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 1968 season.
The Alpine A350 was an unauthorised Formula One project that was kept secret for a long period of time for Renault. At that time Alpine was purchased, as well with Matra, by the Renault company. Alpine started working on their A350 in late 1967. Richard Bouleau and André de Cortanze worked on the car in Dieppe. They acquired the Gordini V8 engines for their car, which was said to deliver 300hp at 7000rpm. The car was finished in April 1968 and tested soon by Mauro Bianchi at Zolder and Zandvoort. The decision felt to enter the car for the French Grand Prix of 1968. However, the Alpine A350 would never race. The reason? The engine was far from competitive as the Cosworth and Repco engines produced more speed. Read the story here.
Ginetta – BRM V8/V12 G19 or G20
The brothers Walkett established Ginetta cars in 1958, which started with the design of several sports cars. During the 1960s the company started to work on several single seaters such as the Ginetta G8 (Formula 3) and G9 (Formula 2). It is said that the company started to work on a Formula one car in 1969. It is not quiet sure if it was the Ginetta G19 or the Ginetta G20. Nor is it sure which BRM engine would power the car. Some sources mentioning the BRM V8 others the BRM V12. The car never materialised.
Lotus-Cosworth DFW 58
The Lotus 58 was a revised Formula 2 chassis with de Dion suspension fitted with the Cosworth DFW engine and the ZK gearbox. Another revolutionary feature was the four-pedal dual break system. Jim Clark was to test the car in the week after the F2 race at Hockenheim. Sadly, Clark was killed in that F2 race. At the Hethel circuit Graham Hill, Colin Chapman and Leo Wybrott a Lotus Mechanic tested the car.
After the testing, the team abandoned the car. In the 1970s, Chapman wanted to throw away the Chassis and bits and pieces as it was junk to him. However, the story goes that former Team Lotus Chief Mechanic Bob Dance persuaded Chapman to keep it. In the early 2000s, the Lotus 58 was seen a couple of times during historical events.
Matra MS11 4WD
In the Spring of 1968 Matra introduced a new model F1 car the Matra MS11 4WD, designed by Jean-Louis Caussin. Matra probably used the Matra MS11-04 for this. The hydraulic system on the car used two curving tube axles to move some power from the rear differential to the front wheels. They tested the car in May 1968 at Velizy, the results were far from good. The system Matra used was too complex and fragile, as well the hydraulic duct were always breaking.