Spotted for sale in California is a 1969 Chevron B16 for 169,500
1969 Chevron B16
Chassis Number – DBE-16Exterior Color – WhiteEngine – Ford Cosworth BDG four-cylinder 2.0 Liter with dry sumpGearbox – Hewland FT200 Five-SpeedDifferential – Hewland Cam and PawlBrakes – Lockheed Hydraulic front and rear ventilated discSteering – Rack and PinionSuspension – Wishbone with telescopic dampers and uniball joints and mountings
Highlights of This Chevron
ACCUS FIA/USA Historic Technical Passport issued 20111970 and 1971 Racing History including Silverstone, Oulton Park, and Thruxton30+ Historic Racing events 2000-2011 including Laguna Seca, Lime Rock, and SebringPrior restoration work performed by Pete Lovely and Dave Vegher2014 Veloce Motors West engine rebuild, track prep and service for 2015 racing season
Considering the vast resources and technical sophistication required to develop a formidable competition car, Chevron must be counted as one of the most innovative and successful independent racecar development companies ever assembled. Despite their bootstrap beginnings and minimal finances, self-taught engineering genius and founder Derek Bennett built a profitable business while delivering some of the most capable and beautifully designed racecars throughout the 60s and 70s. Unlike many experts in the complex and often politically motivated world of motorsports racing, Bennett’s lack of specialized engineering training, college degree, or marketing savvy ultimately became his ace against many of his more highly touted competitors. Bennett’s fascination with aircraft, short-lived apprenticeships in a range of fabrication shops, and deftly cobbled experiments often of his own making, made him scrappy and effective at quickly solving challenging track-day problems with practical and effective solutions.
Under these conditions, Bennett built a cadre of like-minded craftsmen and clever engineers, quickly establishing Chevron as a top competitor, amassing win after win in every category entered, right up to Formula One, where a promising car was planned but never completed. Chevron’s best and most successful cars were 2.0L Sports Racers. Along with Lola, Chevron cars were among the most competitive small-bore sports racings cars of the 1970s, leveraging their lightweight and durable chassis construction with proven engines and astutely designed aerodynamic bodies. Both Chevron and Lola essentially dominated sprint and endurance 2.0L sports car racing, with Chevron winning their class at the famed 24 hours of Le Mans three times in 1974 (B23), 1979, and 1980 (B36). And while these cars were superlative in many respects, the lineage of these refined winners can all be traced back to the B16, one of the most beautifully designed racecars from the dynamic motorsports era built around 2.0 liter racing.
History of Chassis DBE-16
Chevron B16 s/n DBE-16 was originally sold to Archie Phillips of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Phillips campaigned the car for a year, running events in Ireland to a high level of success before selling the car in 1971.
8/22/70 Kirkistown 3rd8/22/70 Kirkistown Handicap 1st9/5/70 Bishops Court Formula Libre Result Unknown9/5/70 Bishops Court Handicap Result Unknown9/12/70 Phoenix Park 2nd9/19/70 Kirkistown 2nd9/20/70 Mondello Park 1st9/20/70 Mondello Park Formula Libre 4th10/4/70 Mondello Park Osbertstown 1st10/4/70 Mondello Park Formula Libre 2nd
After Phillips’ ownership, the car was sold to Adrian Wilkins, UK who ran it in various club and national races.
4/9/71 Daily Express Oulton Park DNF (Fuel Starvation)4.12/71 Thruxton 6th (1st in Group 5)5/8/71 BRDC Silverstone DNF (Spin)6/5/71 Euro 2L Silverstone 8th (2nd in Group 5)7/10/71 RAC Croft DNF (Spin)8/30/71 BRSCC Brands Hatch DNS (roll hoop certificate)9/19/71 RAC Thruxton DNS (accident in practice)
At his final appearance with the car, Wilkins went off course while in practice at Thruxton, damaging the car but fortunately escaping with only a concussion. The damaged car was sold to fellow sports racer Peter Smith, who reportedly used the salvageable parts to build a new B21.
At this point in the history of DBE-16 the car on offer continues to be recognized, identified without dispute, and restored with a long standing history of owners and historic races recorded in numerous events while the other car emerges in the early 1990s, now known as the Peter Smith Car.
Serial Number DBE-16 – “The Peter Smith Car”
According to Peter Smith, after stripping the B16 chassis he allegedly stored the chassis in a shed where it remained largely forgotten until the early 1990s, when Smith decided to repair and restore the purported chassis as the basis for a complete B16. During this time Smith became aware of another B16 claiming this same chassis number. Smith reportedly obtained a letter from Wilkins stating his purchase in support of the chassis number associated with his car, using the letter as a primary document to acquire HSCC papers. Curiously, the HSCC did not contact the other owner of the B16 already associated with the chassis number DBE-16 so, with the competing claim unbeknownst to the other owner, no contention was recorded on the matter. After Smith completed his car, it was sold to a private owner who, according to historian Alan Brown, continued to use that car though 2015.
