The combination of Lotus 49 and Cosworth Ford double-four-valve engine proved unbeatable at the outset, with Graham Hill and Jim Clark dominating the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix.
1967 marked the genesis of the Ford-financed Cosworth DFV V8 engine which filled the void left by Climax's departure. The engine was to dominate F1 racing for many seasons to come. Again it fell to Chapman to set the trend: for 1967, the DFV was available exclusively to Lotus. The Lotus-Ford 49 made its bow in Holland, and a spectacular bow it was. The car itself was a logical development of previous Lotuses, with refinements aimed at better handling and brake cooling; the engine, which was suspension bearing and fully stressed, bolted directly onto the vertical back of the abbreviated monocoque.
It was straightforward and beautifully conceived; individually, car and engine were interesting, together they were sensational. At Zandvoort Hill took pole position and Clark won the race. The writing was on the wall. Although the 49 was dominant throughout 1967, reliability cost it the results that it promised, and it was the Repco Brabham that emerged again as champion. The Eagle won in Belgium and the Honda, now with a Lola- inspired chassis and Surtees driving, won in Italy. Everthing else was shared between Lotus and Brabham. For 1968, the DFV was available to all-corners and, at last, the constructors had access to an engine which was a match for any other. Examples were quickly snapped up by McLaren for their M7A, and by Matra, to be used pending completion of their own V 12.
The only intruder into a Ford grand slam was Jacky Ickx, with the latest Ferrari 312, with a four-valve V12. This car won at Rouen, where the Honda was second. Honda also produced an air-cooled, V8-engined car at that race but Jo Schlesser crashed it, with fatal results, after the engine cut out on the fast downhill sweeps. No further cars were built. BRM abandoned the H16 in favour of the ubiquitous V12, which also found its way into the Cooper T86B. That car and the Alfa Romeo-engined T86C were the last of the Coopers. Honda's ambitions in FI seemed to die with Schlesser and the Eagles returned to their USAC eyrie in 1968.