Chevron B29 car-by-car histories
With its traditional sportscar market declining, Chevron concentrated on the Chevron B29 for 1975, a model designed for use in Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic. Bill Brack took the Canadian Formula Atlantic title, and both Jim Crawford and Gunnar Nilsson won races in the UK, but sales in F2 were limited.
For several years, Chevron had been a producing a multi-purpose formula car that could be used in Formula 2 and Formula Atlantic applications, but the F3 market had dried up after Chris Skeaping's dismal season in a Chevron B20 in 1972. The Chevron B25 and Chevron B27 had sold in good numbers, and the B29 was a further evolution of that theme, still with wide sidepods but now with elegant bodywork integrating the engine cover with a new centre post rear wing. The prototype was first tested at Croft in December and January before being taken out to Palm Beach where Derek Bennett, Jim Crawford and potential North American customers such as Bill Brack were able to test it. It was formally announced at the Racing Car Show in January, where Hector Rebaque's F2 example was on display.
Chevron had three distinct marketplaces for the B29, Formula 2 in Europe, Formula Atlantic in Britain and Ireland, and North America, where Formula Atlantic cars could be used in the Canadian Formula Atlantic series or in SCCA Formula B at Divisional level. The SCCA had finally relented and allowed the Cosworth BDA to be used in Formula B for 1975, but were still uninterested in running professional races for the category.
Five cars were built for Formula 2: 29-75-03 to Fred Opert Racing for Héctor Rebaque to use with a Hart Ford engine; 29-75-10 and 29-75-12 to French team Écurie ROC for drivers Xavier Lapeyre and Christian Ethuin with the team's own Chrysler-Simca engines; 29-75-27 to privateer Harald Ertl who had plentiful Warsteiner sponsorship and BMW engines, and 29-75-30 as a late-season works development car for Hans Binder to drive, again with a BMW engine.
British and Irish Formula Atlantic
Ten or eleven cars were built. Eight of these were customer cars: 29-75-04 to Tom Wheatcroft for Richard Morgan to drive, 29-75-06 for Alo Lawler, 29-75-07 for Patsy McGarrity in Ireland, 29-75-17 for Peter Williams, 29-75-18 for Matt Spitzley, 29-75-19 for Stephen Choularton, 29-75-25 also later for Matt Spitzley, and 29-75-29 for Derek Cook. Early in the season, Jim Crawford ran the car that had been used for testing in Florida, but it is unclear whether this was 29-75-01 or 29-75-02. That car was then rebuilt for Crawford onto a new chassis, 29-75-15, so that can be regarded as a tenth car. The eleventh was the mid-season car of James Crawley which went to the US after a couple of races, but this was said to have been built on a prototype tub so was also probably 29-75-01 or 29-75-02, and could even have been the ex-Crawford car. This remains unresolved.
North American Formula Atlantic
Eleven cars were sold to North America, three to Fred Opert Racing for his customers Héctor Rebaque (separate to his F2 car), Juan Cochesa and Bobby Dennett; four for Canadian customers, all in Ontario: 29-75-09 for Peter Ferguson, 29-75-14 for Bruce Jensen, 29-75-16 for Bill Brack and 29-75-28 for Hugh Cree; and four for American customers: 29-75-20 for Joe Sposato, 29-75-21 for Bobby Brown, 29-75-23 for Syd Demovsky, and a car for Seb Barone that is thought to be 29-75-24. The chassis numbers of the three Opert B29s are unknown. James Crawley's car joined this group around August, taking the total in North America to 12.
One other car was sold to Southeast Asia: 29-75-05 for Albert Poon
The chassis numbers that are unresolved are 29-75-01, 29-75-02, 29-75-08, 29-75-26, plus, possibly, B29-75-22 and B29-75-31. As 29-75-08 later appeared in Canada, it is likely to be one of the Fred Opert Racing cars. One of 29-75-01 and 29-75-02 became Jim Crawford's car and it is possible that the other was consumed in an accident but it is also possible that one of these two cars became one of Opert's cars. If so, the third Opert car is likely to have been 29-75-26.
The first B29 was tested at Oulton Park in early December 1974, when Derek Bennett and Jim Crawford did the driving. The prototype Chevron B29 was then one of two cars tested by Crawford for Chevron at Croft in January 1975. One of these two cars was said to have been sold to Alo Lawler, and the other was described as "the original prototype development car". The development car was then shipped out to Palm Beach Raceway where it was tested by Crawford for Fred Opert's customers. However, Chevron records say that chassis 75-01 was the Lawler car and that it was wrecked at some point and rebuilt on a new chassis, leaving 75-02 as the likely development car which was rebuit for Jim Crawford to race in the British series starting in March.
