The 500 brings the legendary F3 cars from the 1950s back to the race track. Many of the entries in this 500cc Formula 3 series are Coopers built between 1948 and 1960. These models, such as the Cooper-Norton Mk5, were driven by some of the most famous names of the sport at an early stage of their career, including Sir Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Ken Tyrell and even a certain Bernie Ecclestone.

Hard Facts: 500 Owner Association

  • The racing series was inaugurated in the late 1940s
  • In 1949, the FIA recognised the 500cc Formula 3 as the first international formula racing series
  • Divided into three classes (P1 from 1945 to 1950, P2 from 1951 to 1953, P3 from 1954 to 1960)

Powered by a motorcycle engine, the 500 with its simple design (seatbelt and roll bar not fitted) still fascinates racegoers today. The 50-horsepower 500cc Formula 3 cars make heavy demands on the drivers. The narrower tyres in particular make vehicle control difficult. For this reason, the drivers usually position one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the underside of the car in order to optimise weight distribution when cornering.

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Highlights at the Red Bull Ring

Car#13 Larkens
When the Dutch Larkens brothers built a monoposto (single-seater) in 1949, they actually intended to go into series production with it. But the project went no further than this single model, which the brothers subsequently donated to a technical college for training purposes. At some point, the car ended up in a field with a ‘For Sale’ sign. It was rescued by Dick Bronkhorst and later acquired by Mike Doodeman in 2016. At that time, the car was standing in Bronkhorst’s barn, and it was not clear whether it was still intact. Fortunately for racing fans, the car was indeed in one piece, and it will be racing at the Red Bull Ring in June.
Car#24 Effyh
Effyh gets its name from the initials of the company founders Folke and Yngve Håkansson (FYH). The two mechanics built their first car in 1947, and it brought them instant success. They then went into series production. The rear-engine Effyh consisted of a chrome-molybdenum tubular frame chassis with an aluminium body. Unusually for the time, Effyh cars had a roll bar. You can see the vehicle up close and in action at the Red Bull Ring Classics.
Car#59 Staride
This is one car that is definitely going to stand out at the Red Bull Ring Classics. It has an unmistakable look due to the centrally mounted fuel tank and the driver’s seat which is positioned very far forward. The lattice design of the space frame chassis uses the structural strength of triangles to keep the weight as low as possible. It has a wishbone suspension at the front and a swing axle at the rear.
Car #63 Cousy
Ex-motorcycle racer Georges Cousy designed a racing car with a two-stroke boxer engine in 1955. The crankshaft-driven gearbox was located behind the rear axle, and the body was made of fibreglass. The Cousy was tested in Montlhéry towards the end of 1955, but it never saw racing action. Instead, the racing car lay dormant in a barn in the south of France until 2005. Acquired by John Jones, the car took to the race track for the first time in 2008. You will be able to see it lapping the Red Bull Ring in 2024.

Impressions

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