Formula Junior – No Minor Achievement

Introduction

The editors of the A&R would be unable and unwilling to campaign for the establishment of the proposed CCM&EC if there was not overwhelming evidence and current justification for its existence.

Colin Chapman’s/Lotus success, impact and achievement in Formula Junior go far beyond the track and have major consequences / implications/ lessons for today. The contribution of Colin Chapman and Formula Junior embraces:-

  • Democratization and affordability of the sport
  • The essential belief that there was a level playing field and participants could have a chance of success
  • It inspired a vast array of engineering talent and , innovation/ concepts as witnessed by the marque list and the affordability
  • It enriched British engineering and specialists [ again refer marque list]
  • It gave opportunity to some of the foremost drivers of the generation like Jim Clark
  • It operated as a feeder escalator inspiring drivers and engineers upwards.

This was healthy meld of aspiration, participation and innovation from a low cost base placing emphasis on ideas and an opportunity to experiment.

Formula Junior also had a beneficial economic dimension. Participants could be involved with a low cost base but if successful had the means to expand and diversify as many did.

Subscribers will recognize many of participants were successful in other branches of motorsport some continue in existence today. We shall therefore look at the opportunity for low cost participation and the means by which the proposed CCM&EC can develop this with the associated historical benefits remaining relevant today.

The editors appreciate that formula Junior like other classes intended for low cost entry eventually were partly killed by their own success. In all competitive arena’s technology increased with associated costs and what was perhaps meant to be amateur sporned professional works teams attracting the better drivers etc.

This is an initial article establishing the primary context and parameters .A fuller series  will follow in which we can examine in detail:-

  • Lotus compared and contrasted with its Formula Junior contemporaries.
  • Expanded technical and competition history.
  • Formula Junior today – the contemporary scene.

The Enabling Role of Formula Junior.

  • Designers
  • Mechanics
  • Drivers
  • Team managers
  • Engine manufacturers and tuners

Marriot observes:-

“It has always proved necessary to have some form of training ground  for potential Grand Prix drivers………..after the Second world War certain constructors turned their attention  to the building of Formula Three cars……..the primary object of this racing was to provide a form of racing within the reach of any enthusiast  possessing some mechanical knowledge. However a side result of this formula was to provide the best ever training ground for young drivers prior to their entry into the intermediate Formula Two class then existing. Almost directly as a result of this class of racing, Great Britain found her self-possessed of the majority of the world’s best Grand Prix drivers.

So apparent was this that other nations began to look for an alternative when interest in formula three diminished .A well-known motor racing personality and Italian representative of the FIA; Count “Johnny” Lurani hit on the idea of a formula which would lead to the construction of a relatively cheap and orthodox racing car based on components used in normal production salon cars.

Immense interest was aroused immediately and many of the first Formula Juniors cars as they came to be known were constructed and driven by Italians”

Marriott seems to fully appreciate the training and experience opportunity that Formula Junior provided. He observes that:-

“Because they compete in the exhilarating atmosphere of an international Grand Prix .This is good schooling for any up and coming driver”

The Spirit and Specification

Twite records a slightly different emphasis to that of Marriott:

“Credit for the idea of Formula Junior goes to Count “Johnny” Lurani the Italian former racing driver .his idea came at a time when enthusiasm for the current 500cc formula 3 , never very strong on the Continent was very much on the wane, for it had developed into one country , one car domination , namely Britain and Cooper. Lurani’s scheme was for cheap racing cars as possible, and when the formula was made international the rules stated that the engine and gearbox must come from a production car which more than 1,000 had been made in 12 months……….As it was an Italian idea it was no surprise that Italian cars and drivers dominated early races, the Stanguellini, with front mounted Fiat engine being the most successful car. This featured the front suspension from a Fiat production car as well as a rigid back axle and was relatively cheap to produce. When the British constructions began to take an interest their approach was more professional and by the end of 1959 Elva, Lola, Gemini, Lotus and Cooper all had cars in advance state of construction…………. From then on British cars dominated Formula Junior almost exclusively with Lotus generally taking the honours”

The class of racing has been attributed to the Formula allowed cars to be constructed around Fiat parts.

It became international in 1958 but not until 1959 did Britain join with the likes of Cooper and Elva using BMC components whilst Lola and Lotus opted for Ford Anglia [see Cosworth below]

The Formula required that production engines and gearboxes should be used along with brakes from the same vehicle .Overhead camshafts were prohibited. Two engine sizes were allowed – 1100cc and weight of 400kg or 1000cc and 360kg.There were additional fixed measurements of the car.

