Rindt in F-V

It’s easy to forget that before karting became the dominant proving ground for Formula 1 drivers that World Champions once came from a variety of motorsport traditions. Rindt, Lauda, Fitipaldi, and Rosberg all spent their formative years in a Formula Vee.

I thought I knew my Vee makers reasonably well, but this one I’m not so sure of. Can anyone Identify what FV Jochen is driving here? Is it a Beach?

Ed wrote in to identify Rindt’s Vee as an Astro. Thanks, Ed! (Editor’s Note: Well, in the comments below, Chris also thinks it looks like a Beach. That makes two of us, what do you think?)

More Formula Vee history at The Vee Centre.

DISCUSS (4 Comments)

  1. CHRIS KLECKNER

    Both cars appear to be Beach MkVs.

  2. Tony Kaye

    Jochen Rindt did not drive Formula Vees in his formative years. He started back home in Austria with Alfa Romeos in GT events and a Brabham-Ford in Formula Junior. That was in 1962-63. In 1964 he made the leap to Formula 2 and was soon taking part in Grands Prix. I suspect your photograph was taken in practice for the 1966 Formula V race during the Nassau Speed Week, by which time he was an accomplished race driver. Three Austro FV’s were taken there and they demolished the ‘local’ American opposition. They qualified 8 seconds faster than anyone else. Really, 8 whole seconds! Rindt won the race and pocketed more in race winnings than if he’d won a Grand Prix.

  3. Tony Kaye

    In 1966 when he drove that Formula V Austro at the Nassau Speed Week, Jochen Rindt had already completed more than a year in Formula 1. Why would a driver who was used to handling a 3-liter Cooper-Maserati stoop to a one-off drive in Formula V, well aside from the prize money? It was all part of a publicity drive by Volkswagen. They sent three Austros over to Nassau, the engines having been prepared by the Porsche works and the handling perfected at the Nurburgring. As a result the cars were much faster than the American entries. Add to that a leading Grand Prix driver at the wheel of one of them and it all seems a little unfair in retrospect. After the event, which he lead from start to finish by an ever growing margin, Rindt said he was so bored during the race that he failed to notice the checkered flag and completed an extra lap at racing speed.

  4. John Rankin

    Ha, ha!! You’re all right! Those are Beach Mk5B FVs (#FV79-#FV83) that Gene sold to Porsche / Salzburg, who reworked them and called them ‘Austro Vau’s. Beach FVs positively owned Bahamas Speed Weeks FV races in ’64-’66.

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