55. Eifelland E21 1972

S3383 March 721/Eifelland E21 No.22 German GP 1972 – Rolf Stommelen

Nowadays caravan builders are no longer important in Formula One. Not even in the paddocks, which had previously been a place for campers and tents. At the beginning of the Seventies this was quite different. The best example was Eifelland Caravan, a caravan company not far from the Nürburgring. One of the co-owners was Günther Hennerici, a racer through and through. He already had a Formula 2 team in the 1960s before entering Formula One in 1972. From the beginning, his project was different from anything that existed before. Hennerici did not built the car by his own. He asked Luigi Colani, a German designer who before draw attention by designing fancy toilet-bowls and trucks. The problem with the story: Colani was a designer, he completely ignored physical laws that apply to motorsport. The first tests of the car based on a March 711 was a disaster. Built entirely without cooling the Eifelland prototype was beautiful to look at. But not more. “It didn’t last one entire lap,” Rolf Stommelen complained at the first test in Hockenheim. Colani had forgotten that the Cosworth engine needed air to breathe… So the Eifelland E21 had to be rebuilt completely. With success: From the GP of Spain onwards Stommelen took part in eight Grands Prix. Five of them he drove to the end. Then Hennerici lost the pleasure and stopped the operation. Stommelen was given the car with the polyester body for outstanding pay claims. He sold it to Bernie Ecclestone who made it work for John Watson. But the young Watson destroyed the car sustainably in his second non-championship race. The wreck ended up in a backyard of an English garage. Years later Eifelland mechanic Erwin Derichs found it, bought it and restored it in elaborate evening and night shifts. In 2010 the Eifelland gave his comeback – at the Truck Grand Prix on the Nürburgring. Spark released the E21 (in 1:43) in two versions: One from the Spanish Grand Prix (completely in blue), the other one from the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring (blue with yellow rearwing).

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