I GOT IT TOTALLY WRONG! What F1 Car Do I Actually Have?

Added on Jan 3, 2022

The Shmeemobiles


Well, it's not the Formula 1 car we thought! After taking the details at face value, it's actually something completely different, and with an amazing story. Let's dive into it all and what we've learned so far about this mysterious machine.

A few days ago, the newest addition to the collection was delivered; what I was informed and believed to be a 1997 Arrows A18 ex-Damon Hill former Formula 1 car. This was based on very little information provided to me, with only two images and a "take it or leave it" type of opportunity, which I could not refuse. Of course taking that as it was given, the car was delivered to @The Shmuseum and immediately we wrapped it up for the reveal and went from there.

However, that's where a few viewers instantly spotted something was wrong, and a particular shout out goes to Gary who even recognised what it actually is from the wrapped up present, and to Dan who then later helped dig much more into the details of precisely what we have here. It was initially presented to me as a rolling chassis, so there's certainly no disappointment in the result, and in fact the actual story is quite incredible.


The monocoque of my car is in fact a 1997 Williams FW19 designed by Adrian Newey, and victorious that season in both the drivers championship with Jacques Villeneuve and the Constructors too. We believe it was a left over unused example at the end of the season, that was then combined with the narrow track suspension from the cars of 1998/99 to be built into a showcar that was initial painted with the 1999 Winfield livery. Various of the parts have clearly been used including the suspension and brake system, but peeling the wrap revealed that the livery has also since been updated to the 2001 BMW Williams Compaq design of the FW23, driven by Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.

While it's impossible at this stage to fully confirm the story, I will be interested to find out whether this rolling chassis could technically be transformed into a running car, although it feels quite unlikely. Either way, it will be tidied up and made to look epic in one of the three relevant liveries; potentially the period correct 1997 Rothmans style to match the bodywork.

Thank you to everyone who got involved and offered some feedback to get to the bottom of it. I wouldn't be surprised if there is more to be discovered, but let's take it as it comes.


Episode titleI GOT IT TOTALLY WRONG! What F1 Car Do I Actually Have?
Episode number1
Date addedJanuary 3, 2022
Run time16:54


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