Go-Fast Technology, Technostalgia

Designing the 1986 Cosworth F1 Engine


Ford Cosworth GBA 1.5 liter turbocharged V6 F1 engine. Click for Largerizer

I was rooting around through YouTube videos, looking for something else entirely, when I came across these videos that I think everyone will find interesting. They’re from the BBC series Equinox and document a part of the early years of the Formula one turbo era. In particular, they follow the efforts of the Ford Cosworth engineers to design and build a competitive turbocharged 1.5 liter engine for the Beatrice (remember them?) F1 team.

This post might be better fodder for Hooniverse, but there are all sorts of technology in evidence that was cutting edge in the mid-80s but is antique junk now. The computer technology for example, is very quaint and brings back memories that I’d just as soon be rid of to make room for something else, like all of the tricks that I used to use for programming and burning EPROMs. Totally useless today.

There are evidently 3 videos in the series of which I could only locate the first two, each about 50 minutes long. The two videos cover the design and debugging the the engines, and I think the last one follows the team’s travails in the 1986 F1 season. If anyone can find an embeddable copy of the third video, let me know and I’ll add it.

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