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Formula One Wing Cars 1978-84

When Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus cars, wanted an F1 winner, he created something different. In 1977, he introduced the Lotus MKIII, the first F1 car to incorporate ground-effects as a means of better handling.

The bottom of the car is shaped like the wing of an airplane, turned upside down. Air rushing under the car gets forced down, creating a suction effect. When skirts are added to the sides of the car body, the suction is greatly increased, sucking the car to the road surface.

Mario Andretti won the 1978 Grand Prix Drivers Championship in a Lotus 79(MKIV), which made extensive use of the ground effects handling. Team Lotus all but dominated that season. Ground effects was legal in F1 from 1977-84. Moveable/Sliding skirt systems were banned for the 1981 season, only flat bottom cars were allowed. Suspension lowering devices became legal.

Further testing by several teams saw that if the whole body was shaped like a wing, further handling advantages might be gained. Thus , the "WING CAR" was created. The 1978-1980 Grand Prix Seasons would see several teams create some interesting cars in order to gain that extra edge of performance. Ground effects was banned after the 1984 season for safety reasons.

Lotus -

Alfa Romeo -



Brabham -

BRM V12 -

Ferrari -

Fittipaldi -

Kauhsen -
    WK001 1979 -
Ligier -
    JS11 1979-80 -

McLaren -

    M28 -
    M29 -
    M30 -

Merzario -

    A2 1979 -

Ossella -

    FA1 1980 -
    FA1-b 1980 -

Renault -

    RS10 1980 -

Shadow -

    DN8 1978 -
    DN9 1979 -
    DN11 1980 -
    DN12 1980 -

Theodore -

    TY01 1980 -

Tyrrell -

    009 1979 -
    010 1980 -

Williams -

    FW06 1979 -
    FW07 1979 -


    WR5 -
    WR6 -
    WR7 -

Other Links Of Interest...

Angelfire - Easiest Free Home Pages
AMERICAN SPEEDWAY RACING!!! - Speedway motorcycle racing in the USA.
The SHADOW Race Team, which competed in F1, F5000, and can-am from 1970-81.
MONZA GT REGISTRY - Racing GM H-Bodies from 1975-80.