Honda’s Vintage V12-Powered Formula 1 Car Screams
Honda brought their old F1 winner out recently for the world to hear.
Honda’s 1967 Formula 1 race winning chassis RA300 has been making a few rounds lately in Europe. Back in 1967, John Surtees won the Italian Grand Prix with this car, the company’s second F1 victory ever. The first was in 1965 with Richie Ginther in Mexico. The RA300 was trotted out to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to run up the hill in honor of John Surtees recent passing. From there, the car was transported over to Italy to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of its victory at Monza and given an opportunity to run a few exhibition laps. Thankfully for us, YouTube motorsport channels 19Bozzy92 and NM2255 were there to capture this footage for everyone to enjoy.
Just the thought of a 400-horsepower 3-liter V12 spinning up to 11,500 RPM is enough to get us excited. To actually watch the car drive in the video and hear it soar through the rev range is awe inspiring. We’ve always been fans of Honda’s street car engineering, but the development of this wild engine must have been an exciting time for the boys back in Japan. Getting down to the nitty gritty of engine sciences and figuring out a way to make that kind of power with very little displacement. It’s no wonder that a company with a history of motorcycle manufacturing was capable of producing such an engine.
[Also see: what Honda-tech members are saying about Goodwood Festival of Speed.]
The company’s most successful period within Formula 1 is undoubtedly their stint as engine suppliers to Williams, Lotus, and McLaren in the 1980s and early 1990s. During that period they powered an incredible 69 Grands Prix victories and 73 pole positions. None of that would have been possible were it not for the 1964-68 period of constructorship that Honda experienced. Surtees and Ginther’s dual victories helped put Honda on the world stage as a “real” automobile company. A Japanese company capable of competing with the likes of McLaren, Ford, Ferrari, Lotus, and more. Modern Honda owes the RA300 a debt of gratitude.