Kojima Engineering

Matsuhisa Kojima was a successful motocross rider in Japan and in the late 1960s, with the profits from a banana-importation business, he funded the establishment of a small engineering firm to build single-seater racing cars. The cars did not win a great deal but in 1976 Kojima decided to build his own Formula 1 car, powered by a Cosworth engine and running on Dunlop tires.The KE007 was designed by Masao Ono, who joined Kojima from the Maki F1 project, and was raced at the Japanese GP that year by Masahiro Hasemi. He finished 11th. The following year a new car was designed - designated KE009 - and two chassis were built: one for the Kojima team driver Noritake Takahara and the other for Heroes Racing with driver Kazuyoshi Hoshino. In the 1977 Japanese GP Takahara crashed on the first lap but Hoshino finished 11th. Kojima went on to build Formula 2 cars in 1978 and 1979 but without much success.