The T290
When the Group 5 regulations were drastically changed ahead of the 1972 season, effectively banning the existing big banger sports racers, the Group 6 class became even more important. This prompted the development a brand new car from the ground up that could be used as two-litre (T290) but also in three-litre (T280) form. In charge of the design was Bob Marston, assisted by Patrick Head and John Barnard, who would both go on to become leading racing car designers in their own right.
Like the T210, the second generation Group 6  was built around an aluminium monocoque chassis with independent suspension and outboard disc brakes on all four corners. The front suspension was by double wishbones while the rear used a reversed lower wishbones, top links and twin trailing arms. The car was clothed in a straightforward fibreglass body, which compared to rivals Chevron and Abarth was relatively curvaceous. Downforce was provided at the rear by a small wing that was mounted at the trailing edge and almost flush with the engine cover.

The T290 was offered without an engine, leaving customers to pick their power-plant of choice. Cosworth was the preferred engine supplier and for the 1972 they offered two options; the venerable FVC or the newly developed Chevrolet Vega based 'four'. The former was tried and tested but displaced only 1,790 cc while the latter was not quite as reliable. Some teams did develop larger versions of the FVC while Cosworth themselves were hard at work to create the two-litre BDG. Regardless of the engine choice, a Hewland five-speed gearbox was used. The successes of the T212 during the 1971 season had certainly increased the demand for these cars and no fewer than 34 T290s were built in 1972.

Many were sold through European representative Jo Bonnier, who also fielded some of them with works support. The Vega engined cars were quick straight out of the box but the engine's poor reliability proved a real handicap. As a result, the Abarth-Osella team and driver Arturo Merzario won the European Championship. The T290s were nevertheless very successful, winning races and championships all around the world. For 1973, the car evolved in the T292, which had a more substantial rear wing and inboard mounted rear brakes. Taking advantage of the BDG engine, it did manage to clinch the Championship again. T290-based machines were built until the end of the decade and eventually around 100 examples were built of the various evolutions. Many of the T290s were raced for many seasons, often using updated bodies. As a result a T290 in its original guise is today a rare sight.
Wheelbase 92” (2,336mm)
Front Track 53” (1,346mm)
Rear Track 53” (1,346mm)

Aluminum monocoque in L163, L72 and NS4 aircraft spec materials
Monel solid rivets throughout, minimal use of blind/pop rivets
Steel fabricated pick-up points for suspension and structural members
One piece roll-over bar intergrated into chassis structure
Fully epoxy-bonded throughout

Made from original moulds
One-piece nose and tail sections
Headlight, tail-lights and covers included
Ancillaries - rear  view mirrors, nose deflectors and adjustable rear gurneys

Unequal length upper and lower wishbones
Cast magnesium alloy uprights
Coil-over adjustable Koni dampers
Fully adjustable
Adjustable anti-roll bars

12” ventilated discs with AP four piston hydraulic callipers
Brake cooling ducts fitted
Twin Girling master cylinders with cockpit adjustable brake balance

Instrumentation and Electrical
Stack tachometer/data display
Smith gauges and waterproof aircraft spec switches
Oil press; oil temp; water temp; fuel pressure displayed
Rear gearbox driven alternator
Complete fused circuits
12v ignition system with high output coil

Wheels and Tyres
13” dia x 10” wide front magnesium alloy
13” dia x 15” wide rear magnesium alloy
Choice of treaded or slick tyres

Engine/Transmission Installation
Four into one stainless steel with collector and tailpipe
Four cylinder Ford Cosworth FVC/BDG variants and other variant period engines
Setrab oil coolers and aluminum water radiator   
Aeroquip hoses and fittings
Hewland FG gearbox, magnesium alloy, five speed and reverse
Splinded shaft CV joints
Gearbox cooler