Ron Goldleaf's WRE Shadow Formula 5000 RacecarOwner: Ron Goldleaf
City: New York, NY
Model: WRE Shadow (circa 1968)
Engine: Chevy 305cid V8
Race prepared by: Ron Goldleaf
World Racing Enterprises
Few people consider the WRE Shadow a British car because it was built by World Racing
Enterprises in Los Angeles California. The three gentlemen who comprised World Racing
Enterprises were of three different nationalities. From our point of view, the car is
about one third British.
The company's principle was Tony Settember, a race car driver and engineer who had competed in all sorts of racing, starting in California club racing in 1954. By 1959 he had developed into Grand Prix driving and was traveling the world. Settember won the Naples Grand Prix of 1959. In 1962, Settember drove a Climax powered Emeryson Mk2 to finish second to Jack Brabham in the Austrian Grand Prix, and he also placed seventh in the Grand Prix of Belgium.
Settember partnered with an English designer named John Wadsworth and an Italian fabricator/mechanic named Ermanno Coughi. Coughi would become much more famous later as Nicki Lauda's Crew Chief at Ferrari, where together they won a Grand Prix championship.
The chassis and suspension of the WRE Shadow made extensive use of 4130 chrome moly steel, because it was designed to be able to run USAC and specifically the Indianapolis 500 where chrome moly frames were required by the rules at that time.
Although World Racing Enterprises had every intention of building cars for outside customers, things never quite came together for the company. We only know of one Formula 5000 race completed by a WRE Shadow: at the 1969 Sears Point race, Nick Dioguardi qualified eighteenth and finished fifteenth. Apparently at least two WRE Shadows were built. They were both entered to race at Laguna Seca in 1968 but Nick Dioguardi (with a Ford 4.7L engine) was disqualified and Rex Ramsey (with a Chevy 5.0L engine) failed to qualify.
After giving up on the Shadow project, Tony Settember resumed driving. He entered one Formula 5000 race in 1969 driving a Spectre HR-1. He entered four L&M Championship Formula 5000 races in 1972, driving a modified McLaren M10. In 1973 he campaigned the McLaren in seven of the nine L&M Championship races, earning points in the four races he finished to place 11th in championship standings. In 1974 he campaigned a Lola T330 at six of the seven races in the series.
Ron Goldleaf's Experiences with his WRE Shadow
Ron Goldleaf had tested a Shadow briefly in 1968 for World Racing Enterprises when
he was just getting his career in racing started. Although he didn't have any particular
success with the Shadow, it's the car that got him started and he always kept a fond
feeling for it.
Ron moved on from F5000 to Can-Am, where he drove a Lola T70 through the 1969 season under contract to Tranquil Racing, and a McLaren M6B through the 1970 season as a private entrant. In total, he had ten Can-Am starts.
Enjoying this article? www.BritishRaceCar.com is partially funded through generous support from readers like you!
To contribute to our operating budget, please click here and follow the instructions.
(Suggested contribution is twenty bucks per year. Feel free to give more!)
Long after he had retired from racing, on a business trip through the Mojave desert
he happened to see a dragster for sale in the driveway of someone's home. "Hey, that's
no dragster! That's my old car!" He turned around, went back, and ended up buying
the WRE Shadow you see here. It had been converted to drag racing, complete with super
skinny front tires. Ron has restored the car to its original configuration and uses
it occasionally for vintage racing. The restoration was greatly complicated by the fact
that spare parts and even original engineering drawings are lost to history. This is
truly a one of a kind car.
Features and Specifications
|Engine:||Chevy 305cid V8.
Brodex cylinder heads (from HRD Racing Heads).
Kinsler intake manifold.
Crane camshaft and roller rockers.
Kinsler/Lucas fuel injection system.
Dry sump lubrication system.
|Cooling:||single front mounted copper and brass radiator.
|Exhaust:||custom nickel plated four into one headers.
|Transaxle:||ZF 5DS25 5-speed transaxle with triple disc clutch and locked rear end.
Tilton master cylinder.
|Front Susp.:||coilover shock absorbers with Hyperco springs.
Fabricated steel uprights.
|Rear Susp.:||coilover shock absorbers with Hyperco springs.
Fabricated steel uprights.
|Brakes:||(master) dual Girling master cylinders with bias bar.
(front) AP 6-pot calipers with 1.125" ventilated rotors.
(rear) outboard mounted AP 6-pot calipers with ventilated rotors.
|Wheels/Tires:||Avon tires (10.5x23x15 front, 15x26x15 rear).
|Electrical:||Sealed battery. (No charging system.)
|Instruments:||(left to right)
Stewart Warner coolant temperature gauge (100-265F),
Stewart Warner tachometer,
AutoMeter oil pressure gauge (0-100psi).
|Safety Eqmt:||Simpson 5-point cam-lock harness.
Quick release steering wheel hub.
Centralized fire extinguisher system.
|Completion:||originally build was completed in November 1967, and the car was raced from
1968 through 1970.
|Racing Class:||Formula 5000.
Chevy 305cid V8 with Brodex cylinder heads (from HRD Racing Heads).
Kinsler/Lucas fuel injection system, on a Kinsler manifold.
The dry sump lubrication system's reservoir is mounted just forward of the engine.
Engine driven high-pressure fuel pump and the fuel filter.
Custom nickel plated 4-into-1 headers. Note that the roll hoop braces come off the forward header flanges.
Vertex magneto ignition system.
Suspension / Etc.
Dual Girling master cylinders with bias bar.
Detail view of the sheetmetal front bulkhead.
Fabricated steel front suspension upright. AP 6-pot calipers with 1.125" ventilated rotors.
Fabricated steel rear suspension upright with outboard mounted AP 6-pot calipers with ventilated rotors.
ZF 5DS25 5-speed transaxle with triple disc clutch and locked rear end.
The original rear wing is lost to history. This one is smaller and mounted lower as per later rules.
Simpson 5-point cam-lock harness.
Tony Settember partnered with English designer John Wadsworth and Italian fabricator Ermanno Coughi
to build the WRE Shadow in 1967.
The WRE Shadow was developed and raced shortly before wings became ubiquitous.
The formed Perspex cockpit surround provides for ventilation to the driver.
Avon tires (10.5x23x15 front, 15x26x15 rear).
All photos shown here are from September 2009 when we viewed the car at The US Vintage Grand
Prix at Watkins Glen. All photos by Curtis Jacobson and Don Moyer for BritishRaceCar.com, copyright 2010.
All rights reserved.
|If you liked this article, you'll probably also enjoy these:|
'70 Chinook Mk12
'70 Lola T190
73 McRae GM-1
|You're invited to discuss anything you've seen here on The British Racecar Motorsports Forum!|
Notice: all the articles and almost all the photos on BritishRacecar.com are by Curtis Jacobson.
(Photos that aren't by Curtis are explicitly credited.) Reproduction without prior written permission is prohibited.
Contact us to purchase images or reproduction permission. Higher resolution images are optionally available.