RA302 - the last Honda

John Surtees 1:20 driver figure and Ebbro Honda RA301

RA302 - the last Honda

Some shots of my RA301 together with a GF-models figure painted up to represent “Big John”.  I’ve always liked this diecast although I’m hoping that Ebbro will bring one out in plastic kit form – it would have such potential and loads of appeal!  There is just something about cars from this era – how many times have I said that – it’s definitely an age thing!!  The model comes with a high rear wing/aerofoil which clips onto the top of the rear suspension uprights. Although the wing is supposed to be removeable, I haven’t fitted it just in case I stretch the mounting brackets when taking it off!  It even looks mean without the wing!  The RA301 was introduced mid way through the 1968 season as an “up-date” to the 300 with the intention of using it as a “stepping stone” towards finally launching the radical RA302 later in the season.  The RA302 used an aircooled engine and the chassis was fabricated primarily from magnesium and when it was launched at the French Grand prix later in the season, Surtees refused to drive pronouncing it; a deathtrap!  His concerns were well founded.  Jo Schlesser crashed heavily into an earth bank on the third lap on the Rouen circuit and the impact gave rise to a fire when the heavily laden fuel tanks burst into flames.  The fire was further fuelled by the magnesium chassis and there was no escape for the unfortunate Schlesser from the fierce inferno.   Surtees continued to  decline driving the RA302 when offered it at Monza some weeks later and preferred instead to campaign the 301 until the end of the ’68 season when Honda announced their withdrawal from F1!  So until Honda re-entered F1 in 2006, this was the last Honda F1 car from the 60’s!  For me, the RA302 follows the maxim of ; “if it looks right; it is right”!  The figure is a resin casting from GF-models which I have painted up in acrylics to represent the big man himself.  Keep a look out for this pair on the Bay shortly, Cheers for now,

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