Formerly ‘The Super Skoda’, raced extensively by Tony Sugden
For 1975, March finally put a real effort into their sports car, no doubt impressed by the sales figures of the earlier iterations. The work focused on the car’s poor aerodynamics and an all-new body was developed in the MIRA wind tunnel. Gone were the attractive but ineffective curvaceous lines of the early 73S and 74S. The new 75S instead featured a sharp and very low nose. No doubt inspired by the contemporary F1 cars, a huge air-box was part of the new package, as was a full width, strut-mounted rear wing.
Underneath the all-new body, the 75S was an evolution of the existing design line of sports cars. A full-width sheet aluminium monocoque along with steel rear subframe formed the car’s chassis. At the front the conventional suspension consisted of double wishbones, while the rear boasted one upper and two lower links, and twin trailing arms. Although the 75S could accommodate a choice of engines, the 300 bhp BMW M12 remained the most popular. It was mated to a Hewland 5-speed gearbox.
We purchased this car in 2013 from Ryan Hodges of Bristol – the car was complete, but offered in component form, requiring a comprehensive full rebuild, however the monocoque had already been rebuilt to a high standard. I then commissioned research into the car’s past which revealed as follows –
Built to ‘Thundersports’ specification in 1979 by Jim Evans using the remains of the 1976 ex-Sayers 762 Hart and a bespoke 75S tub built by John Leek. The car amazed the press qualifying 4th on its debut at the 1981 ‘International’ Group 5 touring car race at Donington Park, beating the BMW M1s, Porsches and other exotic machinery. The car ran with a Turbo FVC and Lotus Esprit bodyshell at this time, but was later reconfigured into the ‘Super Skoda’ that Tony Sugden had massive success with, racing in Super Saloons and Thundersports. The car ran with a variety of engines throughout the ‘Skoda’ period including the belt-driven turbo Ford and a 3.0 litre Cosworth DFV (documented). The car has now been comprehensively rebuilt back to correct three-litre 75S specification by McLaren specialists Autotune of Rishton, with over £50,000 spent within the last twelve months – It’s ideal for Masters Interseries Can-Am and lots of other series across Europe and the USA. Currently fitted with a quad-cam V6, the car has proven to be both reliable and competitive with a top 10 finish in the highly competitive HSCC Thundersports series on its debut. All crack-testing was completed in 2016, with certification. Available, with, or without the V6 engine, meaning a DFV, BMW or Hart engine could be installed by the purchaser.