Honda RA273, 1966/7
History of the actual car
This model built in 1996 represents that driven by Ritchie Ginther at the Mexican Grand Prix in 1966 where he finished 4th and recorded the fastest lap, starting from 3rd position on the grid. This was his best 1966 result for the Honda team having also driven the Cooper T81-Maserati V12 earlier in the season. Honda’s results were generally disappointing although varied, for in the Mexican GP the year before, Ginther won with the 1.5litre RA 272 car, transverse V-12 engine/gearbox arrangement. John Surtees who drove the sister car in 1967 managed only one better with a 3rd place in South Africa and several retirements and lesser placings. The car was considered rather heavy at 740kg as opposed to formula minimum weight of 500kg. Some engine reliability issues and roadholding shortcomings contributed to poorer results than hoped for, the debut of the new RA300 much anticipated.
This was built essentially straight from the box with minor enhancements and an airbrush was used to obtain the best finish for individual parts and the bodywork, utilising Humbrol Enamels. Careful model-making with the minimum of glue resulted in a very good result which was captured during the build and when completed, on print film – yet another scanning to digital project some day.
The model was proudly displayed for many years until end 2008/early 2009 when it was dismantled with surgical sympathy in order to salvage parts for a new project, namely the Honda RA300. This latter project is still in progress, being delayed by an engine upgrade and supply of this new pattern for moulding and resin casting of a much improved engine, having its origin in my first RA273 model. While waiting for this process to run its course, the Tyrrell 006/2 project started whilst I had access to the real car and is currently (Feb 2011) still underway with anticipated completion later this year, thereafter expecting to return to the RA300.
At some point in the future, a boxed Tamiya Honda RA273 will emerge from the loft to be made along lines of current standards and incorporate one of the new V12 3 litre Honda engines I have produced.