#F1 History: 1974 Maki F101 – Hoping for Success

Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Jennie Mowbray


“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops – at all –

~Emily Dickinson~

The 1970’s were a time of innocence: a time when enthusiasm, imagination and a relatively minuscule amount of money (at least compared to what is required today) could give you the chance to pit yourself against the professionals in the Formula One paddock. You could enter merely for the thrill and adventure of competing. To create your own team all you needed was to purchase a Ford Cosworth DFV engine, either design or buy a chassis depending on your level of innocence (or denial), hire a driver, and enter a couple of races. In actuality, just qualifying for a race gave many of these entrants due cause for celebration.

Maki was a Japanese team with a young, idealistic designer and a team of equally young engineers who had set their sights on participating in Formula One. They were well aware of their complete novice state and so they went in pursuit of Howden Ganley, both to drive their car and to help them develop it. Ganley not only had Formula One driving experience but was a competent engineer who owned a garage in Surrey. It was only when twelve taxis turned up at his home containing the whole Maki design and engineering team with a request to use his garage to build their Formula One car that he believed they were serious.

Maki 2

Ganley was a New Zealand driver who had followed the tried and trusted method of Australasians breaking into F1 racing by turning up in the United Kingdom with engineering experience and minimal funds. His first job was working as an engineer for McLaren but it was the remuneration that he eared while engaged as crew chief for Skip Scott and Peter Revson in the 1966 Can Am series that gave him the ability to finance a Brabham with which to compete in Formula 3. In 1970 he drove a private McLaren M10B in the European Formula 5000 Championship where he finished second to Peter Gethin (driving the much better funded works McLaren) which then bought him to the notice of BRM who offered him a position as junior driver for the 1971 season.

He scored points in two races, as well as a second place in the non-championship Oulton Park Gold Cup which earned him the Wolfgang Von Tripp’s Memorial Trophy for the best performance by a newcomer to Grand Prix racing. Unfortunately for the next three years he struggled with inferior machinery in which he was unable to demonstrate his skills. With no better offer for the 1974 season he accepted the job as driver and developer for Maki.

Their first race was at the 1974 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch where the hopelessly overweight car (possibly up to 150 kg heavier than the competition) struggled to keep up with the rest of the field. Ganley’s qualifying attempt put him 32nd out of 35 entrants with only the top 25 starting the race. His qualifying time of 1:23.700 was only four seconds off the pole position time and was 105% of pole which doesn’t actually sound that bad… but it was not enough. Maybe they were just unlucky that there were so many entrants at the time…


At the following race at the Nurburgring Ganley was on his first full practice lap when the car suffered a major suspension failure and crashed into the armco, ripping off the nose section of the car and causing severe injury to Ganley’s ankles. It would be his final race. He retired to form Tiga Race Cars with Australian F1 driver Tim Schenken. They constructed and sold almost 400 customer chassis for open wheel racing and sports cars. Their cars won multiple races and championships, including class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Maki continued to struggle with speed and multiple mechanical failures throughout their time in Formula One. Their car was over engineered and heavy but also fragile, the combination of the two making it almost un-drivable. They entered eight Formula One races but their best (and only) finish would be 13th (and last) at the 1975 non-championship Swiss GP where they were guaranteed entry due to there being only 16 entrants. They did have to stop to change their spark plugs mid-race but managed to finish only six laps down from winner Clay Regazzoni in his Ferrari. It was also their only ever race start.

At their final race at the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix their gearbox broke after one practice lap. The car also only managed one qualifying lap before mechanical failure once again beset it. Driver Tony Trimmer said, “It was so bad that the other F1 team managers came around to look at it and wouldn’t allow me to run. They decided it was so flawed in design it would be dangerous to drive. The whole of the front end was held on by a small bracket would looked as though it would cave in as soon as you got going and you’d run over the front of your car.”

