One of the obscurest of all the F5000 specials, the Marnita was built by Bill Schweiger and Gene Hamlin and completed in 1970. The car used a purpose-built space frame chassis but most components were salvaged from the remains of the McKelvey/Scuderia Bear Ford GT40 (chassis 1029) that was wrecked at Le Mans in 1966. The GT40 donated its front and rear suspension, steering rack, ZF gearbox, GT40 wheels and other miscellaneous bits and a 302 ci Ford V8 engine provided the power.
The car was initially finished in orange, later changed to blue and white, and named "Marnita" after Bill and Gene's wives Marge and Anita. It was driven by Bill and generally raced at Blackhawk Farms and Road America. The first recorded outing of the car was a FA class win in a SCCA Regional at Indianapolis Raceway Park on 7 June 1970.
In 1971, it raced at the F5000 'Pro' race at Elkhart Lake in July, retiring with engine trouble. Bill then won a SCCA National at Michigan International Speedway in September 1971 and retired again from the 'Pro' race at Brainerd in July 1972.
The Marnita remained intact until around 1990 when it was purchased by Bob Ash for the original GT40 parts and dismantled.
I am grateful to Ted Dagiel, whose father Richard raced with Bill Schweiger, for providing the background information in this history. In some contemporary reports, the Marnita was said to have a Chev engine but Ted is confident it had its 302 ci Ford V8 throughout. All and any further help would be gratefully received as would a picture of the Marnita. Please e-mail Allen at email@example.com if you can add anything.
These histories last updated on 8 November, 2018 .