The Marketplace: GERCA - Cosworth F3
During the monthly browse through french classifieds (as you do if you run a car blog) I bumped into the intriguing little race car featured here. This 'Gerca' is an original formula 3 race car from 1967. Built in a Paris 'banlieue' by a certain Gerard Bazin, it competed in just a few races. I had never heard of it before, so this is, other than an ubiquitous Lotus or Brabham formula 3 racer, a real real gem. Fitted with the much-loved 1000cc Cosworth MAE 'screamer' engine, it no doubt has the power to back up its clean cigar-shaped looks. Delving a bit deeper into the history of this little known car I came up with some interesting discoveries, read on after the jump.
Apparently the car's precise designation was 'Type 266'. It had a tubular frame, fibreglass bodywork and all the other features usually present on race cars in that period, like a Hewland gearbox. According to sources though, the original Type 266 was originally fitted with a Renault 4 gearbox. Complete specifications were given in french magazine 'Moteurs' in July/August 1966.
The earliest Gerca first ran during the 1965 hillclimb in Turckheim, Alsace in the hands of its maker, Gerard Bazin, it ended 15th in the championship at the end of the season. In the same season Bazin made his first appearance in the Grand Prix de Nogaro F3 race, before adding another car to the team's roster the next year, with well-known driver Jean-Louis Lafosse at the wheel. They didn't get very far though, Bazin failing to qualify at Magny-Cours and Lafosse not starting. After that the car in the ad apparently came along, sadly I cannot find any info on it in any of the starting lists but it does have FIA homologation papers and FFSA passport so, it has undoubtably turned up at a race in period. Considering the price of the car offered, just €16.000, this is a steal if you want to go racing among other, far more expensive F3 machinery of the era. And I say a steal as less rare Matras and Brabhams are offered upwards of €50.000, very much reflecting the popularity of the F3 historic racing series. Compromising of a yearly round at Monaco and other fantastic circuits.
Digging deeper it very much seems this car was offered for sale many years ago as well, or at least a car in exactly the same colour scheme, see the ad underneath from 1991.