Formula Junior was very evocative and in many respects emulated GP cars at an affordable cost. In particular many looked like scaled down Vanwalls etc. Cars and technology were a healthy diverse mix including front or rear engines, front wheel or rear wheel drive, two stroke, four stroke, air cooled, water cooled with multiple cylinders .Chassis ranged from ladder construction to monococque.

Formula Junior FIA Requirements

Marriott quotes the FIA regulations for Juniors as comprising:-

  • The cars are defined as being single seater ; the fundamental elements of which are derived from touring cars  recognized as such by FIA  production must have exceeded 1,000 units in any consecutive twelve months]
  • Minimum wheel base:6’-7.75”
  • Minimum track:3’-7.252
  • Maximum width [ outside measurements]:3’-1.5”
  • Maximum cylinder capacity:1,100 cc
  • Minimum weight: 881.8lbs [400 kg.] [See & relate technical specification tabulation] reduced to 793 lb. for models with capacity of 1,000cc or less.
  • Cylinder block and cylinder head must be those of the engine belonging to a car classed by the FIA
  • The gearbox must also be that of recognized touring model. There are no restrictions on the number and staging of gear ratios
  • The system and principle of fuel feeding must be the same as that of the car from which the engine is taken
  • Same rule applied to braking system but this rule has been modified and disc brakes now permitted
  • The cylinder capacities specified may be reached by modifying the original bore [increase or reduction] but no alteration of stroke is allowed.
  • The vehicle must be fitted with a self-starter device
  • The body, open and giving provision for ne seat must also incorporate a roll bar round the driver’s seat protecting him from being crushed should the car turn over.
  • Adequate fire protection is also required.

The following are prohibited:

  • Use of an engine with overhead camshaft,
  • Self-locking differential
  • The number of crankshaft bearings
  • Changing camshaft location

Commercial fuel only as defined by the FIA must be used and every car must be equipped with a certificate of authenticity issued by the national sports authority concerned, at the beginning of any event

The Competitors

or Comparative Specifications.

This information has been taken from Twite and Roberts. The editor’s hope by providing a wide cross section of cars /technical specifications several objectives can be achieved. These include:-

  • To analyses Lotus against the competition
  • To make deductions why it was superior
  • To examine the rich , healthy and international diverse composition of the class
  • To examine to what extent the class achieved its objectives of affordability
  • To reveal the popularity and extent of the participation

There are many lessons to be learnt here alone.

