Retro Rosberg


Nico Rosberg’s win at Melbourne brings to mind father Keke’s lurid Formula Atlantic car, painted pink and sponsored by a condom company.

The car, a Fred Opert-run Chevron B39, was Keke’s mount in 1977, an incredible season that found the Swede battling with Gilles Villeneuve and Bobby Rahal.  Read more about it in Gordon Kirby’s excellent career retrospective.  Rosberg, Rahal and Villeneuve all ran at the front, with Villeneuve winning the championship ahead of Rahal, Bill Brack and Rosberg. Others who raced Atlantics that year included Didier Pironi, Jacques Laffite, Price Cobb and Patrick Depailler.  An unbelievable group of young drivers, all of whom made their mark in later years.

But the fact is, this is a stunning relic from the disco era, a bordello on wheels.

Keke Rosberg's Purple People Eater. (Photo: S. Bloom)