Chevron B18 (FB) car-by-car histories
Chevron's 1971 Formula B model was named the Chevron B18, the same as the F2, F3 and Formula Atlantic models, but is treated here as a separate model. Freddy van Beuren had some success in the SCCA Pro series in a B18 run by Fred Opert.
The Chevron B18 was a panelled spaceframe, similar in construction to the previous Chevron B17C, but with aluminium panels rivetted to square tubing, instead of the steel panels welded to round tubing on earlier Chevrons, and had inboard front suspension. It had a remarkably ugly nose, which is unfortunately the feature for which it is best remembered. When Chevron introduced the B20 for 1972, the company reverted to outboard front suspension and fitted a broad bluff "sports car" nose. It would therefore be possible to update a B18 with B20 bodywork, but the suspension would give away its origins.
According to Chevron summary records, a total of 13 Chevron B18s were built, of which six were supplied with Ford twin cam engines, indicating that they were destined for Formula B in North America. However, the David Gordon book, which was presumably written with the benefit of access to Chevron's detailed records, said that Opert sold four B18s in 1971. Certainly only four can be tracked with any certainty. Freddy van Beuren's was the first to appear, followed by Carl Liebich's car, which stayed in the SCCA Central Division in 1971. A third then appeared for Dan Carmichael in July, but this car could well have been racing in SCCA Central Division earlier than this date, and then a fourth emerged for Warren Flickinger of Colorado. If fifth and sixth cars did arrive in the US, it is not obvious who had them.
Formula B Chevron B18s in 1971
'the Carl Liebich car'
Carl Liebich (Plymouth, Wisconsin) raced a yellow Chevron B18 in SCCA Nationals in 1971, entered as #78. In 1972 he ran a yellow Chevron B18C, presumed to be the same car, entered as #79, and used in the Pro Formula B series, in the Players Canadian Formula B series, and in SCCA Nationals. Also raced by Liebich at Caracas in March 1973. Advertised by Opert as ex-Liebich, and blue-and-yellow in February 1973, and sold to Frank Sangiorgio (North Babylon, Long Island, NY) who raced it SCCA and EMRA racing around Bridgehampton from 1973 to 1975 at least. He advertised the car in in September 1976. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Carl Liebich and Frank Sangiorgio. First race: Brainerd, 30 May 1971. Total of 21 recorded races.
'the Freddy van Beuren car'
Freddy van Beuren (Estad de Mexico, Mexico) raced a orange/yellow Chevron B18 as part of the Fred Opert team in Formula B in 1971. Retained by van Beuren for 1972. Taken over by Bill Brack for two late-season races. Probably the car raced by Bobby Dennett at Caracas in March 1973. Advertised by Opert in February 1973. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Freddy van Beuren, Bill Brack and Bobby Dennett. First race: Monterrey (R2), 20 Jun 1971. Total of 12 recorded races.
'the Dan Carmichael car'
Raced by Dan Carmichael (Columbus, OH) in SCCA Nationals in 1971, entered as #39. He retired at Mid-Ohio in July and was third in class at Nelson Ledges four weeks later, but scored 18 points in Central Division FB, indicating that he must have raced it four or five times. Subsequent history unknown but there is a possibility that the Chevron B20 that Carmichael raced in FB in 1972 was his old B18 updated.
Driven by: Dan Carmichael. First race: Mid-Ohio, 5 Jul 1971. Total of 2 recorded races.
'the Warren Flickinger car'
Warren A. Flickinger II (Denver, CO) raced a gray Chevron B18 in the 1971 Pro Formula B series and in SCCA Nationals, entered as #42. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Warren Flickinger. First race: Edmonton (R4), 1 Aug 1971. Total of 6 recorded races.
Formula B Chevron B18s in 1972
Of the four cars that were sold in 1971, Freddy van Beuren's car continued into 1972 as part of Fred Opert's team, and Opert also had a B18C for Carl Liebich, which was presumably an update of his 1971 B18. Note that the ex-F2 B18 of John Powell also raced with Opert's team, and that Nick Craw raced an unidentified Chevron B18 with Cosworth FVA engine at the JAF Grand Prix in May 1972. Opert had bought Nick May's Chevron FVA-engined B17b/B18 in England the previous September, and it seems quite likely that was the car Craw was driving.
That leaves only two FB cars that vanish at the end of 1971: Dan Carmichael's and Warren Flickinger's. Correspondingly, there are two mystery B18s in 1972: Jim Dunkel's rarely-seen car in Illinois, and the Fred Opert Racing car of Aubrey O'Connor. As the two Fred Opert Racing B18s from 1971 had remained with the same owner, it is curious that Opert now had another B18 for Aubrey O'Connor. Either he had bought back either Dan Carmichael's or Warren Flickinger's B18, or O'Connor was driving the ex-Nick May B17b/B18.