Following specifications taken from :-

  • Racing Cars of the World by Peter Roberts
  • The World’s Racing Cars. M.L.Twite.[1964]
  Stanguellini FJ [1958] Brabham Cooper T65 BMC [1960]
Engine /Cyli Fiat, 4 4 4 4
Bore /Stroke 68×75 mm 85×48.4mm 85×48.4mm 64.6×76.2 mm
CC 1,098 cc 1,098cc 1.098cc 996 cc
Valve Gear Not stated OHV OHV
Comp Ratio Not stated 10:01 12:01
Carburettors 2x Weber 2xWeber 1xWeber  1 TC weber
Max.Power 75-80 bhp 100 bhp 98 bhp 86.5 bhp
Trans/Gears 5 5 6 4
Front Brakes Fiat 9.8″ drums Disc 9″ Lock’ Disc Drum integral /wheel
Rear Brakes Fiat 9.8″ drums [inboard] Disc 9.5″ Lock’ Disc
Steering Worm & roller Rack/pinion Rack/pinion
Front Susp’ W’Bone & CS W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS W’ Bone & CS
Rear Susp’ W’Bone & CS W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS CS & transv links,RR
Chassis Not stated Multi-tubular Multi-tubular Warren girder type
Wheel base 6′-8″ 7′-6″ 7′-6.5″ 6′-8″
Front Track 4′-00″ 4′-0″ 4′-2.25″ 3′-10″
Rear Track 4′-0.5″ 4′-0″ 4′-3″ 3′-9″
O’length 11′-9″ 12′-0″ 11-10″ 10′-6″
O’width.body 4′-6″ 2′-2″ 2′-4″ 3′-9″
Kerb weight 860 lbs. 882lbs 882 lbs. 798 lbs.
Front Tyres 5.30×13 4.50×13 4.50×13 5.20×13
Rear Tyres 5.20×14 5.50×13 5.50×13 5.90×13
  Lola Formula Junior Merlyn Gemini 4A Volpini FJ [1959
Engine /Cyli 4 4 4 Fiat ,4
Bore /Stroke 85×48.4mm 85×48.4 85×48.4mm 68×75 mm
CC 1.098cc 1,098 1.098cc 1,098 cc
Valve Gear OHV OHV OHV OHV
Comp Ratio 10:01 10:01 10:01 Not stated
Carburettors 2xWeber 2xWeber 2xWeber 2x Weber
Max.Power 100 bhp 100 bhp 100 bhp 87 bhp
Trans/Gears 5 5 6 Fiat ,4
Front Brakes Disc 9.5 Girling D 9″ Girling D 9.5 Hydraulic TLS
Rear Brakes Disc 9.5 Girling D 9″ Girling D 9.5 Hydraulic TLS
Steering Rack/pinion Rack/pinion Rack/pinion Not stated
Front Susp’ W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS W’Bone & CS
Rear Susp’ W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS CS & Radius rods
Chassis Multi-8″ Multi-tubular Multi-tubular Ladder frame
Wheel base 7′-8″ 7′-6″ 7′-10″ 6′-10″
Front Track 4′-2″ 4′-4″ 4′-6″ 4′-.05″
Rear Track 4′-1″ 4′-4″ 4′-6″ 3′-11.5″
O’length 12′-0″ 12′-0″ 12′-8″ 11′-1.75″
O’width.body 2′-2″ Not stated 2′-2″ Not stated
Kerb weight 882 lbs. 882lbs 882 lbs. 902 lbs.
Front Tyres 4.50×13 4.50×13 5.20×13 4.25×15
Rear Tyres 5.50×13 5.50×13 5.50×13 5.20×14
  Lola [1960] Condor S111 [1961] Gemini Mk.II Elva [1959]
Engine /Cyli Lola mod 4 Ford 105 E Mod 4 Ford 105 E BMC A / Ford 105 E [4] Mitter tuned DKW [3]
Bore /Stroke 90.9648.41 mm 80.9×48.41 mm 80.96×48.41 mm 78.2x76mm
CC 997 cc 997 cc 997 cc 1,097 cc
Valve Gear Not stated Not stated Not stated Not stated
Comp Ratio Not stated Not stated Not stated Not stated
Carburettors 2xWeber 2 X Weber 2 x Weber 3x dell ‘Orto
Max.Power 75 bhp 80 bhp 88 bhp 85 bhp
Trans/Gears Not stated Not stated BMC A 4 speed 4
Front Brakes Lockheed 9″ Alfin  drum Girling /Condor 9″ Lockheed 10″ drums Lockheed 10″ drums
Rear Brakes Lockheed 9″ Alfin  drum Girling /Condor 9″ Lockheed 10″ drums Lockheed 10″ drums
Steering Rack/pinion Space frame + Mod’ Triumph Herald R&P Not stated
Front Susp’ W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS W’ Bone & CS
