Chevron B25 car-by-car histories
The Chevron B25 was a dual-purpose design for Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic. It was built around a full monocoque, the firm's first, and had a full-width nose incorporating a front radiator. Peter Gethin in F2 and John Lepp in Formula Atlantic were the most successful International drivers.
The first three cars were sold to Gunston for the new F2 class of the South African national championship, and the fourth, Ed Reeves' car, was ready in time to appear on Chevron's stand at the Racing Cars Show at Olympia in January 1973. Peter Gethin was sent down to South Africa to drive one of Gunston's cars at Cape Town in early January and was delighted with its performance.
In Formula 2, Grovewood Award winner David Morgan would drive Reeves' B25, and would be joined by works cars for Gethin and Gerry Birrell. In Formula Atlantic, John Lepp and Martin Webb ran private B25s. In both categories, Chevron was competing for sales with March, Brabham, GRD and Surtees, but both Morgan and Lepp performed well on the opening weekend of the season and Chevron's new sales and marketing director Grahame White was quickly able to add several more sales into French hillclimbs via agent Pierre Maublanc. Another F2 privateer joined later, the American ex-marine Brett Lunger, and a further two cars were sold to Geoffrey Freeman's Freeman Racing Enterprises in the US for Formula B, but that deal turned sour.
In F2, the BDA-powered Chevrons were outgunned by the BMW-powered March 732s and struggled to remain on a par with the Surtees TS15s, Motul-Rondel M1s and Alpines. The best result of the season was Gethin's second place at Karlskoga, but Gerry Birrell had led at Thruxton until punted off by a March 732. Birrell would later lose his life in a B25 in a practice accident at Rouen.
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Chassis number given by the Formula 1 Register (F1R) on the Team Gunston car of John Love in the 1973 South African Formula 1 championship (F2 class). Sold to Tony Martin for the 1974 South African season, and retained for 1975, before being sold to Mike Fogg for 1976. It went to Ivor Raasch for 1977, and he used the back end of the car in a spaceframe Ford Escort Special Saloon. The car then went to Alan MacDonald for 1979 and was reconstituted, now with a Cosworth BDG, and MacDonald raced it in this form later that year. The car was sold by MacDonald to Mike Budd in Johannesburg, and he still had the car in March 2006. By 2016, the car was with Stuart Thompson and was being restored.
Driven by: Peter Gethin, Piet de Klerk, Ian Scheckter, John Love, Tony Martin and Mike Fogg. First race: Killarney (R1), 6 Jan 1973. Total of 33 recorded races.
Chassis number observed by the Formula 1 Register (F1R) on the Team Gunston car of Brian van Hage in the 1973 South African Formula 1 championship (F2 class). Retained by the team until the end of 1975 then sold, with chassis 3, to the Domingo brothers. Run for a variety of members of the Domingo family in that series, with John Nicholson also having a go in one of the cars in 1976. Sold to Mel Lahner in 1980, and converted by Andrew Thompson to Mazda rotary engines for the new South African 'Atlantic' rules. Raced by various drivers in this form in 1981 and 1982. Sold to Thompson in 1983, and retained until the mid-1990s when it was restored, and sold to Gary Dunkerley in 1998. Sold on again about 2005 to a 'racing trust' owned by Anthony Corin (Pretoria) and Peter Lindenberg in December 2006. Owned by a 'racing trust' owned by Anthony Corin and and Peter Lindenberg in December 2006. Still with Lindenberg in September 2009.
Driven by: Ian Scheckter, Piet de Klerk, Andrew Thompson, Brian von Hage, Guy Tunmer and Roy Klomfass. First race: Killarney (R1), 6 Jan 1973. Total of 28 recorded races.
Chassis number observed by the Formula 1 Register (F1R) on the Team Gunston car of Ian Scheckter in the 1973 South African Formula 1 championship (F2 class). Retained by the team, with Lexington sponsorship, and run for Brian van Hage in 1974 and Ian Scheckter in 1975. Sold to the Domingo brothers for the inaugural year of the South African Formula Atlantic championship along with chassis 2. Sold to Mel Lahner in 1980. This car has remained in South Africa and was restored by HARP Motorsport before being put in Johann Rupert's Franschhoek Motor Museum some time before 2010. Still listed on the museum website in June 2021.
