1980’s Toleman TG280 Formula 2 (2 cars)

Sister cars to 1980 F2 Championship Winner. Great Masters Car.



The Toleman TG280 was the car to have for the 1980 European F2 season. The car was designed by future Benetton F1, and Ferrari F1 World Championship winning designer, Rory Byrne. Brian Henton won the championship with the British Petroleum sponsored works car, and his teammate Derek Warwick came second. MotorSport Magazine The cars won 7 of the 12 races that season, and claimed several more podium positions. Both Henton and Warwick would go on to race Tolemans in Formula One.

The assembled car currently offered here is understood from prior owners to be chassis #11. It was sold new by Toleman in 1982 to Godfrey Crompton. The car competed in hill climb event. In 1986 the car was crashed. It was rebuilt in 1987. It’s racing history after that is currently unknown.

In 2007, the TG280 made its way to the U.S. The Crompton car, along with two others, were purchased by the (Paul) Newman/(Eddie) Wachs racing team. Newman and Wachs had created Newman/Wachs Racing to develop young talent for their Indy Car program. Wachs was already very familiar with the TG280 cars having raced them as full bodied under 2 liter Can Am cars through the early to mid-1980’s.

The second car, which came along with chassis 11 to Newman/Wachs, is currently stripped to its tub with front suspension and other pieces on it (see photos below), This car is understood to be one of the six Lola-built Toleman TG280’s constructed in 1981. These six cars were built by Lola under license from Toleman to continue the F2 program whilst Toleman focused on their new Formula One pursuits which would see Ayrton Senna debut in F1 with the Toleman TG183 in 1984.

For more information on the Lola T850/Toleman TG280 history and construction please see the article at Lola Heritage.

The history of the second car is presently unclear. At various times it has been refered to as chassis #10, and also as “TG87/1”. That name may have come from when it was (re)built in 1987 using  T850 chassis/parts acquired in the mid-1980’s. This car came to the U.S. along with chassis #11 mentioned above and possibly another T850 along with more spares. All went to Newman/Wachs Racing.

In 2013, Newman/Wachs sold the two cars and parts to their next U.S. owner. They remained unchanged during that ownership. Since then the two cars were sold to their current owner who has nearly completed the restoration of chassis #11.  The car is runing but still needs the new rear axles installed to be operational.

Chassis #10, also known as TG 87/1, is still in its basic tub form with its front suspension mounted as seen in the photos below.


The TG280 has a fresh Hart 2.0 liter engine with only dyno time and after installation start up time on it. Fully fresh Hewland FT400 gearbox, including new ring & pinion.

New Ohlins shocks. New drive axles (4). New stub axles (4). New CV joints. New wheel nuts. New fuel cell. Two new sets of Jongbloed wheels. Two new Pro Fabrication custom built exhaust systems  with straight pipe and 2 stage muffler for sound-restricted events.

Further Needs: The Toleman needs some finishing bodywork done, including extending the sidpods back to fill the gap between the bodywork and tires. Splash molds have already been made for this. The air intake scoop needs mounting to the engine intake. Diaper made and fit. New rear axles need installation.

The additional chassis has its steering shaft, steering rack, front uprights, pedal assembly, new fuel cell, and dash for gauges. This car comes with a spare fresh FT400 gearbox. The complete body has not been fitted at this point.

The bodywork also includes full fender bodywork set up that was used on the Toleman when it was raced in the U.S. as an under 2 liter Can Am car.

Other spare bits include bellhousing adapters, engine plates, etc.

The Toleman would be a fantastic weapon for the Masters Formula Atlantic Plus Series in the U.S. as well as SVRA, HSR, and many other U.S. vintage racing clubs. Masters has already been consulted and will accept the cars in their proper F2 specification. The cars would also be  contenders in the Geoff Lees Trophy Series in the U.K. as well as a frontrunners in Europe, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere. The second chassis could be kept for spares, or you could restore it as an additional car. Both are good options. 

All vehicle descriptions are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. Corrections, and supplemental information, are always welcome. Buyers are responsible for confirming vehicle histories, condition, and authenticity to their own satisfaction prior to purchase. Motorsports Market is not the owner of the vehicle and assumes no liability for errors and omissions.

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