Serial Number DBE-16 – “The Paul Weldon Car”, The Car on Offer
Meanwhile, returning to 1977, while the Peter Smith chassis was purported to have been hidden in a Yorkshire shed, Paul Weldon, UK purchased a B16 reported to have also been the ex-Adrian Wilkins car. Though incomplete at that time, the frame had been repaired and repainted, some mismatched body panels were assembled on the car, and components were missing, Weldon was able to obtain important parts from the then ailing Chevron company, struggling to stay afloat after the untimely death of their founder, Derek Bennett. During the process, Weldon befriended one of the Chevron factory fabricators who offered access to a personal trove of period correct B16 parts, allowing Weldon to get everything needed to complete the car. The finishing touch at that time would be the installation of a Swindon-tuned Cosworth FVC engine. Having completed the car, Weldon entered the B16 at the BARC Historic Car Races, Brands Hatch, October 22, 1978, but ultimately was not able to attend. In 1978, Weldon advertised the car in AutoSport magazine, selling it in 1980 to John Heath, UK. Heath would sell the car via Graham Cook to Brian Auger that same year, who, along with his son David, would race it at Donnington, and other vintage event venues, but, according to Graham Cook, had suffered another accident with David driving. In 1981, the Augers moved to Queensland, Australia eventually selling this car to Nigel Hulme in 1985. In 1986, Hulme returned the car to the UK, selling it to Adrian Hamilton.
In 1987 this Chevron was purchased by Ernst Schuster, Germany, who commissioned a comprehensive restoration performed by experts at Pete Lovely Racing, Washington, USA, including an engine rebuild by Dave Vegher. In 2000, Bob Gett, Boston, MA purchased the car, subsequently participating in numerous historic events with the car as prepared by experts at KTR Motorsports, Ayer, MA. In 2014, under current ownership. the car was serviced extensively by Veloce Motors. During this time the engine was removed for a comprehensive rebuild including new piston rings, piston wrist pins, intake and exhaust valves, valve stem seals, main bearings, a set of narrow journal Cosworth rod bearings, HTD pulley kit and belt, and new Cosworth injection hose ends. The engine was dyno tested returning excellent results. Further work included the following items: the brake calipers were serviced, master cylinder replaced, hydraulic lines and fittings replaced as needed, the gear box, clutch, and pedals serviced including new gears and dog rings for the transmission, a new Hewland slave cylinder installed, all four wheels removed, tested and chromate finished, and new Schroth seat belts installed. Based on the logbook provided with the car, the post-rebuild engine hours appear to have been limited to approximately 5 hours.
Importantly, of the two cars extant today, historian and Chevron expert Allen Brown notes in his detailed historical survey of Chevron B16 s/n DBE-16, that the “Paul Weldon Car”, offered here, wearing a replacement Chevron ID plate issued approximately 1982, has always been described as the ex-Wilkins car and its identity was not challenged throughout years of historic racing participation, despite the emergence of the “Peter Smith Car” appearing in the 1990s.
Current Condition and Ownership
Having been prepared to a high standard first with the Pete Lovely restoration and with subsequent top level BDG engine rebuild and other service work by Dave Vegher’s Veloce Motors West, this B16 presents today with excellent finishes and competitive mechanicals to rival any 2-liter racecar prepared for historic events. The paint is in excellent condition overall with a smooth, high gloss finish showing just a few areas of track speckling at the side intakes and undercut body surfaces. The cosmetic condition of the bodywork, paint and alloy rocker panels are of very high quality. The clean and subtle paint scheme reveals the powerful stance, advanced aerodynamic bodywork, and tremendous visual presence these cars have in person, further validated by their amazing stability at speed. The lightweight bodywork sits low and tight on the chassis, with a slight roof bubble, an allowance for taller drivers, subtly accenting the dramatic, low-profile body lines. Functional side intakes and rear exhaust vents finish off the sophisticated bodywork recalling one of the greatest periods of racing, both in engineering prowess and design excellence. The car sits on period correct cast alloy wheels shod with Avon racing tires.
The Chevron B16 is not only brimming with innovative features, these technically sophisticated developments are even more impressive considering the shoe-string budget that Chevron mustered to develop these powerful performance cars. The design and engineering works in total harmony inside and out, achieving the performance and stability still regarded amongst many contemporary racecar drivers as the best in their class.
Lifting the butterfly doors and crossing the door sills, the spartan cockpit is clean, simple, and properly sorted, ready for business. Here too, professional care and service is evident throughout the interior. The sweeping windscreen is vast and panoramic allowing for clear visibility over the beautifully arched front fenders and low-cut hood line.
Under the lightweight body sections, the chassis, suspension components, gearbox and engine have been properly prepared using high quality materials, updated fasteners, and durable finishes where needed. The Cosworth BDG engine is in excellent visual condition with a unifying cosmetic and mechanical presentation consistent with services performed on the car.
Known for decades as a prominent competitive Chevron with numerous historic races to its credit, this Chevron B16 is ready to deliver jaw-dropping performance draped in one of the most beautifully shaped racecar bodies ever constructed. With sound professional care spanning decades of known ownership, this Chevron B16 is poised for further acclaim as a fixture of the audacious capabilities of Derek Bennett and Chevron Cars Ltd.
Included with this Chevron B16
The car is accompanied by a spare set of wheels, a set of gears, and a spare gauge, along with a detailed paperwork file including the comprehensive historical report by Allen Brown, records for recent work performed by Vegher’s Veloce Motors West, previously issued FIA papers, a current SVRA logbook, and a copy of the 1985-issued H.S.C.C. vehicle identity papers for this Chevron
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