Driven by: John Love, Ian Scheckter and Brian von Hage. First race: Killarney (R1), 6 Jan 1973. Total of 21 recorded races.
Displayed at the Racing Car Show in January 1973, then sold to Ed Reeves for Dave Morgan to race in Formula 2. Reeves withdrew his team in July 1973, and gifted the Chevron to Morgan, but without funding Morgan could not continue. Morgan retained the car for 1974 and raced it in the British Formula Atlantic series, run for him by Harry Stiller. Sold to property developer David Peck at the end of the year for his daughter Lorraine Peck, a remarkably talented kart racer who had finished second in the Junior World Championships in 1974, but she was tragically killed in the World Junior Championships at Fulda in July 1975, while still only 16. The Chevron was sold to former clubmans driver Derek Shortall (Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland) and raced in the 1976 Irish Formula Atlantic series, backed by Vista Blinds, his long time sponsors. Reported to have gone to Dermot O'Leary and Eddie Regan for 1977, but next seen when raced by David Lambe (Dublin) in 1978 and 1979. Taken in part-exchange by Belfast team owner Gerry Kinnane for his Lola T460 at the end of 1979, and sold on to Alwyn Bingham (Belfast, Northern Ireland), the reigning Irish Hill Climb Champion. Raced in hillclimbs in 1980 and 1981. Alwyn recalls that he sold it "down south", but does not recall the next owner's name. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: David Morgan, Derek Shortall, David Kennedy, Patsy McGarrity, David Lambe and Alwyn Bingham. First race: Mallory Park (R1), 11 Mar 1973. Total of 52 recorded races.
Used by Martin Webb for the first half of the British Atlantic season but without a great deal of success, and also in libre events. Sold to Chris Skellern (Worcester) for libre races, hill climbs and sprints in 1974. Sold to Harold McGarrity (Belfast, Northern Ireland) for the 1975 Irish Formula Atlantic season. Retained by McGarrity for 1976, and also appeared a few times in 1977. Subsequent history unknown but a strong candidate for the 'B27' of Bosco O'Brien in 1978.
Driven by: Martin Webb, John Skellern and Harold McGarrity. First race: Mallory Park (R1), 11 Mar 1973. Total of 35 recorded races.
Sold to Pierre Maublanc for the 1973 European hillclimb season, with a BMW engine fitted. Sold to Alan Rivoire who appears in the European Hill Climb championship in 1974 with a BDA engine. Retained by Rivoire in 1975 then to 'Genilon', who ran it once in the 1600cc class in early 1976, and on to Jean-Claude Dutrey who raced it for the rest of 1976. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Pierre Maublanc, Roger Rivoire, Genillon and Jean-Claude Dutrey. First race: Hébecrevon, 25 Mar 1973. Total of 83 recorded races.
Chassis number given by Motoring News (MN) 12 Apr 1973 p11 for the works car for Peter Gethin in the 1973 European F2 championship round at Hockenheim. Used by Birrell at Pau in Gethin's absence, after Birrell had damaged chassis 9 at the Eifelrennen, with the rear end of that car grafted on to the Gethin tub. Gethin returns to the car at Nivelles, 10 June (MN 14 June 1973) reporting it was the first time he had used it since Thruxton. Probably the car entered for Gagliardi but DNA at Monza Lotteria. Used by Lepp at Estoril in October 1973, with an FVC engine fitted. Sold to Reg Phillips (Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire) for hill climbs in 1974 and fitted with a 2-litre BDA engine. It was retained by Phillips for 1975, when it was called a B25/B27, and for 1976, when the engine was enlarged to 2150cc. This is likely to be the 2.2-litre B25/B27 used in hill climbs by John Stuart (Bridgnorth, Shropshire) in 1977 and 1978. It was last seen in Stuart's hands at Doune in September 1978 when Stuart used it to uproot a tree stump. Sold, still damaged, to Jeremy Bouckley (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands) who advertised it in early 1979 (together with a complete F/Atlantic B25), with the intention of breaking it for use in Super Saloons. Bouckley recalls that the car was broken up, but has no note of who acquired parts of it.
