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#1 airbox

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 12:43

An image of the Ligier Alfa-Romeo test car has raised a question - the original post says that they are using an Alfa Romeo 185

 

302cawi.jpg

 

But looking at the picture this doesn't look much like the 185 even if if had been pretty severely hacked about - I'm presuming they wouldn't have redesigned the front for a test hack and the roll bar structure is different - it also doesn't look much like the 184 either with the enclosed roll bar structure either

 

The car is most closely resembles is actually the Ligier JS29 that eventually saw light in 1987 with Megatron power

 

1987test_ghinzani.jpg

 

Does anyone know the wider story on this? Were designs in place so early that they could incorporate them into a test car? Or were Ligier in such crisis by Alfa's eventual withdrawal that they were forced to take the test mule concept and stick a BMW in the back?

 

 



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#2 arttidesco

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 13:01

I believe the red car is an Alfa Romeo prototype, it is certainly not a Ligier but I do not know if it was built by Alfa Romeo / Autodelta (likely given it does not resemble the 184T or 185T) or Euroracing who built the 185T that was raced for the first half of 1985 before reverting to an upgraded 184TB.



#3 chunder27

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 13:54

I gather this would be the car that was initially designed to run the mothballed and never used 4 cylinder Alfa turbo engine? I actually think that's a rather nice looking car, very sleek and low, much like many cars of the late turbo era, some of the more beautiful F1 cars, especially when you compare them to their early bretheren!

 

Be fascinating to know if it would have been any good or not?

Does anyone have any insight into why it was stopped? Costs? Not good enough?



#4 funformula

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 17:34

A bit of information here.
http://www.f1technic...5276&start=3435

#5 Mallory Dan

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 18:47

Looks like a 1985 Ferrari I reckon



#6 airbox

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 20:03

Alfa Romeo were sold to Fiat in 1986  - in fact I think one of the reasons that Alfa also pulled out of the engine deal was political pressure not to compete in F1 against Ferrari (i.e. another Fiat group member)?

 

If so then would Ferrari would have lent them a 156/85 to test with?

 

Have looked at the link above, the poster seems to be implying its an old Euroracing chassis but it doesn't look like any I've seen even going as far back as the 183 and 182



#7 arttidesco

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 20:19

My own suspicion is that the prototype Alfa 4cyl turbo chassis is a rehashed 183T but I agree with Dan it shares some similarity with the Ferrari 156/85 and this would be aroumd the time Ferrari owner FIAT were competing with Ford for control of Alfa Romeo.

#8 funformula

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 21:20

My own suspicion is that the prototype Alfa 4cyl turbo chassis is a rehashed 183T but I agree with Dan it shares some similarity with the Ferrari 156/85 and this would be aroumd the time Ferrari owner FIAT were competing with Ford for control of Alfa Romeo.

 

It´s indeed close to the 183T from the outline appearance but the details are wrong. 183T had rocker front suspension and a much larger/higher fuel tank.

But the look is very much the same as on the other Mario Tollentino designed cars. So maybe it is the "186" probably already designed and built at the time when Alfa Romeo pulled the plug for Euroracing for the 1986 saison.

 

No Ferrari or Alfa 184 either, too many differences in the monocoque.



#9 Charlieman

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 21:21

That car, I mean the top image in this thread, is horrible.

 

Rene Arnoux must have been driving with his legs in the worst place for an accident. Much of the weight -- and the car is designed to carry a lot of fuel -- was behind the driver. The engine must have acted like a huge dumb bell when the fuel tank emptied.



#10 airbox

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 22:03

Just had a quick check back at the Motorsport Archive

 

As at December 1985 Alfa hadn't officially withdrawn although it looks like their participation in 86 was in at least some question judging from Alan Henry's comments - looks like the decision was officially announced around the turn of the year as by DSJ's January 86 article Alfa had formally withdrawn.

 

I've seen the models in the link in post 4 - presumably for the '186' but late 85 would have been early to have been putting a full chassis together for next season especially if there were questions over continuing in 86 and would this have been done by Euroracing rather than Alfa in-house?

 

Front axle rule for the pedals didn't come in until 1988 so in theory that design would be legal (if it passed the frontal crash test introduced in 85) Unless this was always going to a hack only by the time it hit the track?



#11 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:59

Didn't EuroBrun buy Euroracing remains to race in 1988? Possibly we see the T187 that went on to become ER188?

