Back in the 1970s, Formula 1 cars were built to last. It was common for smaller teams to use the same chassis for multiple years, often with just mild updates in beautiful simplicity. This was about building something with a shelf-life of more than 12 months, and Shadow was particularly good at it, showing many independent teams how to take on the big boys in a golden era of F1.
F1 was changing in the ’70s, particularly in terms of aerodynamic development as big hitters like Ferrari, Lotus, Tyrrell, McLaren, Brabham, BRM, March and more all grappled for the upper hand in best using air to boost performance. But while the shape of the cars was rapidly changing, the heart of them wasn’t.
This was the height of the Cosworth DFV’s power. The powerful, affordable and reliable engine coupled with the Hewland gearbox opened F1 up more than ever before. Anybody with pockets deep enough could buy the off-the-shelf powertrain and potentially be at the sharp end, provided they got their chassis right. And one of the first to get it right was Shadow.