Driven by: Peter Gethin, Gerry Birrell, John Lepp, Reg Phillips and John Stuart. First race: Hockenheim (R2), 8 Apr 1973. Total of 24 recorded races.
New to George Silverwood and entered by his Central Garage (Mirfield) Ltd for John Lepp in British Formula Atlantic in 1973. Also used by Lepp in the first European F2 round at Mallory Park, with the 1.6 BDA still in it. Lepp's sports car racing took priority from July and the B25 was sold to Patsy McGarrity (Belfast, Northern Ireland) for Formula Ireland racing. Loaned by him to Chevron cars for John Watson to use in the F2 race at Albi. Converted back to Formula Atlantic for McGarrity to race in the 1974 Irish season, winning eight races and the All-Ireland championship. Sold on to Pat Woods (Newcastle, County Wicklow, Ireland) for 1975, and retained for two further seasons. Last seen when Woods crashed heavily in practice at Phoenix Park in September 1977, when the car was described as wrecked. Woods' daughter later told James Murray that he sold the wreckage of the B25 to Bobby Howlings. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: John Lepp, George Silverwood, John Watson, Patsy McGarrity, Patrick Woods and David Kennedy. First race: Mallory Park (R1), 11 Mar 1973. Total of 52 recorded races.
New for Gerry Birrell as the second Chevron Racing entry at Hockenheim in April 1973. The car had previously done a day's testing at Mallory Park. Raced by Birrell at Hockenheim and Thruxton, where he was punted off by a March 732 while leading. He then crashed in practice at the Nürburgring when he skated off on an unexpected damp section of track. Autosport said that the car was "extensively damaged", but Motoring News quoted Derek Bennett saying damage to the tub was minor, but could not be repaired on the spot. Nonetheless, Birrell raced Gethin's car at Pau a week later. After missing the next few races, he returned for Rouen at the end of June. During Saturday practice, a tyre deflated as he approached Six Freres, a 155 mpg downhill corner, and the Chevron flew into the Armco barrier, hitting it full on. The two layers of Armco parted, as happened numerous times in 1973, and Birrell suffered critical head injuries. Despite attempts to resuscitate him, he died at the scene. The car was not badly damaged, but given Derek Bennett's sensitivity to Birrell's loss, the first ever in a Chevron, it is likely that the remains were scrapped.
Driven by: Gerry Birrell. First race: Hockenheim (R2), 8 Apr 1973. Total of 2 recorded races.
Sold via Pierre Maublanc (Rillieux-la-Pape, Lyon, France) to Jimmy Mieusset (Lyon, France) and used in the 1973 European hillclimb championship and French course de côte events. Sold to Roger Damaisin (Villeurbanne, Lyon, France) and used regularly through the 1974 French hillclimb season, winning at Gué-Chervais at the end of the season. Damaisin retained the car for 1975 but replaced the 2-litre Ford engine (probably a BDA) with a ROC Chrysler engine. In August, he changed engine again, buying the latest Hart 420R engine. The car was last seen at Limonest-Mt Verdun, on the outskirts of Lyon, in late September 1975. Damaisin bought Pierre Maublanc's March 752 for 1976 and the fate of the Chevron is unknown. As Damaisin's races had generally been in eastern France in 1976, the most likely next owner of the Chevron was Arthur Amort (Besançon), who raced a Chevron B25 at nearby Vuillafans-Echevannes in July 1976.
Driven by: Robert "Jimmy" Mieusset and Roger Damaisin. First race: Les Clouneaux, 24 Jun 1973. Total of 28 recorded races.
