Tecnomodel’s second exciting 1:18 classic Formula One announcement of the month is the Lotus 43.
The Lotus 43 could perhaps most kindly be described as a glorious failure. With Formula One moving to larger engines for 1966, the 43 was based on the 38 Indycar, as this machine had already given Lotus experience with running higher-capacity powerplants.
However, with Cosworth’s new DFV engine not ready yet, the powerplant that Colin Chapman chose to put in the back of the 43 was BRM’s H16 behemoth. It was essentially two of the engine manufacturer’s moderately successful 180-degree V8 units sat atop each other. It failed by just about every performance metric going; it was heavy, unreliable and slow!
Perhaps fortunately, the 43 wasn’t ‘ready’ until well into the 1966 season. For most of the year Lotus ran its Ford-powered 33, until Jim Clark utilised the 43 in the last three races of the campaign. The Scot had already endured a nightmare season up until being saddled with the 43, however. In Monaco the suspension broke. In Belgium, his engine failed on the very first lap. To typify his season, he was then forced to miss the French Grand Prix after being struck by a bird during practice. At Brands Hatch the two-time champion finally saw a chequered flag, albeit a lapped fourth. In the following race at Zandvoort the Scot took the bottom step of the rostrum, although he was two laps down on this occasion. An accident then put him out of the German race.
Clark’s first race with the 43 came at Monza, where he retired with a gearbox problem. In the penultimate race of the year at Watkins Glen, things finally went his way. The car held together, the engine stayed in one piece, and his closest competition (Jack Brabham and Lorenzo Bandini) fell by the wayside. It was a famous win given the less than top-drawer equipment at his disposal. Things reverted to type in the season finale in Mexico where another gearbox failure put him out.
The 43 would only be used for the opening race of 1967, being raced by Clark and new Lotus signing Graham Hill in South Africa. Both posted retirements. It was then replaced by the much more successful 49, mated with the potent, nimble DFV engine; basically everything the BRM H16 wasn’t!
Of course, Tecnomodel will be replicating Clark’s 1966 American Grand Prix-winning machine. This will be available both with and without a driver figure, as will the replica of the Scot’s 1966 Italian Grand Prix Lotus 43.
The other 1966 version is for Peter Arundell from practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, as he was unable to start the race after an engine problem. Finally, there are the cars for Clark and Hill from Kyalami in 1967.
Click Tecnomodel 1:18 1966/1967 Lotus 43 to order.
Want some more? Please click here to return to our editorial menu.
Share this story