The last time a car featured in my Heroes column was months back, when I wrote about the 1935 Alfa Romeo Bi-turbo, a fast if erratic machine with an Alfa P3 engine, front and rear. It was dreamt up by Enzo Ferrari and his designer Luigi Bazzi in a desperate search for a post-P3 Grand Prix winner – which it never was – but could, arguably, be called the first ever Ferrari.
Another oddball racing car layout is the six-wheeler, four at the front and two at the rear or vice-versa. There has been – and would still be – stabs at developing just such a wild card since 1939, according to my records. The first was the Mercedes-Benz 80, but that never saw the light of day because the Second World War got in its way and it died a death on the drawing board, with not even a prototype being built. And the idea was dropped by Stuttgart after the war, when Germany was eventually allowed to compete in Grands Prix again in 1951.