MADE IN AUSTRALIA: 1960s F1 TRIBUTES
THIS is not the greatest race car in the world, no.
This is just a tribute.
WORDS: Mark Walker
Saturday’s premiere episode of the new 7mate motoring program Garage 41 looks at the latest creation from Robert Logan, the man originally behind the Roaring Forties GT40 replicas, with his Grand Prix inspired racer from the 1960s already finding favour in Europe and North America.
Set to be built under the Phillip Island Race Cars banner out of a workshop in Cowes, the machines will be a contemporary take on the classics, with modern day safety and mechanicals matched to sleek low lines and a thunderous exhaust.
For the first iteration of the car, the choice for Robert was simple: Gurney.
“With my GT40 background I have huge respect for a guy called Dan Gurney, who won Le Mans in 1967, but he also won his only race in F1, a week later at Spa – this is running the same number he ran at Spa,” he told Garage 41.
“The idea was to build them for America, and the reason I built the first one as a Gurney was because it was going into America.”
Already a bright red Ferrari 312 bodywork set has been created, with the possibilities for the chassis including notables from Lotus, Honda, Matra, Cooper, BRM and McLaren.
At the heart of the car is a CAMS approved spaceframe chassis some 15% largely than the genuine article, rather than the fragile monocoque found on the original, with safety a key point of the new creation.
“The reason the car is as heavy as it is, I wanted a canoe that could be safe as possible,” said Robert.
“I would be happy to whack something, wipe a few corners off it, I know I would be safe inside it.
“Dimensionally it’s bigger, I’m not a jockey, and the people I will sell it to aren’t jockeys.”
Below the skin are a raft of modern safety features, with wheel tethers another aspect that is currently being sourced out of Switzerland.
All told, the package will tip the scales at 780kg fully fuelled, with the machine propelled by a crate Ford Motorsport powerplant, which is kept beating via Motec engine management system.
While the Blue Oval ticks the boxes for the prototype, Robert’s vision down the line is for the package to take on board different engine types, in line with the wishes of purchasers.
An Audi six speed transmission puts the 430bhp to the racetrack, with a beefed-up clutch and staunch Alcon racing brakes a part of the package.
Much attention has been paid to the exhaust, with the beautifully crafted cross over exhausts fitted with straight pipes doing the job, although mufflers can be fitted to satisfy the fun police.
Our verdict: hard hot. Although not exactly fitting with a local circuit racing category at present, owners will find a way to have their fun.
With the looks, sounds, but also safety, it’s a very attractive proposition.
Catch the full run down on Garage 41 on 7mate, Saturdays at 3pm and Wednesday at 5pm.