Rear Susp’ W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS Strut type with CSD Coli spring dampers +
Chassis Not stated Space frame + Multi-tubular plus reinf’ Multi- tube space frame
Wheel base 6′-10″ 7′-4″ 6′-10″ 7′-5″
Front Track 3′-9″ 4′-0″ 3′-11″ 4′-00″
Rear Track 3′-9.5″ 4′-0″ 4′-00″ 4′-00″
O’length 10′-8″ 11′-6″ 11′-6″ 12′-1.5″
O’width.body 4′-4″ 4′-6″ 4′-2″ 4′-4″
Kerb weight 810 lbs. 812 lbs. 805 lbs. 800 lbs. approx.
Front Tyres 4.50×13 4.50×13 4.50×15 15″
Rear Tyres 5.25×13 5.25×13 5×15 15″
  Lola [1961] Deep Sanderson [1959] Gemini Mk.IIIA [1960] Elva [1960]
Engine /Cyli Superspeed mod Ford 105 E Lawrencetune Ford 105E [4] Mod’ Ford 105 E [4] Mod’ BMC A [4]
Bore /Stroke 80.96×48.41 mm 80.96×48.41mm 80.96 x 48.41 mm 64.4×76.2 mm
CC 997 cc 997 cc 997 cc 992 cc
Valve Gear Not stated OHV Not stated OHC
Comp Ratio Not stated Not stated Not stated Not stated
Carburettors 2xWeber 2x Weber 2xWeber 2x SU
Max.Power 85 bhp 86 bhp 88 bhp 87 bhp
Trans/Gears Mod VW Volkswagen 4 speed Mod ‘Renault Dauphine Volkswagen 4 speed
Front Brakes Alfin/  Girling 9″ Alfin/ Girling 10″ Lockheed 10″ drums Lockheed 9″
Rear Brakes Girling 9″ inboard Girling 9″ Lockheed 8″ drums Lockheed inboard
Steering Lola rack and pinion Not stated Alford & Adler R & P Rack and pinion
Front Susp’ W’Bone& CS Converging axis trailing links W’Bone& CS W’ Bone & CS
Rear Susp’ W’Bone& CS Converging axis trailing links W’Bone& CS Parallel trailing arms +
Chassis Not stated Space frame + Not stated Space frame /stressed
Wheel base 7′-4″ 8′-4″ 7′-3″ 7′-3″
Front Track 4′-1″ 4′-00″ 4′-3″ 4′-00″
Rear Track 4′-00″ 3′-11″ 4′-3″ 4′-00″
O’length 12′-00″ 11′-1″ 11′-00″ 11′-1″
O’width.body 4-4″ 4′-6″ 4-9″ 4′-6″
Kerb weight 810 lbs. 810 lbs. 806 lbs. 815 lbs. approx.
Front Tyres 4.50×13 4.50×15 4.50×13 4.50×15
Rear Tyres 5.25 or 5.50 x13 5.00×15 5.25×13 5.00×15
  Emeryson [1960] Envoy Mk.I [1960] Cooper Mk.1 J [1960] Dolphin Mk.II [1961]
Engine /Cyli Mod Ford 105 E Barwell mod’ Ford 105 E  [4] Mod’ BMC A series Superspeed Mod Ford 105 E [4]
Bore /Stroke 80.96×48.41 mm 80.96×48.41mm 64.4×76.2 mm 80.96×48.41 mm
CC 997 cc 997 cc 994 cc 997 cc
Valve Gear OHV OHV OHV Not stated
Comp Ratio Not stated Not stated Not stated
Carburettors 2x Weber 2x Weber 2xSU or 1 tc Weber 2x SU
Max.Power 80 bhp 75-80 bhp 70-75 bhp 80 bhp
Trans/Gears  Mod’ Volkswagen 4 speed Volkswagen 4 speed Citroen ERSA 4 speed Fiat 600 , 4 speed
Front Brakes Girling 8 drums” Girling 10″ drums Lockheed 8″ 8.5 ” Aluminium finned drums
Rear Brakes Girling 8 drums” Girling 10″ drums Lockheed 8″ 8.5 ” Aluminium finned drums
Steering Emeryson R&P Rack/pinion Cooper R&P Not stated
Front Susp’ W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS W’ Bone & CS
Rear Susp’ W’Bone& CS W’Bone & CS Trans ‘Leaf Spring &WB W’ Bone & CS
Chassis Space frame Ladder frame 1.5″ tubing + light alloy Multi- tube space frame
Wheel base 7′-2″ 7′-3″ 7′-2″ 7′-6″
Front Track 3′-10″ 3′-10″ 3′-10.5″ 3′-11″
Rear Track 3′-9″ 3′-9″ 3′-9.5″ 3′-10″
O’length 12′-7.25″ 11′-1″ 11′-00″ Not stated
O’width.body 4′-3″ 4′-2.5″ 4′-4″ Not stated
Kerb weight 799 lbs. 800 lbs. Not stated Not stated
Front Tyres 4.50×15 4.50×15 4.50 x15 4.50×15
Rear Tyres 5.25×15 5.00×15 5.00 x15 5.00×15
