Tiff Needell in the SA3C at Silverstone in 1982.
   
F1 technician Gary Anderson built the first Ansons in 1976 but lack of money saw him pull out some 18 months later. In 1980 Anson Cars was formed by Anderson together with fellow F1 man Bob Simpson and ex-Rolls Royce employee Jeff Hills. For the next six years they took on the famous names of F3 such as March, Ralt and Chevron but they never really gained more than a toehold. Their greatest success was winning the German F3 Championship in 1983 with Franz Konrad whilst Tommy Byrne came 6th in the 1984 European Championship. Of course a few years further down the road Gary Anderson would achieve fame as a F1 designer, most notably with Jordan.
   
  
The SA1 with its unusual full width nose.
The original SA1 was built in 1975 and was based on a Brabham BT38, it was raced in formule libre by Anderson with some success.
For 1976 an entirely new car also called the SA1 was designed and built. It's F3 debut came in an end of September BP round at Silverstone. A new SA1 was constructed for 1976 and was raced initially by Tiff Needell and then by Dick Parsons. The car was sponsored by Unipart, it ran competitively and led several races even though victory eluded the new team.. It had a distinctive shape with its low full-width nose and slab sided monocoque.
   
   
The Anson A2 on its announcement.
 
Gary Anderson in the rain with the SA2.
 
Gary Anderson testing the SA2.

 

The SA2 was designed for a mooted Unipart F3 Team (which would eventually appear with March), the last minute withdrawal of the sponsorship left the team in serious difficulties with not even enough money to go testing. The chassis was again very square in shape with full width nose. It had a narrow track with twin caliper brakes and inboard rockers at the front. There was an unusual springing arrangement at the rear with conventional coils and dampers plus an additional set of springs over the rear brakes. The theory was that the auxiliary springs would take up the body roll. Gary Anderson was the driver but a lack of resources saw the withdrawal of the car part way through the season.
   
  
The SA3 on its announcement, the unusual rear end treatment is very obvious..

 

The modified end of season SA3C.
The SA3 looked very different to any other contemporary F3 chassis, all the manufacturers at the time were experimenting with ground-effect in F3 some with less success than others. The chassis was built in F1-type honeycomb construction using three sections for ease of manufacturer. A cast aluminium front bulkhead was fitted that also served as the front rollhoop/dashboard. Front suspension utilised a top rocker and lower wishbone mounted to the front bulkhead, the spring/damper units were inboard. Rear suspension was similar to the front except the springs/dampers were fitted inside the bellhousing. Fuel and oil tanks were behind the driver with the oil tank being part of the chassis forming part of the roll-over structure. The rear bodywork was very unusual consisting or a rear section with abbreviated sidepods and no rear wing. Similar ideas had been tried without success in F1 and Indycar designs
As can be seen from the second picture testing soon saw the unusual rear design superseded by a wing and full length sidepods. In addition an entirely new rear suspension was fitted, the geometry of the front suspension was revised and the tub was rejigged. Towards the end of the season Dave Coyne had some promising runs in the modified car now called the SA3C.
   
  
Mike O'Brien in his SA3C.
Anson continued with the SA3C in 1982 with just minor modifications to the suspension and bodywork. Both Claudio Langes in Europe and Mike O'Brien in the UK showed the car had potential with several top six finishes. Langes in particular finding the car well suited to the Pirelli tyres that were available in Europe.
   
  
Claudio Langes had some good results in Europe in his SA4.

Franz Konrad's German Championship winning car.

The SA4 tub clearly showing the honeycomb/carbon fibre mixture.
A new model was introduced for 1984, the SA4, it continued along the same lines as the SA3 and it proved to be quite a competitive proposition. The monocoque was constructed of aluminium honeycomb with the cockpit sides skinned in carbon fibre. Inside the tub cast magnesium dash and pedal beams were fitted both to aid stiffness and to increase driver protection in the event of an accident.
Claudio Langes began slowly when the car wasn't happy with the European Pirelli's but a switch to Yokohama's solved this problem. Additionally a redesign of the sidepods saw him able to run in the front half a dozen in the later season races. In Germany Franz Konrad won the National Championship in his SA4 in which he used both Alfa and VW engines. Several other German drivers, notably Rudi Seher in his SA3, also used various models with some success. Sadly no examples of the marque were to be seen in the British Championship.
   
  
Tommy Byrne in the Anson SA4B showing the forward driver's location.
The SA4 was modified to "B" specification for 1984. Despite the success of Konrad and Langes the previous year no cars were sold in Britain. However Tommy Byrne took 6th in the European Championship and once again they were popular in Germany.
   
  
The SA6 with Keith Fine driving.
(Picture courtesy of Julian Roberts)
Keith Fine on the grid at Silverstone in March.
(Picture courtesy of Julian Roberts)

The SA6 was introduced in 1985, it had a deeper monocoque and shorter sidepods that the SA4 series. Cast aluminium bulkheads front and rear took the major loads and the fuel and oil tanks were located amidships. Suspension was inboard all-round and featured pushrods at the front and rocking levers at the rear. All the suspension is interchangeable left to right. The rear spring/damper units were mounted vertically within the long bellhousing. The radiators were carried in the sidepods just ahead of the rear wheels.
Driven by Keith Fine in the UK it was not a success, the tub appeared to be insufficiently stiff and half way through the year Fine abandoned it. Only one other SA6 appeared in Germany, again without success, and at the end of the year Anson stopped producing F3 cars.

   
Drivers  
1975 Gary Anderson.
   
1976 Tiff Needell, Dick Parsons.
   
1977 Gary Anderson.
   
1981 Dave Coyne.
   
1982 Claudio Langes, Tiff Needell, Mike O'Brien, Richard Trott, Gero Zamagna.
   
1983

SA4
Fernando Cazzangia, Philippe Huart, Franz Konrad, Claudio Langes, Pierre-Alain Lombardi, Thomas von Löwis, Kris Nissen, Oscar Pedersoli, Karl-Heinz Wieschalla.

SA3
Rudi Seher, Richard Hamann,, Andy Wietzke.

?
Bruno di Gioia, Jan Thoelke.

   
1984

SA4B
Leo Andersson, Tommy "Slim" Borgudd, Tommy Byrne, Tryggve Gronvall.

SA4
Thierry Hierman.

SA4 (unknown whether A or B)
Dieter Heinzelmann, Jan Karlsson, Mats Karlsson, Franz Konrad, Reinhold Mölig, Nicky Nufer, Rudi Seher, Jan Thoelke, Karl-Heinz Wieschalla.

SA3
Richard Hamann, Alexander Seibold, Andy Wietzke.

   
1985

SA6
Fredy Eschenmoser, Keith Fine.

SA4B
Steve Bottoms, Bill Coombs, Tryggve Gronvall.

SA4
Jeff Ward.

SA4 (unknown whether A or B)
Sigi Betz, Artur Deutgen, Dieter Heinzelmann, Franz Konrad, Günther Lüttecke, Nicky Nufer, Franz-Josef Prangemeier, Karl-Heinz Wieschalla.

SA3
Alexander Seibold.

?
Johan Rajamaki, Rudolf Weckmann.

   
1986

SA4
Patrick Lecompte.

SA4 (unknown whether A or B)
Mathias Arlt.

?
Ruedi Schurter
.