Marque: March Engineering
Dealer: William I’anson
Direct Link: Here
One thing that we absolutely love about old cars is the stories. Although it matters, we’re not so interested in how much a car is worth, we want to know where it’s been and what sort of life it’s had. Who owned it, what did they do with it, how did they enjoy it? It’s the stories that live in these old cars that make our work so interesting. This one from William I’anson has quite a unique tale to tell.
This 1984 March 84G was built to compete in the now defunct IMSA GT sports car series. In 1981 the GTP was introduced, a class for Sports Prototypes.
This 84G was championed alongside an 83G for the 1984 championship, driven by Randy Lanier and 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours winner Bill Whittington. It was this very car that helped Lanier, Whittington and the Blue Thunder Racing / Apache Power Boats team win the series title.
The 1984 season was hugely successful for Lanier and Whittington, taking the fight to professional, well heeled racing teams and coming out on top. His results for that season are impressive, taking 1st at Laguna Seca, 1st at Charlotte Motor Speedway (3 laps over a Jaguar XJR5), 2nd at Lime Rock, 2nd at Mid-Ohio, 1st at the Portland Grand Prix, 7th at Sears Point, 3rd at Road America, 5th at Pocono, 1st at the Michigan 500 and 1st at the New York 500 – enough to take first place in the overall title.
As Lanier had defeated the heavily sponsored and factory supported Group 44 Racing Jaguar XJR-5 and Löwenbräu sponsored Holbert Racing Porsche 962, questions began to surface about how the small team was being financed.
Lanier soon found himself under investigation by the FBI, along with Bill and Don Whittington and Ben Kramer of Apache Power Boats.
Now the full story began to unravel – Lanier had been using ‘Go Fast’ powerboats to bring narcotics into the USA since 1974, and had been working in cahoots with Ben Kramer (the owner of Apache Powerboats) and others as part of a multi-million dollar drugs empire from 1982-86.
Lanier was convicted of importing and distributing over 300 tons of marijuana, believed to be worth $68 million. He disappeared shortly before he was due to be sentenced.
The 84G was seized by the FBI in October 1987, then sold to Turky Burky’s Auto Sales the following year, who sold it on to Jim Briody. Briody and his wife were determined to unearth more of the history on the 84G, and that correspondence remains in the history file today. Not many top race cars can list General Services Administration Personal Property Centre, Kennedy Space Centre as a previous owner!
The car came to the UK in 2007, with a full rebuild happening in 2015. It has not raced since, but is now ready for a new owner.
It is presented with a full history file (complete with correspondence from the FBI) as well as spares.Finance this car
“The March 84G-4 presents an opportunity to acquire a significant part of the historic Blue Thunder Racing, IMSA GTP Championship winning team and an immersed part of the ‘80s natcotic entwined IMSA story”
“What a great story for a car. The underdog backed by dodgy finance that defeated the big boys on the track. That provenance certainly makes it an entertaining and interesting prospect. With 580hp from it’s 5800cc Chevrolet V8, this March 84G-G would make a competitive choice for Historic Group C Series as well as the Le Mans classic”