Chevron B15 car-by-car histories
The 1969 Formula 3 Chevron B15 was derived from the late-1968 Chevron B9B, incorporating its panelled cockpit section. Of the 56 major F3 Internationals in 1969, it won six, compared with 31 for Tecno and 12 for Brabham.
Like all Chevrons at that time, the B15 was a spaceframe, but differed from the B9 in having sheet steel spot-welded to the spaceframe around the cockpit area. This practice was adopted from the B8 GT car via the B9B, and as well as stiffening the chassis, it also provided protection for the bag tanks. Peter Gethin had beaten Reine Wisell’s Tecno in the B9B at Brands Hatch the previous September and Wisell was sufficiently impressed to agree to race a works B15 in 1969. He won the F2 support race at Pau, leading from start to finish, and finished second to Ronnie Peterson at Monaco having led the early stages. Peter Hanson also bought a B15, as did the up-and-coming Kiwi Howden Ganley. Oliver Speight's deal with Jolly Club, which included running Lancia Fulvias for them in the British Rally Championship, saw three B15s head to Italy, and another headed to France for René Ligonnet. A B15C was also built for John Ralph in early 1970.
One of the puzzles about the B15s is the original intention for chassis F3-69-4 and F3-69-5. The former makes no appearance all season and the latter does not appear until July, well after cars with higher chassis numbers. Could these have been intended for a Red Rose F3 team?
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Works car for Reine Wisell in European F3 in 1969, using Felday Novamotor engines. Won 5 races, including Snetterton and Pau. Sold to Martin Warren (Alton, Hampshire) in November 1969 and raced in British F3 in 1970. Borrowed by David Martell for the final race of the 1970 season. Unknown in 1971.
Driven by: Reine Wisell, Martin Warren and David Martell. First race: Snetterton, 4 Apr 1969. Total of 27 recorded races.
To Peter Hanson for European F3 in 1969, entered by Paul Watson Racing Organisation. Won at Hockenheim in July. To Jürg Dubler for 1970 and used as a spare car to his new B17. Hired out to Escudería Montjuic for José Maria Juncadella to drive at Montjuich Park and Monaco. Then driven by "Oliver", at two races at Monza in May/June 1970. Unknown after June 1970 until it appeared at Barbon Manor in May 1973 in the hands of hillclimber Bob Blake from Jersey. Advertised by Blake (who died in 2009) in August 1974 when it was fitted with a Cosworth twin cam. Sold to Ian Leapingwell (Jersey) at the end of 1974 and entered by him at Bouley Bay in 1975 but his run was foiled by a dropped valve. Leapingwell then emigrated and the Chevron was sold for him by cousins in Derby. Subsequent history unknown. Mike Faloon of the 1000ccF3HRA advises that Roger Fountain had F3-69-2, fitted with a Ford twin cam. Fountain sold it to Koichi Watanuki (Yokahama City, Japan) in 2009.
Driven by: Peter Hanson, José Maria Juncadella, "Oliver" and Bob Blake. First race: Snetterton, 4 Apr 1969. Total of 22 recorded races.
New to René Ligonnet for French and occasional European F3 races in 1969. Retained for 1970, again mainly in French races. Not seen in 1971, but Ligonnet hillclimbed the car in 1972 and is believed to have rolled it down a hillside at some point. Then stored by Ligonnet until 2009 when it was entrusted to Chevron Racing for a full restoration for the Monaco Historics in 2010. Then raced by him in the HSCC Classic Racing Cars series and later in HSCC Historic F3. Raced at the Donington Historic Festival in May 2014. According to Mike Faloon of the 1000ccF3HRA, the car was acquired by Simon Haughton (Siddington, Cheshire) in 2016.
Driven by: René Ligonnet. First race: Snetterton, 4 Apr 1969. Total of 25 recorded races.
