This year has defiantly turned out to be a crazy one. Time has just not been on my side however I had to glue myself to the seat to get some post up. Since the movie Rush came out earlier this year Ive been wanting to do a piece on it and fortunately Mr Aaron Mai was ahead of me. He actually built the two feature cars of the movie and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get them featured along with the rush theme.
So sit back and enjoy.
Clash of the Titans
The 1960s & 1970s are infamous in the Formula One circus for being the killing years. Drivers were not simply drivers – they were gladiators. Every time they harnessed themselves into their cars, and fastened their helmets there was a very very real chance they would never come back into the pits alive.
Niki Lauda was an Austrian-born driver who thrived on skill and precision, and James Hunt the Brit was a flamboyant party animal, these two drivers couldn’t have been more different. Their rivalry in 1976 has been famously documented and recently those who have seen ‘Rush’ will be familiar with how the events unfolded. As the season was gearing up Niki Lauda driving a Ferrari 312T had an accident at the Nurburgring circuit and was almost burned to death after his car crashed, rupturing the fuel cell.
Now I hear you thinking, well that’s just plain unlucky. What many don’t know is that the early F1 cars, despite only appearing advanced, were primitive in their design. Drivers often sat on top of fuel tanks, or had them in the sides of the cockpit, and even small accidents would have them burst into flame. Without a doubt the F1 cars of the 60s and 70s are some of the most beautiful ever built and just prior to the film being released I decided to immortalize these two drivers in plastic.
The Ferrari 312T is a Hasegawa and the McLaren M23 is a Tamiya, both being 1:20 scale. The kits have been built box stock, with only tobacco decals, engine wiring, and photoetch belts added. One good thing about these kits, is they are not curbside, there is a full engine, transmission and brakes to install as well as extensive cockpit detail. These machines are a far cry from the F1 of today, no computer aids, big rubber, tall intakes, and in many instances sideways driving was the order of the day.
The kits are very well produced, fitment is very good, and allow a lot of room for additional detailing. I highly recommend them for any F1 fan. My own main reason for choosing these two cars was to display them together, as this signifies a time in racing when drivers didn’t cry, and whinge in the media. Issues were settled on the racetrack, with some death-defying displays of driving.
It’s not widely known but Niki Lauda and James Hunt were, despite being fierce rivals, very good friends who both had a lot of mutual respect for each other. To have entered into Formula One in it’s deadliest years, driven each Grand Prix at 110% and still come out the other side alive is quite an achievement. The cars of Rush come from a time when drivers were gladiators, and racecars were gorgeous. I have a feeling people will be mentioning names such as James Hunt, Niki Lauda, and Jackie Stewart for many decades to come, and for good reason too.
A big Thank you goes out to Aaron for the great write up and wonderful photos.
All media belong to Aaron Mai