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Was it a Mirage?


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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 22:31

Pondering today on Mirage cars seen post-period in Historic racing. Am I imagining one of the BRM V12-engined Mirage M2s running in an event at Silverstone...perhaps by then DFV-powered? Or is this mental image a mere figment of my imagination - a mirage?

DCN

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#2 arttidesco

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 23:05

I've only been attending SIlverstone Classic over the last couple of years and do not recall seeing any Gulf Mirages there, however I did find this on the net from Spa last year, could that M3 be the one your thinking of ?

#3 Emery0323

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:34

I've only been attending SIlverstone Classic over the last couple of years and do not recall seeing any Gulf Mirages there, however I did find this on the net from Spa last year, could that M3 be the one your thinking of ?


That M3 was also at the Monterey Historics back in 1998. I got a close look at it, though it did not seem to take the the track. The bodywork is not the same as it wore back in 1969, judging from period photos. In particular, the cutaway tail appears to be a later alteration.

There is still a Mirage M2 extant, now in the ROGFO collection (scroll down to the 8th photo from a recent public display):

http://www.grandprix...ofgo/rofgo.html

I am pretty sure that Bruce McCaw, of McCaw cellular fame, used to own the M2 and it made appearances at the Monterey Historics back in the 1990's if I remember correctly.
Edit: Here's a newspaper article from 1995 that mentions his ownership of the M2:
http://community.sea...mp;slug=2128973
Hall and Hall apparently served as brokers at some point:
http://www.hallandha...Brm-M2/4987.htm

There was a Vintage Racing event at Daytona some years ago (early 2000's?) where the surviving Mirage M2 and M3, along with one of the Gulf GT40s were all arranged together with John Horsman for a team "reunion" photo. It was published at the time, possibly in Vintage Motorsport, but it does not seem to be posted anywhere on the internet at present.

Edited by Emery0323, 05 October 2012 - 04:48.


#4 GMACKIE

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 05:29

Although it can be very rare

I saw a car that wasn't there

It wasn't there again to-day

I wish I hadn't looked away.

#5 rudi

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:31

The Mirage M2 BRM Chassis 002 was on the Hall and Hall stand at Retromobile this year.
The car was said to be ready to race.

#6 alansart

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:49

The Mirage M2 BRM Chassis 002 was on the Hall and Hall stand at Retromobile this year.
The car was said to be ready to race.


Hall & Hall have now sold it.

http://www.hallandha...Brm-M2/4987.htm


#7 David Lawson

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:15

I saw this Mirage at a race meeting at Brands Hatch in the late 1980s or early 1990s, I don't know if this is the car you are refering to?

My old brain can't recall the date of the meeting or who drove it.

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David

#8 Michael Oliver

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:50

I saw this Mirage at a race meeting at Brands Hatch in the late 1980s or early 1990s, I don't know if this is the car you are refering to?

My old brain can't recall the date of the meeting or who drove it.

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David


I have a photo on file (not mine sadly, so cannot reproduce here) of one David Auger, standing between a Mirage M2 and a Lola T280 that he owned at the time. Dated 1981.


#9 Alan Cox

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:22

There is a pic of David Auger and his Mirage on page 77 in the book "Motor Racing at Thruxton in the 1980s" by Bruce Grant-Braham (Veloce) on the grid for the 1981 Willhire Historic GT race in May, listed as running a BRM engine.

#10 Stephen W

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:23

I thought that the DFV powered versions were either open or Targa tops?


#11 Alan Cox

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 11:53

I think Doug's suggestion was that he thought the BRM may have been replaced by a DFV for running in historics

#12 Emery0323

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:09

I think Doug's suggestion was that he thought the BRM may have been replaced by a DFV for running in historics


The relatively recent Hall and Hall listing states that the extant M2 is "Fitted with a BRM V12 48 valve engine".

http://www.hallandha...Brm-M2/4987.htm

Edited by Emery0323, 05 October 2012 - 14:09.


#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:25

I just have a mental image of a 1969-era Mirage running in an Historic race I think at Silverstone...or perhaps being demonstrated there at some time? Two M2s seem to survive, one possibly once converted into the luckless M5, but what ever - for example - became of the Jacky Ickx 1969 Imola-winning DFV M3 car? So far as I know, nobody seems to lay claim to it...

