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March six-wheeler a dummy?


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#1 Megatron

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Posted 18 December 2001 - 14:58

I read somewhere the other day that the March six wheeler that was tested but not raced actually featured only four wheels that had pull in them, and two were dummies. The reason was that March were looking to generate sponsorship interest. Does anyone know if this is indeed true?

I know that Tyrrell's getting National from Penske in 1977 might have something to do with the exposure the sixwheeler got, so maybe it might have been a viable option.

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#2 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 18 December 2001 - 15:03

The '2-4-0' as it was called, featured indeed four driving wheels at rear. It had two differentials connected to the Hewland transmission, using a special pinion.

#3 Drinky

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Posted 18 December 2001 - 15:05

I think this article by Mike Lawrence has some more info on that.

#4 Paolo

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Posted 18 December 2001 - 17:08

As mentioned in the article above, there was a Scalectrix model of March 2.4.0
I very well remember my disappontment when, as a boy, I bought one, took it home and... discovered it was only 2wd.
Besides, the small rear tyres made it almost unuseful ; probably the slowest Scalelectrix ever.

#5 Allen Brown

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Posted 18 December 2001 - 21:38

Lawrence's article is very good but I can add a little to the history.

Curiously enough, I actually owned the March 2-4-0 for a while a few years ago (about 96/97 if I remember correctly). It had been loaned out and forgotten - my partner and I were able to reclaim it and rebuild it. The version we got was the show car, a quite different car to the one Roy Lane used on the hills. Lane's car was a March 771 with the 2-4-0 conversion. That is now in bits in the north of England. Our car was a March 761B show car built out of the March 761 test car. The working transmission went to Lane.

I never had the Scalextric model so it's rather cute to have owned the real thing.

Allen

#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 December 2001 - 23:15

Being as I am, mildy interested in things Scalextric, :blush: :rolleyes: I recall reading somewhere that the licence money that March got for selling the rights to make the 2-4-0 to Scalextric made it the highest earning car that March ever built.

And before you ask, NO, I haven't got one!

#7 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 December 2001 - 23:23

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Being as I am, mildy interested in things Scalextric, :blush: :rolleyes: I recall reading somewhere that the licence money that March got for selling the rights to make the 2-4-0 to Scalextric made it the highest earning car that March ever built.

And before you ask, NO, I haven't got one!


It also got lots of "appearance money" at exhibitions - see Hodges A-Z (1990), p164-5 :)

#8 Racer.Demon

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:54

Here's to bumping a ten-year-old thread...

Curiously enough, I actually owned the March 2-4-0 for a while a few years ago (about 96/97 if I remember correctly). It had been loaned out and forgotten - my partner and I were able to reclaim it and rebuild it. The version we got was the show car, a quite different car to the one Roy Lane used on the hills. Lane's car was a March 771 with the 2-4-0 conversion. That is now in bits in the north of England. Our car was a March 761B show car built out of the March 761 test car. The working transmission went to Lane.


So was the car that drove at the 2011 Silverstone Classic the Lane car, and is the one in the Louwman museum in The Hague the show car? Or is the other way around?

Silverstone Classic 2011:
Posted Image

Louwman Museum:
Posted Image


#9 alansart

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:05

But why was the modern version run in Beta colours?

#10 Racer.Demon

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:22

And not just in Beta colours, by the look of that front wing...

#11 zakeriath

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 13:21

From what I can remember, the car first ran in the Rothmans sponsership as Ian Scheckter was the nominated driver.

I was working for Ian at the time with Ken Howe on the Lexington Atlantic in SA. Ian mentioned one day that he had to be very carefull with not spinning the wheels during the press launch, as it was wet and March had no drive to the rear of the 4 wheels,

Edited by zakeriath, 27 July 2011 - 13:22.


#12 f1steveuk

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 15:21

From what I can remember, the car first ran in the Rothmans sponsership as Ian Scheckter was the nominated driver.

I was working for Ian at the time with Ken Howe on the Lexington Atlantic in SA. Ian mentioned one day that he had to be very carefull with not spinning the wheels during the press launch, as it was wet and March had no drive to the rear of the 4 wheels,


And I've heard exactly the same story but it was Max telling Howden to be careful with the appication of power!!

#13 Barry Boor

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 20:33

What a very silly-looking car that really is!

#14 Thundersport

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 20:40

It was run at Silverstone with a 761 that wasn't original to the car; so it is a bitsa but very nice to see it out.

#15 David Beard

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 22:36

What a very silly-looking car that really is!


More silly than the P34?

#16 mfd

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 22:38

It was run at Silverstone with a 761 that wasn't original to the car; so it is a bitsa but very nice to see it out.

So it's not quite the right chassis with a different nose & the wrong livery, but did it have four driven wheels?

