Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, the geniuses behind the Ford Cosworth DFV Formula One engine that dominated Formula One from 1968 to 1982, decided to engage former McLaren designer Robin Herd build a car which would maximise the advantages of their powerful DFV V8 in 1968.
Herd took a more radical approach to the application of all wheel drive to Formula One than either Colin Chapman’s Lotus 63 or Jo Marquart’s McLaren M9A, although no where near as radical as the V12 powered MATRA MS 11 all wheel drive with hydraulic drive to all four wheels.
In order to keep the driver’s seat low and accommodate the drive shaft running from the motor and gearbox in the rear to the wheels at the front the driver was slightly offset from a central seating position.
The Cosworth was tested by Mike Costin, the ‘Cos’ in ‘Cosworth’, Brian Redman, Trevor Taylor and Jackie Stewart.
Trevor Taylor was penciled in to debut the Cosworth at the 1969 British Grand Prix, however as the testing had shown the car worked best with little or no drive to the front wheels the entry was withdrawn.
While the Cosworth shared the same 3 lite / 183 cui DFV motor design there was one essential difference between the Cosworth works unit and those supplied to Lotus and McLaren, the block was cast in magnesium to save weight over the aluminium cast DFVs supplied to Cosworth’s customers.
The Cosworth never did race, as BRM’s Tony Rudd had predicted after BRM’s experience with the all wheel drive BRM P67 all wheel drive would never work in Formula One, and after being demonstrated at the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1970 it found it’s way to the Donington Park Museum where it is seen in these photographs.
Thanks for joining me on this “Magnesium DFV” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !