Lot 334: March-Cosworth 87C Indy Car
March Engineering began operations in 1969. Its four founders were Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. They each had a specific area of expertise: Mosley looked after the commercial side, Herd was the designer, Rees managed the racing team and Coaker oversaw production at the factory. Their audacious aim was to build a complete range of racing cars from scratch, including a Formula One machine. The history of March was to be dominated by the conflict between the need for constant development and testing to remain at the peak of competitiveness in Formula One, and the need to build simple, reliable cars for customers to make a profit. The company first built a Formula Three car in 1969, and then went into F1 in 1970, supplying its Ford Cosworth DFV-powered 701 chassis to Tyrrell for Jackie Stewart. In addition, the factory ran two team cars for Jo Siffert and Chris Amon sponsored by STP. A third car, entered by Andy Granatelli for Mario Andretti, appeared on several occasions. Ronnie Peterson appeared in a semi-works car for Colin Crabbe when his Formula Two commitments allowed; various other 701s went to privateers. The team constructed ten chassis that year, in addition to F2, F3, Formula Ford and Can-Am chassis. Its first Indy car chassis, however, the 80C, was not constructed until 10 years later. Over the ensuing years much success with subsequent models in America's top single seater formula followed and March would dominate the championship during the 1980s, including with its car for the 1987 season. Developed from the previous year's 86C which had used a new honeycomb/aluminium monocoque chassis - the regulations having banned composite construction chassis - with a composite moulded upper section, the 87C employed pull-rod front suspension and only really differed in having rocker arm rear suspension with coil springs mounted horizontally and parallel to the transaxle, plus different side-pod profiles. Power again came from the venerable 2,645cc, twin turbocharged, Ford-Cosworth DFX V8 engine, a short stroke version of the legendary DFV, producing some 750bhp (and capable of 950bhp running on full boost and methanol) which was mated to a Hewland transaxle gearbox. Such had been the success of the March 86C - Bobby Rahal won the CART Indycar World Series in one - that orders flooded in for its replacement with 33 examples being shipped to America. Chassis 87C-12-06 was supplied to Gary Trout Motorsports. Part of an exclusive private collection in Belgium, it is described as being in good condition throughout and must represent excellent value both for the collector as well as the competitor.
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