 

Alfa Romeo's F1 project 1978-1985 is of course a tale of continuous criticism. It started with the 1978 prototype looking so huge 'it could fit an engine in the front'. Blowing up engines followed them for years, and even if Euroracing took over it just could not get a breakthrough. 

Criticism not only from Arnoux on this tests, but also on the Osella-AR effort made the FIAT management make the decision to pull out a/o rebadge.



#12 arttidesco

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 17:59

For me the huge fuel tank points to the red car being an old chassis possibly a 183 rehashed as by 1986 iirc the mandated fuel tank size was already being restricted, as ofcourse was the turbo boost in 1987 and 88 which commercial considerations aside were never going to help this project.

#13 funformula

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 18:29

Take a look here at the 183T
https://poeticsofspe...3sign.jpg?w=774

I dont think you can build the red car from a 183T monocoque. Although the complete car is looking outwardly quite similar it has almost nothing in common when you get to the details.

#14 airbox

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 21:42

Had another look at the links in post 4, thanks for this Funformula

 

The car looks very narrow and low - what I'm also struggling to understand is why it has been fitted with string tufts down the sides (presumably for basic aero testing) if this was only a test hack to check the engine. 

 

This would imply that there was at least some chassis testing going on. One other observation - the test chassis is on Goodyears as were the Alfa F1 team in 85 - Ligier were contracted to Pirelli in 86. 

 

Does anyone know when the Ligier-Alfa deal was actually signed as opposed to when it went public?

 

Maybe there was more Alfa Romeo input into the JS29 than just the original engine...

 



#15 arttidesco

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 22:43

Had another look at the links in post 4, thanks for this Funformula

 

The car looks very narrow and low - what I'm also struggling to understand is why it has been fitted with string tufts down the sides (presumably for basic aero testing) if this was only a test hack to check the engine. 

 

This would imply that there was at least some chassis testing going on.

 

 

Or maybe the whole '86 4 cylinder project was a clever executive bluff to increase Alfa Romeo's appeal to potential suitors FIAT / Ferrari who would not want to see a project like this into arch enemy Ford's hands ?

 

Take a look here at the 183T
https://poeticsofspe...3sign.jpg?w=774

I dont think you can build the red car from a 183T monocoque. Although the complete car is looking outwardly quite similar it has almost nothing in common when you get to the details.

Yes I see what you mean :up:



#16 10kDA

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 17:13

Much of the weight -- and the car is designed to carry a lot of fuel -- was behind the driver. The engine must have acted like a huge dumb bell when the fuel tank emptied.

 

If the fuel load is pretty much on the CG of the car, the handling setup is not affected much as the fuel burns off.
 

 



#17 airbox

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 17:57

Or maybe the whole '86 4 cylinder project was a clever executive bluff to increase Alfa Romeo's appeal to potential suitors FIAT / Ferrari who would not want to see a project like this into arch enemy Ford's hands ?

 

Yes I see what you mean :up:

 

Hadn't thought of that before, although Ford already had their F1 engine up and running with Beatrice Lola

 

All in all the whole saga seems to have been a doomed affair from the beginning. A straight 4 was an odd choice of engine configuration considering BMW had already shown the limitations of incorporating this into the 'coke bottle' styling then prevalent. 



#18 Henri Greuter

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 14:10

Hadn't thought of that before, although Ford already had their F1 engine up and running with Beatrice Lola

 

All in all the whole saga seems to have been a doomed affair from the beginning. A straight 4 was an odd choice of engine configuration considering BMW had already shown the limitations of incorporating this into the 'coke bottle' styling then prevalent. 

 

 

Funny enough, even Ferrari is said to have had a fourcylinder engine on the dyno's at about late 1983 already and supposedly this engine was to replace the first generation 120 degree V6 engine. I recall having read about that project back then and I also remember having seen pictures on the internet of that engine being exposed in the Ferrari Museum.

Mauro Forghieri wahs behind this project and I vaguely remember that the failure of it kind of was used against him in the power struggle within the ferrari team at that time.

Anyone knows more about it

 

From what I recall from the difficulties with a fourcilinder F1 engine, the biggest problem was that there was a hot side and a cold side on the engine and it was very difficult to get a turbo dependable enough to cope with the exhaust flow. It was a much larger one that was needed compared with two smaller ones used at a V-engine. Hence throittle responce was a bit better with the V engines, at least initially before engine management systems helped a bit with some of those problems. A vee engine allowed a more symmetrical design and building of the car which often was beneficial.

