Winning Amount: £ 3,650.00
User ID: g*******4
“The most affordable route into single seater-racing, for more than 50 years”. 750 MC
As those bastions of value for money motor racing The 750 Motor Club point out, since its UK launch in 1967 (a couple of weeks before Formula Ford hit the circuits), Formula Vee has not only been the most cost effective way to go proper single seater racing bar none but for many the only way given the budgets required for pretty much every other Formula with the possible exception of Scalextric. With the running gear re-purposed from Volkswagen’s evergreen Beetle, parts have always been ultra-cheap to acquire and service and yet lightly modified and mounted in a pucker single seater chassis, they produce the full Formula car experience and not to be sniffed at performance.
Born in the USA (thanks Bruce) in 1959 from a collaboration between Florida motorsport nut Hubert Brundage and Italian go faster steering wheel-smith Enrico Nardi, the Formula quickly took off globally and future Formula 1 World Champions Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Keke Rosberg and Nelson Piquet all took their early steps on the motor racing ladder in either Europe or America with Formula Vee. Cost effective it might have been but that didn’t stop Formula Vee being included on the Monaco Grand Prix support race bill. On the domestic scene the VW GB Ltd. run series helped household names (well they are in our household) such as Nick Brittan, Brian Henton, Ian Flux and Gerry Birrell on to greater things while also giving fledgling constructors such as Tony Rolt’s Scarab, Ray, Hawke, McNamara and Leastone their first break.
It is the last of those named constructors that were responsible for this particular machine, Leastone of County Kildare, Ireland. Having won the UK Championship with Ray Moore in 1996, ’98 and ’99 and Trevor Welsh in 2002, their credentials are well established. Still going strong with their JH004 model, a development of the JH002 offered here, this gives owners peace of mind with regard to the ongoing supply of parts and expertise. It is perhaps worth noting that the JH004 was introduced in 2005 and it is still winning today; Formula Vee is not what one would call a ‘development formula’ so you needn’t be concerned about you will rapidly be overtaken by next year’s model.
Currently configured for Sprints and Hill Climbs, it is understood this JH002 is, aside from its Dunlop Racing tyres, recently out of date belts and fire extinguisher, ready to return to the circuits with the 750 Motor Club though other opportunities could well be available without the need to swap to the control Hoosier rubber. Clearly built to a very good specification and standard, there are top quality components wherever one looks and these belie the ‘budget’ roots of the Leastone. At the end of the day, regardless of what category or class of motor racing you take part in, cutting corners when selecting components tends to result in your car’s frustrating return to the paddock on the back of a recovery truck or end of a tow rope while, heaven forbid, you might find yourself in the medical centre of worse… So, a big tick for the chassis and associated hardware but unless all the mechanical bits and bobs are in exactly the right place, you will still find the going tough so if you don’t know your caster from your camber, someone who understands how to set a car up will be vital; take a bow Formula Vee guru Alan Harding and his team at AHS who worked their magic on Chassis Number JH2699.
As is pretty much a prerequisite with competitive Formula Vees, the 1285cc engine has been sourced from VW Brazil and a good standard of preparation and tune is indicated by the EMPI valve covers it sports which disperse heat effectively and hence reduce upper cylinder temperatures. The power unit is fed by a pair of downdraft Weber carburettors (each running just one choke as mandated by the regulations) with ITG filters and fuelled via a solid state pump connected with braided hoses. An oil cooler – vital for what is pedantically an oil, not air, cooled engine – is well positioned in the airstream aft of the engine cover and this also sports braided hoses linking it to a remote Mocal oil filter. The heat wrapped spidery exhaust manifolds feed into a smart, polished Custom Chrome Racing silencer.
The chassis seems to be in excellent condition with its black finish still all but perfect as shown in the photo gallery. The body and paintwork is in similarly fine order with none of the usual ‘it’s a race car’ excuses needed.
All the suspension components are well finished and fully adjustable coil-over shock absorbers plus a ‘Z-Bar’ rear link are fitted.
As prescribed by the regulations the MB Racing wheels are 5 ½ J 15s and these currently wear Dunlop Racing tyres, slightly wider at the rear than the front. Braking is by front discs paired with rear drums, all actuated via braided hoses.
In the cockpit a Schroth Racing harness (expired 2018), suede covered steering wheel and a mix of Elliot (tachometer) and Stack (oil pressure and temperature) gauges are present while the seat, such as it is, consists of lightly padded aluminium. The JJC, 2.25 litre AFFF fire extinguisher is mechanically operated with nozzles directed into the engine bay and cockpit though it probably requires at least a service depending on what the Leastone is ultimately used for.
Paperwork with the car consists of an MSA Competition Logbook dated 2014.
Though a return to sprints and hill climbs would undoubtedly be a quick and easy route into competing with the Leastone, we also feel the Formula Vee Championship run by the 750 Motor Club could also be a great option. When it concludes, the 2021 season will have had fourteen rounds spread over seven weekends, Club membership is very reasonably priced and such is the camaraderie, there is a Vee Centre social club for competitors plus their friends and families within the 750 MC.
While the 750 Motor Club themselves suggest that ‘eligible cars are available second hand from just £5000’, we can assure that despite this being one of the best prepared Formula Vees we have come across, its reserve is some considerable way below that figure.
Often and rightly referred to as ‘The most popular and successful single seater formula in the world’, we wouldn’t disagree with that.