Where Are They Now? The Evans 386
Well here’s a story that possibly holds some lessons for the
current crop of GT1 machinery.
child of the mid ‘90s boom in the original GT1 scene, John
Evans’ company was already producing US EPA and DOT legal
cars that shared the styling and performance features of the then
(1986) current Group C and GTP cars.
The Group C a’like Series 1 car was introduced but, as with
very many small and ambitious sportscar makers, Evans Automobiles
found the market very tough indeed and the car was not a big seller.
In the early ‘90s, the company decided to make a car for the
new Le Mans GT1 class, building on the lessons learnt by the first
car to dominate the class, the now legendary McLaren F1. The Gordon
Murray designed hypercar was a superlative performer on the road
but was not designed as a race car.
a car that optimized performance with respect to the ACO’s
rules, which at the time of the car’s genesis required only
one road legal car, and the offering of replicas to demonstrate
“The rules at the time were quite free,“ recalls Evans.
“Actually they were more liberal than the current LMP1 rules
in terms of cockpit size and aerodynamics.
“We designed a pure racing platform to a size that would permit
the rules to be fully exploited, and did the minimum to make the
car roadworthy. The car was designed with suspension geometry and
ride height suited for the track. The prototype 386 car (now up
for sale here) was actually meant to be the ACO verification car,
as well as the EPA certification car.”
The car was also used to show to potential buyers (people who would
campaign the car in the American Le Mans GT1 class). The car’s
fortunes though matched those of GT1 in the nascent ALMS: very few
cars contested the class in the USA with the WSC class proving far
more popular. No Evans 386 race cars were sold.
So what we have here is a living, growling piece of American motorsport
history, as John Evans explains - as he reluctantly puts his baby
up for sale:
“The prototype 386 was built to showcase the company’s
ability to produce a durable, low maintenance race car. We built
it with a carbon tub with an aluminium honeycomb core, a full, FIA
legal roll cage, 25 gallon fuel tank, and a quick release steering
“The bodywork is all carbon fibre. Because of the fact that
it was to be an EPA certification car it was fitted with the road
version of the intended engine (the race engine was to be Buick
turbo 4L based on a then current Indy Car engine), a supercharged
3.8 L Buick. The car is equipped with catalytic converters, road
legal wheels, adjustable seats, a non-race fuel filler, turn signals,
etc. Hydraulic jackers were added to facilitate realistic road use.
The car has a DOT legal laminated glass windscreen.”
This car then has the capability of delivering on the promise that
its looks suggest! Head turning (or should that be neck snapping)
looks coupled to neck snapping (definitely!) performance –
the ‘tuner’ guy at the stop light will be too busy picking
his jaw up from the floor of his car to notice that you have disappeared
over the horizon already!
So if you are looking for a truly unique automobile that reflects
one of the most exciting periods of sportscar racing, but at a price
that makes the heartstopping price tags of the other GT1 road cars
look a trifle steep, then look no further.
The car is currently
for sale at $65,000 but the factory will also sell the moulds, tooling
and drawings to produce this car, and the Series 4 car (below),
for $85K USD (£47,600) in total.
You can contact John Evans at email@example.com
or email from the website www.EvansAutomobiles.com
Phone 404 298-6432
Cell 404 275-4418