A Future projects discussion does not include whimsical ideas about wish-lists, rather description of actual work-in-progress. This is different to Present projects in which the committed work relating to one or two GP cars in parallel, is actually progressing towards completion at a rate of one model per 12-18 months (the delay beyond the usual 12 months estimated is due to recent use (Spring 2010) of a lathe/mill).
The subjects of Future projects are those where the F1 car itself, has invariably been visited and studied in such a way, that I found it helpful and almost necessary to build the monocoque right away. This serves two purposes; firstly to avoid the idea remaining an idea only and second to capture the nuances of design right then while emotional and physical contact was on-going with the car in question; this approach I feel makes the resultant work much more likely to be accurate and ‘look right’ aided by the multiple visits I have often been able to make, fine tuning the model during successive visits. It is only the monocoques (and some additional bodywork) that are built, because these are the single-most characteristic aspects of the whole design and the most important to get right. The rest of the car, be it engine, gearbox and to greater extent all the peripheral items such as suspension, are merely a fabrication exercise having reliance on good data (drawings, photographs and dimensional information). This later work, I can happily do years after (if necessary) and is much the same process as undertaken by those I aspire to emulate, back in the 70’s, at McLaren, Lotus, Tyrrell etc. So for the following cars, monocoques lie in completed form awaiting fitting-out and development into whole cars. The monocoque construction as I approach it, includes incorporation of metal mounting points for suspension pick-up points; these are all referenced to the horizontal plane and the longitudinal axis of the car. Substantial metal mounting points are built within the rear bulkhead for the roll-over bar to be attached. Separate inner and outer monocoques are produced as sub-assemblies and later combined when both have been finalised and usually painted. The floor will have been detailed for the eventual display of the undertray of each car, there also being routing access throughout the car for fluid hoses etc from the front to the rear with fuel tank access hatches being opened and bag tank components added; this is for educational purposes and my full enjoyment of a stripped-down model of the monocoque. This latter feature has applied to two of the most recent projects and will be able to be incorporated into completed monocoques which fall into ‘future’ projects. Such future projects include a spaceframe for a 1961 Ferrari 156 ‘sharknose’, a 1970/1 Tyrrell 001, a 1971 Surtees TS9, a 1974 Tyrrell 007, a 1975 Tyrrell 007 and two 1971 Lotus 56B’s (Gold Leaf Team Lotus and World Wide Racing).
A story concerning the Tyrrell 001 model is worth telling. Some of the ‘Tyrrell’ parts I will be incorporating into the definitive Tyrrell 001 model came from that original Tyrrell Ford F1 model (002) given to me in summer 1974 by a schoolmaster ‘Nick’ who had lost interest and kindly passed it on. I completed the model and a while later (within five years probably), sold it for £1.00 to my best friend Gary (and later best-man at my wedding to Ros) who happened to live on site, his father Larry being a schoolmaster at our prep’ school where we both grew up. It remained on the mantlepiece in Gary’s parents’ home until quite a few years later (when I had finished university, I seem to remember), when I asked if I may have it back. By now, the deteriorating model was glad of a new home. Once I got started on model building again after graduation, I cherished it and later still when in my second and current job, I began Tamiya model conversions in earnest and converting this so-called 002 to a genuine 001 which seemed feasible and was a good move, the model winning first time out at a local model show. Further years later, having been granted generous access to 001 itself, whilst being restored for American custodian/driver John D, it was very apparent how beautiful 001 really was and how lacking in this same quality my Tamiya conversion was. The main issue was that the Tamiya offering was noticeably too narrow and lacks the pugnacious pregnant look of these 1971 cars, designer Derek Gardner applying his observations of low centre of gravity in the 1969 Matra MS80/others, when he penned 001. So the current 001 that I am including here, is a finished re-worked monocoque in grey primer, to the point of being able to be fitted-out with suspension, cockpit details engine etc, ie the hard characteristic part has been completed. The Tamiya Tyrrell Ford F1, owned by my school teacher, then myself, then best friend Gary and later returned to me, only to be converted into 001 (inadequately), is now disarticulated and ready to donate small items to the new 001 monocoque. Not one of these babies is abandoned or wasted, all live on and are re-cycled if appropriate.
There are two additional cars that have been thoroughly drawn, however no monocoque has yet been made, namely a 1969 Matra MS80 and a 1975 Shadow DN5. As such, they don’t yet meet the criteria laid down above; because certain details are lacking, I haven’t committed them to plastic, resin and metal yet.