March 707

1/24 Academy/Minicraft March 707

by David Freeman

The Vehicle:  In 1969 four kindred spirits, each with a particular expertise and background founded a new racing car manufacturer. It was named March; an acronym of the founders Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd. A single Formula 3 car was produced in 1969, but for 1970 a range of no fewer than seven different models was planned, headlined by a Formula 1 car. Robin Herd of McLaren fame was responsible for the designs of the new cars. Considering that his previous work included the 1967 Can-Am winning McLaren M6, it was no surprise that the March line-up also included a Group 7 sportsracer.

In the second half of the 1960s, the Canadian American Challenge (Can-Am) had become incredibly popular. The cars competing in the Can-Am were based on the virtually unrestricted Group 7 regulations, making them among the fastest machines ever raced. Inspired by the success in North America, the Europeans set up a similar racing series dubbed the 'Interserie', which welcomed both Group 7 Can-Am cars and the Group 5 cars raced in the World Championship. The prospect of potential customers on both sides of the Atlantic and the high profile series made the Group 7 March a priority.

Herd's design followed that of the McLaren M8 with a full width aluminum monocoque. The monocoque ended right after the cockpit with the engine and gearbox mounted in an easily detachable steel subframe. Suspension was by double wishbones on both ends and vented discs provided the stopping power. Power came from a massive big block Chevrolet V8 engine, producing well over 700 bhp. The most unusual part of the highly conventional package was the body, which featured a full width front wing with moveable canards. The nose design was similar to that of the 1970 March Formula 1 car. Continuing March' simple naming policy, the new racer was dubbed 707; the 1970 Group 7 car.

The second built chassis was entered by the Works in the final three rounds of the 1970 Can-Am series for Chris Amon. Herd did not have the illusion that the 707 could immediately challenge the dominant McLarens and wanted to use the three races to iron out the bugs. Amon impressed with a third on the grid at the car's debut. He eventually finished the race in fifth and then scored two fourth place finishes. It is safe to say that the new March performed surprisingly well, despite being slightly overweight.

Kit: 1/24 AcademyMinicraft March 707 (OOB)

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