S3382 Eifelland March E21 GP South African 1972 – Rolf Stommelen
At the beginning of the 1970s almost everything was possible in F1. Race car designers were barely limited. Almost everything was allowed. In terms of budget it was a completely other era. There were not yet millions to spend. If you had some money left, you could build up a customer team. Like Günther Hennerici. The German together with the caravan manufacturer Eifelland Caravans gave its debut in Formula 1 in 1972.
However Hennericis F1-team was not a ordinary one. The impetuous man who lived closed to the Nürburgring convinced the eccentric artist Luigi Colani to design him a F1-car – based on a March 721. Colani did. And how he did! At the first test at the Hockenheimring in January the March had a completely closed chassis, so he could not do one lap without overheating. From a point of view of a designer the E21 looked spectacular. However for Rolf Stommelen and his team the car was a permanent construction site. “The car overheated at every opportunity,” Stommelen said at the time slightly stressed. “But it is not a big surprise. The car is closed at every point. There is no air in there. ” Up to the Grand Prix in South Africa the team around Hennerici modified the E21 at almost every test. In order to have enough pressure at all the technicians equipped the car with a front and a rearwing. Two things Colani thought it is not necessary… In Kyalami at the second round of the season the E21 almost looked like a March 721 again. From the ideas of Colani only the bathtub, which served as the cockpit, as well as the mirror, which was placed in the middle of the car and which Stommelen described as “a necessity of getting used to”, remained. After all the unusual March, at that time still in white, saw the chequered flag at his first outing. Though only 13th with two laps behind the winner. But considering the cooling problems that the team had to deal with in the preparations the performance was quite strong. The model car from Spark is in 1:43. It shows the car from the South African Grand Prix. More versions of this special March will follow.