New to Brett Lunger and run for him by Space Racing in F2 in 1973, starting at Nivelles-Baulers in June. To Nick May (Sutton, Surrey) in 1974, and converted to Formula Atlantic specification for the British series. Then to Gerry Kinnane (Belfast, Northern Ireland), and entered for John Pollock to race in the 1975 Irish Formula Atlantic series. Sold to Bill Gowdy (Banbridge, County Down, N. Ireland) for 1976, but crashed twice that year. Crashed again during 1977, and at some point in this period, the car is believed to have had a new chassis. Sold by Gowdy to Paddy Farrelly (Lucan, Dublin) for 1978, and again used in Formula Atlantic, but now quite uncompetitive. Sold to Tony Skinner (Terenure, Dublin, Ireland) and raced at Phoenix Park in 1981. He raced it again early in 1982, but then moved over to a friend's B42 later in the season. Tony sold the B25 to Cyril Lynch, who fitted a 4.4-litre Rover V8 engine, and first ran the car in the Galway MC Ballyvaughan in mid-1983. For 1984, Lynch ran the car for Shay Lawless, who dominated the Pioneer Hi-Fi Hill Climb Championship, setting nine records. It was sold to Paul Deveney for 1985, and he continued to run it in hillclimbs. The hillclimb championship was cancelled after 1986, and the Chevron was sold to Ken Moore (Iver Heath, Bucks), rebuilt by Bob Egginton of ASD in 1988/1989, and used in libre racing at Lydden. Then to Lew Wright (Haslemere, Surrey) who got HSCC papers for the car in 1999. By 2001, it was with Nick Overall (Petworth, West Sussex) who entered it in HSCC Derek Bell events, and still had it in 2006. Sold to Markus Kalbermatten (Grellingen, Switzerland) in 2006, and used in historic Bergrennen. Still with Markus in October 2020.
Driven by: Brett Lunger, Nick May, John Pollock, Bill Gowdy, Paddy Farrelly, Tony Skinner, Cyril Lynch and Shay Lawless. First race: Nivelles-Baulers (R7), 10 Jun 1973. Total of 56 recorded races.
Sold to Geoffrey Freeman (Yellow Springs, OH) of Freeman Racing Enterprises for SCCA Formula B. Run by Bill Kuntz' Fastrack Operations Inc (Dayton, OH), for Daytonian Chip Mead in FB in 1973, starting with the SCCA National at MIS in June 1973, and later including rounds of the Canadian series. Probably retained by Mead in 1974 and used by the Shierson team - who ran Mead in his own B27 - as a spare car. Mead's team-mate James King recalls that the third Shierson car, run only at Waterford Hills for Vince Muzzin, was a B25, though described by the press as a B27 'mule'. Given that the only other American B25 (chassis 73-15) is then in the hands of Paul Henry, this is the only candidate for the B25/27 with twin cam engine advertised by Dave Barringer (San Mateo, CA) in The Wheel in November 1981. A restored B25 rolling chassis with dark red bodywork was offered for sale by Kent Bain's Vintage Racing Services (Stratford, CT) between mid-2003 and 2007. In March 2007, it was advertised from Stratford on race-cars.com, still with dark red B27 bodywork and "B25/73/14" chassis plate. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Chip Mead and Vince Muzzin. First race: Michigan International Speedway, 13 May 1973. Total of 7 recorded races.
Sold to Geoffrey Freeman (Yellow Springs, OH) of Freeman Racing Enterprises for SCCA Formula B. Ostensibly for Bobby Brown to use in late season Atlantic races. Brown is entered in a blue B25 at Watkins Glen but does not appear. He may have used the car at Trois Rivieres but is not on the entry list at Elkhart Lake. Brown does not remember driving a B25. Then sold by Freeman to Paul Henry (Clyde, OH) and converted to FC spec with a BDJ engine. Run for many years in SCCA class FC in Central Division and Henry qualified for the SCCA Runoffs in 1974 and 1975 in this car, before changing to a newer Chevron B34. Retained by the Henry family until sold to David Gathercole in 2008 and restored for UK historic racing. Raced by Gathercole and Steve Allen in HSCC racing in 2012 and 2014. Sold to Jamie Brashaw in 2014, and raced in HSCC events in 2015. Raced by Brashaw at HSCC Donington Park 1-2 May 2016.
Driven by: Paul Henry. First race: Mid-Ohio, 1 Sep 1974. Total of 13 recorded races.
