1976 – 1977 six wheel March 2-4-0
After the 1976 Formula 1 season, when the Tyrrell team showed, that their six wheel concept car P34 works, the March team also thought about a unconvetional car concept. Robin Herd putted four 16inch front wheels to the rear, to minimze the aerodynamic drag by increasing contact patch. Because lack of money, they used as many parts from existing cars as possible. Surely, March had to develop a complete new gearbox-differential unit for the four driven rear wheels. The monocoque and DFV engine of the car was from the March 761 (chassis number 06).
The most critical thing of that new car was obviously the gearbox. The first desing of Herd was much too complex and also too expensive for the financial weakly March team. They removed a few cross beams for easier manufacturing. That was the main reason, why the gearbox structure was not enough stiff for the increased loads of a four wheel drive. At the end, it was a normal Hewland FG gearbox with an aditional differential.
The first test drive, Silverstone end of 1976, the gearbox housing seemed to be too flexible. Already at the first round, the housing got twisted by the high loads and the gears didn’t interdigitate into each other. The team couldn’t solve the problem so they removed the second rear axle drive. Because it was a rainy day, Howden Ganley, March test driver, couldn’t drive fast anyway and the media value the test succesfull.
In February, they test the car again with an improved gearbox. Driver Ian Scheckter, Brother of 1979 Formula 1 World Champion Jody Scheckter, was impressed of the great traction. However, because of mony problems, March stopped the project.
So, the only thing we could say about that oddity is, that the March team got a second time, after Lella Lombardi as the only women in Formula 1 scored championship points, big medial attention.