Model history: Formula 1 racing was revolutionised by the introduction of the Cosworth DFV engine in 1967. It proved to be an extremely competitive engine, available for all teams at a relatively low price. Chassis manufacturers like March quickly caught on and developed chassis for privateers to buy and race, 'production' F1 cars. Especially in the 1970s, these 'kit-cars' proved to be quite successful, despite having an extremely small budget.
In the early 1980s the days of the Cosworth DFV engine were finally numbered, with the introduction of Turbo engines. When exotic materials like carbon fibre entered the sport, the budget required to run a team as a privateer shot up as well. One of the last privateers to race in Formula was John MacDonald's RAM team, which had raced with considerable success in various classes in the 1970s. The team had set up a joint venture with one of March founders Robin Herd in 1981, called March Grand Prix, which had no connection with the original March Engineering.
The last 'real' March Formula 1 racer was constructed in 1978, but was only raced in non Championship events. With limited funds available, March Grand Prix decided to pretty much copy the contemporary Williams design for their 1981 contender. It proved to be heavy and slow. Robin Herd left halfway through the season, but the March name was retained. Adrian Reynard was contracted to design the 1982 racers, which were slightly lighter than the predecessors, but still hopelessly off the pace. RAM had also secured Rothmans sponsorship, but they backed out after both cars failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Ground effects aerodynamics were banned at the end of the 1982 season, requiring a completely new design for 1983. Although the March name was still used in the type indication, the all new car was now known as a 'RAM'. The RAM March 01 looked like it meant business at its introduction. It retained the Cosworth engine, which was now available in an ever more powerful short stroke version. To keep the budget down, aluminium was again used for the chassis, instead of the lighter and stronger composites used by the top teams.
Despite the good looks, the results were dreadful again. It was a challenge, for the various drivers that attempted it, to qualify for a Grand Prix. Only Elio Salazar, in the first Grand Prix and Kenny Acheson, in the last Grand Prix managed to do so. They finished 15th and 12th respectively, proving that there was one good thing about the car, reliability. One of the three cars built was later modified to take a Hart Turbo engine. RAM continued without the March name and raced Turbocharged cars in 1984 and 1985, which proved to be slightly more on the pace than the Cosworth cars, but were never real contenders.
Pictured is the third and last RAM March 01 constructed, which was the car used by Acheson to qualify for the last Grand Prix of the season. It is seen here in action at the Zolder round of the FIA Thoroughbred Grand Prix series, where it failed to finish the race after a collision with an Osella.