Video: The day Lotus and Cosworth changed Formula One forever

Lotus 49 ZandvoortThis short film from 1967 records one of the pivotal moments in Formula One history: the debut of the Lotus 49 and the Ford-Cosworth DFV at the Dutch Grand Prix. 



At Circuit Zandvoort on June 7, 1967, the world of F1 was set on its ear. This was the day that Colin Chapman’s groundbreaking Lotus 49 made its competition debut, and with it the revolutionary Ford-Cosworth DFV racing engine. The sport hasn’t been the same since.

This beautiful little 10-minute film, produced by Ford and called First Time Out, is a step back in time to that key moment. Watch for all the motorsports celebrities of the day as they come into frame, from Cosworth principal Keith Duckworth to dual car and bike world champion John Surtees. Of course, the two drivers of Team Lotus, Graham Hill and Jim Clark, are the stars of the production.

Fastest in practice, Hill was on pole for the Zandvoort race but dropped out on lap 11 while in the lead when his Cosworth stopped due to a broken cam drive. Clark’s cam drive began to fail as well, but held together long enough to give the Lotus 49 and the Cosworth DFV their first F1 victories—the first of many. The Lotus 49 eventually took 12 wins, while the Cosworth DFV earned 155 Grand Prix victories in nearly two decades of competition. Watch the film and see where the revolution began.


3 thoughts on “Video: The day Lotus and Cosworth changed Formula One forever

  1. My favorite part is at two minutes as the engines warm and the drivers suit up. Chills up my spine.

  2. One of, if not the classic motorsport film Nine Days in Summer is the definitive story of the development of an iconic racing car and record-breaking engine. Design guru Colin Chapman and engine supremo Keith Duckworth came together to produce the now legendary Lotus 49, powered by the fabled Ford DFV which would go on to become the most successful engine in Formula One history…. Incredible full-colour race action from nine Formula One rounds combines with fascinating footage of Cosworth and Lotus craftsmen painstakingly creating these stunning examples of automotive art. The film also allows you unprecedented access to Chapman, Duckworth and legendary drivers Jim Clark and Graham Hill. Nine Days of Summer, from the Ford Archive Gems series, is the ultimate guide to the creation of a motorsport icon and a milestone in motorsport film-making. 48 minutes.

    • Thanks, Andy. We usually don’t feature videos of this length simply because people tend not to watch them, but for those who wish to see it there it is. Much appreciated, mcg

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