Earlier this year, we published a blog post about features most of our cars have that initially originated in an effort to push the limits and find any way possible to gain a competitive advantage in motorsport. It’s worth noting that not all motorsport experimentations make it to the mainstream, however. Here are a few of the craziest ideas we’ve ever seen in motorsport!
The Strangest Ideas We’ve Seen in Motorsport
Six Wheeled Formula 1 Car
More wheels equal more speed, right? That’s what Tyrell had in mind when they entered their six-wheeled P34 in the 1976 and 1977 Formula 1 seasons. The logic here was simple: two smaller front wheels could easily be concealed behind the mandated 1.5m front wing and create better aerodynamic flow. The car managed to reach the top step of the podium one time and has since become an unmistakable classic.
These days, motorsport regulations have struck a reasonable balance between weight, high performance, and safety. In the 1970’s that was far from being the case. In 1971, Porsche revealed their challenger for the upcoming 24 hours of Le Mans: the 917. In order to keep the car at minimal weight, the chassis was constructed with magnesium rather than the conventional choice of aluminum. While the car was extremely light, it came at a cost of being extremely flammable. Even still, the Porsche 917 managed to barrel down the straights of Le Mans at nearly 250mph and claimed victory at the 1971 edition of the race.
Diesel Indy 500 Entry
During the early 1930’s, the organizers of the Indy 500 were facing the struggles of the Great Depression leading up to the 1931 edition of the race. In order to populate the dwindling starting grid, the organizers allowed the Cummins Engine Company car to participate despite exceeding the maximum mandated weight. Luckily, the diesel-powered engine performed exceptionally well due to its unprecedented fuel efficiency. In fact, the 13th place finish marked the first time a car ever completed the race without stopping to refuel. In total, the car used $1.40 in diesel fuel to complete the race. These days, that amount would get you almost a half-gallon of fuel at the pump.
Schedule Your Car’s Routine Maintenance with Churchill Auto Care
We won’t fit your car with a magnesium chassis, but we can help with just about anything else! If your car is in need of maintenance, give us a call! We offer excellent service at a fair price for all of your automotive maintenance and repair needs. To schedule an appointment, please visit our site, give us a call, or text us at (301) 620-7620.