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Graham Hll's Embassy Lola T370 Alfa Romeo


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#1 Twin Window

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 21:23

I happened across this news story in Motoring News dated December 19th, 1974.

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I don't remember ever seeing a photo of the car testing with the Alfa engine - does anyone know if it did?

TW

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#2 Gary C

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 21:39

I've never heard of it, either!

#3 petefenelon

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 21:44

GH2 was apparently going to be Alfa-powered, IIRC (look at it - low, wide tub that's a natural for a flat-12!).

There was a T370 tub modified to take an Alfa engine - a TNF reader was in fact the owner of this at one point!

http://forums.atlasf...hlight=GH2 alfa

#4 angst

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 22:08

If, indeed the GH2 was going to be Alfa powered (and I must admit the shape of the thing did point that way) why were they testing it with the DFV? Also the Brabham deal must have been done by the time of Hill and his team's tragic demise. Surely they weren't going to supply two teams?

#5 Twin Window

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 22:09

Interesting, Pete! So that is the modified one the guy must have owned. A friend of mine was the PR man for GH in those days - I'll email him and see if he can enlighten us further...

TW

PS Did you see those Cl 37 photos I posted?!

#6 GIGLEUX

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 22:46

From Doug Nye History of the Grand Prix Car 1966-1985:
"...Hill almost pulled off a deal to use the Alfa-Romeo flat-12 engine in 1975, spare chassis'1 being fitted with a slave unit before negociations collapsed and the engines went to Brabham instead...".

#7 Twin Window

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 22:49

It sounds like the chassis/engine combination may never even have tested, then, Jean-Maurice...

TW

#8 philippe7

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 06:39

I'm puzzled here......if the Alfa was "fitted" ( if not tested ) in a Lola T370 monocoque ( the 74 model ) at the end of the 74 season, for a proposed deal to use those engines in 75 , then surely it should have been used on the 75 Lola T371 , aka Hill GH 1 ( and not the "beautiful low wide 76 GH2 , which was indeed tested with a DFV early 76 but unfortunately never had time to make it to the first GP )

Sorry if it looks like I'm nitpicking, but due to the level of excellency this forum aims to, I thought I should......

#9 ghinzani

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 06:50

According to my Autosports of the time the Parnelli was also due to run with Alfa engines, but Bernie got the deal in the end.

#10 petefenelon

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 10:07

Originally posted by Twin Window
Interesting, Pete! So that is the modified one the guy must have owned. A friend of mine was the PR man for GH in those days - I'll email him and see if he can enlighten us further...

TW

PS Did you see those Cl 37 photos I posted?!


Yes, saw the 37s thanks - very nice! Seems like there's a couple of the damn things failing every day, can't be too long until EWS store most of the remaining fleet. (Hell, they've even started moving 60s to the WNTR pool). Have to get my jollies from sheds and skips instead :/

#11 Mallory Dan

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 13:16

TW/Pete, where are the 'Syphon' pics you're referring to ? Pete, did you get to the RailFest last week? Pretty good I thought, shame there was little to see on the main line.

On the Hill-Alfa matter, how did this all come about? I wasn't aware GH had any Alfa connexions, and the 3-litre Alfa was surely not looking very special by end of 74 was it ? Were they prepared to pay GH to use them I wonder, or maybe they'd made him promises re a new (V12) engine...

#12 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 13:50

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
On the Hill-Alfa matter, how did this all come about? I wasn't aware GH had any Alfa connexions, and the 3-litre Alfa was surely not looking very special by end of 74 was it ? Were they prepared to pay GH to use them I wonder, or maybe they'd made him promises re a new (V12) engine...



MMhh? Does this sound as a provocation? :mad: :p

I seem to remember that the Alfa Boxer had the highest claimed :rolleyes: output at the time. Ok, there were not two engines with the same output, nor, according to Murray had two of them the same external dimensions... : But still in the very front row as far as power was concerned.

The later V12 was developped in a hurry (needing only a different crankcase, but retaining the same heads) in late 1978 (i.e. four years later than Hill's Lola of this thread!) to cope with the wing car body construction, and yet developing slightly less power than the flat-12. I confess I don't know why, since most parameters were identical. For instance, I can hardly imagine that the intake manifold geometry was worse on the 60-degree V12 than on the flat-12; the same applies for the exhaust.

#13 petefenelon

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 14:03

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
TW/Pete, where are the 'Syphon' pics you're referring to ? Pete, did you get to the RailFest last week? Pretty good I thought, shame there was little to see on the main line.


With Railfest less than 2 miles from my home of course I went ;)

Once I've cropped heads, elbows and rear-ends out of my pics I'll put the least-worst ones up online. My photographic highlight was probably the no-longer-decaying APT prototype - many's the murky shot of it lurking under tarpaulins in my collection, but to see it in the sun and at least cared-for was a real thrill.

