The three Scirocco chassis were constructed in 1963 by Roy Thomas, the well known English race car fabricator of the period. They were a combination semi-monocoque and tube frame design with the fuel tanks mounted mid-ship, wrapping around the cockpit. John Tojeiro constructed the suspension. The two completed team cars were powered by 1.5 litre BRM V8 engines fitted to Colotti six speed gearboxes. The third, spare, chassis was later assembled in 1964 and sold to Canada, where it still resides. Williams & Pritchard constructed the aluminum bodywork for the Sciroccos, which were finished in the American racing colours, blue and white for the works team cars.
Although the cars were constructed in England, the team had its roots in the United States. Accomplished U.S. road racer, Tony Settember had put the two car Scirocco team together with backing from his wealthy patron, young Hugh Powell, also of the U.S. The team sprang out of the remains of the 1962 Emeryson Formula One team for which Settember drove during 1962, and which Powell backed. By 1963, Paul Emery, the man behind the Emeryson F1 team, was out and Hugh Powell was running the organization. Powell commissioned Thomas to build up the new Scirocco (a.k.a “Scirocco-Powell”) cars for the 1963 season.
The first car constructed, chassis number SP-1-63, was raced by team leader Tony Settember. The second car, chassis number SP-2-63, and the one offered here, was raced by Ian Burgess. This second car was narrower than the chassis built for the larger Settember, and lighter. It was the slimmest car on the F1 grid for 1963.
The Scirocco was late to the scene in 1963 due to the team’s late start in design and construction of the new cars. The first Scirocco, Settember’s chassis number SP-1-63, first appeared at Spa. Unfortunately, Settember spun off in the pouring rain during the race.
At the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Burgess’s car, chassis number SP-2-63 joined the team. Burgess qualified the brand new car 20th, but an ignition failure caused his early retirement. The race results for Burgess’ SP-2-63 are reported below.
July 20, 1963 British Grand Prix, Silverstone Ian Burgess Q 20th RTD, ignition
July 28, 1963 Solitude Grand Prix, Solitude Ian Burgess Q 27th RTD, ignition
August 4, 1963 German Grand Prix, Nurburgring Ian Burgess Q 19th RTD, steering arm
Sept. 1, 1963, Austrian Grand Prix, Zeltweg Ian Burgess Q 13th RTD, con-rod
Sept. 8, 1963 Italian Grand Prix, Monza Ian Burgess DNQ (no engine!)
Sept. 21, 1963 Gold Cup, Oulton Park Ian Burgess Q 15th 8th
1964: Sold to Barrie Carter, raced as Equipe Scirocco Belge by Andre Pilette – with 1.5 litre Coventry Climax V8.
March 14, 1964 Daily Mirror Trophy, Snetterton Andre Pilette Q 15th 7th
March 30, 1964 News of the World Trophy, Goodwood Andre Pilette Q 15th 6th
April 12, 1964 Syracuse Grand Prix, Syracuse Andre Pilette Q 7th RTD, gear linkage
April 18, 1964 Aintree 200, Aintree Andre Pilette Q 24th 11th
May 10, 1964 Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco Andre Pilette DNQ
June 14, 1964 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Andre Pilette Q 18th RTD, engine
August 2, 1964 German Grand Prix, Nurburgring Andre Pilette DNQ
August 16, 1964 Mediterranean Grand Prix, Pergusa Andre Pilette Q 12th 8th
Sept. 6, 1964 Italian Grand Prix, Monza Andre Pilette DNQ
Burgess’s best result was 8th in the 1963 Oulton Park Gold Cup.
In 1964, Barrie Carter bought the car and Tim Parnell ran it for Belgian, Andre Pilette. Parnell had a Climax V8 installed to replace the original BRM engine. The car was painted Belgian racing yellow. Pilette’s best result was 6th in the 1964 News of the World Trophy at Goodwood, as reported above.
In 1965, Bill Jones, of Five Towns Auto Sales, purchased the car for Phil Robertson to drive. But this came to naught. Jones advertised the car in AutoSport and sold it. The next known owner was Wally Cuff. In 1977, after the car had been fitted with a supercharged Triumph Stag engine and McLaren nose cone, Cuff sold the car to Charles Briggenshaw, the Bristol-based Rolls Royce dealer. Brigginshaw then stored the Scirocco in a Bristol mill with other classic cars until 1991.
In 1991, Elton Spencer found the Scirocco still in the Bristol mill. It was complete and quite original, except for the engine & gearbox which had been switched out many years earlier. However, the chassis, suspension, steering, brakes, pedals, etc. were complete and in good condition. Spencer acquired the car from Briggenshaw and then sold it to Robin Smith. In 1994, Smith sold the Scirocco to its current owner.