Tony Settember was an American driver who had made his name driving sportscars. In 1962 he persuaded a rich friend to bankroll the buy-out of Emeryson, a team for which Tony had driven a few races, and midway through the next year they entered a few GPs with a car they dubbed the Scirocco. It was powered by the BRM 1.5 liter V8 engine and failed to finish in almost every GP, although it fared much better in other races, with a best result of second in the Austrian non-championship GP.
A second car was built for Ian Burgess to drive and this had the distinction of being the slimmest car on the grid that year. But Ian’s results were even worse than Tony’s and the team gave up. Burgess’ car was sold to Barrie Carter who ran it with Teddy Pilette aboard in a few races. The engine was changed to the Coventry-Climax V8 but still the car refused to finish in points-scoring races, its best result a 6th in the News of the World Trophy at Goodwood.
And that was the end of Scirocco’s brief dalliance with F1. It was a good example of how anyone could put together the necessary parts to enter a GP in those days but it took perseverance to keep going through the initial and inevitable disappointments. The car was pretty enough and, with development could have become reasonably competitive; but rich friends tend to lose interest when they find out just how expensive it is to keep a racing car on the road. Even then, F1 was a tough place to compete in.
Over the years many hopeful teams have come and gone, leaving just a footnote in F1 history. But they also provide a more romantic and wistful side to a sport that looks more like a business these days. They also serve who only make a grand entrance and then disappear in a shower of broken dreams.