Unraced projects of the 1952 season

Projects 1946 - 1969

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 – 2022 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 of the 1952 season.

Clairmonte Special
The very first single seater from Colin Chapman. The Lotus MK7 was intended as a Formula 2 car. Designed by the Clairmonte brothers. When the rules in the Formula One adapted the Formula 2 regulations the car suddenly became an contender for the World Championship. The car was intended to be fitted with the Riley 2l six-cylinder engine from Hector Dobbs. Sadly, the car never raced in 1952. The engine was destroyed before it was completed. Eventually the Clairmonte became a sportscar. Forix made years ago an amazing background story about Clairmonte.

Connaught – JAP
A project I don ‘t have much info about. The Connaught Space Frame was to be fitted with two Jap 908CC engine in the back. Johnson made a drawing of the car. While Rodney Clarke and Mike Oliver were the people behind the project. Seems it never materialised.

Cromard Special
I have no clue if the Cromard Special is a legit unraced F1 car or not. The car’s history goes back to 1948 when Bob Spikins had the plan to construct this car. It is said that the car appeared during the free practice of the British Grand Prix of 1951 and 1952. So far I can’t find much info about this. Only an article from the historywebsite.co.uk.

DB Panhard
DB standing for Deutsch-Bonnet was a French automobile constructor. For 1952, DB came with the idea for a DB Panhard with a twin engine. It was a four-wheel car to fit the Formula 2 form at that time. Fitted with the Panhard 750cc engine. The car never appeared on the grid.

Nardi – Lancia
The Nardi – Lancia was one of the first attempts in the Formula One to put the engine in the rear of the car, instead in front of the driver as, what was then, the standard. It was the brainchild of Enrico Nardi, a pre-war constructor of specials. For 1952, he designed his Nardi F2 challenger. The Lancia Aurelia V6 engine was chosen to power the car. This was basically a monoposto. After testing the car the decision was made to abandon the project. Mostly due the lack of power of the engine. It is said that Gianni Lancia was very interested in this project.  

Sacha –  Gordine
A story that dates back to 1947. In 1947, Piero Dusio owner of Cisitalia sponsored the Porsche grand prix project. The plan was aborted, while it did race in Argentine as Autocar. In 1952, the car would be used as base for the Sacha. The Sacha Gordine was constructed during 1952 and ready to race in 1953. The car would make its debut in Pau. However, Sacha Gordine ran out of money and had to abort the project. The engine was place behind the driver. Funny fact the Ferrari sharknose look very similar to the Sacha Gordine.