First time out: The Lotus 49

Is there any Grand Prix car more beautiful than the Lotus 49? 

The 1960s are widely regarded as the golden age of motorsport and F1 racing, not least because the vehicles were blazingly fast, relied on nothing but mechanical grip, and the majority of the drivers on the grid were truly world class. 

In 1967, Lotus was blessed with having two of the best in the business, with 1962 champion Graham Hill (later 1968) and '63 and '65 champ Jim Clark. Lotus founder and engineer Colin Chapman and Maurice Phillipe came up with a new design that was paired with a groundbreaking engine from transmission engineer Keith Duckworth and engine builder Mike Costin. 

The short, 3.o-litre V8 Cosworth DFV was the first engine to be a fully-stressed member of the car, being bolted behind the chassis and supporting the rear suspension components and rear-mounted transmission. Since then, virtually all F1 cars have been built this way. 

Simplicity in design, the 410 bhp V8 was fitted to the car just days before the Lotus 49 debuted at Zandvoort. And the rest, as they say, was history. 

(Running time: 10:23)