#17 arttidesco

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 00:31

So it's not quite the right chassis with a different nose & the wrong livery, but did it have four driven wheels?


I don't know if the car we saw at Silverstone last weekend had four driven wheels, but if it did not, would it not have had a few traction issues with only two small driven tyres on the back ?

#18 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 00:34

I don't know if the car we saw at Silverstone last weekend had four driven wheels, but if it did not, would it not have had a few traction issues with only two small driven tyres on the back ?

Good point - I only saw it going relatively slowly

#19 arttidesco

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:06

Good point - I only saw it going relatively slowly


Which may have been the result of poor 2WD traction ?

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#20 zakeriath

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:19

Which may have been the result of poor 2WD traction ?


Either that, or the driver being unable to fit properly in the car, note the bodywork cannot be fastened to the frame around his shoulders.

Posted Image

Edited by zakeriath, 28 July 2011 - 10:58.


#21 Red Socks

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:55

It was run at Silverstone with a 761 that wasn't original to the car; so it is a bitsa but very nice to see it out.

Right, so thats history out of the window then-whats next?

#22 David Beard

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 11:32

Good point - I only saw it going relatively slowly


I thought it was going quite well on Saturday

#23 James Murray

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 12:14

If you had a 761 why would you ruin it and convert it to this........its ridiculous and leads me to think it might not even be an original 761. Be interested to know the history of the chassis.

#24 Red Socks

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 13:20

I have an inky feeling you might have a long wait James-or no wait at all if you know what I mean.

#25 GroupC2

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 13:33

As a March it will have a long and mixed history.

Adding the 6 wheel gearbox and rear end would be an easy job, a few hours work if it is all together. So little is lost, apart from historical provinance. I remember when Roy Lane was running his 6 wheeler, watching Antony and John, his mechanics change driveshafts and gears was a sight I will never forget.

However I would love to know what was inside the box at Silverstone, Roy uprated the internals almost every weekend. If the box was truely original, driving at modist speed would seem very wise.

#26 kayemod

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 13:51

Be interested to know the history of the chassis.


Easiest way to find out is to rub through the paint on the monocoque, see how many different colours you go through before you hit metal.


#27 f1steveuk

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 13:59

"Like counting the rings in a cut down tree to age it!"

#28 arttidesco

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 14:18

Just found this list of colour schemes for the 2-4-0 and to answer Barry's question from another thread and Alansart's question on this thread the Beta New Hero colours are as the car appeared when Howden Ganley drove it.

One slightly perplexing thing is as the 2 4 0 appeared at Silverstone it was fitted with Roy Lane hillclimb size side radiators which must have struggled to keep the engine cool on the kind of runs encountered in the Grand Prix Masters event ?

#29 James Murray

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 15:13

As a March it will have a long and mixed history.

Adding the 6 wheel gearbox and rear end would be an easy job, a few hours work if it is all together. So little is lost, apart from historical provinance. I remember when Roy Lane was running his 6 wheeler, watching Antony and John, his mechanics change driveshafts and gears was a sight I will never forget.

However I would love to know what was inside the box at Silverstone, Roy uprated the internals almost every weekend. If the box was truely original, driving at modist speed would seem very wise.



I'm not doubting that its not difficult to fit the transmission but getting it to work might be. Motor racing is difficult enough on a good day with only 4 wheels! Would love to know the provenance of the chassis. My understanding was the car which Roy had has been converted back to 4 wheel config and is/was owned by Abba Kogan and prior to that my friend Dave Abbott and is in blue/yellow peterson livery.

#30 alansart

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 15:21

Just found this list of colour schemes for the 2-4-0 and to answer Barry's question from another thread and Alansart's question on this thread the Beta New Hero colours are as the car appeared when Howden Ganley drove it.


Just proves that one shouldn't rely on one's memory. Nice find Artti :)


#31 LotusElise

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 15:31

I thought it was going quite well on Saturday


Me too. It started right at the back and made up quite a few places very quickly.

I thought the commentator described it as an ex-hillclimb car - did anyone else hear that?

#32 James Murray

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 15:46

Yes Roy Lane hillclimbed one as mentioned previously however it was converted back to a 4 wheel car and is now owned by Abba Kogan I think. Dave Abbott who owned it prior to Kogan told me the car he owned was at one point a six wheeler. Obviously Dave could be wrong but if he is correct and Kogan still has the car and the other one is in a museum then the car at Silverstone is unlikely to be one of the original 6 wheels cars, but could obviously be a genuine 761 converted and if so does anyone know which one it is, there were only 8 built I think.

#33 Ted Walker

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:09

That car is not the RoyLane car . I think its a complete made up thing. Where did Howden race one?????

