70 years

70 years of unraced F1 cars and teams


This season, 2020, the Formula One celebrates it’s 70th season. 70 years of exiting racing, incredible race drivers and of course 70 years of failed F1 ventures! Many are known to the public. However, there are many projects that are unknown to the public. Enjoy the list of some, i believe, unknown attempts to appear in the Formula One the last 70 year!

1950 SVA-FIAT 1500
SVA (Societa Valdostana Automobili) was a small Italian car manufacturer established in 1948 and folded in 1951. The company was founded in order to develop the cars made by Cisitalia. When Cistalia went into receivership, the company changed its focus to open-wheel series. Their first attempt was in the Formula 3. In 1950, the company decided to debut their SVA f1 car powered by a supercharged Fiat-derived engine. With Rudolf Fischer behind the wheel, the team was to drive their car during the Swiss Grand Prix, it never happened. Trivia: In 1952 Cisitalia arrived with the D46.

1960 Jocko-Climax
The Jocko Climax was the brainchild of American midget car racer Jocko Maggiacomo. He designed a Formula Junior car with the engine in front.  The car would be powered with a Fiat engine and transmission. It was designed as a precursor on the Climax powered F1 cars.

1966 Willy-Gávea
The Willy Gávea was announced in the early days of 1966 in Brazil. It was said that the car was suitable for the Formula 3, Formula 2 and even for the Formula One. The car was powered by a Renault Engine en did some Formula 3 races with minor results. It has been said that the car had appeared on a non-championship race due that time. However, I cannot confirm it yet.

1969 Ginetta Cars Ltd. G20
Ginetta Cars Ltd. Was founded in 1958 by the brothers Walkett. They mostly designed sport cars however the designed also several open-wheelers. The story goes that the brothers designed the Ginetta G20 in late 1968 and early 1969. They were already negotiating with BRM to use their BRM V12 engine. Some sources say it was the BRM V8 engine. Eventually the project was abandoned at the design state due the costs.

1974 Rondel-Cosworth RJ42
Rondel Racing was a British Racing Team that appeared on the grid of the Formula two series between 1971 and 1973. The team completed most of the races with a Brabham. Their last year in 1973 the team designed their own Motul M1 car. During the 1973 season the team planned a entrée in the Formula One with their own car. Ray Jessop designed the Rondel-Cosworth RJ42. And was ready to debut.  Because of the oil crisis Motul left as sponsor and the team folded. However, the Rondel would appear on the grid only this time as the Token and later in 1975 the Safir.

1978 March781S
On the starting list of the Belgium Grand Prix in 1978 there is a privateer entrée from Patrick Neve with a March 781S. A few days before the race Patrick Nève tested the March 781S at Goodwood.  There is no much info about the March 781S. Probably it was a development / evolution of the March 781.

1980 Surtees TS21-Honda
In 1980 Team Surtees was near bankruptcy but it did not let the team down. They kept on developing new cars and the Surtees TS21 was promising on paper. In June 1979, the team was keen on the TS21 and put all their efforts in it. It was the teams first, and last, ground-effect car. At that point it was rumoured that John Surtees was in contact with Honda. Honda was looking for a partner to have their new V12 3,5L engine tested. The TS21 was suitable for it. Sadly the team folded and the TS21 partly debuted (the TS20+) by Gordon Smiley.

1982 Nissan F1 Team
During the 1981 season some rumours appeared of Nissan working on a F1 engine. However, the rumours were even bigger as the team was working on their own F1 car. Some articles suggested that Nissan already had designed a F1 car and the car was now in state of development. Firstly, Nissan admitted that they had a F1 project, but later discontinued it due the amount of money that was needed.

1988 Kansallis Banking Racing
Tyrrell was a poor team in the late 1980s, loosing sponsors and with a lack of results on the track, the team became a candidate to be taken over. Kansallis Banking Racing was looking to take over the team from Ken Tyrrell. It was a Finnish consortium led by Keke Rosberg. Eventually the deal felt true as the main sponsor decided not to invest in the team.

1993 Dhainaut – Hart / Dhainaut Brabham
Frédéric Dhainaut worked in 1992 for the Andrea Moda team, and left the team after the Canadian Grand Prix in 1992. The plan was to start a new team in 1993. It was said that Frédéric Dhainaut had the budget, he signed a deal with an engine supplier (assumable Hart) and a deal was made for a chassis (probably Dallara). He had tried to but the equipment of the defected AGS team before. It was said that Rhone-Poulenc was one of the sponsors.

Later Frédéric Dhainaut was also linked to a buy out of the Brabham team after the team folded. At that time more consortiums were looking to take over the Brabham team.   Well known is the Brabham Galmer story.

70 years of Formula One brought us a lot of unraced teams and cars. 70 years of unraced Formula One. Lets hope another 70 years will bring us much more unraced projects to write about.