There’s more to restoring an old F1 car than getting it race ready – you also need to source spares as Warren Stean has discovered
It will be full steam ahead with the final assembly of the Jordan 195 as soon as the engine comes back from Engine Developments. But I haven’t been idle during the wait.
I’ve kept myself busy scouring the internet and using my contacts to source spares for the car. Parts for mid-1990s Formula 1 cars aren’t the easiest to come by. You might think there are warehouses of old and obsolete parts for each car, given the multiples in which they would have been manufactured. But the cost of doing that means that a lot of unwanted components were scrapped at the end of each season.
But if you keep your eyes and ears open and have a bit of patience, then parts do pop up. I was thrilled to find an engine cover on eBay a few months ago. It was in great condition and, while it could never be described as cheap, it was at a price that made sense for me. It was less money than it would cost to build one from scratch.
It turns out the chap selling it had bought it from the team back in the 1990s and then hung it on the wall of his model shop in Doncaster. As an F1 enthusiast, he was equally thrilled to find out that something he’d stared at every day for years was now going to be part of a real Grand Prix car again.
The same was true of the mint condition front nose cone and wing I bought recently. A friend WhatsApped me out of the blue to say he had just purchased a part for his Benetton from a collector and happened to notice the seller also had what looked like a 1995 Jordan front wing. He was correct, a price was agreed on and I now own another vital spare part for the car.
A nose was one of the few spares that came with the car when I bought it, so I now have three, as well as a couple of front wings. The wings can be made relatively easily (I plan on making a small batch), but the nose is an important crash structure and difficult to re-manufacture.
I’ve also had a great find with regards to engine parts for the Peugeot V10. It turns out that a private collector purchased all the F1 and Group C A-series engine spares directly from Peugeot.
He runs a couple of Peugeot-engined cars, but has no current need for A10 engine parts. It looks like I’m going to have a deep well of rebuild parts for the engine which should save a lot of hassle and cost in running the car. With an engine rebuild anticipated every 800 to 1000km, this may prove worth its weight in gold.
Next month: Final assembly is underway but can the Jordan make it to the track on time?
Thanks to: Tour-de-Force Power Engineering, Bedford; Engine Developments, Rugby