New to Goodwin Racing in July 1969 for Alan Rollinson to win the F3 support race at the British GP meeting. Then to Barrie Maskell (Leeds, West Yorkshire) and raced in F3 from September 1969 through to June 1970 when he took delivery of a new B17. Retained as a hire car and raced by Ken Walker and Harry Stiller later that season. To Mike Mather (St Helens, Merseyside) and fitted with a Ford twin cam for a couple of Formula Atlantic races in 1971. Then to Nick Crossley, manager of the P&M preparation business, who dominated the 1972 Formula 4 season in this car, emerging as champion. It was sold to Fergus Tait (Farnham, Surrey) for 1973, winning its second F4 championship, and then to Glyn Read for more F4 in 1974 and 1975. Advertised by by Mike Gue's Road & Track Ltd (Fulham, London) in November 1975, when it was described as the ex-Fergus Tait F4 car and had a "Cosworth screamer" engine and Mk 6 gearbox. It passed to John "Pancho" Webb (Hounslow, Greater London) in 1976 and then to Alan Morgan for 1977. Morgan then used the engine, gearbox and rear suspension to build his Cirrus 004 and sold the rest of the car to Sean Ross from the Southampton area.
Driven by: Alan Rollinson, Barrie Maskell, Ken Walker, Harry Stiller, Andy Sutcliffe, Mike Mather, Nick Crossley, Fergus Tait, Glyn Read and John Webb. First race: Silverstone, 19 Jul 1969. Total of 58 recorded races.
Sold via Oliver Speight to Jolly Club in Italy and raced in 1969 by Giorgio Pianta and Franco Conti. To Carlo Scarambone for 1970 and believed to have been heavily damaged at some point and replaced with a new Chevron B17. May be the car raced by Giorgio Pianta in Italy in 1971. Subsequent history unknown. A car with this identity was raced by Richard Eyre at Monaco in 2010, his first outing in the car. Sold to Steve Smith in 2013. Smith raced the car in Historic F3 in 2016.
Driven by: Giorgio Pianta, Franco Conti and Carlo Scarambone. First race: Brno, 25 May 1969. Total of 19 recorded races.
Sold via Oliver Speight to Jolly Club in Italy and raced in 1969 by Alessandro Angeleri. Retained for 1970 when run for Angeleri by Tino Brambilla's North Italian Racing Developments. Sold in September 1970 to Etienne Vigoureux. May be the car raced by Giuseppe Piazzi in Italy in 1971.
Driven by: Alessandro Angeleri, Etienne Vigoureux and Giuseppe Piazzi. First race: Enna-Pergusa, 3 Aug 1969. Total of 10 recorded races.
New to Brendan McInerney's Race Cars International and raced by McInerney in British F3 in 1969 using Holbay engines. Retained by McInerney for 1970 and raced in European F3 until May when he moved to a Brabham BT28 and then to the team's own Nemo F3 car. The Chevron was used again in November, and then hired to Luiz Pereira Bueno for the Brazilian races in January 1971. Not seen for the main 1971 season but sold to Herb Moger (London) and reappeared at the Boxing Day Brands Hatch meeting. Raced by Moger in British F3 in 1972 as a 'B17'. Moger then moved into Formula 4 for 1973, fitting the B15/17 with a 1-litre Ford Cosworth engine again. Reappeared in F4 in early 1973. Advertised by Moger in May 1973. Last seen when advertised by F4 promotors Low Cost Racing in July 1973.
Driven by: Brendan McInerney, Luiz Pereira Bueno and Herb Moger. First race: Crystal Palace, 26 May 1969. Total of 27 recorded races.
New to Howden Ganley and raced in European F3 in 1969 using Lucas engines. Hired to Reine Wisell at one race in August after Ganley's entry was turned down. To Steve Matchett for 1970 and used in British F3. Matchett took the car back to the US and it was advertised by Jack Grimm (Orange, CA) in October 1971. Presumably the B15 raced by Doug Turner (Newport Beach, CA) in Formula C from 1972 to 1974, latterly as a B17. Advertised by Turner as a B17 in October 1974. Towards the end of 1975, the car reappeared in Southern Californian FC, raced by Chris Price (Garden Grove, CA). He continued to race it at Riverside in 1976 and 1977. Subsequent history unknown. Mike Faloon of the 1000ccF3HRA advises that this car was supposedly destroyed at some point in a fire in Oakland Hills, California.
Driven by: Howden Ganley, Reine Wisell, Steve Matchett, Doug Turner and Chris Price. First race: Monte Carlo, 17 May 1969. Total of 47 recorded races.
