1969 was a liminal year in Formula One, with constructors experimenting with a variety of new technologies to gain a competitive edge. As understanding of aerodynamics became more fully matured, one of the major leaps forward in the late ’60s was the addition of wings to F1 cars to develop vital downforce. Starting in 1968 and continuing into early 1969, a number of car constructors mounted wings on large struts that towered over the car, usually bolted directly to the suspension. These “high wings” did indeed generate a huge amount of downforce, but they were also prone to collapse…often with catastrophic results. After only the second race of the 1969 season (the Spanish Grand Prix) the FIA banned wings altogether, though they would return in lower, body-mounted specification later that season.
The winner of that final high-wing race was Jackie Stewart in his Matra MS80, a car which he would later describe as the best-handling F1 car he had ever driven. Powered by the ubiquitous 3-liter Cosworth DFV, the MS80 was quick and reliable, carrying Stewart to a dominant six victories in eleven races en route to his maiden World Championship.
Spark Models recently announced that they will produce Jackie Stewart’s groundbreaking high-wing Matra MS80 in 1:18 scale (pictured above, manufacturer’s photo.) Slated for December release, Carriage House Models will proudly carry this incredibly significant Formula 1 car, one that rewrote the rules for the way race cars would be constructed for decades to come. Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.