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 05 October 2012 - 14:26.


#14 alansart

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 15:24

I hazard a guess that Hall & Hall have restored the car nearer to it's original spec with the BRM engine. It's quite possible that the car ran with a DFV at sometime as the Cossie was a lot easier to get hold of and probably a lot more reliable.

#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 16:03

The DFV proved far more competitive - but as the Gulf chaps found to their cost, its V8 vibration was infinitely more destructive than the smooth but less compact V12.

DCN

#16 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 16:26

While we're on the subject, I know it's easy to jump to conclusions with such a large advertising sign in the picture, but is this a prototype Gulf Mirage? From a collection of small photos I acquired in a job lot a while back. No idea who took it. Looks like Silverstone perhaps..?
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#17 sabrejet

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 16:30

While we're on the subject, I know it's easy to jump to conclusions with such a large advertising sign in the picture, but is this a prototype Gulf Mirage? From a collection of small photos I acquired in a job lot a while back. No idea who took it. Looks like Silverstone perhaps..?
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Certainly looks like Ermanno Cuoghi in the cockpit, so seems likely.

#18 Emery0323

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:08

I just have a mental image of a 1969-era Mirage running in an Historic race I think at Silverstone...or perhaps being demonstrated there at some time? Two M2s seem to survive, one possibly once converted into the luckless M5, but what ever - for example - became of the Jacky Ickx 1969 Imola-winning DFV M3 car? So far as I know, nobody seems to lay claim to it...

DCN


One of the M2 coupes was converted into the M3 Spyder cutting off the top.
I seem to recall reading (Anthony Pritchard's book ?) that the M2 was designed back in 1968 before the prototype rules were liberalized for 1969.
Thus, by the time of its debut at Brands Hatch in 1969, it was already overweight and somewhat obsolete. The spyder conversion was a quick fix.
The results at Zeltweg and Imola from late 1969 showed benefits from the rushed development.

Both the M2 and M3 have appeared at vintage events in Europe and the USA going back to at least the 1990's.

Here are some recent photos for both - There were only two or three built, and only one was converted to a spyder, so I think it's safe to assume that the M3 spyder in the link below is the 1969 Imola winner. That also appears to be the same car I saw at Monterey in 1998 - As I mentioned before, the cutaway tail seems to be a later alteration, since none of the 1969 photos have the rear bodywork like that:

http://www.ultimatec...3-Cosworth.html

http://www.ultimatec...age-M2-BRM.html

I asked John Horsman about the M2/M3 when I met him at an event in Monterey on 2003 - He said that Ickx's retirement at Zeltweg was due to his bracing his weight on the steering column, which causing the bracket holding it to the dashboard to break. Horsman said they used a GT40 steering column bracket on the M3.

Edited by Emery0323, 05 October 2012 - 17:11.


#19 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:12

I think that might be the fleeting Mirage M5, bent rather comprehensively in Silverstone testing when being driven by Derek Bell, I believe...

DCN

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#20 arttidesco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:19

I think that might be the fleeting Mirage M5, bent rather comprehensively in Silverstone testing when being driven by Derek Bell, I believe...

DCN


Wasn't the Mirage M5 Ford Kent powered :confused:

#21 arttidesco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:36

While we're on the subject, I know it's easy to jump to conclusions with such a large advertising sign in the picture, but is this a prototype Gulf Mirage? From a collection of small photos I acquired in a job lot a while back. No idea who took it. Looks like Silverstone perhaps..?
Posted Image


Looking at this website looks like this car might be a/the M4 :up:

#22 kayemod

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:37

I think that might be the fleeting Mirage M5, bent rather comprehensively in Silverstone testing when being driven by Derek Bell, I believe...

DCN


The body for that one, and all other open Mirages, was done by my old chums at FKS Fibreglass/Griffin Design in Poole, and my very vague recollection is that it only ever ran with a 5 litre Ford V8. It was styled by ex-colleague Jim Clark of course, also responsible for beauties like the Chevron B16 and many others. Again a vague recollection, but wasn't the whole project shelved when they got the Porsche 917 deal?