  Kieft Junior [1960] Bond  Formula J [1960] Cooper Mk II J [1960] Lotus Type 18 [1959]
Engine /Cyli Arden mod’ Ford 100E [4] Cosworth Ford 105 E [4] Mod’ BMC A series [4] Cosworth Ford 105 E [4]
Bore /Stroke 80.96×48.41 mm 80.96×48.41mm 64.4×76.2 mm 80.96×48.41mm
CC 997 cc 997 cc 994 cc 997 cc
Valve Gear OHV Not stated OHV Not stated
Comp Ratio Not stated Not stated Not stated Not stated
Carburettors 2xWeber 2xWeber 2xSU or 1 tc Weber 2xWeber
Max.Power Not stated 80 bhp 75-80 bhp 75 bhp
Trans/Gears Mod’ Renault Dauphine Ford Anglia 4 speed Citroen ERSA 4 speed Mod; Renault 4 speed
Front Brakes Girling 9″ drums-outboard Girling 9″ in Bond drums Cooper/Wellworthy drum Lockheed 9″ outboard
Rear Brakes Girling 9″ drums-outboard Girling 9″ in Bond drums Cooper/Wellworthy drum Lockheed 9″ outboard
Steering Kieft R&P Rack/pinion Cooper R&P Rack/pinion
Front Susp’ W’Bone & CS W’Bone & CS W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS
Rear Susp’ W’Bone & CS Low pivot swing axle W’Bone& CS W’Bone& CS & drive shafts
Chassis Not stated GRP reinforced alum’& steel 1.5″ & 1.25″ tubing Multi- tube space frame
Wheel base 7′-00″ 7′-3″ 7′-5″ 7′ ‘-6″
Front Track 4′-1″ 3′-10″ 4′-00″ 4′ ‘-1″
Rear Track 4′-1″ 3′-11″ 3′-11″ 3′ ‘-11″
O’length 9′-8″ 11′-10″ 11′-6″ 11′ ‘-3″
O’width.body 4′-6″ Not stated 4′-6″ 4′-8″
Kerb weight Not stated 796 lbs. 795 lbs. 800 lbs.
Front Tyres 4.50×15 Not stated 4.50×13 4.50×15
Rear Tyres 5.00×15 Not stated 5.25×13 5.00×15
  PM-Poggi FJ [1959] Osca FJ [1960] Mitter FJ [1959] Lotus Type 20 [1961]
Engine /Cyli Mod’ Fiat 1,100 cc [4] Mod’ Fiat 1,100 cc [4] D.K.W. [3] Cosworth Ford 105 E [4]
Bore /Stroke 68×75 mm 68×75 mm 78.2×76 mm 80.96×48.41mm
CC 1,089 cc 1,089 cc 1.097 cc 997 cc
Valve Gear Not stated OHV Not stated Not stated
Comp Ratio Not stated Not stated 9.6:1 Not stated
Carburettors 2xWeber 2xWeber 3x dell Orto 2xWeber
Max.Power 76-78 bhp 85 bhp 85 bhp 85 bhp
Trans/Gears Fiat 1,100 4 speed Fiat 4speed 4 CR 4spees
Front Brakes Gatto 9.8″ drums Twin leading shoe hydraulic Porsche Carrera 11″ Hydraulic Drum
Rear Brakes Fiat 9.8″ drums Not stated Not stated Hydraulic Drum
Steering Not stated Not stated DKW rack & pinion Rack/pinion
Front Susp’ W’Bone & CS W’Bone & CS Top transf leaf spring W’Bone & CS
Rear Susp’ Cantilever 1/4 elliptical spring Live axle with coil S/dampers DKW dead axle/leaf spring Fixed length articul’sharfts
Chassis Not stated Ladder frame Not stated Multi- tube space frame
Wheel base 6′-9″ 6′-7″ 6′-10.5″ Not stated
Front Track 4′-12 3′-10.5″ 4′-3″ Not stated
Rear Track 4′-00″ 3′-9″ 4′-5.5″ Not stated
O’length Not stated Not stated 11′-3″ 11′-7″
O’width.body Not stated Not stated Not stated 4′-9″
Kerb weight 896 lbs. Not stated 910 lbs. 805 lbs.
Front Tyres 5.20×12 5.20×14 1.55×15 4.50×13
Rear Tyres 5.20×12 5.20×14 1.55×15 5.00×15
        Lotus Type 27
Engine /Cyli 4
Bore /Stroke 85×48.4mm
CC 1,098cc
Valve Gear OHV
Comp Ratio 10:01
Carburettors 2xWeber
Max.Power 100 bhp
Trans/Gears 5
Front Brakes Disc 9.5″
Rear Brakes Disc 9.5″
Steering Rack/pinion
Front Susp’ W’Bone& CS
Rear Susp’ W’Bone& CS
Chassis Monocoque
Wheel base 7′-6″
Front Track 4′-3.5″
Rear Track 4′-2″
O’length 11′-7″
O’width.body 2′-0″
Kerb weight 882lbs
Front Tyres 4.50×13
Rear Tyres 5.50×13