New to Natalie Goodwin's Goodwin Racing for Cyd Williams to race in European F3 from June 1969 onwards, replacing the team's well-used Brabham BT21B. Retained for early 1970 when it was raced by Williams and Ian Ashley, then sold to dealer Bobby Howlings. To Iain McLaren (Broxburn, Scotland) for 1971 and raced in Scottish hillclimbs in the 1300cc single seater class. To Kenny Allen and continued in Scottish hillclimbs in 1972 and 1973. Unknown after 1973 until advertised by Bobby Howlings' Cheshire Sports Cars Ltd as a rolling chassis in July 1975. The car was bought from Howlings by Simon Price (Shrewsbury), who kept it, unused, for 20 years until selling it to George Jack in June 1996. The car still had its 1000cc F3 engine and Hewland gearbox and Jack completely rebuilt the car. Jack then relocated to New Zealand in January 1988, taking the car with him, and won his class in the 1998/99 Thoroughbred & Classic Car Owners Club (TACCOC ) historic championship. He later fitted a 1500cc pre crossflow Ford engine, and then a Formula B Lotus twin cam and Hewland Mk 5. Still with George Jack in January 2023.
Driven by: Cyd Williams, Ian Ashley, Iain McLaren, Kenny Allen and Sedric Bell. First race: Oulton Park, 7 Jun 1969. Total of 40 recorded races.
New to Terry McGrath (London) in August 1969, via Peter Gethin acting as an agent, but shunted in testing and repaired at the factory. Raced in only a few F3 races that season, which included a dunking in the lake at Mallory Park. The car was sold for 1971 to Geoff Bremner (London), who had been 1969 Formula 1200 champion before a season in F3 with a brand new March 703. He used the older Chevron in libre with its 1-litre engine in early 1971 before being converting it to the new 1600c F3 with a "bitza" Ford twin cam. Bremner raced it in at least one F3 race in 1971, and described it as a B17. Then sold to Clubmans racer Deryck Cook (Normandy, Surrey) for 1972, and raced in libre. Advertised by Cook in October 1972. Then unknown until bought less engine from George Dixon (Norton Disney, near Lincoln) by Ken and Bob Gray (Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire). They fitted a 1600cc Ford GT crossflow engine and raced it in two Monoposto races in 1978. They advertised it in 1979 as "ex-Gethin", having been told by the Chevron factory that it was "Peter's old car". It seems likely that the factory were confused by Gethin acting as agent on this car.
Sold by the Gray brothers to Adrian Hopkins (Oxford), who ran it with a 1.6-litre Ford twin cam engine in hillclimbs in 1980 and 1981. Advertised in September 1981 as "Gethin Monaco car", its Gethin connection having been further enhanced. Bought from Hopkins as a rolling chassis in 1981 by dealer Jonathan Bradburn (Wolverhampton, West Midlands) and rebuilt for Historic F3, Bradburn first appearing in it in 1983. After blowing up the Holbay R70 engine at Castle Combe, Bradburn sold the B15 plus two other Chevrons to Tony Mantle. Mantle told Richard Page that he ran the car for Chris Smith for a few races before it was "put on one side" until it was sold to David Noble (Bracknell, Berkshire) some time around 2011. Still owned by David Noble in August 2018, when it was nearing the end of its restoration. Soon after this, it was sold to Mike O'Brien (Silverstone, Northamptonshire), recommissioned, and shaken down by his son Michael O'Brien at Silverstone on 28 February 2022.
Driven by: Terry McGrath, Geoff Bremner, Deryck Cook and Adrian Hopkins. First race: Oulton Park, 30 Aug 1969. Total of 11 recorded races.
A third Chevron B15 sold via Oliver Speight to Jolly Club in Italy and raced in 1969 by Giuseppe Mariella. It is not known how Jolly Club's three B15s were used in 1969 but the first time they definitely had three cars was at Enna on 3 August. Raced by Sandro Cinotti in 1970, again for Jolly Club. Retained by Cinotti for 1971 and fitted with a 1600cc Wainer Alfa Romeo engine for the new F3. To Adolfo Corazza mid-1971 and retained for 1972. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Giuseppe Mariella, Luigi Petri, Sandro Cinotti, Giorgio Pianta and Adolfo Corazza. First race: Monza, 4 May 1969. Total of 21 recorded races.
