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1975 Van Diemen RF75 Formula Fords Three Projects Exclusive SOLD

Formula Ford 1600 Listings Modern Formula Car Listings Van Diemen Listings

Serial Number: RF75 010(has plaque), RF75 016, RF75 024
Frame Number: 010, 016, 024
Logbook: none
Condition: Project
Price:  US $3,600  Currency_Convert
Location: near Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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This package consists of three project cars, one nearly complete chassis a second chassis which is in the middle of a repair needing replacement of the dash hoop and lower longerons (repair started), and a third chassis missing the engine bay but otherwise pretty good. Each car is partially incomplete ranging from about 50% on down. The complete chassis needs a sandblasting and some minor repairs but is in pretty good shape. The front pickup points have been modified to RF76 spec but could easily be returned to original. The suspension is pretty complete, a lot of proprietary parts like tanks and swirlpots are there, and there are the beginnings of an engine and gearbox. One set of bodywork is complete except for a tail cover. Someone interested in a ground-up Club Ford project or perhaps a European historic project probably couldn't find a more resonable price of entry. All of the parts for #1 are shown in the photos.

The second chassis has been sandblasted and has the repairs started with the bad stuff removed. It has a replacement dash hoop. It is not currently shown in photos. It is less complete, having the following components:
bodywork side panels
front lower a-arms
1 rear lower a arm
4 rear trailing arms
4 arb clamps
1 front arb link
2 motor mounts
4 rad brackets
2 driveshaft yokes
2 rear uprights
partial nose frame
Gearbox case

The third car is largely incomplete having only front lower a-arms, a swirl pot, 2 UJ yokes, and a gearbox case.

If you are not keen on chassis repair one or more of the chassis could be completely restored, ready to paint for an additional fee. Some Kent blocks and engine parts are also available for an additional fee.

Of particular interest is the fact that Universal Race Services in the UK has stores of parts and can produce about anything for these early Van Diemens including bodywork.


Prior to starting Bill Dolson Racing, Bill became friends with the staff of the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School in Quebec, Canada. Much to his amazement, they had a place on the Mont Tremblant Circuit known as the "boneyard". In it were the unsold remains of the first two models of cars run by the school, the Lotus 51 and the RF75 VanDiemen. A small shed contained a minor hoard of parts for these two models. While most of the cars had been sold off when changing models, those which had sustained crash damage in the end of thier last season and were under repair and disassembled were never sold off. Formula Ford historic eligability was on the horizon and Bill rescued the remains of three Lotus 51s, ultimately restoring all three and thus launching the business.

Along with the Lotus 51s, Bill brought back the RF75 remains also. The photos of complete RF75s are from the school in the mid 70s. This car was interesting for several reasons. The 73 through 76 Van Diemens are all based on the same chassis, the first "design" from the marque. In fact, the chassis is a slightly modified copy of a Lotus Type 69, primarily obtained by substituting round for rectangular tubing on the diagonal bracing. Rumor has it that it was even built on the Lotus 69 jig by Arch Motors. Many suspension components are interchangeable between the two cars. Lotus Components had gone out of business at the end of 1971, and Ralph Firman recognized a readily availble, good design. In fact, he ultimately was to employ Lotus Components designer, Dave Baldwin, to design the car's successor, the RF77 and Dave continues to design Van Diemens to this day. Van Diemen has gone on to become the largest producer of formula cars (by sheer numbers) in the world.

Here's a summary of the 73-76 Van Diemens from an Autosport article by Marcus Pye celebrating the first 20 years of Van Diemen;

FA73: First car basically improved version of Dave Baldwin's discontinued Lotus 69FF concept. Chassis very similar, some parts interchangeable. Donald MacLeod won MDC/BOC Championship and Formula Ford Festival in works car.

RF74: Lightly modified version of FA73, same chassis, still using distinctive flat-nosed bodywork. Deeper radiator cowls. First Van Diemen to be made in large numbers. Production 50 cars.

RF75: Same spaceframe as predecessor but narrower-track suspension. Revised aerodynamics, sleeker body with extended nose and matching engine cover. Larger radiator air intakes. No match for Royale RP21 or Hawke DL15.

RF76: Still on original chassis, now showing its age. Retained narrow-track suspension, pick-up points revised by Moto Moriwake. Shorter engine cover, radiators repositioined in front of rear suspension. Uncompetitive, poor sales.

Well, noone can accuse of us sugar coating it, but someone's not going to buy this car to be a world-beater. It's just a neat, interesting old car, and eligible for historic series in some places.

Recent Competition History

none, Jim Russell School Cars since new, second owner

Performance Data


Fuel System

Oil/Water System

Electrical System


Rear End




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