The Terrier

The Terrier was typical of the front engine Juniors are captured an appearance of their much bigger/ faster GP fellows. It was designed with space frame by Len Terry. The power being provided by the Ford Anglia. Due to the layout and need to keep the driver low the engine is engine dropping downwards at the rear and resultant prop shaft facing upwards. Tyres are believed to have been 5.00 L x 13 front and 5.50 Lx 14 rear on steel wheels to keep costs down etc. the front suspension incorporated Triumph Herald uprights. The weight is estimated at approximately 10cwt.

Lola first Fomula Junior & Mk.II

Peter Roberst observation was that :-

“Elva opted for the 1100 cc upper limit. Eric Broadley produced a car based on the concept and components used in the successful Lola Mk.I [Climax powered sports racing car].The design used a tubular space frame with increased stiffness from a solid riveted under shield and stressed prop shaft tunnel. Broadley used a front engine layout with offset drive line and the rear axle and suspension to compensate. It’s believed that 13” wheels were used. Weight is estimated at 9 cwt.

It has been suggested that approximately 29 cars were built. They were not as successful as the sports racing cars

Lotus

Marriott writing about formula Juniors in 1962 commented:-

“At the end of the 1960 season the Lotus had firmly established itself as the most successful Junior car in the field. Indeed it became something of a yardstick for many constructors and their design was closely, even slavishly, followed. It was called the Lotus 18 and during its first year of production a total of 125 came off the line”

Elva

Discussing the Elva Mk.I Junior, Marriott comments:-

“ The front engined version of this car was first available to private buyers in Britain in , early in 1959.It gained  a rapid popularity on both sides of the Atlantic…….and sold for the low basic price of £900 which included a fully tuned engine and magnesium wheels. These were powered by either BMC or DKW”

Cooper

Marriott in his account of the Formula Juniors commented:-

“The first Formula Junior Cooper made its appearance in 1960 and logically the basic design remained very close to the highly successful Formula One, Two and Three cars from the same stable. There were no radical design changes incorporated into the Junior”

Twite’s observation being:-

“The Cooper formula Junior cars followed closely the design of the Formula I car and tended to be stronger and heavier than their contemporaries. The multi tubular chassis has large diameter tubes as the main members with the minimum of bracing tubes…….”

Cooper as a major competitor / contemporary of Lotus deserves a fuller developed article and this will follow shortly.

Condor

The Condor is thought to have been devised and built by Michael Thorburn, Ted Whiteway, Bert Barrett and draughtsman Dick Barrett. Cars it’s believed were retailed at £1250 c 1961.

Gemini

It’s believed that Leslie Richmond [1928-1985] built the Moorland c 1958/59 whilst based in Southall, West London. There is a possibility that the body was built by Williams and Pritchard. There are suggestions that the Moorland Junior was retailed at £950 or £800 less engine and gearbox. It’s possible that 30 cars were sold before the Chequred Flag adopted and upgraded the car. It’s possible that Les Richmond, Derek Taylor and Brad Ward and Graham warner made a contribution to design and construction.

Stanguellini

Marriott makes the assessment reflected by others that:-

“This brilliant Italian car was constructed entirely around fiat components and its distinctive, traditional appearance stems from  … building racing cars ……The finished product has the hard functional look of a thoroughbred…….Vittorio Stanguellini , an ace Fiat engine tuner , was one of the first in the field to produce a Junior. Production of his car has proceeded at a steady pace since 1958 and the total number of Formula Junior cars probably exceeds 200 to date.”

Roberts’s comments:-

“When the    Junior Formula was evolved in Italy Stanguellini became the first manufacturer to put one on the market. His Stanguellini, though appearing bulky and old fashioned by British standards , became the most successful car in Italian races.”

Dolphin

Marriott believes:-

“The Dolphin is one of the few American built Juniors able to give good account of itself when competing against European contemporaries”

The Dolphin was designed by John Crosthwaite who it’s believed worked at both Lotus and Cooper. The Junior comprises elements of both. It’s believed that the car was built by Crost & Robert Hull, of La Jolle, California. It was considered to incorporate the best of European and American design features.

B.M.C.

This is believed to be the abbreviated name of British Motor Car Distributors Ltd; of San Francisco and designed by Joe Huffaker.

Produced during 1960 it’s believed that approximately 20 cars were built.

