In production: 1983 -1985
Chassis numbers: MC 01 83C and MC 02 85C
The Aston Martin EMKA was the product of Michael Cane Racing on behalf of Steve O'Rourke, manager of the Pink Floyd rock group, built so as to able to compete in Group C of the World Sportscar Championship during the 1983 season. The origin of the name 'EMKA' either comes from the first two letters of O'Rourke’s daughter’s names, Emma and Katheryne, or, as has even been proposed, from the phrase, Esoteric Music & Kinetic Art, it appears that no-body knows for sure. The advanced chassis was designed by Len Bailey of Ford GT40 fame: a neat aluminium monocoque with a flat bottom and air tunnels to provide some primitive ground effect. The normally aspirated V8 engine was especially developed by Aston Martin Tickford Ltd, numbered DP 1261, and was rated at 570 bhp. This was attached directly to the rear bulkhead with the engine acting as a fully stressed member. The car itself featured a distinctive ‘cab forward' driving position.
The first EMKA (chassis #001), resplendent in red Hawaiian Tropic livery, debuted at the Silverstone 1000k Km race in 1983 but unfortunately retired on the last lap whilst lying in unlucky 13th place with a rear wheel bearing failure. During Le Mans the same year, a race dominated by the turbocharged Porsche 956, with the driver line-up of Steve O'Rourke, Tiff Needell and Nick Faure, the car came 17th, the first British car home and winner of the Motor Trophy.
The team withdrew from racing in 1984, partly due to lack of sponsorship and partly because of a new rule in Group C to limit fuel consumption by 15% - a rule later abandoned. This allowed time for substantial design changes by Richard Owen with revised rear suspension, larger hubs, new bodywork and a deletion of the ground effect. The 1983 car was partly stripped and assisted in creating a second car using a spare tub plated and entered as chassis #002 finished in white and turquoise with sponsorship by Dow Corning. The second car debuted in the Silverstone 1000 Km race in 1985 but again the car failed to finish as a rear bottom wishbone failed after 70 laps. Le Mans of 1985 was a different story as the EMKA actually led the race just after the one hour mark for a whole nine minutes, the result of a clever refuelling schedule. With the same driver line-up as 1983, the EMKA eventually finished 11th, and again was the first British car home.
Some considerable time after 1985, chassis #001 was reassembled, which as a result of the development of chassis #002, had ended up as a number of disparate parts. More recently both cars have been seen competing in the Historic Group C championship.
For further information, the EMKA is fully covered in Aston Martin V8 Race Cars by Paul Chudecki and MotorSport magazine, February 2003.