A vintage minifig-scale 1960s Formula One car inspired by the Lotus 49.
About this creation
Inspired by the Lotus 49 that raced from 1967 to 1970. It's not a true copy, because I couldn't properly replicate the 49's open-nose layout. Other builders have sacrificed the sleek aero profile to create an inlet at the front, but I was more interested in keeping the sleek profile.
Without the opening in the front, I think it looks more like a '50s Indy racer or an early '60s Formula Two car. The driver sports Graham Hill's distinctive dark blue helmet (although this driver's mustache could use a trim).
The scale is significantly larger than my previous attempts at F1 cars. This model started with the driver's compartment, followed by the engine. From there, I looked at reference pictures of the Lotus 49 to determine the right scale.
A sleek (if simplistic) aerodynamic shape inspired by early '60s that predates the true monocoque design
Ideally, the rear tires should be wider than the front tires. The wide stance and treaded tires give it a classic look.
Here's my simple attempt at recreating the Hewland gearbox. The Cosworth DFV engine is a legend in Formula One. Introduced in 1967 by Lotus, the DFV eventually became the engine of choice in F1. By 1975, the Cosworth DFV was powering every F1 team except two (Ferrari and BRM). Over the course of its lifetime, the Cosworth DFV won 12 F1 championships, 10 Indy 500s, and two Le Mans 24 Hours victories.
Here's the technique I used to make the engine. I knew that I wanted to use upside down cylinders to mimick the Cosworth DFV's distinctive inlet trumpets, but it took me a while to figure out an effective way to attach them to the chassis. The valve covers are quite plain, but I like the general look of the completed engine.
Here's what it might look like on the track. I wouldn't mind taking it for a spin.
I couldn't resist a quick mockup of the 1969 Gold Leaf-sponsored Lotus. The 49 was one of the last F1 cars to be introduced in the era before wings and spoilers. Some of those early attempts at generating downforce look like they were built in somebody's shed.