Bond

It’s believed that 2 Formula Junior cars were built at Laurie Bonds garage at Loxwood, Sussex. C 1960. The design concept was quite radical comprising front wheel drive and forward power unit mounted back to front. It seems the intention was to provide an opportunity to race with minimum costs and maintenance.

Volpini

Roberts’s comments:-

“Because the Volpini  was one of the first formula Juniors on the market, it has the simple construction that was one of the objectives of the Formula. But because of its fine workmanship, the price is quite high”

The Volpini is believed to have ben created by Arzani –Volpini a possible partnership between Gianpaolo Volpini and engine builder Egiolio Arzani from c 1954.

OSCA

Roberts observes:-

“The OSCA cars were produced by the Maserati brothers, who left the main company in Italy…….This car unusually attractive for a Formula Junior vehicle, sold well in America.”

Mitter

Again Roberts observes in his book “Racing cars of the World” that:-

“Gerhard Mitter  is the DKWagent for Stuttgart and has for many years raced Junior cars with DKW components. In 1959 he brought out his first Formula Junior which had great success particularly in hill climbs. Later, he has produced ten cars on the line of the prototype………for the 1961 season he fitted a DKW engine into a Lotus”

Subscribers might like to note that a Mitter tuned DKW engine was also adopted by Elva [see specifications and notes above]

Merlyn

This Formula Junior range is believed to have been developed by Selwyn Hayward and John Lewis of Colchester Racing Developments.

Later they would design and construct a sports racing car that would compete against Lotus in another class.

Engines and Cosworth

The engines that emerged in Formula Junior were primarily [see technical specification];-

  • BMC “A” series
  • Ford 105 E and Classic engines
  • Fiat 1,100
  • DKW

Perhaps naturally many of the Italian constructors have adopted the Fiat 1,100 cc engine the original design around which the Junior Formula was virtually framed.

Alternatively the auto-Union DKW two stroke has provided an opportunity for some marques.

To a lesser extend the French made Renault, Peugeot, Simca and DB Panhard have provided sources of engine.

It’s worth noting that the basic reliable engines were capable of considerable tuning potential. Marriott suggests for example

“Maximum bhp figure for the “A2 series [as fitted in original touring car]; 34 bhp at 4,750 rpm. Maximum bhp [on modified Elva unit], 87 bhp at 7,200 rpm

Duckwoth and Costin both ex Lotus set up Cosworth. One of their first private ventures was the Ford based MAE. [Modified Anglia Engine] see advertisement “Sisters under the Skin”. This engine was used with considerable success by Lotus and other formula Junior competitor’s c 1959-1963.some observers noting that the best Formula Junior engines were Ford based. Marriott states:-

“Cosworth Engineering Ltd; are undisputed leaders in the field of 105 E conversions.Their version features high lift camshafts, special main and big end bearings, pistons, connecting rods, valve gear, modified cylinder head and inlet and exhaust manifolds. They[j4]  also feature solid rocker shafts and twin double –choke Weber carburetors.Bench test versions have been made to peak at over 90 bhp whilst standard units [as fitted in the Ford New Anglia] develops 39 bhp.”

Super Speed [Conversions] Ltd

This company was based in Ilford, Essex. They tuned the Ford 105 E engine and were used by many of the manufacturers [see tabulation]

Works Teams

Marriott makes the important and pertinent observation that needs to be factored into assessments:-

“Works cars can be –and are –stripped after every meeting , then rebuilt, brake tested  and so on, in order to eliminate the slightest fault.no private driver could hope to compete with any chance of success  against such procedure where cost is only incidental”

Lotus Achievement in a Competitive /Commercial Free Market

Marriott records that:-

“But there is no mistaking the superiority of the British Formula Junior marques which swept the international board in 1960 and 1961, winning nearly every major event, with honours, in the main, being distributed between Lotus and Cooper”

Time and Place: London and the Swinging Sixties

Marriott discussing Formula Junior c 1962 noted:-

“Currently over fifty different makes of formula Junior cars are available, an indication of the strength of the movement …….In Britain, many hundreds of Juniors have been built during the last two years …….Junior racers have been exported, particularly to America ……. Although there are over one hundred different marques , the field is dominated  at present , by a group of seven of which no less than five are British…………..”

