Since the early days of Grand Prix racing many attempts were made to enter the Formula One and pre-war Grand Prix era. The period 1885 – 2023 contains over 650 Unraced projects. Every now and then new projects appear on the surface. To share with you all the stories i decided to summarize the stories per year. Don’t you worry, all the stories will be researched and eventually published. This is the summarized overview between 1939 and 1945.
The invasion of Poland, by Nazi Germany, the 1st of September 1939 marked the start of World War II. Races that were scheduled for the weekend were postponed. While other races were cancelled due to the mobilisation in several countries. While the war was on going in several countries there were still races held. Even in January 1945, there were still races. I uncovered in my search for info about the races during the war several bits and pieces of abandoned projects. Plans for coal or wood powered Grand Prix cars were nothing special. Sadly, it is hard to have this investigated. Therefore, there are only a few unraced projects for now are on the list.
De Vos Monoposto (1939)
This attempt dates back to the 1930s when Dutchman A.J. de Vos from Strijensas was flirting with the idea to make his own Grand Prix car, with features of the Auto Union. In 1937, he finished the design of the car and ordered a company in Rotterdam to construct the chassis. The de Vos had a Ford V8 engine in the back and was fitted with Dunlop tires. Orginaly, de Vos entered his car for the Dutch Grand Prix in 1939. Due to the weight of the car, he decided to enter the races. It seems that after the war, in 1946, the car was on the entry list for the Belgium Grand Prix. Eventually the car never raced. It is one of the few Dutch Unraced Projects I’m aware of.
Mercedes W165 Streamliner (1940)
This is one of the unraced projects during the war I don’t have much information on. The development of the W165 started during the war. The intention was to debut the car during the Grand Prix of Tripoli held the 12th of May 1940. However, while heavily rumoured, the car never appeared. Little info is known whatever happened.
Alfa Romeo Tipo 512 (1940/1941)
In early 1940 Alfa Romeo started working on their new Grand Prix challenger for 1941. The 512 was a smooth looking car designed by Wilfredo Ricat with the engine in the back. For 1941, the expectation was that a new formula would made it’s introduction based on 1,5litre engines. Alfa Romeo already tested with their Tipo 512 in early 1940. Alfa Romeo kept developing the car during 1940 up to 1941. Eventually Alfa had to stall their cars in their factory only to see the light again after the war. While plans were made to continue with the 512s, the 158 was chosen.
Auto Union Type E (1941)
Richard Eberan von Eberhorst designed the Unraced Auto Union Type E, which was designed for the new regulations for 1941. Again, this is one of those unraced projects during the war that lacks the needed information. The project was stalled due to the lack of materials. However, Auto Union, or at least some engineers, kept working on the car as late as the summer of 1942.