#14 GIGLEUX

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 19:31

From Sport Auto (french) 01/1975:" To obtain a place in yhe F1 constructors Association, Graham Hill is to built his own chassis. To that effect he is employing the ex Southgate assistant (Smallman). His first job was to fit an Alfa Romeo engine in an Embassy chassis, so that they could try on Alfa Romeo tack at Balocco. The Embassy-Alfa will be used as spare car in South America but is expected to race in South Africa..."
Always from Sport Auto 02/75: "Where is my Alfa-Romeo F1 engine?" Graham hill is wondering. He received a model to prepare a chassis but no news of the real engine as to begin track tests. During the lapse of time Brabham decided too to use Alfa engines...The chassis prepared by Hill is no longer a Lola: it is designed as Hill, though very near from the T370 Lola. This will allowed the Embassy team to postulate for F1CA membership.

#15 David Beard

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 19:59

Originally posted by petefenelon


Yes, saw the 37s thanks - very nice! Seems like there's a couple of the damn things failing every day, can't be too long until EWS store most of the remaining fleet. (Hell, they've even started moving 60s to the WNTR pool). Have to get my jollies from sheds and skips instead :/


Tried to Google my way into understanding all this, but only found...

Nick Lawford says: "The best explanation I have heard is that long long ago when 37s first entered service on the WR there was a daily parcels train into Paddington which was at that time the only 37 working that far east on the WR. The parcels train was formed entirely of "Syphon G" parcels stock. Maybe a myth - but certainly the train did run with a 37."



I'm not a lot wiser :confused:

#16 Twin Window

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 23:45

Originally posted by petefenelon


Yes, saw the 37s thanks - very nice!


Good; I'm glad you saw them!

TW

#17 Ted Walker

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 13:56

RAILWAYS RAILWAYS........ whats the MoTor Sport connection..... apart from Bugatti

#18 Twin Window

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 15:19

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
where are the 'Syphon' pics?

Dan

They're at the end of the 'Did Nelson Piquet really say this?' thread.

TW

#19 GIGLEUX

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 23:19

Twinny, just found in Motor Sport; have a look at Lola T370/HU1!

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#20 Twin Window

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 23:25

Nice one, Jean-Maurice! :up:

Twinny :)

#21 D-Type

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 00:48

Originally posted by Ted Walker
RAILWAYS RAILWAYS........ whats the MoTor Sport connection..... apart from Bugatti

Didn't W O Bentley serve his time with the Great Western at Swindon? :)

#22 dretceterini

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 01:05

Originally posted by ghinzani
According to my Autosports of the time the Parnelli was also due to run with Alfa engines, but Bernie got the deal in the end.



More on this please...

#23 f1steveuk

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 20:22

Within the realms of FOM, it was often said that Mr E half inched the Alfa deal from under Hill's nose, Graham smelling a rat when a dummy engine showed up, and not a pukka one that could be weighed, as Andy Smallman had requested. I helped out on the BT45 restoration and Mr Hill got the better deal, it took days to shim the engine in place, no two engines being the same, just mention the engine to any ex Brabham boys (and there are a lot of them at FOM) and the go all odd!!!

#24 bill moffat

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 08:36

Originally posted by Ted Walker
RAILWAYS RAILWAYS........ whats the MoTor Sport connection..... apart from Bugatti


Ted down here on Romney Marsh we have a local railway with a very strong motor sport connection. The 15" gauge Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway clatters its coastal way some 13 miles from Hythe to Dungeness. This railway is a popular tourist attraction and the miniature steam locos are a sight to behold.

The line opened in 1927 and was conceived by Capt. J.E.P.Howey and Ct. Louis Zborowski, racers both. Unhappily the Count was killed before the Line opened. During WW2 one loco was clad in armour and pulled an anti aircraft gun. I suspect the whole lot would have ended up in Maidstone if they had fired the thing...

The R.H&D.R. survives as a fine tribute to both men. Come and enjoy it, preferably before the Government further butchers our wonderful Marsh further with a massive wind farm and miles of access roads........

#25 Twin Window

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 08:43

Originally posted by bill moffat

During WW2 one loco was clad in armour and pulled an anti aircraft gun. I suspect the whole lot would have ended up in Maidstone if they had fired the thing...

:lol:


The R.H&D.R. survives as a fine tribute to both men. Come and enjoy it, preferably before the Government further butchers our wonderful Marsh further with a massive wind farm and miles of access roads........

:up:

Twinny :wave:

#26 BRG

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 11:45

Originally posted by bill moffat
During WW2 one loco was clad in armour and pulled an anti aircraft gun. I suspect the whole lot would have ended up in Maidstone if they had fired the thing...

Hmmm....do you really believe that, in those gung-ho wartime days with no Health and Safety Executive to worry about, a bunch of bored soldiery equipped with a gun and ammo WOULDN'T have tried pulling the trigger?