New to Fred Opert Racing as a Formula 2 car for Hector Rebaque. Raced by Rebaque in the first five races of the season and then hired to Maxime Bochet for Pau in May. The car was next seen in September when it was raced by Rebaque at Zolder and Nogaro, and it was very probably the car then driven by Tom Bagley at Vallelunga in October. It was then converted to Formula Atlantic specification and sold to Carl Liebich (Plymouth, WI) and used in the IMSA and Players Formula Atlantic series. In August, Liebich acquired a new Lola T460, and the Chevron was advertised by Lola importer Carl Haas in November 1976. The history of the Chevron is then unknown until it was advertised by David Klutsenbaker (Nashville, TN) in February 1984. Klutsenbaker had owned a 1972 Brabham BT38B until January 1983, so it likely that he had only had the Chevron for one season.
Bought by Ted Voruz (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin) in 1990.
Bought from Voruz by Howard Blight (Sydney, NSW) in late 2005, and raced in a few events in 2008. Then to David Kent, and raced by him from 2013 to 2016. The car was moved to the UK in January 2020. Still owned by Kent in March 2021.
Driven by: Héctor Rebaque, Maxime Bochet, Tom Bagley and Carl Liebich. First race: Estoril (R1), 9 Mar 1975. Total of 13 recorded races.
New to Tom Wheatcroft in February 1975, and tested by Richard Morgan who would be driving it in British Formula Atlantic. Raced by Morgan in the early races of the season, winning one race, until crashed at Brands Hatch in April. Morgan then drove the new Wheatcroft R18, and the Chevron was sold to Brett Riley, who drove it for the rest of 1975. To Ken Bailey (Stretford, Greater Manchester) and raced in Indylantic in 1976. Stored unused during 1977 and advertised by Bailey in November. Sold to Eddie Jordan (Dundrum, County Dublin, Ireland) and used in Irish Formula Atlantic in 1978 in Marlboro livery, winning both the All-Ireland and Duckhams Formula Atlantic Championships. Raced by his teammate Vivian Candy in Ireland in 1979, then sold via Phil Bennett to David Ward (Hesketh Bank, Lancashire) for British libre racing in 1980 and 1981. With Terry Cole for Monoposto racing in 1983, then reportedly broken up for spares by Chevron Cars.
Driven by: Richard Morgan, Brett Riley, Ken Bailey, Eddie Jordan, Vivien Candy, P J Fallon and David Ward. First race: Brands Hatch (R1), 2 Mar 1975. Total of 62 recorded races.
New to Albert Poon (Hong Kong), and raced in Southeast Asian events in 1975. Raced in Southeast Asian 1600cc 4-valve formula events in 1976, and driven by Kevin Bartlett at the Macau Grand Prix in November 1976. Sold less engine to Chong Boon Seng (Singapore) in December 1976 and raced by him in 1977, 1978 and 1979, It was then retained by him until it was sold to Leif Norberg, a Swede then living in Malaysia, in 1985. Then to Tony Armstrong (Australia) in 1989. To Geoff Weiland (Australia) in 1998, then to Peter Addison (Sydney, NSW), then to John Gale (Sydney, NSW) in 2005. In March 2020, the car was bought from Gale by Peter Brennan (Melbourne, Victoria).
Driven by: Albert Poon, Kevin Bartlett and Chong Boon Seng. First race: Batu Tiga, 30 Mar 1975. Total of 9 recorded races.
New to Alo Lawler (St Helens, Merseyside) and raced in the 1975 British Formula Atlantic championship, sponsored by L&B Excavations Ltd. Also used in the Irish championship that year, and in libre racing. Retained by Lawler for 1976, when he raced it in the Shellsport G8 championship, the Irish Formula Atlantic championship, the British Indylantic championship, and in libre racing. Sold to John Eastwood and raced in the Irish Formula Atlantic series. To Joe Greenan (Belfast, Northern Ireland) for 1978, and entered by Irish Racing Cars in Irish Atlantic, then raced by Ken Fildes (Clonskeagh, Dublin) in 1979 and 1980. Sold to English wheeler dealer Bobby Howlings (Congleton, Cheshire) for 1981, and raced by Howlings in rounds of the reintroduced British Formula Atlantic championship. Sold to Stuart Harte (Littleborough, Greater Manchester) and fitted with a 2.2-litre Hart 420R engine for sprints and hillclimbs. After Harte's death, the car was retained by his family until 2011, when it was sold to Jon Waggitt. Waggitt sold it to Chris Porritt in July 2011, and he spent some years returning it to running condition. He first raced it at Laguna Seca in March 2020, then brought it back to the UK later that year.
Driven by: Alo Lawler, John Eastwood, Joe Greenan, Ken Fildes, Bobby Howlings and Stuart Harte. First race: Brands Hatch (R1), 2 Mar 1975. Total of 82 recorded races.
