the circumstances of the ROC.

#19 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 March 2002 - 21:20

See new associated thread - 1956 French GP Puzzle? DCN

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#20 DOHC

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Posted 03 March 2002 - 10:35

A few more pictures of 49/5 from the 1968 Race of Champions appear in Micahel Oliver's book on p. 92. One race shot in particular (the spoiler shown in Gary C's picture had been removed for the race) shows that the nose is most likely the same as on 49/3 a year erlier.

Surely in 1968, and for the fifth 49 chassis, there shouldn't have been any need to take parts from a 33.

#21 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 20:02

This thread inspired me to have a more serious rummage than was really sensible for some of the photographs which I failed to find when Mike Oliver was working on his superb Lotus 49 book (sorry Mike).

I hope some of the Lotuseers might be interested to see them - after Allen Brown's help in posting same....

The first two show the car in Peter Parnell's blue livery - I believe - as it returned from South Africa, and that horrible shed in the background is that in which I stripped the car and took that fantastically original tub back to bare metal. The shed's corrugated iron roof had myriad rust holes, and when it was foggy on a winter's night and the light was on inside - the shed looked externally like the projector at a planetarium...

The second pair show the car as originally finished and placed on its wheels in Michael Cane's workshop in Godalming, Surrey, then loaded on the trailer to go to the Bristow estate near Cranleigh where we ran it briefly on the estate roads. If you e-mail me I'll pass on Mike Cane's delicious comment in wonderment when we first fitted the wheels, lifted the car, shifted the trestles, and sat it down on the ground for the first time.

The final shot shows the car just about ready for first run at Cranleigh, with my photgrapher mate Geoff Goddard looking on - he who'd seen the car go to war for real so many times...

http://www.btinterne...Lotus49R3-1.jpg

http://www.btinterne...Lotus49R3-2.jpg

http://www.btinterne...-3Cranleigh.jpg

http://www.btinterne...-4Godalming.jpg

http://www.btinterne...9R3-5Gdlmng.jpg


I hope this has all worked....and the pix are indeed here?

Now if they are - here's another one which I hope some of you blokes will like - I would emphasise all these pix are COPYRIGHT 'The GP Library' - fine for personal use but don't let me down, OK?

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DCN

#22 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 20:06

Dammit! I'll try again>

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http://www.btinterne...Lotus49R3-2.jpg

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#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 20:08

Dammit again - and again...

The Shed - by DCN

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#24 Allen Brown

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 20:18

Doug

You're definitely getting the hang of this.

And what great pictures!!

Allen

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 20:54

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Dammit! I'll try again

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Man! Such a lot of trouble to go to, but I guess, if the driver really wanted a left hand gearchange....

#26 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 21:11

:wave:

I swore I'd never use one of these darned things

Perhaps Allen's wrong, I haven't got the hang of it lla retfa

DCN

#27 Allen Brown

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 21:26

Fixed. Doug - the trick is to quickly post up the corrected image and then claim you don't know what they're talking about!

Pity second editions can't be done that quickly.

Allen

#28 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 21:55

Ah - wha'????? - Eh???? How do you do that? - now whenever this thread might be reviewed everybody's going to wonder what the hell we have been on about.... (An image was put up originally laterally reveresed - commented upon by Ray - put right by Allen - do doubt I'll find some way of knackering it again now... Just for the historical record you see...

#29 DOHC

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 22:01

Truly wonderful pictures! :up: :up: :up:

#30 Allen Brown

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 22:32

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Ah - wha'????? - Eh???? How do you do that?

Doug

Sorry - can't tell you that :cool: . If you knew how to press the 'mirror' button yourself, I might lose the job of providing web space for your images. Which means I wouldn't get to see them first :(

Allen

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 March 2002 - 23:48

In the meantime, of course, Doug is getting those post numbers up... he could actually be accepted into the Paddock Club!

.....where he'll lose his sanity altogether, come up against Buford and theMot and never get any work done!.....

#32 SJ Lambert

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 10:20

In the meantime, of course, Doug is getting those post numbers up... he could actually be accepted into the Paddock Club!



I reckon Doug will have made it by now!!

Do we think there's any chance of ever seeing 49/2 back at Longford ?- I don't where it or any of the 49s are domiciled these days. With a bit of luck Jim's 39 may yet appear at Longford.

James

#33 Bloggsworth

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 14:52

I reckon Doug will have made it by now!!

Do we think there's any chance of ever seeing 49/2 back at Longford ?- I don't where it or any of the 49s are domiciled these days. With a bit of luck Jim's 39 may yet appear at Longford.

James


Arttidesco wouldn't allow it, it is clearly a fake......