For more than half of Formula Ford’s 50-year history, it was the SCCA’s most
popular and populous racing
class. But, with costs escalating,
supplies of its Ford 1,599cc
engine drying up, and entries
dwindling in the 1990s, Formula
Ford was essentially being put
out to pasture. Then in 2009,
after much deliberation within
the class, Formula Ford was
renamed “Formula F,” and a more
modern and affordable Honda
engine of similar displacement
was introduced into the fray.
So, is that the FF story?
Nope – not by a long shot.
Rushing headlong into the
SCCA’s 75th anniversary year in
2019, there will be celebrations
at several of America’s premier
racetracks of Formula Ford’s 50th
as the venerable, once-global-giant,
single-seater class is enjoying
a most unlikely renaissance.
A decades-old mantra of
“Want to go racing? Go Formula
Ford!” is being heard again
as drivers young and old are
rediscovering the bang-for-the-racing-buck that FF of almost
any vintage represents.
With a reliable Ford four-cylinder
engine and sturdy gearbox,
readily obtainable tires, and a wide
variety of chassis choices, FFs
were proper racing cars – more
potent than their nearest-by-the-numbers rival, Formula
Vee, when they first showed
their space-frame front-radiator
faces at SCCA races in 1968.
“The basic ‘sense’ of Formula
Ford appealed to a large number
Like the young track star
who discovers distance
running later in life and
garners headlines in the
Masters’ class, Formula F
at 50 is showing fresh legs
WORDS Steve Nickless
MAIN IMAGE Courtesy Daytona Speedway