THOROUGHBRED GP CARS: 1970 - 1973
The McLaren M14D was a development
of the M7C, the car Bruce McLaren drove in 1969, the last full Grand Prix season he
competed before he was killed testing a Can-Am car in 1970. The M14D was powered by an
Alfa Romeo engine. It was rather unsuccessful, its best finish was an eight in the Italian
Grand Prix. The Cosworth DFV powered M14A fared better, McLaren scored a fourth place in
the 1970 constructors championship with it, tied with Brabham.
Only one M14D was built, originally driven by Andrea de Adamich. Because the M14D wasn't ready at the start of the season, an Alfa Romeo powered M7D was introduced in 1970 as an interim model until the M14D was ready. It ran only one Grand Prix.
Probably the best March F1 car ever was this 711, designed by Frank Costin
and Geoff Ferris. Ronnie Peterson reached second place in the 1971 drivers championship
with it, as a runner-up to Jackie Stewart. March claimed third spot in the constructors
championship, together with Ferrari.
Frank Costin pioneered single seater aerodynamics as far back as the Vanwall team in the fifties, and designed a body with remarkable features although not all of them were as effective and changes had to be made due to cooling problems. The chassis design by Geoff Ferris resembled that of the Lotus 72, a design he assisted in.
Also an Autodelta-Alfa Romeo engined version was constructed for Alfa protégé Andrea de Adamich as a replacement for his McLaren M14D. The main cars however were powered by Cosworth DFVs.
This BRM did not actually ran in the 1996 Thoroughbred race but in a Marlboro
demo a few years earlier, but it fits in well.
The P180 was a spin-off of the better known 1971 P160. Both cars were designed by Tony Southgate (most famous for his sportscar designs). The main difference was that in the P160 the (single) radiator was placed in the nose and in the P180 the (multiple) radiators were placed alongside the gearbox at the rear (the red 'boxes' beneath the rear wing in the picture). This made the car rather tail-heavy and that didn't help the handling of the car. The P180 design was then dropped in favour of revised P160 designs (B, C and E versions) which were run up to the 1974 season.
BRM regular Jean-Pierre Beltoise originally drove this car.
The 72 was one of Lotus founder Colin Chapman's most successful designs,
filling a Grand Prix career of six years with twenty victories. The car was introduced in
1970 and Jochen Rindt won the drivers Championship in it that year, posthumous because he
was killed racing the 72 in practice two Grand Prix before the end of the season.
Starting 1972 the cars were run as John Player Specials in the famous and beautiful black and gold livery. Well-known drivers as Emerson Fittipaldi (winning the 1972 drivers title), Ronnie Peterson and Jackie Ickx raced 72s.
1975 was the last year Lotus entered 72s and in its last race at Watkins Glen Ronnie Peterson placed it fifth. About nine of these 72s were built and some of them were raced by privateers in minor events up to the late 1970s.
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