Part four : Formula 1, 2, 3

After the barchettas and the protos came the Formula 1, 2, 3 from 1958 to 1971. The first one to arrive was car 70, a 1963 Lotus Type 41 from Malcom Wishart, Scotland. Designed by John Joyce and Dave Baldwin, with its 1100 cc displacement engine and steel tubular space frame chassis, it raced in both Formula 2 and Formula 3. The second car to arrive was a 1962 Ausper FJ coming as well from Scotland, driven by its owner Vernon Wiliamson. This Formula Junior is a rare sight as very few remain from this brand founded by australian Tom Hawkes.

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“Ausper is one of the many forgotten brands, when it was still possible to build Formula cars in its garage and race them”

Car number 253 which was supposed to be a 1976 Lola T400 which wasn’t it. Its Scottish owner Michael Lyons had probably changed his mind at the last minute. The next car to arrive was not even on the original planning, featuring number 255.

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Then came one of the rare italian Formula cars expected, a Formula 2 Tecno. Founded by the Pederzani brothers in the mid sixities, they even managed to enter the Formula 1 championship during two years, in 1972 and 1973 with the help of the count Rossi. Owned by italian Giuseppe Bianchini this 1600 cc displacement car was very neatly driven… The following car was the Ferguson P99, one of the very few four wheel drive Formula 1 cars. Designed and imagined by Harry Ferguson, who originally built tractors, with the help of pilots such as Freddie Dixon or Tony Rolt, he wanted to prove the interest of this type of transmission in Formula 1. Sadly though, due to the new displacement regulations, and the fact that most of its competitors were rear-engined cars, it was very difficult for this car to showcase its real improvements.

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“The Ferguson P99 was one of the most avant-guardist F1…”

Next one to show up was car number 74, a 1967 Brabham BT 23 from swiss owner Ivo Rebmann, designed for Formula 2 racing with its small 1600 cc engine. Jack Brabham’s creation are notorious and do not need any introduction, for this self-made man, who is still today the only person to have built, driven and won a Formula One championship. It was followed by another 1600 cc displacement car which competed though in another very disputed category : the Formula Ford 1978 Lola T540 from swiss owner Jean-Michel Clerc.

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For the Scuderia Cegga, swiss driver Robert Naef was driving a 1982 Van Diemen Ford 2000 Formula, with Philippe Siffert’s (Formula 1 driver Jo Siffert’s son) name written on the side. The next car to arrive was another Brabham, a 1964 BT10 Formula 2 from swss owner Raphael Weber, featuring number 69. Shortly afterwards, Frédéric Jouvenat arrived with the 1975 Scuderia Cegga’s Martini Mk15 proudly wearing number 73. Swiss owner Alfred Moser had brought along his 1970 yellow Formula 2, a March 703. Famous for his six wheeled 1976 formula prototype, british sports car manufacturer March Engineering made its reputation in Formula One with some very good results from 1970 to 1993.

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Instantly recognizable, the next car arriving was number 87, a 1961 Cooper Formula 1, driven by his swiss owner Eric Perrin. No debate, John Cooper was a genius, and thanks to him, Mini won all of its rally championships and he revolutionized automotive racing by successfully introducing the rear engined concept in the Formula One championship. Thus these cars look absolutely terrific, compared to their competitors at the time, sitting very low near the ground, and introducing the world to an all new design. Not only were they prettier, they were also faster both on the straights and in the corners thanks to a better weight distribution, and a lower center of gravity.

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“No debate : John Cooper was a genius”

The last cars to close this Formula 1, 2 and 3 first run of the 2013 Ollon – Villar hillclimb retrospective arrived starting with the 1972 Abarth 025 from Jeff Gradeck, Germany. Although Abarth had some very successful awards in various racing categories, Carlo Abarth’s creations really never had enough luck to achieve a glorious career in Formula. Car number 82 was a french Formula Ford 1984 Rondeau M584, raced by swiss pilot Renaud Joel for the Scuderia Cegga. Another Cooper arrived,  a 1958 T45 this time, which I found less elegant than the 1961 Formula 1 we had just seen a few minutes earlier. Featuring number 89, in a rather italian red livery, it was neatly driven by its swiss owner Koni Lutziger. Finally, a very nice Austin, not mentioned on the list, ended this session.

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