1976 March 76S to DFV Specification
March Sports Racing Prototype built to 3.0 litre DFV specification.
Formerly ‘The Super Skoda’, raced extensively by Tony Sugden
I purchased this car in 2012 from Ryan Hodges of Bristol – the car was offered in component form, requiring a comprehensive full rebuild, however the monocoque had already been rebuilt to a high standard.
I then entrusted historian Richard Taylor of 'Historic Race Car Research' to delve into the car's past and he believes the following to be correct -
Built to ‘Thundersports’ specification in 1979/80 by Jim Evans using the remains of the 1976 ex-Sayers 762 Hart and a bespoke 76S tub built by John Leek.
The car amazed the press qualifying 4th on its debut at the 1981 ‘International’ Group 5 touring car race at Donington Park, beating the BMW M1s, Porsches and other exotic machinery.
The car ran with a Turbo FVC and Lotus Esprit bodyshell at this time, but was later reconfigured into the 'Super Skoda' that Tony Sugden had massive success with, racing against (and beating) the likes of Gerry Marshall's 'Big Bertha' in Super Saloons and Thundersports.
The car ran with a variety of engines throughout this ‘Skoda’ period including the belt-driven turbo Ford and a 3.0 litre Cosworth DFV (documented), as it remains to this specification today.
The car has now been rebuilt back to correct three-litre 75/76S specification, ideal for Masters Interseries Can-Am and lots of other series across Europe and the USA. The car is supplied less engine / fuel bag tanks, however all crack-testing was completed in 2016, with certification.
Below is a very brief overview of the work carried out over a three year period, the majority by McLaren specialists Autotune of Rishton Lancashire.
Work carried out to March 76S to DFV specification as requested to assembled rolling chassis stage.
Inspect recently re-skinned monocoque and carry out minor mods/finishing where necessary.
Install supplied new roll over bar and stays
Strip and rebuild all four suspension assemblies including:
Crack testing of uprights and hubs
Modify two front uprights to match pair
Dichromate four uprights
Fit new wheel bearings
Manufacture and fit new front wishbones, polished and nickel plated.
Fit as-supplied new radius rods and as supplied new bottom rear links
Manufacture and fit new top rear links
Fit all new front wishbone poly-bushes and crush tubes
Fit new rod-ends and spherical bearings throughout suspension
Manufacture and fit new rear suspension lower mounting cradle
Manufacture and fit new rear suspension upper mounting plates in stainless steel.
Send dampers away for internal refurbishing at a cost of £1,800 plus VAT. Work carried out by Ian Gardener.
Fit dampers with new spring platforms and 2x new front spring caps
Fit four new coil springs
Fit steering rack as supplied, make and fit 2x new rack mount clamps
Fit as supplied new track rods
Make and fit four new stainless steel steering arms.
Make and fit new steering column with new UJ and supplied steering wheel
Crack test two original supplied March front wheels and fit
Original supplied March rear wheels fitted but deemed unsuitable for race use.
Manufacture and fit 2x new alloy front brake bells
Supply and fit 2x new front AP brake discs
Recondition and fit 2x front brake callipers
Refurbish and fit original pedal box with new m/cyl extension rods (need setting to suit driver)
Fit 3x new master cylinders
Fit 1x supplied gauges, 1x new gauge and supplied tacho in dash pod
Mount dash pod.
Manufacture new nose and tail sections from body moulds supplied.
Fit cockpit, sidepods and radiator ducts, supplied by Greg Caton.
Re-manufacture all new engine bay framework to suit DFV, using originals as patterns.
Manufacture all new body mounting frames, brackets and catches at both front and rear.
Manufacture new rear wing mounting frame
Install fully-rebuilt Hewland FG 5-speed gearbox with correct side plates. Work carried out by Elite Transmissions.
Assemble whole package into rolling chassis with mounted bodywork
Bodywork subjected to almost 500 hours with every single panel requiring cutting and tweaking, to get the perfect fit. Finished to a high standard in Old English White.
Car to be offered with -
Front / rear clam body moulds
Front splitter mould
Spare wheels x4 (blue), as used during the Thundersport-era (F1 width rears).
Original dashboard, from the ‘Skoda period’
Comprehensive history files (x2), each around 4 inches thick, detailing the car’s successes year by year, full photographic rebuild and correspondence with former keepers, receipt from Ryan Hodges for a ‘March 75S chassis number 75-ST1’.
Unfortunately, I don't have the budget to get this car out on the track and make it competitive, so with regret I have decided to offer it for sale to a good home.
Any interesting part-exchanges considered - FF, FJ, F5000 etc or classic/modern road car considered.