The Shadow Racing Cars name will be entering motorsport once more as Shadow, recently revived by Italian entrepreneur and racing driver Bernardo Manfre as an Italian luxury brand, will be entering NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2020 as a major sponsor for the 42 Racing team.
The year 1980 saw the original Shadow Racing Cars’ final year of existence as the original team, which won the final season of the original Can-Am championship in 1974 and also won the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix with future Formula One World Champion Alan Jones, was sold and subsequently folded by their new owner Teddy Yip – the Indonesian-Dutch businessman that founded Theodore Racing and greatly increased the prestige of the Macau Grand Prix – after the team ran out of funding halfway through the 1980 Formula One season.
In 2020, 40 years after the original Shadow ceased to exist and the year where a 50th anniversary tribute for the original Shadow was held in Road America, the Shadow name is set to be revived after it is revealed last month that 55-year old Italian entrepreneur and racing driver Bernardo Manfrè will be reviving the name as an Italian brand this year.
“I used to play with toy cars when I was a kid and one of my favorites was the Shadow,” said Manfrè to Corriere Della Sera on his memories of the original Shadow team. “I remembered the nostalgia when I bought the brand, but I didn’t know what I could do with it. Then, the friendships I cultivated in motorsport helped me focus on things.”
Manfrè’s plans for Shadow’s revival will see Shadow’s return to motorsport, something that is confirmed yesterday after it was announced that Shadow will be entering NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2020 as a major partner for the Swiss-based 42 Racing team.
“The NWES championship and the organization of 42 Racing are functional to the SHADOW project not only for the purely racing activity but also from the professional point of view in the sales & marketing sector,” said Manfrè to euronascar.com on his plans to bring the Shadow name to NASCAR Euro this year.
“The situation created by the health emergency and the impact on the world economy has also been reflected in this announcement that we would have liked to give already in February. However, I am happy to do so now, confident in the recovery of the markets.”
Shadow’s involvement in the series this year will see the Shadow brand as a sponsor for both 42 Racing cars while Manfrè is set to be making his debut in the series as the driver of the No. 17 Ford Mustang in the EuroNASCAR PRO class.
Number 17 itself holds a special connection to the Shadow name. Except for the South African and Spanish Grand Prix in 1973, Shadow always carried the No. 17 in their Formula One cars starting from their debut season in 1973 until its folding in 1980.
In addition, Alan Jones’ Shadow DN8 that won the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix also carried the No. 17 – the first win for the number after the number system was standardized in Formula One.
The announcement yesterday also confirms that Luigi Ferrara – who drove 42 Racing’s No. 42 Mustang at Franciacorta last year and has been testing the car for the majority of 2019 – will be making his full-season debut in the series with the No. 42 Mustang in the PRO class.
The new Shadow also plans to be involved in the automotive and fashion world. According to Italian website Grip Detective, Shadow will be developing a line of watches and eyewear under the Shadow name, a limited-production variant of the Dodge Challenger known as the Dodge Challenger Shadow DNB8, and a planned hypercar project known as the “Hypercar Shadow”.
The “Hypercar Shadow” project plans to create a “retro-futuristic” hypercar, aiming to create a modern interpretation of the styling features seen in the original Shadow cars.
“The idea is to take a slice of the past and make it into something current, contemporary, and looks to the future. The idea with the new brand is to make unique pieces or at least a few that can become iconic,” said Manfrè on his visions for the new Shadow.
The new Shadow is now set to be making their first physical return in next month’s season opening round, the American Festival of Rome at Vallelunga on 12-13 September.
Disclaimer: All photos used in this article are courtesy of the respective sources.