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 1975 season.
Berta – Cosworth LR1
The Berta LR1 was Oreste Berta’s dream coming true to become a constructor in the Formula One. The stories goes back to 1973 when Oreste constructed a Formula 5000 car for Francisco Mir, some Argentinian executive. Néstor García at Willow Springs tested the car. However, the deal went off. Oreste decided to use the car and rebuild it to Formula One standards. As well, he still had his Berta V8 engine he would use for the car. In 1974, the car was constructed.
The Berta LR1 fitted with the Berta V8 engine was ready to be tested. The testing went well, however soon they would understand the engine was not reliable. Just a few days before the Argentinian Grand Prix in 1975 a local named Arturo Scalise invited Oreste to his home. Offering him to purchase a Cosworth engine. He denied due to the fact timing was too tight.
Colombo 1175 (eight-wheeler)
The Colombo 1175 was an interesting design from veteran designer Gioacchino Colombo, it would be his final design and what kind! It was an eight-wheeler. The idea behind the design? Simple, to reduce drag coefficient and increase the safety and stability of the car. Colombo was from a long gone generation. He was involved in the 1930s with the Alfetta’s. He designed for Ferrari their first V12 engine. The Colombo 1175 had four narrow wheels, which were arranged in tandem per axle as the wheels were not locked solid to each other.
It was designed with four narrow wheels, which were arranged in tandem per axle. The wheels weren’t locked solid to each other. The rear wheels would be 8 inch while his design for the brakes were strange and dared. Each brake had a pair of axes molten steel drum, where they took the outer ring plier that usually received the pressure inside of shoes. Colombo stated that the surface brakes of the 1175 was higher and so cooler. The car would be powered by a V8 engine.
Dome – Hamy (Six-wheeler)
There was another exotic car planned, the Dome – Hamy six-wheeler. It was said that Norbert Hamy designed a six-wheeler Formula One car. With the centre wheels placed in the middle of the car. While Dome was asked to construct the car. Eventually Hamy would be involved with the defunct Trebron F1 project. Another interesting F1 concept. There isn’t much info available. However, I believe I have more details somewhere in my archive.
In 1975 Howden Ganley started working on his own Formula One car, the Ganley – Cosworth 001. Howden owned two DFV engines, which he could use for the car. The car never appeared on the grid. All it did was collecting dust. In 1976, He and Tim Schenken establish Tiga Race Cars. Their plan was to debut in 1978, using the Ganley 001 as base for the car. Due to financial struggles, the project was abandoned.
It’s the sad story of the Embassy Hill team in the Formula One. In 1973, Graham Hill established Embassy Racing. That year the team appeared with a customer Shadow DN1 car scoring no points. In 1974, the team made the switch o the Lola T370; Graham managed to score a point in Sweden. However, the team came in 1975 with their own Formula one car the GH1. The car was more successful with two point scores. For 1976, Graham Hill was now retired as race driver, their first own design would appear on the grid.
Andy Smallman penned the Hill GH2. The car was smoother and looked promising at Paul Ricard In November 1975. With confidence in the car, several team members left. Sadly, the plane they were in crashed and almost all the Hill crew died by that accident. Including Graham Hill, Tony Brise, and Smallman.
Hill – Alfa Romeo GH2
This is a very interesting story. Motoring News published in December 1974 an article stating that Embassy Hill was to race with Alfa Romeo engines in 1975. On one of the Lola T370s a modified bulkhead was seen. It was modified to take n Alfa Romeo Flat V12 engine. It is not known how serious and far the negotiations were at that point. What we do know is the fact that Bernie Ecclestone grabbed the exclusive engine to supply his Brabham team.
In 1975 Maki Engineering modified their Maki F101 and was branded the Maki F101C, powered by the Cosworth engine. To be honest I am not aware of the fact that a Maki F101B exist or not.
In an effort to be more competitive the car was more aerodynamic and was lighter that the F101. It was no success either. The Austrian David Walker was to race with the car in Belgium and Sweden.
However, the team withdrew the car. Hiroshi Fushida was to race with the car in The Netherlands. The car ended up with a DNS. The next race to give it a try was in England. Fushida ended with a DNQ. The three races to follow the team asked the Brit Tony Trimmer to race for them. Neither did he manage to qualify the car for the races.
Matra MS X
In 1972 Matra raced their last race in America as constructor. However, in 1975 Matra re-appeared in the media. All of sudden a wooden concept car from Matra appeared. The Matra MS X was shown. The design already happened in 1974, the blueprint of the car was completed on the 10th of December 1974. While a sketch of the car was made. The car was not build eventually.
Van Hool – Cosworth (debunked)
For a long time It was believed that the Van Hool that appeared in 1975 in the media was a Formula One car. The car had similarities with the Ferrari 312T2, designed by Alain Siccardi. Two chassis were build. The car was not for Formula One racing it was for Formula Two. You can read the story here.