I was intrigued by the Motor Sport atricle helpfully posted by GIGLEUX. Does anyone know the comparative size of the Hill operation at various times? How many people were involved at the beginning, and later on? I know that at one stage the team was sufficiently organised to have a FIAT 126 paddock vehicle in Embassy livery, becuase I remember seeing it at Silverstone once, arriving to collect Graham after he dropped it heavily exiting Stowe. I just wondered how the scale of the Hill operation compared to other privateeer teams of the era - it would also be interesting to compare it to 'small' teams like Minardi today. Does anyone have any info on this?

#27 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 12:13

Originally posted by dretceterini



More on this please...


There were indeed rumours that several teams were discussing the use of the Alfa flat-12 before Ecclestone secured an exclusive furniture.

I do have period Autosprints where such rumours are reported, but I'm unable to dig in those boxes now . :

#28 Lola FJ

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 11:36

I can shed a little bit of light on the T370 Alfa story, as I own this car.
The car (T370 HU1) originally raced with a DFV. The tub was then rebuilt to GH1 spec and fitted with a rear bulkhead to take the flat 12 Alfa. As far as I'm aware the car never ran with the Alfa engine.

#29 macoran

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 10:11

Any chance of a pic of this rare animal ?

#30 WHITE

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 14:18

Originally posted by ghinzani
According to my Autosports of the time the Parnelli was also due to run with Alfa engines, but Bernie got the deal in the end.



I do not remember anything about the Parnelli - Alfa talks, but I do remember having read an interview with Wilson Fittipaldi in which he said he had talked to Alfa about the possibility of having their engine available for his team - Copersucar-Fittipaldi. However, it was Ecclestone who finally got them.

#31 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 11:41

Graham McRae was approached by Alfa to build a flat 12 F1 car mid 1973. He turned them down.

#32 David M. Kane

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 21:58

Huw:

I'm not surprised the McRae GM-1 is one of the best built race cars I've ever seen.

#33 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 11:29

Just to put the above comment in its true perspective, and hopefully not take the thread too far OT, McRae did not make that decision lightly, even though one of his most repeated quotes at the British GP about his career aspirations was "3 litres is about the least powerful formula I'd be interested in".
An approach to him was made by Ingenere Giovanni Morrelli, initially at Watkins Glen.
Whilst the projected power output was usefully above the Cosworth (which of course he would have had to buy, and only get an ordinary one, so he hadn't considered it as an option) Graham did some calculations based on weight and fuel capacity.
As he was hard pressed on GM1 production and loyal to his partners in that project, as well as his own racing commitments, he decided that the Alfa was too marginal and would take a more effort to make competitive than he realistically had time for.

With respect to the GM1, Allan Rollinson, a respected F5000 driver at the time had been using the current Lola and then got into a McRae GM1 which he described as being a much better quality product. A GM1 historic racer stole the lap record at Sandown a couple of years ago from the local F3000 hot shots!

Back to topic, the comment that the Bernie got the Alfa contract from under Hill's nose is curious, as Hill and BCE were quite close, and would have had the same contacts at the time.
I wonder if Hill decided he didn't want it and offered it to Bernie, or whether Bernie really did do the dirty on him?

#34 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 16:55

Originally posted by Huw Jadvantich

An approach to him was made by Ingenere Giovanni Morrelli, initially at Watkins Glen.


Excuse my pedantry, but it should be Giovanni Marelli. :blush:

#35 David M. Kane

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 17:21

It was a BIG engine, I wonder why Gordon Murray didn't reach the same conclusion as Graham McRae?

#36 Bonde

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 22:35

David,

IIRC, Gordon Murray did reach the same conclusions regarding power, weight and fuel consumption as Graham McRae had, but IIRC, BCE wanted the involvement of Alfa as a manufacturer and the money it wcould bring along, as well as the high profile of the direct rivalry with Ferrari. I suspect that major sponsor Martini might have had a say in it also - and I'm sure Murray relished the technical challenge of the Alfa Flat 12 installation, even if it did thwart development of the brilliant BT44B chassis, which, IMO could have fared better in 1975 and 1976 had it not been for the Alfa effort. Still, the BT45 and BT46 that came out of the Alfa relationship were some of the most effective and purposeful looking pre-groundeffects cars, and the troublesome BT48 led directly to the brilliant BT49-DFV. If only the Alfa engines had been consistent in specification and a lot more reliable...

One must also remember that F1 Teams weren't exactly spoilt for choice back then if they wanted an advantage by leaving the common DFV road...

#37 David M. Kane

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 22:50

Martini probably played a big role, I forgot about them. i only saw the car run once and that was at Watkins Glen in the rain. hans Stuck was running really well until he left the road. Bernie didn't take it well as he thought they had the race in the bag.