'the 1972 JAF GP car'
At the JAF Grand Prix at Fuji in May 1972, Fred Opert entered a Chevron B18 with 1600cc Cosworth FVA engine for Nick Craw to drive. The choice of the Cosworth FVA is curious, as 2000cc engines were allowed at this race, and teammate Bobby Brown used an 1800cc Cosworth FVC in his Chevron B20. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Nick Craw. First race: Fuji, 3 May 1972. Only one recorded race.
'the Aubrey O'Connor car'
Aubrey O'Connor (Memphis, TN) raced a Chevron B18 as part of the Fred Opert team in Formula B in 1972, entered as either #78 or #88. O’Connor also raced a Triumph Spitfire in SCCA F Production in 1971 and 1972, and then moved to USAC stock car racing with a Pontiac in 1973. He was born in Craighead County, Arkansas on 30 December 1938 and died in Memphis, TN in November 2011. Nothing more is known of the Chevron.
Driven by: Aubrey O'Connor. First race: Bryar Motorsports Park (R2), 29 May 1972. Total of 3 recorded races.
'the James Dunkel car'
After racing a Lola T190 in Formula A in 1971, James Dunkel (Rockford, IL) stepped back into Formula B for 1972 with a blue Chevron B18, scoring five points in CenDiv. He advertised the car in July 1972 as a B18B, and in Feb 1973 as "six races from new". Dunkel failed to start at the two Road America SCCA Nationals and only scored five points in Central Division FB that year, so if he only actually raced it once or twice, it is possible that it had been Carmichael's car in 1971. Nothing more known.
Driven by: James Dunkel. First appearance: Road America, 18 Jun 1972.
Formula B Chevron B18s from 1973 onwards
Only one of the four Formula B Chevron B18s can be tracked from 1972 into 1973: Carl Liebich's being sold to Frank Sangiorgio. Freddy van Beuren was not seen in FB at all in 1973, Aubrey O'Connor moved to USAC stock cars, and Jim Dunkel moved into F5000. In February 1973, Fred Opert advertised two B18s: the "ex-Fred Van Beuren" orange and yellow car which had done "10 races from new", and the "ex-Carl Liebich" blue and yellow" car, selling the latter to Sangiorgio. A couple of weeks later James Dunkel advertised his car.
As well as Sangiorgio, Dean Lundgreen appeared a few times in a Chevron B18 in 1973, and Gregg Reppart appeared with a B18 in a Washington Region SCCA National at Summit Point in June 1973, so between them they account for three of the B18s known to be the US. Paul Wheatley still had the ex-Brian Redman F2 in Canada in 1973, and the ex-Nick May B17b/B18 was also somewhere in North America.
In 1974, Sangiorgio and Lundgreen continued racing their B18s, and there were also several drivers in Central Division whose Chevrons are unidentified: Malcolm MacLeod scored 19 points in a Chevron B18, representing Ohio Valley Region, Chuck Shannon of Western Ohio Region scored two points in a "Chevron" and Tom Gloviak of Chicago Region scored a single point in a "Chevron". Macleod was the host of "Clubhouse 22" a children's TV programme on channel WKEF-TV in Dayton, Ohio, and some of his early racing exploits were covered by the Dayton Daily News. He raced for Fastrack Operations Inc in Dayton, Ohio, who also had a Chevron Formula B car on their books in 1973 which was raced by Chip Mead. Chuck Shannon, also from Dayton, Ohio, was entered in the Road America June Sprints in a Chevron "B25" and it is possible both MacLeod and Shannon were having outings in Mead's Chevron. Gloviak was presumably related to John Gloviak, also of Chicago, who had raced a Brabham BT35 in Formula B in 1971.
'the Dean Lundgreen car'
Dean Lundgreen (Franklin, MN) raced a Chevron B18 or B18C in SCCA Formula B in 1973, 1974 and 1975. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Dean Lundgreen. First race: Road America, 25 Aug 1973. Total of 6 recorded races.
In addition to the above, an unknown Chevron B18 was driven by Gregg Reppart.
My thanks to Chris Townsend for his efforts to unlock this particular puzzle, and to Tim Colman at Chevron Heritage for his notes on this model. David Gordon's book, "Chevron: The Derek Bennett Story" (Patrick Stephens Ltd, 1991), was reprinted in 2018 and is available from thechevronstory.com.
These histories last updated on .