THE HALFTON SERIES
This page was first added to my website on 25th July 2003. The latest update was on 10.4.05
Here is the very latest photo of the Halfton series. This was taken on 10th April 2005.
To begin with, a brief explanation of the series name. When the new Formula 1 rules for 1961 were introduced, they caused quite a stir. Engine sizes were reduced to 1.5 litres (from 2.5) and the weight limit was reduced to a figure that roughly converted to half a ton. Some wag immediately named the formula 'the Halfton Formula'.
I struggled to think of a name for my series, but eventually settled on The Halfton Series.
As usual, I am not restricting myself to just one year, but rather, I am allowing any car that raced in 1961 or 1962 - with one or two exceptions that will creep even later than '62..... The reasons for this will become clear if you can be bothered to read on....
So, what will I be building in this series and where will I get them from?
Certainly I could have set to and made all the cars on my vacuum former; however, that would take a very long time and I am not getting any younger!!!. So throughout the last year or so I have been buying, from Ebay, Airfix cars and bodyshells from the early 1960s. They made 4 types of F.1 car that fit into the parameters that I have set down for this series. These are the Ferrari 156 Sharknose; the flat-8 Porsche 804; the Lotus 24 and the 4 cylinder Cooper Climax.
You will find images of all these cars further down the page but I am now adding images of new cars at the top of this section.
One of the attractions for me of building and racing this era of cars is the variety of vehicles that appeared during 1961-2.
The latest new cars that have been added to this series are the works Cooper Climax T.60 V.8s. These are not true representations of the '62 Cooper because they are based on the Airfix 1961 T.53 body, with the engine cover removed and a home-made vac formed replacement has been grafted on. Not perfect but acceptable.... to me anyway!
Here are a couple of rare birds.... The first is the ex-de Beaufort Porsche 718 (pictured somewhere lower down this page) which has now passed to the Swiss Ecurie Filipinetti team. It was driven by several different drivers but I have the Swiss driver Heinz Schiller in mine.
The reason why I am able to transfer this car across to another team is because I have produced this....
Now, this is naughty... Rather like the Rob Walker Sharknose Ferrari I have made for Stirling Moss, this is another 'might-have-been'. Ecurie Maarsbergen never got their hands on an 8-cylinder Porsche, but if they had, this is what it would have looked like. They were Porsche customers so I thought.... why not?
Here is another rarity. This is a 4-cylinder Climax powered Lotus 21, as driven by New Zealander Tony Shelly. I have built this car from a Lotus 24 body so it is not a true 21, but not bad.
Finally in this burst of new cars is a real cheater.
The first F.1 Honda appeared in 1964 - but I wanted to run one in this Halfton series, so I made it anyway. This is the RA.271, with American sports car driver Ronnie Bucknum in the seat.
This is the Mk 4 Lola Climax that was built for the Bowmaker Yeoman team in 1962. It was driven by John Surtees (pictured here) and Roy Salvadori.
Here is another rarity - the de Tomaso - Alfa Romeo, which was built in Italy by the Argentine-born engineer Alessandro de Tomaso, who later went on to produce expensive and very fast road going sports cars.
This car is one of 2 being built; its driver is Roberto Bussinello; the other car will be for the Argentine driver Nasif Estefano.
This is the very special, unique Cooper Climax T.51 that was converted to rear-mounted radiators and was run as the Aiden Cooper Special, after the outfit that did the modifications.
It was driven by Ian Burgess and was wholly unsuccessful. Let's hope this car has better luck....
During the 1961-65 F.1 regulations the Equipe National Belge outfit ran cars for several years. Here are their 2 Emeryson Maseratis.... with Willy Mairesse and Olivier Gendebien aboard.
Here are the recently re-sprayed works Lotuses - including a spare car for Jim Clark.
This is my version of the very first F.1 Brabham, the BT.3.
This next car is a 4 cylinder Climax powered Cooper, owned and run by the Camoradi Racing Team. It was usually driven by Ian Burgess, although Masten Gregory sometimes drove for the team too.
....and finally, for the moment, here is a rare machine. a wealthy American lady named Louise Bryden-Brown bought a Lotus Climax 18, painted it in a pretty blue and white colour scheme and entered it in a number of races through 1960, 61 and 62. Although Tony Maggs drove the car in its later races, its main driver was the tall Californian, Dan Gurney. (Yes, yes, I know he was born in New York....!)
Here are the Porsches mentioned above; along with the Lotus Climax 24 owned by Rob Walker and driven by Stirling Moss.
I have now completed a few of the privately owned cars;
from the right you are looking at the Swiss driver Jo Siffert's Lotus B.R.M 24, Jack Lewis' Cooper Climax (a rare Welshman in F.1.) and the Porsche 718 of Count Carel de Beaufort, from Holland.
Below you can see the Bowmaker Yeoman Cooper Climaxes.
I have a confession to make regarding these cars.... I actually saw them race all those years ago, but believing that national racing colours were being strictly adhered to, I always saw these cars as dark green. It was only a matter of a couple of years ago that I found out, to my amazement, that they were always blue.
Looking further up this page you will see a Bowmaker Lola Climax. Now that I have built 2 Lolas, the Coopers you see above will not be used any more. Instead they will be 'sold' to be used in the end of season races in America and Mexico, driven by American drivers.
These are the United Dominions Trust-Laystall Lotus BRM cars. This green was hard to find and is probably not a VERY close match but I saw a piece of genuine U.D.T Lotus bodywork earlier this year (from Stirling Moss' crashed Lotus at Goodwood - Easter 1962) and this was as close a match as I could get. You may question the number 1 on one of these privately entered cars. It is there because Innes Ireland will be its driver and he won my previous championship (the Historic Series.)
The works Coopers are ready now, too.
The entry list will need to be augmented with some cars that are built using my home-made bodyshells, particularly the B.R.M (I shall go for the 1962 V.8 car) plus the very first Brabham; and I shall pad out the series with a few Lotus 18s (from my Historic series), a couple of 4 cylinder Porsche 718s (one of which you can see above) and maybe, a bit later on a Gilby B.R.M (see below) and an Emeryson or two.
Here are the 2 works BRMs. Not bad considering they are entirely home-made.
Here is the full team of 6 Ferraris, although they will not all race at every event. I doubt anyone has ever actually seen 6 sharknose Ferraris lined up like this....
There are a number of unusual cars that can be raced in this series, but in order to race them, first, I must build them....
Here is the first of them - the Gilby BRM V.8 that was driven by Keith Greene.
Although it never actually existed, I have been persuaded (it didn't take much!) to make this Rob Walker-entered Ferrari 156 (sharknose) for Stirling Moss to race in some non-championship events during my season.
Please bookmark this page and call back regularly to see the new cars as they are completed.
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