1968 McNamara Sebring Mk1 Formula Vee
Serial Number: none
Condition: Very Good
Location: Oregon (Northwest) US
DescriptionWhen acquired by the owner the car was tatty but raceable. After consuming 2 engines in as many outings the owner decided to completely restore the car. In September of 97 he completely disassembled car down to the tub and had the frame repaired, then powder coated. He also had a new engine built by a pro engine builder on the west coast. He repainted the front beam and all suspension parts including the transmission. The car is as close to original as possible. The owner has a copy of the original brochure for McNamara cars from 1969.
The car is race ready and has only done 3 races since restoration. It comes complete with extensive spares, a nose mold, and trailer.
In May of 68, he resigned his officer's commission and settled in the little ski town of Lenggries Germany,where he started to build F/Vee, Formula Ford, Formula 2, and Formula 3 cars under the name McNamara. Talented people were soon attracted to Lenggries...from Lola came Joe Karasek; from England, Peter Arundell; from Roger Penske, Peter Reinhardt and from Brabham, Edward Marley
The high point of McNamara cars came in 1969 when this small factory was asked to design and construct an Indy car for STP Corporation. Mario Andretti drove this car to a 6th place finish in the 1970 race. The factory was asked to construct another car for 1971 race, which they did, but it was not very succesful. Bonnie McNamara died under mysterious circumstances, and McNamara cars sued STP for nonpayment of money due on cars. The suit was dismissed and McNamara cars closed its doors. Francis McNamara disappeared from sight.
There were rumors of the possible murder of his wife and that McNamara cars owed German and Swiss bankers a huge amount of money which they wished he would return. It was also rumored that Interpol searched worldwide for Francis, but did not find him. It is believed that McNamara cars only built about 15 to 18 Formula Vee's but that is uncomfirmed.
The only formula Vee to have front sway bar, McNamara incorparated many ideas from Indy car suspension onto his formula Vee's. They were fueled through a neck in front of the windshield that dumped into two saddle tanks that your feet fit through. Not safe by todays standards.
McNamara cars were imported to Canada and brought to the US by John Beck of Mason City Iowa. Midwest Vee Racing in St.Paul sold and raced McNamara Vees. Partners Rick Bell and Dick Schneider raced McNamara Vees in many races across the upper midwest.
This car was imported to Ontario Canada in 1969 and was raced in the CASC in 1970 and won it's event. After that there is a hole in the history until late 80's. It is confirmed that it was raced at Mission raceway and that owner broke the frame every race. He disassembled car to repair the frame then decided to sell the car. It changed hands a couple of times (disassembled) until it was purchased by Robert Hayes of Vancouver who reassembled car for solo racing. It was then sold to another owner who used it for a road racing car. The current owner purchased the car from him.
Purchased in 6/97 the car had a broken frame at the engine mount and the paint on the frame and body was in poor condition, but raceable. The car came with a 1600cc engine (for solo racing) that had a overheating problem and a very loose front suspension. The owner began researching car and discovered that car was supposed to have a front sway bar. A sway bar came with the car but bar it was bent and there were pieces missing. The owner had the bar repaired and brackets and adjusters fabricated and installed. He took a drivers school in the car and ran one event and the 1600cc engine gave up. The car came with a spare 1200cc engine. He installed that, ran one event and that engine gave up again. The owner became frustated, so in September of 97 decided to completely restore the car.