If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Formula 1200 article on AUTOentusiastas, make sure to give it a read over. The Brazilian website published Daniel Demaras’ story about joining F1200 this year. Brazil has a long history in Formula Vee, and columnist Alexander Gromow gave his audience a glimpse into their beloved series in Canada.
The article was translated by Brazilian hot-rodder Rubens Junior, who now calls Canada home. The comments section won’t automatically translate when switching from Portuguese to English, but the comments are so poetic, we just had to post them here. Enjoy!
Walking Bronze Bust
How cool, it must be a delight to drive this Formula 1200, and everything is better to have behind your shoulders, an engine that is a walking bronze bust: historic, primordial, perhaps eternal.
Well, Formula Finesse, I have to make a protest! The boxer engine may be old, but it is still current, just look at the example of Subaru and Porsche. The boxer engine principle is still alive and current and accepts updates, such as water cooling and an increase in the number of cylinders. Canadian Formula 1200 engines are more “rooted” and I wouldn’t call them a “walking bronze bust” – just watch the race video, which is part of the article. They get 60 hp out of these engines.
I didn’t make myself understood, synthesized it via poetic license. The VW 1200 engine is so important that it is practically a living bust, a walking homage (Ruy Castro wrote this of very large biographies, when they were still alive in the pages of the book); is such a “character” this VW1200 engine, which in addition to being perfectly functional and efficient, is also — at the same time — a historic asset, direct link to Dr. Ferdinand. The term walking bronze bust is a reverence, not a relation to the age of your project!
“Everything is better to have behind your shoulders and shoulders, an engine that is a walking bronze bust: historical, primordial, perhaps eternal” I found your words simply poetic, a true tribute to the old VW boxer.
And what a delicious track that is! Almost all high curve! This one, yes!
This racetrack is fantastic, what I liked the most is the freedom that the public has to choose a good place to watch the race. There are streets that go around the entire track, just drive along them and choose your favorite spot. There is still parking for RV and the public still has access to the paddock.
Well, Arnoldo, there were ups and downs too, to spice things up. Did you see the race video?
Drum Brakes are Still Satisfactory
It is also interesting to keep the drum brake, a constant target of criticism in street cars when it is still used on the rear axle.
Hey, Daniel Girald, It’s all a matter of cost-benefit. For this type of single-seater, drum brakes, with special brake linings glued to the shoes, work without problems. Disc brakes would unnecessarily increase costs.
Even in other applications, drum brakes are still satisfactory. Have you seen that many still preferred drum brakes, even when the Beetle already had a front disc in some versions? And in principle, the reason is the same reason so many trucks still use drum brakes, a perception of greater resilience to harsh environmental conditions.
They Milk a Stone
As for the Formula 1200, I was impressed by the fact that the 1200 engine was used, an engine that was used in Brazil until 1967 in Beetles and Kombis, and the most surreal thing about this story is that even today, abroad, it is possible to find parts, unlike from Brazil, where this engine has practically disappeared and whoever still has a Volkswagen Beetle with this engine is forced to resort to importing cylinder liners and pistons in order to make the engine work again.
Well, I ask your question, where do they get spare parts for existing cars and new parts to build new cars??? There must be parallel manufacturing of these parts in the US, I suppose. But they milk a stone, a modern 1200 engine with a tripartite casing that would have 34 hp ends up yielding between 58 and 60 hp (on the dynamometer), with dynamic airflow cooling, with scoops, eliminating the fan and its fairing, as well like taking air from the carburetor using the air pressure of the car in motion, plus all the adjustments that the regulation allows. I think the video of the last 2022 race of the Canadian Formula 1200 shows how “tough” these cars are and the degree of emotion they offer.
As for parts for the 1200 “air” engines, they are certainly parts from the USA, where the old vehicle culture is very strong. So strong that you can find parts to keep a 1920s Ford T running.
I didn’t see a fan on the engine?
Yes, Arnoldo, the air is captured by “scoops” that appear in red in the photo, and that have a section calculated to provide convenient cooling for the engine, the air is captured with the movement and thrown over the cooling fins of the heads and cylinders. In fact something similar was used on Fittivolks which had two scoops above the rear window.
And there was the Fittipaldi Beetle Bimotor where they also got rid of the power expenditure to drive the fan, as shown in the photo. About Jean’s 1950 Beetle, I really don’t know what happened.
And they also did that with Gol when he started to frequent the racetracks still with the boxer engine.