Journal: What Is Your Favorite Non-Factory Racing Team From The History Of Motorsport?

What Is Your Favorite Non-Factory Racing Team From The History Of Motorsport?

Alex Sobran By Alex Sobran
March 22, 2018
13 comments

Whenever there’s a major vintage automobile auction these days, the words “ex-works race car” are sure to make an appearance in the highlighted lots. In much the same way genuine parts retail for multiples of what a third-party might charge you, any piece of motorsport history with direct ties to the manufacturer is going to command a premium over some shed-built special. That’s obviously a gross underestimation of the rest of the grid—though it’s certainly applicable to even some of the brand names—and small teams and privateers have surely embarrassed the big-budget boys from time to time, but it seems there’s always a bit more reverence in reserve for the official factory efforts. The lines often blur though; sometimes private teams will receive support from above to help the marque win a championship in addition to just the driver, and often they will overlap entirely, with teams being absorbed or else rebranded quite frequently. Some even ventured out into the world of production cars.

Included in the historical image set here are a few of the more popular examples like Alpina and N.A.R.T., both of which worked closely with BMW and Ferrari, respectively, but then there are those like John Wyer and his development and racing outfit J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd. who would apply their talents on a more international scale—in the case of Wyer, he helped Ford get the GT40 program going, worked alongside Porsche on the early 917s, and built his own series of Mirage race cars which spanned enclosed sports cars and open-cockpit Le Mans-winning prototypes. Also, who could forget the time the drug-dealing brothers Whittington won Le Mans in their cash-purchased Kremer K3?

These types of relationships are still being formed and dissolved today, so it’s not necessarily a question of which were you favorites from the past, though I think we can all agree the most compelling tales are those with a few decades of legacy-building stacked on top. That said, which non-works racing teams would you have rooted for?

Image sources:
N.A.R.T.: 1, 2, 3, 4
Alpina: 1, 2, 3, 4
John Wyer: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Kremer: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Ecurie Ecosse: 1, 2, 3, 4

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WatkinsGlenericdouseClaus TargaSteve WalkerBubba R Recent comment authors
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WatkinsGlen
WatkinsGlen

Cunningham

ericdouse
ericdouse

Penske.

Claus Targa
Claus Targa

Hesketh Racing. Short-lived but memorable for different reasons.

Steve Walker
Steve Walker

Luigi BMW- twice winner of the SPA 24 Hr race, and 1976 ETCC champion.

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Hornfrog67
Hornfrog67

Scuderia Filipinetti for Ferrari and Brumos Racing for Porsche. I love the toned down reds of Filipinetti and the red & blue on white for Brumos

Spencer Tillim

NART!!!!! So much so that I put the livery on my car after the 308gt4LM

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Derelict
Derelict

Group 44. There is no one else. Jaguars, Triumphs, MG, and even a Dodge.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Count Volpi’s Scuderia Serenissima deserves a mention not least because having had their order for a 250GTO cancelled by Enzo (due to Volpi’d backing of the ATS outfit) they had the 250 Breadvan built instead.

dannels
dannels

Jolly Club – 037 and Deltas in WRC

Made In Flacht
Made In Flacht

No mention of Joest before the Audi days?

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Made In Flacht
Made In Flacht

Huh, didn’t let me save the 1980 Daytona 24 podium pic…..

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simonshea
simonshea

I too vote Camoradi ! My good friend Joe Sheppard saved the day for them at Sebring in 1960

Jon Ulrich
Jon Ulrich

I was fortunate to watch Briggs Cunningham and Luck Casner’s Camoradi Racing Team race C-1 Corvettes at Le Mans in 1960 as a young boy. What a thrill that was. Rob Walker was a significant private racing owner who provided Stirling Moss many an F1 ride.