New to Campbell Graham and fitted with a 1930cc Alan Smith Cosworth FVC and Hewland FT200 gearbox for Scottish formule libre. Sold to Iain McLaren (Broxburn, Scotland) in early 1974, and used again in libre events. Then to Andrew Jeffrey (Currie, Edinburgh, Scotland) for 1975, again in libre. To Charles Munro and Jimmy Jack (Evanton, Scotland) and used in Scottish libre races and hillclimbs in 1976 and 1977, still with its 1.9-litre engine. Sold to Ted Dzierzek (Edinburgh, Scotland) in early 1978 and used in libre until a heavy accident at Ingliston in April 1979 when he launched off the Armco into a marshalls post. Bought from Dzierzek by Jeremy Bouckley (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands) in late 1979 or early 1980, when it was black and had a 1600cc BDA engine. Bouckley ran the car in the Loton Park hillclimb in April 1980, and then advertised it during the latter half of 1980 - together with the ex-John Stuart B25 that he was breaking - and in 1987. Sold to Roy Lane (Warwick, Warwickshire) for 1988, and raced by his mechanic Martin Chittenden (Leamington Spa, Warwickshire) in sprints that season. To Mark Colton (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire) in 1989, then to Richard Budge (Retford, Nottinghamshire) in 1990, and retained by him until 2002 when it was sold to Keith Harris (Stockton-on-Teme, Worcestershire). Raced extensively by Harris in hillclimbs. Still raced by Harris during 2016.
Driven by: Campbell Graham, Iain McLaren, Andrew Jeffrey, Charlie Munro, Jimmy Jack, Ted Dzierzek, Jeremy Bouckley and Martin Chittenden. First race: Croft, 1 Jul 1973. Total of 27 recorded races.
Sold via Pierre Maublanc to French hillclimber Jean Lachaud (Sainte-Colombe, Rhone, France) and used in courses de côte over the next three seasons. The engine was described as a 2-litre Ford, but a reference to "1974" suggests it was a 1974cc Cosworth BDA. Lachaud appeared regularly in the latter half of 1973, and again in the latter half of the 1974 season. He was a regular competitor in 1975, and finally won his first major hilclimb at Oyonnax in late June 1976. The car reappeared in early 1977 when "C Dalea" was listed by Echappement as the driver of the ex-Lachaud Chevron at Ampus. However, it appears Echappement had made a mistake, and the actual driver was Gérard Cancade. A photograph from that event shows a yellow B25 with B27 bodywork and added deformable structures, wearing Fromages Bourdin sponsorship. In 2016, Dalea told researcher Philippe Demeyer that Cancade crashed the car at Ampus and it was later rebuilt by Fred Stalder. This Bourdin car was advertised at the end of 1978, stating that it had a 1600cc Cosworth FVA engine and B40 suspension. To Marcel Zunino (Monaco) and raced for him by Gerard Bacle at Ceyreste and Sainte-Baume in 1979, still with its FVA engine. To Jean Marie Barbier for 1980 and raced in regional events. Crashed at some point and sold unrepaired to Patrick Jamin. Then to Rémy Fraisse and stored, untouched, for about 25 years. To Philippe Demeyer (Liège, Belgium) April 2016.
Driven by: Jean Lachaud, Claude Daléa, Gérard Cancade, Gérard Bacle and J.-M. Barbier. First race: Cacharat, 22 Jul 1973. Total of 38 recorded races.
Chevron records show for Jim Crawford late in 1973 as a 'works development' B25 in Formula Atlantic, based on 'a spare F2 chassis' and running gear from Birrell's car (Autosport and Motoring News). This might be treated as a rebuild of the ill-fated chassis 9 on a new tub. Sold to Richard Shardlow for hill-climbs, running with B27 bodywork, and retained early 1975. For sale in Autosport 22 May and 3 July 1975 by Cheshire Sports Cars as 'ex Crawford, hillclimbs only this year'. Sold to Jean René Triquet (Argenteuil, Paris, France) in July 1975 and used in French hillclimbs in 1975 and 1976, although no results have yet been found for Triquet in the car. To Jean-Jacques Le Corre and fitted with a ROC engine for hillclimbs in 1977. Advertised by Le Corre in September 1977 with a 2-litre Ford engine. According to a later owner, the car went from Triquet to André Vigneron in 1979, and then to Antonio Vasquez in Andorra in 1983 for Spanish hillclimbs before being bought by Jean-Pierre Noreils' Black Widow Racing (Anglet, south west France) in 1989. The car was advertised by Black Widow Racing in July 1997, and sold to Willie Beck (Riol, Germany), who started restoring it, but the restoration was still incomplete when he sold it to Klaus Fiedler (Bubikon, Switzerland) some time around 2000. Fiedler raced it in Historic F2 in 2004, and later sold it to Oskar Christen (Bättwil, Switzerland) who raced it in Euro F2 in 2006. At some point before 2018 it was acquired from Christen by Hans Peter. Still with Hans Peter in April 2021.
