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The March 701


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#1 ian senior

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 11:51

Generally agreed to be something of a dog. But look at the record, and a different picture emerges. It looked pretty good in the early part of 1970, at least until the decent 1970 F1 cars (Lotus and Ferrari) got into their stride. Now - I wonder what would have happened if the gang of four had had their big idea a year early, and the 701 had been the 691? Would we have seen Chris Amon win a few races? There wasn't an awful lot of competition around in 1969, and perhaps, just perhaps, it could have happened...Very much a "what if" scenario, I know, but an interesting question!

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#2 Mark Beckman

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 12:53

Does it ever strike you some things that seem to remain consistent in motor racing ?

Re livery'ed cars stop winning or start winning yet the car is unchanged, ugly cars are never successful, beautiful cars are successful and Chris Amon it appears was never going to win a GP, yet some Drivers come along and start winning under strange circumstance after short time.

Strange but true.

#3 WGD706

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 13:55

I have to wonder if the MARCH team wasn't spreading themselves too wide and thin to be successful; Molsey looked after the commercial side of the business, Herd did the design, Rees managed the March racing teams and Coaker oversaw production. After building a Formula 3 car in 1969, the company went into F1 in 1970, supplying the 701 chassis (designed by Herd and Peter Wright) to Tyrrell (for Jackie Stewart and Johnny Servoz-Gavin) and to Antique Automobiles (for Ronnie Peterson). In addition the factory ran two cars for Jo Siffert and Chris Amon in STP colors with a third car, entered by Andy Granatelli, appearing in STP colors at a variety of races. That makes 5 cars, not to mention spares, that they had to look after.
With that many drivers/teams each providing input as to how they thought the chassis ought to handle, I'm sure the MARCH people were overwhelmed.
Warren

#4 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 14:44

March's problem was always money. Look at their overall record and they always did well early in the season when they were still in a "out of the box" mode. As other teams developed their cars race by race, March feel further behind...race by race.

Herd was a very bright and a very clever guy. He just never had the budget
to develop his cars. I know this all sound simplictic, so I suggest reading
Mike Lawerence's revise bio on March, "March, The Rise and Fall of a Motor
Racing Legend". Its a good read.

#5 Don Capps

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 18:31

I think Dave is on target. The cars were always promising in the early stages of a season, but there was rarely a consistent and effective development program to follow up the cars once they were on the track. Generally, they were pretty clever cars and had the potential to do great things, but the $$$$ was always short, and the guys lived from hand to mouth, even when they had the successes of F2 to bankroll a part of the F1 program.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda..... March just never seemed to get the pieces in synch. However, I am glad they had their moments on the stage since they did make some pretty good cars....

#6 Keir

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 20:02

The MARCH 701 was not what one would call a "beautiful" car, but in the hands of Amon, Stewart and later Cevert, it did do a journeyman's job.
MARCH and co. really did over commit themselves and the drivers paid the price.

I sumed up the whole tired story over at the "famous Amon" thread.

#7 petefenelon

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Posted 06 October 2002 - 19:52

Originally posted by ian senior
Generally agreed to be something of a dog. But look at the record, and a different picture emerges. It looked pretty good in the early part of 1970, at least until the decent 1970 F1 cars (Lotus and Ferrari) got into their stride. Now - I wonder what would have happened if the gang of four had had their big idea a year early, and the 701 had been the 691? Would we have seen Chris Amon win a few races? There wasn't an awful lot of competition around in 1969, and perhaps, just perhaps, it could have happened...Very much a "what if" scenario, I know, but an interesting question!


At one point Robin Herd had the chance to do both a car for a small, tight-knit Winkelmann/Rindt F1 team and what became March. He tried to interest Rindt in the much bigger March project, but he wasn't interested.

("You vill never get your schoolboy dreams together. I vill not drive a car built in Grem's sheck!" - the 693 had been built in Graham Coaker's garage...)

Robin Herd said (in Mike Lawrence's excellent March book) something like "If I'd gone with Rindt instead of Max we would've built a 711 instead of a 701" and claims that the 701 was basically a good '69 car.

Mike Lawrence's "Four Guys and a Telephone" is mandatory reading for anything on March.

#8 David Beard

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Posted 06 October 2002 - 20:30

Front suspension...Antique Automobiles car driven by Ronnie..
That top RBJ Rose joint in single shear looks dated now, eh?

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And here we have some safety features..huge fire extinguisher and rollover bar entirely attached to the engine.

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Mechanics wrestling with the beast at Brands..

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#9 JacnGille

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Posted 06 October 2002 - 20:44

Front suspension...Antique Automobiles car driven by Ronnie..
That top RBJ Rose joint in single shear looks dated now, eh?
David Beard


Not to be disrespectfull, but it looks more at home on a John Deer compaired to what we see today.

#10 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 October 2002 - 21:34

Speaking of the Antique Automobiles March.......
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#11 David Beard

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Posted 07 October 2002 - 19:16

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Speaking of the Antique Automobiles March.......


Were you following me around in 1970, Barry?

The Tyrrell 701..here are two Brands shots. There seems to have been some indecision as to whether those "ground effect" side pods were worth having or not.

Now you see them...

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Now you don't....

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#12 Simon Bundi

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Posted 07 October 2002 - 19:19

Does anyone have such beautiful images of the front and rear suspension of the Lotus 72?

simon

#13 Barry Boor

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Posted 07 October 2002 - 22:19

Here is one end, Simon.

Posted Image

Somewhat O.T. of March, but never mind!