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1974 Shadow DN-3/5A Formula One Race Car : Classic Cars

Constructed in 1970 by Don Nichols' Advanced Vehicle Systems for the Can-Am series, there was nothing conventional about the first Shadow. The ultra small car worked well on paper, but in real life was never a contender. It was followed by more conventional, but very fragile racers in which Jackie Oliver managed to record only two finishes in as many seasons. By 1973 Shadow had become a fully settled Can-Am team and set up shop in England to expand into Formula 1.

Ex-BRM designer Tony Southgate was commissioned to design a new aluminium monocoque for Shadow's first single seater. His design was very straightforward and followed the coke-bottle trend. The popular Cosworth DFV V8 was bolted directly onto the chassis' rear bulkhead and served as a fully stressed member. Dubbed DN1, the Universal Oil Products (UOP) backed Shadows debuted in the third race of the 1973 season. Although it showed potential, the DN1 proved to be very fragile and only managed to achieve one point scoring finish that season.

The following winter was used to further develop the DN1's design and make it more reliable. The resulting DN3 qualified third at its Brazil debut in the hands of Peter Revson. In the race both cars retired early after sustaining damage in a crash. Tragedy struck in the third race of the season when Revson suffered a fatal accident at Kyalami. It was a big blow to the team as the results in the remaining races of the season clearly show. A rare highlight was a third place finish for Jean Pierre Jarier in Monaco.

The DN3 was used for two more races in the 1975 season before it was replaced by the DN5. Over in the United States there was more to celebrate with Jackie Oliver winning four Can-Am races and the 1974 and last championship. With the demise of Can-Am, Shadow could fully focus on Formula 1. Eventual one Grand Prix victory was scored, but it was all over before the end of the decade. Many key personnel had already taken off and formed Arrows when Teddy Yip purchased Shadows' remains to form Theodore.

Featured is the third DN3 chassis that was used in 1974 by Tom Pryce. He scored one point that season by finishing sixth at the Nürburgring in this chassis. It is seen here ready to take part in historic racing at the 2005 Retromobile in Paris.


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Sources : 1974 Shadow DN-3/5A Formula One Race Car Photo | 1974 Shadow DN-3/5A Formula One Race Car Article

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