Like the story À Vendre by French author Guy de Maupassant, published in 1885 the story of the Shadow DN7 is short.
While looking for an advantage over his fellow Cosworth DFV powered Formula One powered competitors Shadow owner Don Nichols came to an agreement with Matra to run a new 500hp development of their V12 which had won Le Mans three years running from 1972 – ’74.
Matra had unsuccessfully run variants of the same V12 in 1968 and from 1970 to ’71 scoring a best 2nd place finish in the 1968 Dutch Grand Prix when Jean Pierre Beltoise finished second behind the Ford DFV powered Matra chassis driven by Jackie Stewart.
The Shadow DN7 is similar to the 1975 Cosworth DFV powered Shadow DN5 designed by Tony Southgate, but has a larger fuel capacity and a different arrangement for the larger side mounted radiators.
The Shadow DN7 was entered for former Matra sports car driver Jean Pierre Jarier alongside the regular marginally less powerful but lighter DFV powered Shadow DN5 driven by Tom Pryce in the 1975 Austrian and Italian Grand Prix, both circuits for which put a premium on out right power over handling.
On both occasions “Jumper” Jarier out qualified Tom, but on both occasions he also retired with fuel system issues, while Tom went on to finish a team season high third in Austria and 6th in Italy.
Having proved the potential of the V12, but also failing to really impress, the DN7 was never to race again, Matra deciding to supply the fledgling Ligier team with it’s V12 for the 1976 season.
Don was sent one of the three Matra MS 73 engines built for the 1975 season so that he could display the car as complete, but it had a whole in it so that it could not run.
Current owner Grant Beath bought the DN7 from Don at the beginning of the decade and after failing to find one of the two complete MS 73 motors had his damaged one returned to running order in France.
Like the house that is the subject of the short story by Guy de Maupassant it turns out that the subject of this story is for sale, if you are in the market for a one off formula one car that makes the sweetest of V12 sounds then you can leave a message below or you can get in touch with Bill Harding or Rick Hall at Hall & Hall whose contact details can be found on this link.
Usual disclaimers apply.
Thanks for joining me on this “À Vendre” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 2+2 Marcos. Don’t forget to come back now !