The March 2-4-0 six-wheeled Formula 1 car could race for the first time this summer if the ambitions of Taff Smith are realised. Smith has acquired the remnants of the unraced project and is currently having the car rebuilt in the hope that his son Jeremy will race it at July’s Silverstone Classic meeting.
The 2-4-0, designated in railway rolling stock terms, was designed by Robin Herd in late 1976 and sanctioned by then March boss Max Mosley. The four rear wheels were all driven and the car was tested over the following winter, with encouraging results on a wet track. But without the funds to develop it, the car was shelved until hillclimber Roy Lane was loaned the transmission and won several rounds of the British Hillclimb Championship in 1979.
Now, after being in storage for three decades, Smith has bought the project. “All the gear casing and everything is original, even down to the uprights,” he said. “I got it from a guy in Rotherham. It came out of his barn. We’ve done the application for FIA papers and we hope to get it through as a prototype.
“I spoke to Roy Lane only a couple of weeks before he died and his enthusiasm persuaded me to do it. It’s an exciting project but it’s a fairly scary thing to do,” added Smith. “We’ve got to get it reliable. I don’t want to see it fail, so there has to be a fair bit of testing.”