Howden Ganley’s Maki F101 at Goodwood 2014
This was originally published in 2014 as an answer to a “Bar Exam”. I thought I’d republish a few of my previous pieces over the break…while I’m working on my next article… Jen 🙂

17 responses to “#F1 History: 1974 Maki F101 – Hoping for Success

  1. Jen, your work is wonderful but wasted here. The archived F1Rejects site has quite a bit of this stuff still, as I’m sure you know. Thanks for writing but consider posting on another site. Most of the comments here are not from actual people, as evidenced by the constantly changing names and the odd naming format. Oh well, this comment will never be posted, but be aware TJ that what’s going on is pretty obvious. Prove me wrong and publish this; you can still save this site but the time is rapidly approaching (or has arrived) when that will not be possible.

    Even Fortis is now silent (or at least quiet) and that is unprecedented.

    • really? Gomer I expected better –

      Jen an enjoyable and entertaining article Thanks and havea great Xmas 😉

    • Comments not from actual people? Do we have F1-loving robots now? Or are you implying Bernie is posting under a pseudonym? 🙂

      The comment quality is down a lot from the past, but hopefully it is the case that people like myself have decided it isn’t worth commenting due to the noise but still keep reading – and enjoying articles such as this.

    • A curious comment, Gomer. One that, as a forensic linguistics specialist, I can appreciate. (Don’t ask, I won’t be forthcoming.) But, I think there’s a bit of Cassandra here.

      For my part, I certainly feel real, plus, cogito ergo sum, or, I think therefore I am… soooo, there’s that. If you don’t believe me, Rene’s works will vouch for me. I can prove my existence – philosophically at least. (And much laughter was had…)

      I will say this though, all comments here are from “actual” people; but not all people adhere to crafting comments under one pseudonym. That’s clear. The question is, does it matter? I don’t think so. I find it pathetic, but then, I find most cretin-esque behaviour on the Internet pathetic.

      I’m not sure why you’re upset and at a point where you feel you can’t simply state your opinion and let the idiots (from your perspective) feast on it if they choose, whilst responding to any bonafide content queries / engagements.

      If you feel like playing with the cretins, play. If you don’t, don’t. There’s no point in harbouring anger over multiple-pseudonym commenters.

      Just my thoughts… take them or leave them.

      • But, if the Bruces from the Australian University of Woolloomooloo’s Philosophy Department are to be believed (and why else would they have committed it to song ?), “Rene Descartes was a drunken fart: I drink, therefore I am”. Similarly, “Wittgenstein was a beery swine, who was just as sloshed as Schlegel”… And Socrates himself (who is sorely missed) ? “A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he’s pissed.”

        Now *that*, my friends, is how Philosophy should be taught……

    • I believe I am an actual person Gomer, though I have only been posting here for a short time which may have raised your suspicions. Ironically one reason I’m here is because it has become nearly impossible to post anything more that a couple of sentences on the James Allen site as the posts simply go missing. Others complain but it has not been fixed. They also operate fairly heavy censorship – you can’t refer to Hamilton as ‘Hammy’ for example – and I had one post about the VW scandal edited sufficiently to change it’s meaning because I talked about he who must not be named who came up the the original peoples car in the 1930s. I do post under different names on different bogs as I don’t wist to be cross referenced.

  2. OT:
    Where comes the moniker ‘101’ from? Is it a Japanese thing? I always thought it to be from the legendary Rolands: TB 303, TR 808 and 909.

    PS Gomer, this comment is real.

    • Short answer – no idea 🙂
      Toyota F1 numbered their cars 102, 103…109 – though their 102 car was entered in 2002…
      The early Honda F1 cars were named from their horsepower goal – 270…ect…
      The later Honda’s used 106, 107 and 108….but the 106 was entered in 2006…

  3. So are we to believe that Howden Ganley drove and developed a car with such serious design issues that team bosses told some guy Tony Trimmer not to drive it or was there more than one Maki chassis design?

    • Ganley drove two races for Maki in 1974 and then was injured in a crash…he then left the team.

      In 1975 Hiroshi Fushida and Tony Trimmer drove a total of five races in the upgraded 101C…it was this chassis that Trimmer drove to 13th at the 1975 Swiss Grand Prix.

      Then in 1976 they had a new chassis – the 102A – with which Tony Trimmer only did a couple of laps in at the Japanese Grand Prix…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.