1973 Surtees TS14

   John Surtees remains the only man to win world championships on two and four wheels. His team raced in F1, F2 and F5000 from 1970 to 1978 having somewhat mixed fortunes, mostly due to financial instability. The TS14 was the last car he drove before stopping driving his last F1 race being the 1972 Monza Italian GP. It seems he had a soft spot for the car. These were the words of John Surtees in an interview about the restoration of Carlos Pace s race car TS16-03.

“The TS14 is a story of what could have been, with better team funding and a dedicated tyre development programme we could have achieved far more with the car. Certainly with drivers of the calibre of Pace and Hailwood behind the wheel it could easily have been a Grand Prix winner.”

   Instead of being a race winner it really marked a watershed for the team. F1 is about money, and if you can t secure substantial and regular finances you can t develop and move on. To attract sponsorship money you need success, to get success you need money. This was the merry-go-round that frustrated Surtees all the way through its life. The TS14 was it s best car to date but it had an terrible habit of consuming tyres. Firestone were the teams contracted suppliers but they were pulling out of F1 and couldn't be persuaded to put in the time and money to develop the tyres. The car slipped further and further off the pace.

   The car should have done better, being well on the pace in initial testing. It is historically important as the first car to comply with the new mandatory, safety led, crumple-zone legislation. It s side pods housed the radiators, as was becoming popular amongst constructors, but it was also designed to absorb energy in crashes. Just as well as the car suffered a series of accidents which put even more pressure on the teams finances and development programs. The TS14 never reached its potential and the Surtees team never secured the backing to repeat the potential of this car.

   Our car represents the chassis driven by José Carlos Pace at the Belgian Grand Prix on the 20th May 1973. This race is best remembered for the controversy over the track surface breaking up. In the race itself Stewart and Fittipaldi battled for the win which Steward took and virtually cemented his third world championship. Pace's race was largely anonymous run to eighth place. Pace gave the TS14 it's best result with a podium at the Austrian GP, at the Österreichring on 19 August 1973. This was largely due to faster cars crashing or suffering reliability problems. Pace did win his on track battle to get in front of Reutemann and that gave Surtees their best result of the season. Halfway through 1973 Pace parted company with the Surtees outfit.

1/20th scale kit.
Built by Ian.

   Alfa Brazilian Miniatures are a little known Brazilian firm that have made a variety of kits over the years across several scales for different genres of automotive models.

   This kit benefits from some Tamiya derived sprues for the engine but most of it is hand crafted and the castings in white metal and resin are not at the standard of Japanese companies. On the plus side the subjects are interesting and unlikely to be offered by mainstream manufacturers. When one considers that one person is responsible for not only the creating of the master parts, but also their casting production, it is fair to say the kit is actually very good value for money.

   The reason so few of these kits are seen built is that there is still a large amount of scratch building work for the builder undertake. While the kit supplies all the raw materials it also gives good plans and templates for the builder to work too. Sadly too few people trust their own abilities to take on this work and the parts go back into the box, untouched.

   Ian spent four years tackling this kit, little by little overcoming the scratch building frustrations to end up with an unusual and rare model. Whenever it has been taken out to model shows it always draws attention, questions and comments.

   The body is painted with Halfords acrylic car spray paints as is much of the block painting of the chassis and engine. This paintwork is supplemented by Citadel acrylic paints and ink washes from the Games Workshop range.

   The kit has had an aftermarket seatbelt set added to give the cockpit a lift and a variety of other details were also scratch built in order to create the illusion of reality. Ian could have gone a lot further in improving this kit but after four years completion took on more urgency and Ian went with what was needed. All in all it still looks good though.