03 August, 2018

Road-Legal F1 Cars Exist? Yes!

Yes, it's true, there's such thing as a road legal F1-styled car, the 1996 / 2009 Annison 'F1-R'. It's only clocked 25 miles.

How? That's the thing. There are so many constraints that put people off the idea. Where do you start?

However, there are people who are willing to let their curiosity run wild and take a shot at doing it.

The idea of driving a 90s-inspired F1 car is an experience plenty dream of. Where would you take it? To a track? Down some back-roads? Into town? 

let's get into the story.

The Inspiration Behind The F1-R

Design and race engineers from Lola discussed the idea of building an F1-styled car which complied to UK road standards. Furthermore, it needed to have the philosophy of what an F1 car should be: Excitement, aesthetics and the emotion. 

Sounds complicated imagining that? What would it look like?

None of them knew so they decided to get practical and were led by Russel Annison.

The Challenge of The F1-R

You want to build a 90's-inspired car. Where do you start? 

They used a 1996 Lola chassis along with a host of parts made by Lola which included:

  • Roll hoop assembly.
  • Suspension uprights.
  • Nose cone.
  • Body panels.
  • Radiator ducts.

Okay, the project was taking shape but how powerful do you make it? 

Performance specs of the F1-R

You won't be going Grand Prix racing with the car so the designers resisted the idea of using a 3.0L aspirated engine because it would affect the overall balance of the car. Instead, the designers opted for a 4 cylinder, 2.0L Cosworth engine and paired it with a 5-speed manual gearbox. 

The result? The car had balance and the front and rear wings are adjustable. They did it!

Final Words

This car is a true marvel. They did the unthinkable when it drove on British roads. It's one of the closest things we have to single-seater racing. 15 years is a huge commitment by both the designers and the engineers, it's a testament to their continued investment in the project. 

However, there are some maintenance concerns because F1 cars are notorious to manage. Temperatures, software, fuel and spare parts are the traditional headaches. Fortunately, the F1-R's parts are accessible but it's stored in a climate-controlled room and needs to run once a month.

What are your thoughts on the Annison F1-R? Hit the share button and let us know?

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