Honda Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Monza Formula 1 Victory
Just two tenths of a second separated this Honda RA300’s history book victory from failure.
Ranked among the closest Formula 1 victories in history, this 1967 Honda grand prix car set the company up for a storied connection with motorsport. An updated version of the RA273 that came before it, the RA300 was built as a mid-season replacement, from the ground up, in just 6 weeks. John Surtees took this car to an impressive victory at the Italian Grand Prix of Monza, taking the checkered flag ahead of Jack Brabham by just two tenths. This was Honda’s second Formula 1 victory, and perhaps their most important. In order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that race, Honda made sure the car was perfectly restored to like-new condition and brought it to Monza for a demonstration run.
This demonstration run called upon Japanese driver Nirei Fukuzumi to get the car around the circuit in one piece and still provide enough of that glorious V12 sound to get the fans excited. In his hands was a very simple metal and leather steering wheel, but he was also holding history. Earning the honor to drive such an historical piece of Honda’s past must have meant so much to Fukuzumi-san, we can only imagine.
By modern standards, this vintage F1 car is hardly fast or capable, with a raucous 48-valve 3-liter V12 producing a quoted 396 horsepower. Consider, however, that this cigar-shaped open wheeler weighs just over 1600 pounds, and that power level seems a bit more impressive. We’re relatively certain that we’d be no match for this car, even in the most tame of driving situations. We’re glad Nirei was able to keep the car intact, however, because we absolutely adore the car, and this video is spectacular. Just listen to that V12 howl. If only Formula 1 engines sounded like that these days, or Honda had a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning a Grand Prix.