IN THE question of who drives which car, when and where, it will be noticed that some discrepancies have begun to appear since the Grand Prix in South Africa, and especially over the last two races. March Engineering seemed to be so worried about the way things have been going since the season started that their thoughts and statements have become muddled. In Spain we were assured that Tyrrell’s new car was 701/6 and the STP works 20-s.w.g. monocoque car was 701/7, yet Tyrrell’s new car appeared at Monaco with a plate 701/7 screwed on the instrument panel, there being no plates on the cars previously, and March now say that their latest car is 701/6, so they have reversed the information given in Spain. What is certain is that the dark red original car that Amon raced was 701/1, Stewart raced 701/2, the STP Oil Treatment Special which is 701/3 is now in America as Andretti was too busy with Indianapolis to tackle Monaco, and the Granatellis are going to take a closer and longer look at the March belbre going any further. 701/4 is the Tyrrell car that still has the old rear suspension and brake set-up, 701/5 is the Dayglow car that Siffert drives, 705/6 is the lighter monocoque, also in Dayglow, which practised at Monaco as 28T for Amon, 701/7 is the car that Servoz-Gavin crashed in the last Monaco practice session, and 701/8 is the new one delivered to Colin Crabbe the week before Monaco, for Peterson to drive.
De Tomaso and Williams seem to he as confused as March Engineering, maybe because they also have other things on their minds than GP cars. When the first De Tomaso appeared we were told it was 505/38/1, the numbers standing, respectively, for the car number the design type and the category. After the redesign that took place when the car returned from South Africa the figure I was over-stamped 2, it being basically the same car. A brand new car went to Silverstone and was used at Monaco, and it is 505/38/3, so the first statement from De Tomaso was a load of old nonsense.
The McLaren team are not much better, for they built a car to take the V8 Alfa Romeo engine for de Adamich, using a spare monocoque they had carried about in 1969 for the works M7A series cars, and having concocted a “special” could only think to call it M7D. Then at Brands Hatch McLaren’s own car, M 14A/1, was so badly damaged that everything, was rebuilt and virtually a new car was conceived, but to simplify the paper work it remained M14A/1.
In the great fire of Jarama BRM 153/01 and Ferrari 002 were burnt out so badly that it is likely that even the hardening on the crankshafts was lost, so they can be written off. BRM already had a fourth Type 153 virtually completed, so it was no great task to finish it for Monaco, this being 153/04, which Oliver drove, and Ferrari had a third 312/3 nearing completion anyway, though he confused his issue by renumbering his cars from 001, 002 and 003, to No. 1 and No. 3, the middle car being the burnt one, and Ickx did not do any flying laps in No. 3. For simplicity’s sake the Ferraris will remain on paper as 001 and 003.
Team Lotus, who were very early in the field of paper-work shuffling, were all straight forward for a change. The Rob Walker car, 49C/R7, was crashed in practice and must hold the World’s record for accidents and rebuilds. The works car 49C/R10 was transformed overnight to look like 49C/R7, in a fine respray job and advertisement transplant, that was a credit to the second-hand motor trade, and Hill drove it in the race.
Kit-cars are bound to present problems, but it is a good thing that motor cars are not documented like aircraft, and a good thing that there is no registration and records office as at the Ministry of Aviation. Recently, two chaps bought a Ginetta G12 without an engine, with the idea of putting their own BMC engine in it for sports-car racing. Before doing so they tidied up the chassis and suspension and then felt the need to remake and redesign a lot of the parts, including the tubular chassis frame, and when they took it along to have a new body built for it all that was left of the car they had bought were the doors and the badge. A new body was built to use the existing doors, but at the last minute the body-builder decided to make new doors, so all they had left of the original Ginetta G12 was the badge off the nose cawling. They could not bring themselves to fit it so they threw it over the hedge and called the car “Jerboa”, after a small desert animal, and when people say “What on earth is a Jerboa car ?” the owners shrug and smile with bland looks and tell you it was a Ginetta.—D. S. J.