70s Grand Prix car

Discussion in 'Special Projects & Concept Cars' started by ferrariwill, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. ferrariwill

    ferrariwill Rookie

    Aug 6, 2010

    I have been on this forum for some time but not really made a significant post; this is my first.

    Recently, I have become quite interested in grand prix cars from the early 70s. I was fortunate enough to see a Mclaren M23 recently in the paddock at Goodwood. I found it quite captivating. I do not have enough money to buy a genuine article. As such, it might be good to do some sort of “recreation” in the style of such a car, be it Ferrari 312, Lotus 72 etc..

    I have not really got a very clear specification yet, but I have written out a list of some areas that should be focused on:

    1. Ground clearance should be reasonable – in my experience, a car that’s too low is not practical to set up on anything other than a billiard table.
    2. Sprung mass should have low drag. Low, chiselled noses are favourable. Side radiators and a floor hinging pedal box will facilitate this.
    3. Drag from non body elements (brakes, halfshafts wishbones etc..) should be minimised to clear up flow off the trailing edge of the front wing.
    4. CoG should be low – much of this will likely be influenced by crank centreline. Driver’s position also has a significant effect, but (at least when working within a given wheelbase) the engine configuration also is a big factor: Usually, a V8 takes up a good deal less length than a V12.

    I recognise that this is an ambitious project and I will have to keep an eye on the costs, but I think it would be very satisfying to complete such a car. What are your thoughts ladies and gentlemen?
    anunakki and 71Satisfaction like this.
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  3. superflyte

    superflyte Karting

    Jun 4, 2009
    Melbourne, VIC
    Full Name:
    It would be best to find an old F3000 chassis and start with that as your base. Something like a Ralt RT23 or Lola around late 80's or early 90s.

    Then, a Ferrari 355 or F360 engine mated to a sequential transaxle would give a very satisfying sound with short pipes.
    71Satisfaction likes this.
  4. 71Satisfaction

    71Satisfaction Formula 3

    Jul 15, 2012
    New York and Norway
    Full Name:
    Sounds absolutely satisfying.

    I've restored one car, and have an ongoing interest in what it might take to build a personal 'homage' race or road car some day. A custom design would an even higher accomplishment.

    The process I expect to go through would be to start much like you - First, select what historical period I want the car from, factor in how many seats I may want, what purpose it will serve (race or road).. then pick car to replicate and find an existing platform/chassis that can be acquired to fit those parameters, and research a engine/drivetrain to fit. There are many fabricators out there, who would probably volunteer some mentoring advice in terms of the 'decision tree' when selecting chassis, drivetrain components, design, fabrication methods, skills needed, etc.

    Or - maybe you come across a spare engine, and start with that.. Think what you can do with a Jaguar 4.2 or a V12, an Alfa V6, or a Maserati V8 (hint: 1980's Quattroporte's are dirt cheap).. they could make excellent starting points.. Good parts availability, adaptable to front or rear engine, high or medium HP, 70's or 80's era cars..

    In my case, I believe that level of project would be more viable after acquiring experience first with a high-quality commercial kit. Maybe a Lister-Bell Stratos with an Alfa 156 drivetrain, for instance, or a replica Jaguar XK-13, Factory Five Daytona coupe, or somebody's Ford GT40? etc..

    My expectation would be a 4-6 year build process for the first car, then re-evaluate and decide how to proceed.

    Surf around on sales sites online and you may find people selling projects they have abandoned...

    There is so much to choose from.. stuff that dreams are made of..
    - Art
  5. PAUL500

    PAUL500 Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2013
    A number of Lotus Reynards were converted to look like period F1 cars for the film Rush, one of those would be a great option, I really wanted the M23 they had that was auctioned off but it seems to have vanished.
  6. fastback33

    fastback33 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 8, 2004
    Take a look at scarbo performance. They build a vintage era open wheel car that's based on the old ferraris.

    I know it's more based on the 60's but it might be a decent starting point with more modern materials and components.
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  8. spicedriver

    spicedriver F1 Rookie

    Feb 1, 2011
    Better to get an actual car that raced, and restore it. Vintage F1 cars are expensive. But you can get vintage Indycars for a bargain, with very similar looks/performance.

    There are some turnkey recreations that I find interesting, such as this Porsche 906 replica:


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