© 2015 Automodello
- Scale: 1:12
- Dream Disengaged Availability: Sold-Out
- Marque: Ford and as used in the 1967 Lotus 49
- Year: 1967
- Features: Includes display cover and licensed by Ford
- Official Release Date: September 25th 2015
As engineering breakthroughs usually do, the development of the most successful engine in Formula 1 history began with a problem. In 1965, the FIA—Formula 1’s governing body—announced that it would be reworking the engine formula for the 1966 season, doubling the maximum engine displacement from 1500cc (the limit that had been in place since the start of the 1961 season) to 3000cc. This would effectively double horsepower, but it would also add weight, complexity, and cost. Team Lotus founder Colin Chapman had famously been a steadfast crusader for—and beneficiary of—light, efficient, highly engineered and minimalist racing machines. As such, Lotus thrived under the 1.5L rules, powered by Climax motors that perfectly suited the nimble Lotus. Lotus finished no lower than 3rd in the Constructors and Drivers Championships during the 1.5L era, and won each twice outright—in 1963 and again in 1965. But Team Lotus struggled mightily under the 1966 rules, and longtime engine supplier Coventry Climax’s announcement that they would be leaving F1 added insult to injury. Chapman sought help from a pair of former Team Lotus engineers Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin, who had paired to form the race engineering firm Cosworth and with whom Lotus had collaborated on the Lotus Cortina and Formula 3 projects. Duckworth was confident he could design a competitive 3.0L F1 powerplant by joining two Four Valve 4-cylinder engines—like those Cosworth ran in lower formulae—into a V8. All they needed now was financing. After initially being rebuffed by Ford in America, Chapman approached friend and Ford Britain PR man Walter Hayes, who had collaborated on the Cortina project. He agreed to underwrite the Cosworth V8 program, which was dubbed the ‘Double Four Valve’ or DFV.
As Cosworth developed the DFV, Chapman built an all-new and revolutionary car—the Lotus 49—to hold it, which utilized the DFV as a fully stressed component of the chassis. The DFV made its debut in the third race of the 1967 season, and was a sensation—rocketing to a win in its inaugural appearance at the Dutch Grand Prix at the hands of Jim Clark. Clark would win 3 more races that season, after some initial reliability gremlins were sorted out. By 1968 it was nearly unstoppable, easily carrying Team Lotus driver Graham Hill to the Driver’s Championship (after Jim Clark’s untimely death early in the season). That was the first of four titles for a DFV-powered Lotus, and the first of 12 overall—including an astounding 7 in a row from ’68-’74. It also secured 10 Constructor’s titles during the same span—both records that will likely stand indefinitely. DFVs also won Le Mans twice, and numerous titles in other formulas, making it one of most successful powerplants of all time.
The replica you hold in your hands is the Cosworth DFV as it debuted in the Lotus 49 in 1967—the start of its amazing career. We know you will thrill at the exquisite technical detail and the accuracy with which it depicts this historic engine. It is one of just 499 models, hand serialized and mounted on its attractive display base. Congratulations on becoming one of the discerning few fortunate enough to collect this engineering marvel!