March Engineering were a racing outfit based out of the UK and active between 1969 and 1992. The outfit was co-founded by Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. Apart from a Works initiative, March were also prolific in supplying cars to privateer outfits. While the team saw limited success in Formula 1, they were much better off in Formula 2, Formula 3 and IndyCar.
In 1985, the FIA introduced a new feeder series to F1, the Formula 3000. This series had more up to date regulations as compared to its predecessor, Formula 2. The car seen here, the March 87B F3000 Monoposto, was designed for series’ 1987 season. It was also March Engineering’s first all new design for Formula 3000. The earlier 85B and 86B, while exceptionally successful and winning the titles in ’85 and ’86 respectively, were developments of March’s Formula 2 designs.
The 87B, designed by Andy Brown, came with an all new aero package, a new monocoque and a March gearbox. The Italian newcomer, Stefano Modena, driving for the Onyx Team(Works supported), won three rounds of the series and won the Formula 3000 championship for that year.
Chassis No. 87B-16 as seen here was entered in the 1987 Japanese Formula 3000 Championship by the Dome team. Driven by Ross Cheever, it had 2 point scoring finishes and ended the championship in 17th place. It featured a 3.0-litre Cosworth DFV engine but that has since been replaced by a wooden mock up. The transmission and electricals remain intact as the car goes on sale at Bonham’s London Olympia auction in December.
This March 87B Monoposto is a perfect relic of a time when motorsport was not just about big money. This is one of many cars that were being put out at the time by small outfits run by passionate individuals. This imbibes these cars with character which will be very hard to match by any modern track car. Photos courtesy Bonhams