Case Study

F1 show car

How we designed a replica F1 car, that looked just like the real thing


Next time you’re at a motor show and are admiring the gleaming F1 car shining under the lights, step forward and take a closer look.

It’s highly likely to be a replica. We know. Because we design and build them.

It’s very hard to tell the difference between these show cars and the real thing. And that’s exactly what we were asked to achieve by a very well-known Formula 1 car manufacturer.


This project needed wide range of technical design knowledge, from composites through to sheet metal design, machined parts and careful selection of cost-effective manufacture techniques to suit the low volumes.

We had to 3D CAD model most of the structure and ensure that this assembled perfectly with the original parts used (such as wheels and front wings) and the parts we designed, including the chassis, brackets, wishbones, cockpit parts and suspension parts. The steering wheel was created as a perfect, working replica of the actual car’s – but at 1/20th of the cost.

This was achieved using a combination of clever 3D CAD design, use of the client’s manufacturing facilities to build the carbon fibre parts and commercial prototyping techniques such as ‘silicon tooled vacuum casting’. It was produced in carbon fibre with the clutch and gear paddles fabricated in anodised aluminium. The paddles even activated the gear change lights on the dashboard.


Judging by the number of show goers taking selfies with the ‘real’ F1 car – I’d say we definitely did our job! One of these cars is on display in the Beaulieu motor museum if you want to see it.

Why You'll Love Us

We have worked with many great companies over the years and seen some of our designs go on to do great things for our clients. That’s what we’re here for

Adam Stroud CEO, Paxton

It's been a great experience working with the team at Design and Product.

Laurence Kemball-Cook CEO, Pavegen

D&P were a great help to Pavegen in our early days producing some excellent mechanical designs for us.

Mark Exley Head of Design, LapSafe

An excellent design that gives us everything we require and need. Thanks guys!

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