The Argo JM-4 racers were used in Formula Super Vee competition during the 1970's and 1980's. The company, Argo Racing Cars Ltd., was founded in Britian by Swiss designer Jo Marquart (of Lotus, McLaren, GRD, and Modus fame) and British mechnaic Nick Jordan. Their first vehicles were open-wheel racers used in national and international Formula Three, Formula Atlantic, and Formula Super Vee events. Later, the company moved to sports prototypes which competed in the World Sportscar Championship C2 class and the North American IMSA GT Championshi's IMSA Lights category.
The JM1 was an F3 race-car that drew its design inspiration from the Modus cars, but built with less bodywork. It had a double wishbone front suspension with lower wishbones in the rear. Coil springs and dampers could be found on all four corners. Nova Toyota engines were commonly installed and fitted to Hewland gearboxes. In August of 1977, the first F3 victory for an Argo car was scored by Stefan Johansson at Anderstorp. David Kennedy was second in two European Championship races that year.
The JM3 was a wing car that had a rather disappointing season for most of 1979. It was a monocoque with wide side pods, a one-piece bodywork, and a redesigned engine bay. The engine bay was designed to house Toyota or Volkswagen engines and a Hewland MK9 gearbox. Team Holland ran two cars during the year but had little success.
The JM-4 was used in Super Vee competition.
In 1980, the JM6 Formula 3 car was introduced, and it brought with it improvements based on lessons-learned from the JM3 cars. It had success in the British Championship with Guerrero winning five races and earned second in the Championship. Tassin won two events and finished fourth in the Championship. Sears finished eighth. This would be Argo's most successful season in Formula 3 competition.
Argo's first ground effects car was the JM8 with had an aluminum panel monocoque. The suspension members were inboard except for the wishbones and rocker arms. The disc brakes were outboard at all four corners. The car showed well during testing but on the racing circuit, it failed to garnish the intended success. One customer was loaned a JM6 as his JM8 was very uncompetitive. Many drivers abandoned the car.
The JM10 was a complete redesign. it had an aluminum monocoque with no sub frame. There was an inboard suspension and wide side pods. Testing and development ran late into the 1982 season. An accident set the racing debut back. When it did make its debut in May of 1982, it was immediately removed from competition for further development. Argo cars would only make an occasional appearance in F3 competition during 1982.
The JM16 car was supposedly based on a Royale car. In 1989, the JM18 was announced. It made its debut at a French race in April of 1990. The cars used in the C2 class of the FIA Championship was the JM19, of which three variants were created. These endurance prototypes were raced during the 1988 and 1989 seasons, and raced at such prestigious arena's as LeMans. One car finished in 21st in 1988 and had a DNF (Did Not Finish) the following year. Power was from a 3.5-liter Cosworth DFL engine with Lucas mechanical fuel injection. The alloy monocoque chassis was held in place with dual wishbones and coil over suspension.
The company was later purchased by David Sears after Marquart died in the early 1990s. His last words were 'I'm not a quitter.'By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2008