The period racing history of this Van Diemen RF78 is unknown, largely because it has spent much of its life hanging on the wall of a sports bar in Glasgow.
Following its rescue, it was purchased by GT Race & Trailers, a Formula Ford specialist with a particular expertise in Van Diemens and Crosslés. It undertook a full restoration over the winter before selling the car to a competitor who will be racing it in the French Historic Formula Ford Challenge.
“The chassis was dead straight and in very good condition, I guess because it hadn’t had a hard life,” says the company’s Mike Gardner, a successful FF1600 racer himself. “Probably only two or three of the chassis tubes needed replacing.
“We took it apart, sandblasted the spaceframe and rebuilt it with a new floor and panels. The suspension had to be replaced because there was a lot of corrosion, but the good thing is that pretty much all the parts for Van Diemens of this age are all available from Universal Racing Services.”
A new Scholar engine was sourced in a nice period touch and the car quickly found a buyer at the £28,000 asking price.
“That might sound like a lot of money for a Formula Ford when you could probably pick up a similar car to race for £12,000 to £15,000,” says Gardner. “That said, a car priced at that level would be in need of a rebuild and what we asked reflects the amount of restoration that has to go into one of these things.”
GT Race & Trailers, Sutton-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.
Tel: 01636 822344. gt-rt.com
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