1963 Scirocco Formula One/Formula Libre
Factory Team Spare Car
$120,000 for a 1960's F1 car
Scirocco was a Formula One team in the early 1960’s during the 1.5 liter F1 era. They constructed their own cars which raced in F1 from 1963 through 1964. Their drivers included Tony Settember, Ian Burgess, and Andre Pilette.
For an excellent recap of the team, the drivers, the cars, and their madcap story, please see Gordon Cruickshank’s 2003 Motorsports Magazine article “Breezed In and Blown Out.”
The car on offer here is the third team car, the spare.
According to the last owner of the Scirocco, David Trueman, the rest of the Scirocco’s Canadian history is as follows:
The ownership trail on SP-63-3 goes something like this
1964 – W. Aiden Jones – 1965
1965 – Don Burfoot of Calgary – ?
? – Jack Ondrack of Edmonton – 1996
1996 – Ralph Zbarsky of Vancouver – 1996
1996 – Dave Trueman of Vancouver, now of Richmond, B.C.
The car was fitted with the 3.5 L. aluminum Oldsmobile engine coupled to a Corvair gearbox. There was a road course at that time in Edmonton (long built over by the city) and I presume it raced there in Formula Libre or Formula 5000. I have been unable to find pics of the car. I would guess it also raced here at Westwood.
Anyway, Don Burfoot was a friend of Jack Ondrack and the car wound up, through a parts kind of swap in Ondrack’s possession. Burfoot is now dead. Ondrack advertised the hulk of SP-3 in 96 suggesting a price equivalent to something like 25 years storage cost. His wife had ordered him to clean up the yard.
I think the car had been stored outside a barn and it looked as though it had been in a small (grass) fire. Sitting upright, the cockpit floor had filled with snow and rain for years, so I started by cutting out the rust, patching what looked like an axe hole in the rear, and taking out the dents.
It was a remarkably complete car though, missing only the engine/tranny and 2 front wheels.
Trueman went on to say that the car had been fitted with the engine & gearbox before it arrived in Canada, presumably by W. Aiden Jones.
A period report in a U.K. magazine said that there was a plan for the car to be made into a sports car, but there is no evidence that it ever happened. The car continued to change hands, right up through the last owner, always in its original formula car form.
Once in Truemans’ possession, the Scirocco’s restoration began. Huge progress was made, as can be seen from the photos. Unfortunately, David has passed away, and now the Scirocco is being sold by his estate.
David’s restoration of the Scirocco began in 1996, shortly after he acquired the car. At this point we are attempting to reconstruct what was done to the car based upon receipts and family member recollections.
The Scirocco’s original frame was sandblasted and inspected. The roll hoop height was increased five inches by Action Welding Services. The side sheet metal panels of the fuel tank had damage and were removed. New side panels were fabricated and attached via 10-32 bolts for accessing fuel bladders. The frame was then sprayed in primer.
New rear radius rods were fabricated and new rod ends were installed. All control arms were plated. New bearings were installed in the rear uprights.
The brake and clutch master cylinders were rebuilt. New brake lines were installed along with new pads. Period correct Smiths oil and water gauges were installed, along with an Autometer tach.
Two new custom Fuel Safe FIA rated fuel bladders were installed. The radiator was also restored and tested by Paul’s Radiator in Richmond, BC.
The wheels are new reproduction magnesium Scirocco wheels manufactured by Hall and Hall/Spot On Projects. Hall & Hall restored the other two remaining Sciroccos, and are very knowledgeable about these cars. The wheels are fitted with Dunlop 5.00L 15 and 6.50L 15 CR65 204 purchased May 11, 2018, from Roger Kraus Racing in Castro Valley, CA.
Safety systems include a Firecharger 2.3L AFFF Fire system, quick release steering wheel hub, and five point Pyrotect belts. The belts have now expired and will need to be replaced.
The engine received a new Isky cam, #621282, and lifters, 202-HY, along with new cam bearings. A new oil pump, pickup, and pan were also installed. The distributor was rebuilt including the installation of an Accel dual point system. The water pump was repositioned to clear the frame. Custom exhaust headers were also fabricated by Action Welding Services, of Richmond BC.
Action Welding Services also made a custom bellhousing for the Corvair transaxle. New universal joints and half shafts were also installed.
The Scirocco currently remains in Canada, in the same community where it has been since it left the Scirocco works. The ownership history is short, and known. We also know that this is the 3rd Scirocco F1 chassis built, the spare team car. We can see from the period photo ads for the car in Autosport, 1964 and 1965, that it was sold as a complete roller, including full bodywork. It also appears from accounts of all the owners that the car was never converted to a sports racer and always remained in its formula car configuration.
The Scirocco is now being offered in its current condition with the running V8 engine. The decision was made to sell the car as-is, as it is likely that the next owner will choose to remove the Olds engine and Corvair transaxle and fit the car with a period correct BRM or Coventry Climax 1.5 liter engine and period gearbox for historic Formula One racing.
So please consider the Scirocco as a project, but a good one. This would be an excellent car for someone who already has a backup 1.5 liter engine and/or gearbox for one of their other racing cars. Then, instead of having just back up parts, you could have a whole backup F1 car at your disposal. A whole car is also worth considerably more than just miscellaneous backup parts, and easier to later sell.
By the way, if you’ve not heard a BRM 1.5 liter F1 engine at full song, check out the Belgian Motorsport Video of the sister Scirocco racing at Spa in 2017.
This would also be a great project for a prep shop, especially if you have an appropriate engine and/or gearbox that has just been gathering dust for years. You could complete the project as an investment, or to sell/run for a client. If you’ve not been part of Historic F1 yet, this car could be your entry ticket.
Finally, yet another option. You could consider putting a different 1.5 liter engine in the car, and/or a different gearbox, such as an early-mid 1960’s period Hewland Mk IV, Mk V, or Mk VI, and run the car in that configuration. While it might not meet exacting standards for the most elite events, it will likely be incredibly well received by others who otherwise seldom get to see F1 cars of this era. You could also run the car in this configuration now, and later convert it to its original exacting specifications when you come across the right bits at the right prices.
When are we going to see another 1.5 liter Formula One “project car” like this available again? With some Historic Formula One cars now being offered at auction for an estimated value of 6.5 – 9.5 million are we going to look back and wish like crazy that we had spent a tiny fraction of that to have our own historic F1 car from the classic 1960’s era of F1 ?
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