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The "Monza Gorilla"

11085 Views 41 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Screwneck
Vittorio Brambilla (November 11, 1937 - May 26, 2001) was a Formula One driver from Italy who raced for the March, Surtees and Alfa Romeo teams. Particularly adept at driving in wet conditions, his nickname was "The Monza Gorilla", due to his often overly aggressive driving style and sense of machismo.

Now I know you can buy the Fly version of the 762 but wheres the fun in that?

I going to take a 99 pence (yes 99 pence) wreck of a March 6 wheeler ebay bargain and convert it to a 4 wheel Johnson powered car to compete in the Bearwood Scalextric club Classic F1 class.

To start with, just how cool does Brambilla look in these shades? The epitome of 70's chic!

This is what I want to build.

Here is the 99p ebay wreck that I'll be using as my base.

To start with there are some basic engineering problems to be sorted like

1, Lowering the front end centre of gravity.
2, Bringing the motor to a horizontal axis.
3, Lengthening the wheelbase to accomodate the large Grand Prix tyre.
4, Raising the rear axle location to meet the new motor postion and lower the rear centre of gravity.

This picture demontrates the issues.

The current wheelbase just looks wrong and the rear tyre fouls on the side rad moulding as well as the fact that the nose is far to high to generate any decent handling characteristics.

Best to start at the front end and get the guide boss trimmed down and dispose of any uneccessary plastic which might foul the motor wires.


After (some nifty Dremel work):

With the guide and body re-installed you can begin to see how much lower that chassis will ride already.

With the rear axle back in place you can see how much the rear axle locations have got to be moved, which will inevitably mean that the motor alignment will have to be changed also. Tricky . . . and I now need a couple of days to decide how I'm going to engineer this aspect of the build.

Watch out for future installments.
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An interesting project, to say the least, with difficulties such as realigning the motor and rear axle. Ian seems to relish the challenge in order to have an unusual car in a Scalex series.
I'm not sure that six-wheel Marches, or at least their bodies, are all that rare. When new, the Scalexes sold in large numbers, and I've seen a few offered for sale recently as bodies (I even bought one) or without the flopping rear pair of wheels.
Will you give Brambilla rain tyres, Ian?
Rob J
Slots-o-Fun's idea of a damaged victory-lap Brambilla 751 could make a Scalex conversion easier. The 751s had a flat upper face to the nosecone, as on the Fly 761, but the Scalex six-wheeler body has the curved upper face that Marches used at times from 1976. I haven't seen a post-race photo in recent years, but some imaginative grinding could make a plausible replica.
More seriously, for a pristine 751 the Fly 761 has a better nosecone. One major difference for the zealous replicateur is that the 761 had a longer wheelbase and wider track than the 751. I don't know the Fly dimensions.
Ian, of course, is building a car for a Scalex series, so that isn't aimed at him, and Brambilla probably did drive a curved-nosecone car in 1976.
Pattos does a sheet of decals for the 751, mainly Beta-Brambilla and a few for the Penske car, and most would be OK for the 761.
Slots-o-Fun is right about the March numbering, though the 761 and 762 looked very similar, as did all March's F1 and F2 cars for several years after the failure of the F1 721X early in 1972. March converted an F2 car for Mike Beuttler and named it the 721G, "G" for Guiness Book of Records because it was created in a "record" nine days. It worked so well that March soon converted more and used them as the works cars from mid-1972. They were also bought by other private entrants and updated as 731s with front radiators and full-width noses in 1973 (some new, some rebuilds). The radiators returned to the sides in 1974 but the full-width nosecone was retained.
While we're on March numbering, the Scalex C026 is often called a 721 but is basically a 711. The unicorn or Spitfire front wing was apparently kept for only the first race of 1972, and a couple of races later the quite different 721X appeared.
Rob J
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Congrats on your "engineering" and craftsmanship, Ian. It's looking good.
The ignition leads and engine-gearbox adaption are very effective.
Hope it goes well at the track.
I noticed there's at least one six-wheeler in your club field. Is it competitive?
Rob J
Thanks for the report on the other March, Ian, the six-wheeler. If its nose has been lowered too, the main difference would be in those little tyres.
I have a C129 body myself and haven't decided what to do with it. A couple of people have built genuine 4WDs in six-wheelers, but your Beta conversion is impressive, and the 1:1 car actually raced.
I look forward to your next projects.
Rob J
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