#34 Thundersport

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:11

I had a look for a chassis number but there wasn't one, I assume it was a spare tub.

#35 cheapracer

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:20

If you had a 761 why would you ruin it and convert it to this.......


Because it's way more interesting.


What a very silly-looking car that really is!


Rear wheels are too far apart, that show car and the Williams look better.


#36 f1steveuk

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:21

Where did Howden race one?????


Don't think he did, but I recall reading that he was entrusted with driving it at it's launch.

#37 mfd

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:51

Don't think he did, but I recall reading that he was entrusted with driving it at it's launch.

On that link, Steve, it says he tested it with Doug Shierson Racing - so in the US perhaps

#38 Tony Matthews

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:57

I have just remembered that I did an 'artist's impression' of the six-wheeler for Robin Herd, who came to my house to collect the artwork. It showed the car in First National City Bank colours...

#39 Giraffe

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 16:59

Don't think he did, but I recall reading that he was entrusted with driving it at it's launch.


I've asked Howden what he recollects. Tony Smith (owner) & son Jeremy (driver) give the car a good report in today's Autosport & say unsurprisingly that it's got "loads of grip"!

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#40 f1steveuk

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 17:01

On that link, Steve, it says he tested it with Doug Shierson Racing - so in the US perhaps

That's what you get for going by memory!

#41 David McKinney

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 17:13

ISTR a Uk restoration/preparation company built a six-wheeler from a four-wheeler for an Italian customer about ten years ago. It was neither the works prototype nor the Roy Lane hillclimb car. Perhaps this is what's now turned up?

#42 Gerald Swan

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 20:54

OK, my turn to use my unreliable memory :drunk:.

I think the original 6-wheeler was 761T that March sold to Brian Henton as a new car but it was in fact a Brambilla 741 (I found Beta orange overspray inside the monocoque) - updated to 751 - updated to 761. I had it in the Brian Henton British Racing Team colours. I restored it for the owner, Lew Wright, and he had it painted in the Peterson blue and yellow colours. Lew knew Ronnie had never raced it but it had been a test hack for March so there was a fair chance Peterson might have driven it and Lew was always honest about its history. I think this was the car that David Abbott then owned.

#43 PAUL S

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 21:09

The 6 wheeler rear end came up for sale on racecarsdirect a couple of years ago, so possibly this was used to convert a 4 wheeler

#44 Thundersport

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 21:38

The 6 wheeler rear end came up for sale on racecarsdirect a couple of years ago, so possibly this was used to convert a 4 wheeler

I think that is what happend having talked to peaple about it

#45 Giraffe

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:29

I've asked Howden what he recollects. Tony Smith (owner) & son Jeremy (driver) give the car a good report in today's Autosport & say unsurprisingly that it's got "loads of grip"!


A quick note this morning from Howden....

"I did all the testing on the March 6-wheeler . Quite a few photos
pop up of me testing it at Silverstone in the pouring rain".


Possibly more to follow.....

Edited by Giraffe, 29 July 2011 - 05:30.


#46 Giraffe

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:41

A quick note this morning from Howden....

Possibly more to follow.....


"I tested the 6-wheeler three or four times. I think once at Goodwood and the
other times at Silverstone. There were a few teething problems with the
transmission - but eventually it all worked OK.
I do not recall Max ever asking me to go easy on the power. In fact the
last test in the pouring rain at Silverstone I used full acceleration without
encountering any traction problems. Quite impressive . Roy Lane called me
and asked about that aspect ( and its tight turning characteristics ) before
he did the deal with March.
Yes I saw the car at the Festival. I did comment that it was the first time
I had ever seen it going round a circuit. All the other occasions I was in the
driving seat !
I will send you a photo which is relevant".

Edited by Giraffe, 29 July 2011 - 05:41.


#47 Barry Boor

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:54

O.k, so we konw it did appear with that strange colour scheme.

My next question is, why?

#48 Ted Walker

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 07:06

Barry I agree. It should be plain white (as tested) or Guyson colours as used by Roy Lane !!!!

#49 D-Type

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 08:08

But isn't a lot of "historic" racing about "what might have been"? Offhand I can think of (in no particular order) Kieft-Godiva Climax, Lotus XVI with revised rear track, 1.2 litre Lotus XI's, 1275cc Austin A35's, 3.8 litre Jaguar D-Types, Mk1 saloons & Tojeiros, late model DFV's in early cars, 3-litre Bentleys with 4.4 blower, Speed Six and 8-litre engines, Porsche 356's with 911 underpinnings, etc etc.

#50 arttidesco

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 08:27

O.k, so we konw it did appear with that strange colour scheme.

My next question is, why?


In particular what was Douglas Shierson Racing involvement, around that time I believe Howdy Holmes was doing F Atlantic races with the team.