The London Racing Car Show

Marriott recalls “but complacency does not exist in the world of motor racing, constructor Colin chapman came up with a brand –new Lotus, the 20 at the 1961 Racing Car Show”

London Home Counties based Manufactures Names and Addressees

Brabham

Jack Brabham Motors Ltd;

Leatherhead Road,

Chessington,

Surrey

B.R.P.

British racing Partnership Ltd;

Dukes Head Yard,

Highgate High Street,

London

N6

Condor

Grosvenor Garage,

Worplesdon,

Surrey

Cooper

Cooper Car Co;

243, Ewell Road,

Surbiton,

Surrey

Deep Sanderson

Laurencetune Engines Ltd;

69a Avenue Road,

Acton

London

W3

Diva

Tunex Conversions Ltd;

94 Camberwell Road,

London,

SE5

Elva

Elva Cars Ltd;

Purley Way,

Croydon

Surrey

and Elva Engineering Co; Ltd;

Grove road,

Ore

Hastings

Sussex

Envoy

Ian Raby,

Empire Cars Ltd;

85 Preston Road,

Brighton

Sussex

Fairthorpe

Fairthorpe Ltd;

Market Place, [and /or 40 Station Road]

Chalfont St.Peter

Buckinghamshire

Gemini

Moorland Cars

518-522 Lady Margaret Road,

Southall,

Middlesex

And ….

The Chequred Flag Ltd;

High Road,

Chiswick,

London,

W4

Lola

Lola Cars Ltd;

Slough,

Bucks

Lotus

Lotus engineering Co; Ltd;

7 Tottenham [j5] Lane,

Hornsey,

London

N8

and Delamare Road,

Cheshunt

Herts

Merlyn

Colchester Racing Developments Ltd;

Little Bentley,

Colchester,

Essex

The Proposed CCM&EC

The proposed museum believes that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.

In particular:

Conclusion

Marriott summed up a general consensus when he commented:-

“The Junior category developed, in two seasons, into one of the most successful ever devised. Indeed , it has become the type of racing that spectators have seen more than any other and its rise to top popularity in Britain since 1959 has been nothing short of meteoric……. Within four short years of its existence ,Formula Junior has become the most successful formula ever devised for it provides  racing cars of an advanced  design on which to train drivers  and has already become firmly established as a logical introduction to Grand Prix racing…….Thus the aspiring driver can graduate smoothly from one single –seater to the next ”

Twite records in 1964:-

“Formula junior is now dead but its effect on motor racing has been far reaching and although the formula had only five years of International life it has led to many interesting developments in the motor racing world”

Formula Junior ended in 1963. It was replaced by formula 2 and 3 [see A&R article on F3].During its brief existence a major technical revolution and overall evolution of motor racing was taking place rapidly. It started with front engine cars scaled down GP cars like the Vanwall and ended with rear engine cars predominant.Fomula Junior and particularly Lotus played a very significant part in advancing the technology and performance.

Formula Junior delivered its promise and provided a future generation of FI drivers across the international spectrum not least: Jim Clark, Jocken Rindt[j6] , John Surtees and Peter Revson.

It fulfilled Count Lurani’s objectives and more.

Reference:

Formula Junior Guide. Harry Morrow. Sports Car Press.1961*

ISBN:

Formula Junior 1958-2008

ISBN:

Formula Junior Cars Remembered. Bernard Cowdrey.Bookmarque.1993*

ISBN: 1870519175

Formula Junior. John Blunsden.Mercian Manuals.1999*

ISBN: 9780953072156

Formula Junior. Colin Pitt.Unique Books.2007

ISBN: 9781841551432

Lotus Formula Junior.Robinshaw and Bouckley.RB Publications.1996*

ISBN: 9780952808602

Historic Formula Junior .Rabagliati, Page/Sheldon. Lancing .2008*

Into the Red.Mason & Hales.Virgin.1998

ISBN: 1852277173

Lotus Racing Cars.Tipler.Sutton.2001

ISBN: 075092389X

Colin Chapman’s –Lotus engineering.Haskell.Osprey.1993

ISBN: 1855323761

The Worlds Racing Cars.Twite.Macdonald.1964.

Racing Cars of the World.Peter Roberts.Longacre Press.1962

Racing and Sports Cars.M.Marriott.Burke.1962

Websites:-

www.bondracing.com

www.hrscc.co.nz/gemini

  • Accessed through The British Library

Lotus Single Seaters Magazine [see website www.lotus-single-seaters.co.uk]

475

One thought on “Formula Junior – No Minor Achievement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *