1976 March 761 F1 Car ex-Arturo Merzario
We are delighted to offer this stunning 1976 ex-Arturo Merzario “OVORO” March 761 F1 Car for sale.
British manufacturer and F1 constructor March Engineering began operation in 1969 and was created by Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. Each of these 4 individuals brought unique qualities and talents to the team with Herd being the designer, Rees the team manager, Coaker oversaw production and Mosley handled the commercial side of the business.
March was to provide chassis for customers competing in all racing categories starting with a F3 car in 1969 followed by an F1 car in 1970 : the March 701 which they used as team cars and also to supply to privateers. They also produced a highly successful F2 car which shared the chassis of its F1 brethren.
Introduced for the start of the 1976 Formula 1 season, the March 761 produced by Robin Herd was another straight forward alloy-tubbed chassis design which was low cost to build and easy to maintain and repair. Compared to its predecessor, the 761 chassis had a wider track and was stronger. Eight 761s were built in total and during the season more than a few cars were required to be rebuilt on new tubs due to various accidents by its F1 drivers.
For 1976, March decided to run four “factory” cars split into two teams. The “A” team would be managed by Max Mosely who would run Vittorio Brambilla and Ronnie Peterson, with the “B” team looked after by Robin Herd and running Hans-Joachim Stuck in one car, and Arturo Merzario in the other car who would bring along his own sponsorship from Ovoro, the Italian liquor company. It is this car which is offered for sale by its current owner. As there are several March 761 (and other models) with dubious history, this is not the case for chassis 761-04 which has continuous history from new with all six (incl. March) prior owners known :
1976 – works car, entered by March Engineering for Arturio Merzario
1977 – acquired by Gerd Biechteler for the UK Aurora Series
1982 – Yuam Lequime – not raced
2000 – Bernard de Dryver – bought for restoration
2002 – Jean Louis Duret – raced in GP Masters and Monaco HGP 2004
2005 – Peter Dunn – raced in GP masters and Monaco HGP 2006 and 2008
2012 – current owner – raced in GP Masters and Monaco HGP
This “OVORO” March 761-04 – of which the in-period race history can be seen below in the History section – is sold in 100% race-ready condition. The current owner has always maintained this car with no-expenses-spared and received a full rebuild in 2017. It has a fresh, zero miles G. Richardson long-stroke DFV engine, a new fuel cell, 2017 crack testing, fire system and comes with new seat belts. This car has last been raced in the winter of 2017 and needs nothing further spent on it other than possibly a custom seat for its new, lucky owner. 761-04 has been setup and developed and has shown to be a very competitive and front running car which – in the right hands – could win race F at the Monaco 2018 Historic GP for which it has been entered. 761-04 also comes with a 2015 FIA HTP and a good spares package which includes multiple sets of wheel, gear-ratios, front nose, suspension items and miscellaneous running spares.
This is a rare opportunity to acquire a genuine, no-stories and striking March 761 which competed in the legendary “Hunt versus Lauda” 1976 year and is part of the golden era of F1 !
28/03/76: United States West GP, Long Beach #35 A.Merzario DNQ did not qualify
02/05/76: Spanish GP, Jarama #35 A.Merzario Rtd lap 37 - gearbox
16/05/76: Belgian GP, Zolder #35 A.Merzario Rtd lap 22 - engine
30/05/76: Monaco GP, Monte Carlo #35 A.Merzario DNQ accident
rebuilt on new tub “761/4-2”
13/06/76: Swedish GP, Anderstorp #35 A.Merzario 14th 70 laps
04/07/76: French GP, Paul Ricard #35 A.Merzario 9th 54 laps
18/07/76: British GP, Brands Hatch #35 A.Merzario Rtd lap 32 - driveshaft
01/08/76: German GP, Hockenheim #9 V.Brambilla Rtd lap 2 - accident
Sports Cars of Austria
rebuilt on new tub “761/4-3”
15/08/76: Austrian GP, Osterreichring #40 K.Oppitzhauser DNP did not practice
30/08/76: Brands Hatch, Shellsport Group 8 #59 K.Oppitzhauser DNQ did not qualify
12/09/76: Thruxton, Shellsport Group 8 #51 K.Oppitzhauser DNA did not arrive
17/07/77: Austrian Bergpreis, Dobratsch #126 K.Oppitzhauser 44th 7th Group 8
Gerd Biechteler Racing
01/05/78: Mallory Park, Aurora AFX British F1 #65 G.Biechteler 11th
21/05/78: Donington, Aurora AFX British F1 #65 G.Biechteler DNS oil pressure