New to Richard Scott in July 1969 and entered for him by Paul Watson Racing Organsation. To Graham Lynch (Sheffield) for 1970 and raced in British F3. Then raced by John Finch (Chesterfield) in November 1970 and at least once in 1971. Lynch and Finch also shared a Chevron B8 in sports car racing in 1971 and in July 1971, Lynch bought Ken Sedgely's B17 and entered that for Finch up to 1973. What happened to the older B15 is unknown.
Driven by: Richard Scott, Graham Lynch and John Finch. First race: Mallory Park, 10 Aug 1969. Total of 17 recorded races.
New to Mike Tobitt (Rudgwick, near Horsham, West Sussex), first appearing in March 1970. Raced in British F3 in 1970, but rarely appeared. Fitted with a Ford twin cam for 1971 F3 but again rarely seen. Unknown after May 1971.
Driven by: Mike Tobitt. First race: Thruxton, 8 Mar 1970. Total of 3 recorded races.
As well as the new B17 Formula 3 car, an improved B15 was built for 1970. Named the B15C, this car had modified suspension pickups and the Lockheed brakes used on the F2 cars.
Built for 1970 with a different front end and F2 brakes, the 'B15C' was sold to John Ralph, fitted with a Felday F3 engine, and used used in a few F3 races in 1970. It soon disappeared from F3 and was not seen again until 1974, when it was acquired from Derek Bennett by Alex Lowe (Liverpool) and raced in Formula 4 in 1974 and 1975. The car was described as having either Lucas or Cosworth engines. It was badly in an accident at Castle Combe in June 1975, and returned to the factory for repairs. Lowe replaced it with a newer Chevron B20, but the B15C was rebuilt as a rolling chassis and sold. Lowe has no recollection of who bought it. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: John Ralph and Alex Lowe. First race: Silverstone, 26 Apr 1970. Total of 14 recorded races.
Chevron B15s in 1971
With the introduction of the 1600cc Formula 3 in 1971, the B15s came to a crossroads. Some would be converted, either to F3 or to the new Formula Atlantic, whereas others could continue in 1-litre form in hillclimbs or in SCCA Formula C. Of the 13 known B15s, seven were converted, one went to Formula Atlantic, and three raced on in 1000cc form, leaving two that vanish.
To summarise, the Martin Warren’s ex-Wisell F3-69-1 goes missing at the end of 1970; Jürg Dubler’s ex-Peter Hanson F3-69-2 goes missing earlier, in June 1970, but reappears later in Jersey; René Ligonnet retains F3-69-3 but does not use it in 1971; Mike Mather acquires the ex-Alan Rollinson F3-69-5 for Formula Atlantic; the three Jolly Club cars (F3-69-6, F3-69-7 and F3-69-14) all stay in Italy; Herb Moger buys F3-69-8 for the new 1600cc F3; Steve Matchett takes F3-69-9 back to California; Iain McLaren buys F3-69-10 for hillclimbing; Geoff Bremner buys F3-69-12 and converts it to the new 1600cc F3; Graham Lynch and John Finch keep F3-69-15; and Mike Tobitt keeps F3-69-16. The B15C was not seen after August 1970.
Chevron B15s in 1972
By the start of 1972, a couple more B15s had disappeared. The ex-Wisell F3-69-1 had disappeared after 1970; the ex-Peter Hanson F3-69-2 was missing but about to reappear in Bob Blake’s hands in Jersey; René Ligonnet hillclimbed F3-69-3 during 1972; the ex-Alan Rollinson F3-69-5 was with Nick Crossley for Formula 4; the three Jolly Club cars (F3-69-6, F3-69-7 and F3-69-14) were all still in Italy; Herb Moger took F3-69-8 into Formula 4; Doug Turner (almost certainly) acquired F3-69-9 for Formula C in California; F3-69-10 continued in Scottish hillclimbing; and Derek Cook had F3-69-12 for libre racing; but both F3-69-15 and F3-69-16 vanish. The B15C had disappeared in 1970.
One other B15 derivative was racing in England at this timer: John Day had the ex-John Moulds B15B in Formula 4.