 

Henri



#19 arttidesco

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 14:53

I suspect the only reason BMW went with a four was because they had experience with their 2 and 2.1 liter Group 5 4 cylinder engines and the only reason Ferrari and Alfa looked at four was because BMW were the first turbocharged Championship winning engine builders, didn't Alfa show both V8 and V6 engines when they first announced their plans to go the turbocharged route ?



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#20 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 15:11

The Turbo V8 Alfa Romeo raced may not have been a world beater, but was definitely a wonderful engine if nothing else for going there.

 

:cool:



#21 chunder27

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 15:27

It is interesting that only BMW really got a 4 cylinder to work. I am sure we have all seen the program about Cosworth and the struggles they had with getting it to work, and wasn't that lump loosely based on BDA tech?

 

I am sure we also heard stories about BMW using the poorest, oldest and most knackered blocks that were weathered etc.

 

Sounds like old wives tale stuff really, but maybe there was some truth in it. But I think the experiences with 4 cylinder engines of that type was relevant.

 

And Ford were new to it then, when you consider what was achieved shortly after with the Sierra Cosworth engines, all over the world they could have got it right.

AS could Alfa Romeo, but perhaps a project that was seen off by politics as much as anything else.

 

Not sure Enzo would have warmed much to a 4 cylinder F1 car!!  Unless it was insanely quick out the box at Fiorano!!



#22 arttidesco

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 18:37

 

Not sure Enzo would have warmed much to a 4 cylinder F1 car!!  Unless it was insanely quick out the box at Fiorano!!

 

Insanely quick and economical as with his 50's four cylinder Ferrari formula 2's inspired by the Alta F2 engines ;-)


Edited by arttidesco, 12 January 2017 - 18:38.


#23 guiporsche

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 19:03

Hello everyone.

 

Regarding the 4 cyl slant Turbo alla BMW that Ferrari built in 1984, I've made the same question at the gpx.it forum. Particularly, of the engine's origins, and of whether its failure had any role in prompting Forghieri to quit the Reparto Corse.

 

Gpx.it is an italian forum dedicated to motorsport history, and more importantly, an (alleged, given he never revealed his name) ex-Ferrari designer from 78 to 89 regularly posts there. His nickname is 'Powerslide', and unfortunately he did not give much detail, besides stating that for what he could recall, that engine was never much more than a mock-up, and that obviously work on it stopped after Forghieri's resignation.

 

Now the question is that British authors like Alan Henry and Pritchard basically correlated the failure of that Turbo engine with Forghieri's resignation. At the same time, in his biography Forghieri does not make any reference to that engine (understandably, if it proved to be a major failure).

 

My own conclusion is that the British authors exaggerated the importance of the engine in Ferrari's development programme (Postlethwaite used to say that it was usual for Ferrari engineers to try lots of solutions). Yet, it definitely played a role in further politically isolating Forghieri (as Henri Greuter above asserted). It is telling that neither Henry nor Pritchard make any allusions to Forghieri's rift with Piccinini and other members of the Reparto Corse (who, though?) - which Forghieri himself admitted inhis biography. Of course, once we delve into matters of detail, Forghieri has always been tight lipped about who was with him or against him, and there's little testimonies from other key engineers of the time. So we'll probably never know the whole truth.

 

Maybe someone could open a new thread on this topic, if deemed interesting enough. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to do it given I've just registered.

Below is the thread on the topic I created at gpx.it, complete with pics of the 4cyl Turbo, and excerpts in english from Henry's and Pritchard's books on the whole issue.

 

http://www.gpx.it/fo....php?f=2&t=5837

 

P.S.

 

And for those that can read Italian, this is also an intringuing read:

 

http://ricerca.repub...-colpevole.html


Edited by guiporsche, 12 January 2017 - 19:15.


#24 Henri Greuter

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:00

Hello everyone.

 

Regarding the 4 cyl slant Turbo alla BMW that Ferrari built in 1984, I've made the same question at the gpx.it forum. Particularly, of the engine's origins, and of whether its failure had any role in prompting Forghieri to quit the Reparto Corse.