Driven by: Jim Crawford, Richard Shardlow, Jean-Jacques Le Corre and André Vigneron. First race: Oulton Park (R6), 9 Sep 1973. Total of 35 recorded races.
Chevron B25s in 1974
Of the 16 B25s delivered in 1973, 73-01, 73-02 and 73-03 continued to race in South Africa in 1974; 73-04 was retained by David Morgan for Formula Atlantic; 73-05 went to Chris Skellern for libre and speed events; 73-06 stayed on the French hills with Alan Rivoire; 73-07 was sold to Reg Phillips for British hillclimbs; 73-08 was with Patsy McGarrity in Irish Formula Atlantic; 73-09 had been destroyed in Gerry Birrell's accident; 73-10 was also in French hillclimbing with Roger Damaisan; 73-12 went to Nick May for British Formula Atlantic; 73-14 was in the US with the Doug Shierson team; 73-15 was with Paul Henry for SCCA Formula C; 73-16 was running in libre racing with Campbell Graham; 73-17 was also in hillclimbing in France with Jean Lachaud; and 73-18 was sold to Richard Shardlow for British hillclimbing.
Chevron B25s in 1975
Of the surviving B25s in 1975, 73-01, 73-02 and 73-03 raced on in South Africa; 73-04 was sold to David Peck but did not appear during 1975; 73-05 went to Harold McGarrity for Irish Formula Atlantic; 73-06 was retained by Alan Rivoire in France; 73-07 was retained by Reg Phillips in British hillclimbs; 73-08 went to Pat Woods in Northern Ireland; 73-09 had been destroyed in 1973; 73-10 was retained by Roger Damaisan in France; 73-12 went to Gerry Kinnane for John Pollock to race in Irish Formula Atlantic; 73-14 had gone missing in the US; 73-15 was still with Paul Henry in the US; 73-16 was sold to Andrew Jeffrey in Scotland; 73-17 was retained by Jean Lachaud in France; and 73-18 was sold mid-season by Richard Shardlow to Jean René Triquet in France.
Chevron B25s in 1976
The B25s start to become harder to track in 1976. The first three cars, 73-01, 73-02 and 73-3 were still in South Africa but one had gone to Tony Martin in 1975 and now to Mike Fogg in 1976, while the other two went to the Domingo Brothers for 1976. In Irish Formula Atlantic, 73-04 was picked up by Derek Shortall for Irish F/Atlantic where it joined Harold McGarrity's 73-05, Pat Woods' 73-08 and Bill Gowdy's 73-12. Of the three cars in French hillclimbs, 73-06 was acquired by Jean-Claude Dutrey during 1976, and Jean Lachaud retained 73-17, but Roger Damaisan's 73-10 drops off the radar at the end of 1975. In British hillclimbs, Reg Phillips stuck with 73-07 for a third season, and Charles Munro and Jimmy Jack raced 73-16 in Scotland. In the US, 73-14 remains to be found, but 73-15 was still with Paul Henry. Also in France should be Jean René Triquet's 73-16, but no results have yet been found for it.
Chevron B25s in 1977
After four seasons of consistent use, the B25s started to fade away in 1977. Of the three cars in South Africa, only a single Team Domingo car appeared in 1977. In Ireland, Pat Woods kept 73-08, Bill Gowdy kept 73-12, Harold McGarrity ran 73-05 a couple of times, and 73-04 was reported to have been sold to Dermot O'Leary and Eddie Regan. In France, both 73-17 and 73-18 made appearances but 73-06 joined 73-10 on the missing list. The two British hillclimbing B25s carried on: 73-07 moving to John Stuart, and 73-16 remaining with Charles Munro and Jimmy Jack. Of the two US cars, 73-14 was still missing and 73-15 was still with Paul Henry.
