Unraced projects of the 1956 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 – 2021 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 1956 season.

Aston Martin DB3S
IN 1951 Aston Martin tried their first luck in the Formula One with their Aston Martin DB3 GP. The design was eventually scrapped, as Eberan von Eberhorst didn’t like the sports car concept. Five years later Aston Martin would give it another shot.  This time with the DB3S. It was their second attempt to modify, again, one of their sports cars chassis and engine. Again, von Eberhorst wasn’t happy with it. However, Reg Parnell tested the car in late 1955 at Chalgrove. Eventually the car would not attempt an official Grand Prix. It doesn’t mean that car didn’t race. At the Lady Wigram Trophy, the car finished fourth. Later on the car, in the hands of Geoff Richardson, became the RRA Special.

Bugatti 251
This is a car which im not sure if I should qualify it as an unraced attempt or not, eventually the plan is to write an article about it. The Bugatti 251, designed by Gioacchino Colombo, appeared in 1956 at the French Grand Prix held at Rheims. Maurice Trintignant barely qualified the car on the 18th place, while there were only 20 cars on the grid. Eventually in round 18, the car would break down due to a broken throttle pedal.

Connaught – Alta J5
The Connaught-Alta J5 is one of the last discoveries I made to add to the long list of unraced F1 projects. The car would be fitted with the Alta J5 engine in the rear. It was not the first time Connaught was playing around with the idea of a rear-engines car. Also using the Alta engine.  Sadly the company lacked the needed funding to keep on developing the rear-engine car. It probably would have evolved into the Type-D according to the book Classic Grand Prix Cars: The Front-engined Formula 1 Era.

Ferrari D50A Streamliner
The story is well known how the Lancia family sold their shares and the assets of Scuderia Lancia to Scuderia Ferrari. If you don’t have a clue. After the dead of Ascari the team came in financial struggles. They had to make the decision to sell.  In 1955 and 1956, Ferrari would use the D50 design. However, Ferrari was experimenting with a streamlined body, basically Lancia was already doing. The team used chassis 0006 for it. The car would ran for the first time during the free practice session of the French Grand Prix held at Reims. Eugene Castellotti was the lucky one. Soon it would become clear that the car was struggling badly with cross winds.