Unraced projects of the 1963 season

Projects 1946 - 1969

Since the early days of Grand Prix racing many attempts were made to enter the Formula One and pre-war Grand Prix era. The period 1885 – 2021 contains over 650 Unraced projects. Every now and then new projects appear on the surface. To share with you all the stories i decided to summarize the stories per year. Don’t you worry, all the stories will be researched and eventually published. This is the summarized overview of the 1963 season.

Lotus – Honda
In 1963 some interesting story appeared on the surface. It seems that Colin Chapman contacted the new comer Honda. Yes in 1963, Honda made their debut. He was interested to take the Honda engines. However, Colin Chapman had something else in mind. Chapman was in speaking terms with engine supplier Climax, and it didn’t go well. By flirting with Honda he tried to put pressure on Climax.

It worked out pretty well for Lotus. Eventually Climax caved in under the pressure that from Lotus and signed the deal. This meant that Colin Chapman contacted Honda and told them their deal would not continue, and his cars would race with the Climax engine. You could say that Honda was taught a cheeky lesson in the Formula One. Honda replied that they would go alone with it. We all know how that went.

Parnell – Climax RP64
In 1963 Reg Parnell’s team, Reg Parnell Racing,  was working on a Formula One car based on the same lines as the Lotus 25, BRP at that time did a similar thing with their car. Les Redmond was commissioned to design the car. At that time, Redmond was working on a sports car for Nick Cussons. The design of the car was four inches narrower than the Lotus 25 while the car would have been fitted with the Climax engine. While the car was in an advanced stage, Reg Parnell became ill. After an operation was performed on Parnell he eventually died at the age of 52.

The dead of Reg meant the end of the Parnell – Climax RP64. The team became instable, as did the contract they had with Climax.  Eventually the contractual problem with Climax became this big that the deal snatched.  Eventually the design would be used for the Parnell Sports car. While the project was abandoned, for 1964 Tim Parnell acquired three Lotus 25’s to race with.