Chevron B25s in 1978
The decline in B25 usage continued in 1978, but for a five-year-old car, its longevity was impressive. The South African cars, 73-01, 73-02 and 73-03 were no longer in use but remained in the country. Of the Irish cars, Paddy Farrelly had 73-12, and David Lambe had 73-04, but Harold McGarrity's 73-05 had disappeared, and 73-08 had been wrecked at Phoenix Park in late 1977. In France, all four B25s had, for the moment, disappeared from view. In Britain, John Stuart continued to race 73-07, and Ted Dzierzek took over 73-16. In the US, the situation was unchanged, 73-14 missing and 73-15 with Paul Henry.
The first of the mystery cars appears in 1978, when Bosco O'Brien raced a Chevron B27 at two Irish series races, including one at Donington Park in England. The lack of likely B27s candidates means it's more likely that this car was a B27-bodied B25. He cannot have raced Farrelly's or Lambe's as they were both at Donington as well, so with 73-08 having been wrecked, the ex-Harold McGarrity 73-05 is the most likely car.
'the Bosco O'Brien car'
Bosco O'Brien (Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland), owner of Mondello Park, raced a Chevron 'B27' at two events in 1978: at Donington Park and at Phoenix Park. As there were no B27s in Ireland at that time, and not many in the UK, it is likely that this was an updated B25. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Bosco O'Brien. First race: Donington Park (R3), 23 Apr 1978. Only one recorded race.
Chevron B25s in 1979
As a car ages, it travels less when it changes hands. This rule of thumb, known as Townsend's Law, has proved very useful, and it helps us with Chevron B25s after 1978. The three cars in South Africa have stayed in South Africa every since; the four cars sold to France are unlikely to have come back to Britain when they were six years old; and the two cars in the US are likely to have stayed in the US. That leaves four cars in Ireland, one on Scotland and one in England, which may still have moved between those countries. Formula Atlantic was flourishing again in 1979 in Britain and Ireland, but the four Irish cars were now too old to be useful for any more than hillclimbing. Both Paddy Farrelly's 73-12 and David Lambe's 73-04 continued to race regularly, but the third survivor was nowhere to be seen.
Chevron B25s in the 1980s
Following our application of Townsend's Law to the B25s, we can focus on the six cars in Britain and Ireland. The Scottish car, Ted Dzierzek's 73-16 had been crashed in 1979 but was repaired and sold to Jeremy Bouckley in late 1979 or early 1980. The English car, John Stuart's 73-07, was also wrecked and also sold to Bouckley who broke it up. Of the four Irish cars, one was crashed by Pat Woods at Phoenix Park in 1977 and was sold to Bobby Howlings for parts. That should have left three B25s cars in Ireland by 1980, two of which were racing in hillclimbs in the mid-1980s, one in Atlantic specification by John Naylor, and the other with a Rover V8 powerplant by Shay Lawless and then Paul Deveney.
Although we cannot yet be sure which of the Irish cars was which, a hypothesis can now be posited. If Pat Woods had indeed ended the life of 73-08 in 1977, then we are down to three. Paddy Farrelly's 73-12 went to Tony Skinner, then Cyril Lynch who fitted the Rover V8, and this car returned to the UK in 1988. The ex-Alwyn Bingham 73-04 is likely to be the first of Cyril Lynch's two B25s, then to Fintan Cunningham, and then John Naylor, so that can be traced up to 1985. That would only leave the ex-Harold McGarrity 73-05, thought to be Bosco O'Brien's 1978 mount, unaccounted for. The ex-John Naylor car is also still to be found.
Of the two B25s that went to the US, 73-15 was with Paul Henry, so 73-14 may be the car advertised in The Wheel in November 1981 by Dave Barringer (San Mateo, CA). He described it was an ex-Formula B Chevron B25/27 with Lotus twin cam engine and Hewland FT200 gearbox.