#23 Emery0323

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:48

I think that might be the fleeting Mirage M5, bent rather comprehensively in Silverstone testing when being driven by Derek Bell, I believe...

DCN


The car in the link has a DFV, which was also in the car when I saw it at Monterey in 1998, and it's stated to be the M3. If it was the M5, it's been refitted back to an M3-like spec with the DFV.

#24 arttidesco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 17:56

The car in the link has a DFV, which was also in the car when I saw it at Monterey in 1998, and it's stated to be the M3. If it was the M5, it's been refitted back to an M3-like spec with the DFV.


I think Doug was referring to the car in Andrew Kitsons post 16 as the M5, which I am pretty sure is the designation of the FF Mirage, where as I believe the correct designation for the car in Andrew Kitsons post 16 is M4 :smoking:

#25 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 18:11

http://www.ultimatec...3-Cosworth.html


M2/300/01 owned/raced by French driver Jacques Nicolet, apparently.

Here are a couple of links:

http://en.wikipedia....Jacques_Nicolet

http://www.oak-racing.com/?lang=en

Vince H.


#26 arttidesco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 18:25

Jacques also appears to be the owner of the M3 which runs with a DFV.

#27 Emery0323

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 19:47

What was JWA's thinking behind developing the M4 ?

If they were expecting the GT40 to be uncompetitive in 1970, but they were testing a car with a 5.0 liter (302 c.i.) engine, that would have required building 25 of them in order to make it eligible for the 5.0 liter sportscar category. Were they really thinking of doing that? The 5.0 Liter class also required an enclosed cockpit, so an open-cockpit 5.0 liter prototype seems nonsensical in relation to the rules then in effect. :confused: Was it supposed to be an Interseries car?

Of course, the Porsche deal came through and made it a moot point, but it seems like further development of a 3.0 liter prototype would have made more sense for an organization of JWA's size.

Edited by Emery0323, 05 October 2012 - 19:54.


#28 arttidesco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 22:01

What was JWA's thinking behind developing the M4 ?

If they were expecting the GT40 to be uncompetitive in 1970, but they were testing a car with a 5.0 liter (302 c.i.) engine, that would have required building 25 of them in order to make it eligible for the 5.0 liter sportscar category. Were they really thinking of doing that? The 5.0 Liter class also required an enclosed cockpit, so an open-cockpit 5.0 liter prototype seems nonsensical in relation to the rules then in effect. :confused: Was it supposed to be an Interseries car?

Of course, the Porsche deal came through and made it a moot point, but it seems like further development of a 3.0 liter prototype would have made more sense for an organization of JWA's size.


According to Anthony Pritchards Directory of Classic Prototypes and Grand Touring Cars, "There was no M4," .


#29 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 22:31

Mirage M4 surely was their Formula Ford project - hence a non-starter within a sports-prototype directory. The M5 sports-prototype above was properly described...

DCN

#30 arttidesco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 22:47

According to Anthony Pritchards Directory of Classic Prototypes and Grand Touring Cars, "There was no M4,and the designation M5 had been used on a proposed single seater for Formula Ford" .

The official GTC MirageĀ® site agrees with Anthony on the designations if not the out comes :confused:

Wondering was the M4 (302 cui V8) featured in post 16 perhaps intended for Interserie pre the arrival of Turbocharged 917's ?

#31 Emery0323

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 23:51

Mirage M4 surely was their Formula Ford project - hence a non-starter within a sports-prototype directory. The M5 sports-prototype above was properly described...

DCN


Any thoughts on what the M5's mission was to be? Can-AM/Interseries? A five-liter open-cockpit prototype would not have been eligible for endurance racing in 1970.


#32 arttidesco

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:36

Any thoughts on what the M5's mission was to be? Can-AM/Interseries? A five-liter open-cockpit prototype would not have been eligible for endurance racing in 1970.


Honestly guys check this official GTC MirageĀ® link the M5 was the Kent Powered Formula Ford and the M4 was the mystery 302 cui sports car, or are you saying the registered trade mark owner has got it's own chassis types wrong :confused:

#33 Tim Murray

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:25

Here's a contemporary source listing the Mirage FF as the M5 - from the Autosport single-seater directory November 1970:

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#34 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:21

Here's a contemporary source listing the Mirage FF as the M5 - from the Autosport single-seater directory November 1970:

Posted Image


Tee-hee - fragile memory. One of the team principals wrote the following: "All in all it looks as though the car in France is an M2 Coupe, made into the M5 Spyder with 5-litre engine, crashed and much later, rebuilt...". We stand corrected. Sorreee...

