Steve - yes, i dont think they called it 'SP' for nothing!
Very much a tentative 'one off' at first. The only castings i can find on it are the rear uprights and lower link plate - although i think the wheels might have been specials. but perhaps machined to Derek's requirements from an existing casting?
someone on here will know.
it troubles me that the party line was that it was not a 'copy' of the ms80,
i know that placed in the same situation, designing my first f1 car, and with a wealth of existing data to hand within the team for the ms80, (and probably a whole pile of drawings aswell) , i would have taken any opportunity avaliable to me to take a very close look indeed at that information.
afterall that car had just won the world championship.
i would also have been surprised not to have been asked to do exactly that by Ken!
Derek was quoted many years later as saying that he was trying to aim for something along the lines of the M7 McLaren,, but couldnt get the fuel in (although the m7 did..)
I cant see much m7 in it i'm afraid, whereas i can see a lot of ms80 in the front suspension and ,on 001, the rear of the chassis.
Both tub's have 'coke bottle' plan view profiles, but then so did quite a few others in that period, so that, for me, isnt the over riding similarity.
I think i am right in saying that Derek was occassionally part the team during 1969, looking after the ferguson side of the ms84, and i was surprised recently to see him in a picture taken in the team's paddock area at the British GP at Silverstone. My first thought was, 'wrong year' but then the reason for his presence became apparent. I mention it because there was yet more first hand exposure to the ms80...
I guess it was expediant at the time to distance the car and the team , and Derek's work from any Matra connection...