'the Fintan Cunningham car'
Cyril Lynch had a Chevron B25 for Irish Formula Atlantic in the early 1980s but he had significant difficulties running it. He sold it to Fintan Cunningham (Dublin, Ireland) who rebuilt it but still had problems with the handling, as the car was inclined to oversteer dramatically. More usually a saloon car racer, Cunningham's only recorded result in Chevron was a fourth-place finish in a Formula Atlantic race at Mondello Park in June 1983. He recalls that he owned the car for no more than two years before selling it to John Naylor. Naylor ran it in hillclimbs for a few years, taking its history up to about 1986 or 1987, and then sold it to Alex Furphy in Northern Ireland.
Driven by: Fintan Cunningham and John Naylor. First race: Mondello Park, 6 Jun 1983. Total of 2 recorded races.
Later mystery Chevron B25s
By the end of the 1980s, two B25s were missing in Britain and Ireland: the ex-Harold McGarrity 73-05 and the car sold by John Naylor to Alex Furphy in 1986/87; while a further two had been broken up: the damaged ex-John Stuart car and the car Pat Woods crashed in 1977. One intriguing clue from this period is a mention in Crosslé News No 9 (Spring 1990) where Arnie Black (Belfast, Northern Ireland) mentioned acquiring a complete Chevron B25 and selling it to "an English chap" but retaining the wheels, dampers and parts of the transmission. This would have been around 1987 or 1988, as the B25 was bought to provide parts for a Crosslé 19F that Black had bought after seeing it advertised in early 1987.
The sale to "an English chap" aligns to some degree with a B25 that was "found somewhere" by English wheeler-dealer Roger Cowman, and which was missing many parts. This car had evidence of front end damage, but three of the missing cars were damaged when last seen. It was thought that Cowman's car could have come from France, but this story suggests it may have come from Northern Ireland, and could therefore be the John Naylor/Alex Furphy car.
'the Roger Cowman car'
A Chevron B25 monocoque and bodywork was acquired by Roger Cowman (Belper, Derbyshire) in the mid-1990s as spares with a Chevron B29. In correspondence from 1998, Roger quoted the chassis number as B25/73/7 but the chassis plate has subsequently gone missing. He sold the B29 and the B25 'project' to Mike Wrigley (Ashbourne, Derbyshire), who raced the B29. The B25 was later acquired from Wrigley by Hall & Hall (Bourne, Lincolnshire) and then sold on, via Cowman again, to Simon Hadfield (Shepshed, Leicestershire). At that time the car was believed by then to be "ex-Gethin" and "ex-South Africa", and had unrepaired front-end damage. Detailed examination of the car while it was reskinned revealed no identifying numbers, but the engine bay shows that it was definitely an ex-F2 car. Simon sold the car to James Murray around 2012. Raced by James in the Historic F2 race at Spa in May 2017, and at the Oulton Park Gold Cup in August 2019. Still with James in March 2021.
'the Walter Proebst car'
Walter Proebst bought a Chevron B25 for his Automuseum Adlkofen. The car was acquired in Switzerland and Proebst fitted it with a Cosworth FVA engine. It has a chassis plate "B25/73/5", implying it's one of the cars that used be in Ireland about 1980, but how it got to Switzerland is unknown.
In addition to the above, unknown Chevron B25s were driven by John Nicholson, Alan Domingo, Joe Domingo, Yunus Domingo, Arthur Amort, Claude Darné?, Mike Hoffmann and Lionel Belkechout.
These histories were initially researched by Chris Townsend. Thanks also to James Murray, David McKinney, Marcus Pye, Philippe Demeyer, Eamonn Ledwidge, Steve Wilkinson, Bryan Miller, Gerald Swan, Ted Walker, Pierre Dutoya, Alan Brown and Urs Hauenstein for their contributions; to former owners Paul Henry, Jeremy Bouckley, Gerard Bacle, Anthony Corin, Alwyn Bingham, Fintan Cunningham, John Naylor, Mike Wrigley, Lorraine Gathercole, Tony Skinner and Willie Beck for their assistance; and to Ben van Rensburg, Danie van den Berg, Gerald Swan, Iain Nicolson, Graham Etheridge and Alan Cox for the use of their photographs.
These histories last updated on .