The ex-Tiff Needell / Jan Lammers Ensign N180
- The 2nd of three Ensign N180 built for the 1980 F1 season
- Driven by "Tiff" Needell, Jan Lammers and Geoff Lees
- Completely overhauled with fresh DFV, gearbox, new fuel cell and re-paint
- Sold in 100% race-ready condition with current FIA HTP and good spares
- Eligible for the Monaco Historic GP and a front-running entry for Masters Historic F1
We have the pleasure to offer this 1980 ex-Tiff Needell / Jan Lammers Ensign N180 – chassis MN12 - for sale.
Ensign was founded by Morris “Mo” Nunn in 1970 and started with building F3 cars. Backed by Opel heir Rikki von Opel, Ensign built its first GP car, the N173, in 1973 and continued to do so until Mo Nunn sold Ensign to Teddy Yip’s Theodore team in 1984. Nunn then moved to CART where he achieved major success as a race engineer for Newman-Haas, Patrick Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing.
The 1980 F1 season was all about ground effect and all teams followed the example set by Lotus with its Lotus 78 and 79. So did Ensign with the N180 whereby designers Ralph Bellamy and Nigel Bennett designed their own sidepods and narrow rear track.
Our car, Ensign N180 chassis MN12 was the second of three cars built for the 1980 season and was driven by Clay Regazzoni early in the season but raced only three times in its career. MN12 first appeared at two Grand Prix meetings as a spare for Clay Regazzoni and was then driven later in the season by Timothy 'Tiff' Needell, Jan Lammers and Geoff Lees. Needell’s GP career consist of just his one GP in MN12 and he is now better known for his TV career. Jan Lammers became a star of sports car racing winning the Le Mans 24 hrs in 1988 and two Daytona 24 hrs races, in 1988 and 1990. Geoff Lees was later the 1981 Formula 2 champion and 1983 Japanese Formula 2 champion; he also won in sports cars and twice won the Macau GP. MN12’s detailed race history is listed below in the History section.
The N180 and its 1981 N180B variant represented one of the highest points in the history of the Ensign marque and helped Mo Nunn build his reputation that took him on to be one of CART's greatest engineers. After the 1980 season, MN12 was sold and spent many years in a private Swedish museum but has been a regular and successful participant in Thoroughbred GP and Masters Historic F1 racing since 2000. The car’s complete ownership history is known and also listed in the History section.
MN12 was bought by its current owner in December 2018 upon which it was entrusted to renown preparer Stefano Calzi's Motortecnica of Parma, Italy. After a few test days and participation to the 2021 Monaco Historic GP, MN12 has now been completely overhauled for the 2022 season including the rebuild of its Richardson DFV engine, Hewland gearbox, suspension and KONI dampers. A new FIA FT3 fuel cell was installed and the bodywork freshly repainted resulting in a car which is 100% race-ready and better than new. MN12 has a current FIA HTP valid until the end of 2025 and comes with excellent spares consisting of 3 new wheel sets, bodywork molds and various gear-ratios.
This stunning "UNIPART" livered Ensign N180 has an entry for the 2022 Monaco Historic GP after which it will be available to its new lucky owner and also be a welcome and front running entry to the Masters Historic F1 series in Europe and/or USA.
Ensign N180 - MN12 Race History:
1 ENSIGN (Walsall, West Midlands, UK) 1980-1981
2 AMCO/Bobby Howlings, (UK) 1982
3 KENN WELLS (UK) 1983-1986
4 DAVID MCLAUGHLIN (UK) 1986
sold via graham Eccles and Richard Parkin to :
5 GREGER PETERSSON (Sweden) 1986-1998
sold via Brooks in August 1998 to:
6 DAVID ABBOTT (UK) 1998
7 SIMON FISH (UK)
8 Current owner (MC) - December 2018
• CAR TYPE
• ROAD REG.
• COMP. READY
• FIA HTP
• EXTERIOR COLOR