Easy mistake to make at a range of nearly 40 years when the mind thinks 5-litre engine and translates that instantaneously - and without further thought - into M5. It just proves that if you listen unquestioningly to those who did the work it can create yet another mirage... The big-engined prototype was evidently damaged beyond further frontline use in a testing crash at Silverstone, while being driven (I am told...) by Derek Bell.

I see no difficulty in what use the roadster might have been aimed at fulfilling for '70. It was a test piece using many pre-existing parts and panels. Had it shown any promise and had the Porsche deal not materialised it could easily have been rebodied as a 5-litre Coupe.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 06 October 2012 - 09:38.


#35 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:56

I have seen some pics taken by Mike Dixon of the Mirage FF in 1970 at Snett. Danny Alderton drove one and journalist Ed McDonough also had a go in one I seem to recall.

#36 Emery0323

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 13:53

I see no difficulty in what use the roadster might have been aimed at fulfilling for '70. It was a test piece using many pre-existing parts and panels. Had it shown any promise and had the Porsche deal not materialised it could easily have been rebodied as a 5-litre Coupe.

DCN


Agreed that it would be easy to re-body it as a coupe, but the bigger puzzle is that JWA still would have had to build 25 of them to make the type eligible for endurance racing.

By that time, the customer market was probably pretty crowded with Lola T70s and GT40s, though both of those were past their prime. Porsche and Ferrari were making the 917 and 512 available to significant numbers of customers also.

Edit: I consulted my library - On page 193 of John Horsman's "Racing in the Rain", the admits that the five-liter "M5" (his words) was far-fetched due the mandatory production run of 25 units. Apparently the weight of the big 302 V8 upset the balance so much that the handling was poor, causing Derek Bell to crash it.

Horsman refers to the formula ford car as the "M4" in his book. It was very much a sideline project, apparently motivated by the favorable taxation of manufacturers vs service-providers at that time.

Both Horsman's and Ed McDonough's books state the the "M5" five liter prototype was simply the M3 spyder with the Cosworth replaced with the GT40's 302 Ford V8. So, no need to split hairs over whether the car discussed above is an "M3' or an "M5", since they were the same car !

Edited by Emery0323, 07 October 2012 - 00:00.


#37 arttidesco

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 18:32

Glad every ones memory has been restored in the most august house of learning on net :up:

#38 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 22:00

Glad every ones memory has been restored in the most august house of learning on net :up:

:drunk: ...ain't that the truth!

DCN

#39 Emery0323

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 00:35

Glad every ones memory has been restored in the most august house of learning on net :up:


:up: Agreed!

Andrew Kitson's post of the Silverstone picture helps me understand why the present-day M3 that appears in vintage events looks different from the 1969 M3, and helps explain some of the confusion in this discussion thread. The 3.0 Liter Cosworth has been re-installed, but it appears that the car is still wearing at least some of the bodywork from the "5-Liter test-mule late-1969 5.0 configuration." (I'll avoid the "M4" vs "M5" designation argument).

The 3.0 liter M3 as-raced in 1969 had large rectangular side-air intakes on top of the rear fenders and a small nose inlet, but the Late-1969 5.0 liter "test mule" had the radiator moved to the front and the nose openings greatly enlarged, along with the full cutaway tail and what looks like an enlarged NACA duct on the side.

The latter body configuration is what appears in Andrew Kitson's posting of the 1969 Silverstone test picture and on the present-day restored car, even though it's now been retrofitted with the M3-spec 3.0 Liter Cosworth. The 5.0 Liter engine would have no doubt required more cooling. Thus the current restored car is a hybrid of M3 and the "5-Liter test-mule late-1969 5.0 configuration." :cool:

A couple more pictures are here - this site refer to the "5-Liter late 1969 test-mule" as the "M4":
http://www.jacky-ick...xfiles.php?id=7

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