I have long been intrigued by the development of the P160 during its F1 career. I have seen reference to variants identified by the suffixes B-E but I couldn’t find anything that explained the differences so I did some paper research to try and find out.
My sources were Oldracingcars.com and the contemporary reports in Autosport, Motor Sport and Motoring News plus Doug Nye’s Autocourse History of the Grand Prix Car. I also looked at the recent article in Automobilsport but it wasn’t much help in this exercise. I know, of course the Volume 4 of a certain series of books will answer all my questions but decided to proceed anyway.
Two things were clear. The first is that most of the cars were modified to later specifications as parts became available. The second is that there were changes to the cars that didn’t warrant a separate type number. I haven’t yet looked into those changes. In what follows I use the name P160A to refer to the original cars That name was never used but it’s convenient.
First I looked at oldracingcars.com to get the first appearance of each specification. Then I went through the relevant magazines to find what they said about those specifications.
This is what I found
A from South Africa 6/3/71 (new)
B from Brazil 30/3/72.
C from Britain 15/7/72;
D from Argentina 28/1/73; actually new car.
E from Sweden 17/6/73
160/02 always A
A from Hockenheim 13/6/71 (new)
B from Argentina 23/1/72;
C from Germany 30/7/72;
D from Argentina 28/1/73;
E from Spain 29/4/73
A from Austria 15/8/71 (new)
B from Argentina 23/1/72.
C from Brands Hatch 28/8/72.
D from South Africa 3/3/73
B from Àrgentina 23/1/72 (new)
C from Germany 30/7/72
D from Argentina 28/1/73
E from Silverstone 8/4/73
B from France 2/7/72 (new)
C from Germany 30/7/72
E from silverstone 8/4/73 (new)
E from Belgium 20/5/73 (new)
E from Britain 14/7/73 (new)
E from Italian 9/9/73 (new)
The specification changes:
P160B Argentina 23/1/72
P180 rear suspension, four separate fuel tanks (Autosport)
As Autosport but also Lockheed instead of Girling brakes, eared knock on front wheel nuts, wider cockpit (Motor Sport)
All cars in B-spec but no details (MN)
P160C France 2/7/72
P180 wheels, suspension, gearbox, brake ducts
Front and rear suspension from P180 (MN)
Germany 30/7/72. All cars had new layout of ducted oil radiators on the side of the monocoque gave improved down-thrust at the rear and lower oil temperatures. Tried at British Grand Prix. (Motor Sport).
P160D Argentina 28/1/73
Wide nose, side oil radiators repositioned, new rear wing, new rear anti-roll bar (MN). Mike Pilbeam now designer.
P160E Silverstone 8/4/73
i hope this is of some interest and would be grateful for any comments, particularly corrections or additions.