A first mystery car appeared in SCCA Formula C in 1972, the 'B15' driven by Steve Hughes in the Midwest Division. The most likely contenders for this are F3-69-15 and F3-69-16, which were converted to 1600cc at the beginning of 1971 before vanishing, but the original works car F3-69-1 that disappeared after the 1970 season is also a possibility. However, Hughes car may also have been a Formula B Chevron B15b converted to FC.
In 1972, Steve Hughes (Wichita, KS) finished fourth in Midwest Division Formula C, in a Chevron. He was a regular runner in FC in 1973, but regularly retired or failed to start, finally scoring points at Fort Sumner in September 1973, where he won the FC class, giving him enough points to qualify for the Runoffs. He attended the Runoffs, where Formula magazine's reporter described the car as a Chevron B15, suggesting a F3 car still with its original 1-litre engine. Chuck Grauel, who raced against Hughes, described the car as a B15B, so it could have been an ex-Formula B car converted to smaller engine, but he also said it was "ex-Gethin". Hughes appeared in Midwest Division's FC table again in 1974, with four points. Grauel (Kansas City, KS) later acquired the car, and won the Division FC title with it in 1976. Once during that season, the car was described as a B9, which would make more sense of the "ex-Gethin" history, as Gethin drove several B9s not no B15s. Grauel advertised it in December 1976, when it had Lucas downdraft engines and a Hewland Mk8 gearbox. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Steve Hughes and Chuck Grauel. First race: Lake Garnett, 3 Sep 1972. Total of 16 recorded races.
Chevron B15s in 1973
By the start of 1973, F3-69-1, F3-69-15, F3-69-16 and the B15C had disappeared some time earlier. Of the others: F3-69-2 was hillclimbing in Jersey; F3-69-3 was with Ligonnet in France; F3-69-5 and F3-69-8 were both still racing in F4; at least two of F3-69-6, F3-69-7 and F3-69-14 were still in Italy; F3-69-9 was racing in Formula C; and F3-69-10 was still hillclimbing in Scotland; so only F3-69-12 is added to the list of the missing. Also Dave Griffiths had the ex-John Moulds/John Day B15B in F4.
Chevron B15s in 1974
As 1974 began, the list of missing B15s already included F3-69-1, F3-69-12, F3-69-15, F3-69-16 and the B15C. Three continued to race in 1974: F3-69-2 hillclimbing in Jersey; F3-69-5 in Formula 4; and F3-69-9 in Formula C; and we also know that F3-69-3 was with Ligonnet in France. However, all three Jolly Club B15s (F3-69-6, F3-69-7 and F3-69-14) had by now disappeared, as had Herb Moger’s F3-69-8, and Kenny Allen’s F3-69-10 from Scotland. So we can account for four, but nine are missing. Also Dave Griffiths still had the ex-John Moulds/John Day B15B in F4. The B15C finally reappears in 1974, raced by Alex Lowe in Formula 4.
Later mystery Chevron B15s
Jon Waggitt (York, North Yorkshire) appeared at the March 2016 Goodwood Members Meeting with a 1000cc F3 in Reine Wisell's 1969 livery. The came to Waggitt from Simon Hadfield (Shepshed, Leicestershire), who had acquired it from André Setbon in France. According to Mike Faloon of the 1000ccF3HRA, when the car was stripped down, the frame was found to be stamped '4', and the original body panels were red. The car is believed to Wisell's, as only two cars were built red according to Chevron records, the other being René Ligonnet's car. This is plausible, as the frame '4' may have been needed to rebuild Wisell's F3-69-1 after an as-yet untraced accident.
We are indebted to Mike Faloon, Archivist for the 1000cc F3 Historic Racing Association, for information on the current whereabouts of many of these cars. The 1000cc F3 race results referenced here are based in large part on the ground-breaking work of the Formula One Register, and many of the chassis numbers were originally identified by FOR partner Duncan Rabagliati. Our immense gratitude for the work of the FOR cannot be expressed too often. Thanks also to Steve Wilkinson, Simon Hadfield, Chris Townsend, Richard Page, Bryan Miller, Alan Brown, Jeremy Hall, Alex Lowe, Rob Thornton, Ian Leapingwell, Mike Frain and George Jack.
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