 

Gpx.it is an italian forum dedicated to motorsport history, and more importantly, an (alleged, given he never revealed his name) ex-Ferrari designer from 78 to 89 regularly posts there. His nickname is 'Powerslide', and unfortunately he did not give much detail, besides stating that for what he could recall, that engine was never much more than a mock-up, and that obviously work on it stopped after Forghieri's resignation.

 

Now the question is that British authors like Alan Henry and Pritchard basically correlated the failure of that Turbo engine with Forghieri's resignation. At the same time, in his biography Forghieri does not make any reference to that engine (understandably, if it proved to be a major failure).

 

My own conclusion is that the British authors exaggerated the importance of the engine in Ferrari's development programme (Postlethwaite used to say that it was usual for Ferrari engineers to try lots of solutions). Yet, it definitely played a role in further politically isolating Forghieri (as Henri Greuter above asserted). It is telling that neither Henry nor Pritchard make any allusions to Forghieri's rift with Piccinini and other members of the Reparto Corse (who, though?) - which Forghieri himself admitted inhis biography. Of course, once we delve into matters of detail, Forghieri has always been tight lipped about who was with him or against him, and there's little testimonies from other key engineers of the time. So we'll probably never know the whole truth.

 

Maybe someone could open a new thread on this topic, if deemed interesting enough. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to do it given I've just registered.

Below is the thread on the topic I created at gpx.it, complete with pics of the 4cyl Turbo, and excerpts in english from Henry's and Pritchard's books on the whole issue.

 

http://www.gpx.it/fo....php?f=2&t=5837

 

P.S.

 

And for those that can read Italian, this is also an intringuing read:

 

http://ricerca.repub...-colpevole.html

 

 

Thank You very much for stepping forwards.

Digging deeper in my memories I recall that the then current magazine "Grand Prix International" must have mentioned the existance of the project as well.

 

 

Henri



#25 chunder27

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 15:17

I would think that in an era of new technology and a development budget any big manufacturer would develop numerous types of engine or versions of the same one with differing v angles or firing orders.

 

Honda did it with motorcycles for years



#26 guiporsche

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 16:40

Cheers Henri. I'll open a new thread on the topic in order not to further hijack this one. 

 

Thank You very much for stepping forwards.

Digging deeper in my memories I recall that the then current magazine "Grand Prix International" must have mentioned the existance of the project as well.

 

 

Henri



#27 GMiranda

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Posted 26 November 2022 - 22:56

An image of the Ligier Alfa-Romeo test car has raised a question - the original post says that they are using an Alfa Romeo 185

 

302cawi.jpg

 

But looking at the picture this doesn't look much like the 185 even if if had been pretty severely hacked about - I'm presuming they wouldn't have redesigned the front for a test hack and the roll bar structure is different - it also doesn't look much like the 184 either with the enclosed roll bar structure either

 

The car is most closely resembles is actually the Ligier JS29 that eventually saw light in 1987 with Megatron power

 

1987test_ghinzani.jpg

 

Does anyone know the wider story on this? Were designs in place so early that they could incorporate them into a test car? Or were Ligier in such crisis by Alfa's eventual withdrawal that they were forced to take the test mule concept and stick a BMW in the back?

Do you know who the copyright owner of this image is?



#28 ellrosso

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Posted 27 November 2022 - 08:58

Here is one of the 1985 Ferrari from Adelaide AGP for comparison - similar side on angle.10985-F-Albor-85.jpg



#29 WonderWoman61

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Posted 29 November 2022 - 11:20

Probably just a heavily modified 185T

#30 airbox

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Posted 29 November 2022 - 19:58

Here is an image of the test car
 

alfa-test-car.jpg

 

and here is the Ligier-Alfa

 

ligier-alfa.jpg


Edited by airbox, 29 November 2022 - 20:01.


#31 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 05:11

Maybe it’s the color, but it sure looks similar to the ’85 Ferrari to me.

#32 petere

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Posted 30 November 2022 - 10:07

Maybe it’s the color, but it sure looks similar to the ’85 Ferrari to me.

It's the color...  The test car was based on the prototype of the cancelled 1986 Alfa 186 that never raced. Perhaps unsurprisingly that followed the general layout and shape of the largely successful 1985 Ferrari, from 'just up the road'... The monocque itself looks like it might have been moulded using 184T tooling, with the fuel cell roof cut down for the 195L tank regulations introduced for 1986, and a revised roll hoop bolted/riveted to the new roof - that was integral with the tub on the 184.


Edited by petere, 30 November 2022 - 10:14.