Story by Rich Taylor

Grand Prix racers have always captured our imaginations. No compromises, no fat, no concessions to the needs of the general public.

Even though these machines are constantly evolving and improving, our seven selections for the best-ever Grand Prix cars hail from throughout the past century. True, later racers may have rendered them obsolete, but our picks …

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RoddyMac17 Reader
3/6/18 4:48 p.m.

Any reason why the Lotus 25 was left off the list?  It wasn't the first monocoque but it was the first successful monocoque chassis in Grand Prix racing, a true trend setter.  

Also, the Lotus 78 should have been included rather than the prettier 79.  The 78 was the trend setter for ground effect cars.

abcarman New Reader
3/12/18 11:13 a.m.

I can't really fault your choices.  It's a very difficult choice between the Alfa P2 and P3 - I probably would have gone with the P3 but I can understand choosing the earlier car.  However I would have added the dominant Alfa 158/159  multi[ple Worll Championship to the list. 

bosswrench New Reader
3/12/18 4:31 p.m.

Noting the shot of the '67 Lotus and its neck-high "roll bar", I remembered an interview with Stirling Moss questioning why he opposed FIA roll bars on GP cars. Stirling's reply was, "There's nothing in the car solid enough to connect to a roll bar! The machine is a box of matches and a gas tank on 4 wheels!" 

What Lotus did was add a tubular loop connected to the engine's cylinder heads.... Those guys all had huevos the size of basketballs!

4/19/18 3:15 p.m.

Very disappointed to once again, as this is not the first time, having to be exposed to inaccurate information from supposedly expert writers, this being fed to readers regarding the milestone that the Cooper-Climax "Indianapolis" car was to the racing world.
And I quote:
" The revolution spread to the Indy 500 in 1961. Jack Brabham drove an obsolete Cooper F1 car fitted with a 2.7-liter FPF Coventry Climax engine and cruised easily into ninth place."

In 1961, the 1960 Cooper T53 F1 was Grand Prix' state of the art, being the Formula 1 undisputed world champion. That the FIA in Place de la Concorde plotted with the Italian Mafia in Maranello to favor the Ferrari V6 to allow for an easy championship pick on pure horsepower is irrelevant, and forcing the fitment of a smaller displacement engine in the Cooper F1 chassis did not make it an obsolete design, far from it. Now, the Cooper T54 Indy car, while a brother to the T53, was also state of the art in its day: It was brand new car, specially engineered for the needs of the job at hand, a larger, longer, heavier car than the T53, and it was as advanced a design as any that year, far from being an "obsolete F1 car". Its engine, closer in displacement to 2.8-liter (2775cc) was the product of an experiment by Coventry-Climax and does not even bear, like all other twin-cam 4 bangers from them, an "FPF" number. Later "2.7" Climax FPF engines had larger bores but unlike the two experimental Indy engines, did not have a longer stroke than the standard 2.5-liter FPF engine. Could you please verify, then revised your flawed facts? Many of us enthusiasts would greatly appreciate.
Jack M


racerdave600 UltraDork
4/19/18 4:01 p.m.

I'd say the Williams FW15 also belongs on the list.  In many ways it is much more of a ground breaker than the Shumacher Ferrari.  

4/23/18 1:08 p.m.

You omitted a very siginificant American GP racer: the Duesenberg that Jimmy Murphy won the i1921 French GP. It is significant in being the only time an American has won a GP driving an American car until Gurney did it in 1967. It is also the first racing car to have hydraulic brakes - an advancement that gave then an "unfair advantage," as Donohue would say. You can see a sister car to the Murphy Duesey (the Joe Boyer car) at the Simeone Museum in Philadelphia.

OJR New Reader
4/24/18 8:10 a.m.

Lancia D50

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
4/25/18 9:31 p.m.

No Auto Unions?  No Renault turbo?

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