New to Patsy McGarrity (Belfast, Northern Ireland) and raced in the Irish Formula Atlantic series in 1975, entered by Savoy Motors. McGarrity also raced the car in libre at Ingliston and in the British GP support race in July. Retained for 1976 when he again drove it in the Irish series, plus Irish hillclimbs. In September it was sold to Derek Shortall (Malahide, County Dublin), who raced it for the first time at Kirkistown in October. Shortall raced it in the Irish series in 1977, and in September sold it to Joey Greenan, who made his debut in the car at Kirkistown in October. However, Greenan did not race the car in 1978, and it reappeared in the hands of John Smith (Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland) when the Irish series visited Donington Park in April 1978. Raced by Smith for the rest of the season and advertised by him in October. In late May 1979 it was sold to Dave Rackham (Rochester, Kent) and used by him in the British series, but in only his second race he crashed it heavily at Oulton Park in July. Rackham replaced it with a B42 but advertised for parts for the rest of the year. The surviving parts of this car were probably acquired by John and Jim Blackwell (Seattle, WA) when they bought Rackham’s Argo in late 1980.
Driven by: Patsy McGarrity, Derek Shortall, Joe Greenan, John Smith and Dave Rackham. First race: Mondello Park (R1), 17 Mar 1975. Total of 49 recorded races.
Unknown in 1975, 1976 and 1977, but almost certainly a Fred Opert Racing car in 1975. To Pierre Gadoury (Saint-Lambert, Quebec) for 1978 but failed to start at its two appearances, at Trois-Rivières and Montréal. It went to Frank Vella (Detroit, Michigan) for 1979, when it was still in Opert blue and with Valvoline decals on the side. Then to Andy Falbo (Detroit, MI) in 1980. Falbo sold it to somebody in Florida who was planning to fit a Mazda engine. Later acquired as a project via race-cars.com in 2004 by Bill Murray (Durham) and brought back to the UK. After Murray died in 2013, the car passed to his son-in-law David Beatty. Still with Beatty in January 2021.
Driven by: Pierre Gadoury. First appearance: Trois-Rivières, 3 Sep 1978.
New to Peter Ferguson (Toronto, Ontario), to be used in the Canadian Players Formula Atlantic series, entered by Ferguson Canada Racing as #76 with Samsonite sponsorship. The Samsonite deal was not renewed, so Ferguson did not race the car in 1976. He returned for the opening race of the 1977 season, at Mosport Park with Gingerbread Displays livery and finished a highly impressive sixth, but did not reappear. The car was sold to Colin Hine, then to Paul Swinwood, for whom Nigel Mortimer sold it to Dr Warren Eads (Rolling Valley Hills, CA). It next passed to collector Art Valdez (Torrance, CA), and remained in Valdez' collection for many years, until sold to a UK consortium in 2017. Sold to Marcus Pye early 2018, and then on to Richard George (Marsh Green, Kent) later in 2018, who took it to Paul Fox of Foxcraft to be rebuilt. By July 2021, the car had been fully restored.
Driven by: Peter Ferguson. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 8 recorded races.
New to Racing Organisation Corse and fitted with ROC's Chrysler-based engine for Formula 2 in 1975. Raced by Xavier Lapeyre (Toulouse, southwest France), starting at Hockenheim in April. Lapeyre left ROC for 1976, but retained the Chevron, fitting a BMW engine and racing it in five events at the start of 1976, failing to qualify for four of them. The last time the B29 was seen was at Pau on 7 June, where Lapeyre failed to qualify, and at the next race, at Rouen three weeks later, he had a new Chevron B35. However, the B35 does not appear in Chevron records and it is possible Lapeyre had bought a B35 monocoque from Chevron and rebuilt his B29 on that, which would explain why the B29 was not seen again.
Driven by: Xavier Lapeyre. First race: Hockenheim (R3), 13 Apr 1975. Total of 9 recorded races.
New to Racing Organisation Corse and fitted with ROC's Chrysler-based engine for Formula 2 in 1975. Raced by Christian Ethuin, starting at Hockenheim in April, and also by former F1 driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise at Magny Cours, Pau and Nogaro. It was part of a two car team with Xavier Lapeyre driving the other car. Laurent Ferrier then drove the car in the final race of the season but did not qualify. It was raced by Roger Rivoire in two French hillclimbs in early 1976, at Charnizay and at Hébecrevon, and later in the year was driven by Jean Lachaud at Le Gua and Limonest-Mt Verdun. Press reports said it had been loaned to Lachaud by ROC boss Fred Stalder for these two events. As Xavier Lapeyre had retained his B29 for 1976, Lachaud must have been in the ex-Beltoise car. By the same logic, 75-12 is likely to be the ROC-engined Chevron bought by Ange-Marie Cheval from Stalder for 1977. It was described as a B27/B29, a B29 and a B29/35, but photographs in Echappement clearly show a B29. Advertised in Echappement in October 1977 as a B29/35. Subsequent history unknown, but there is a good chance this could be the "B35"-ROC raced by Jean Arzeno at Ceyreste in September 1979 and then the "B35" raced by Bernard Hazotte from 1980 onwards.
Driven by: Christian Ethuin, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Laurent Ferrier, Roger Rivoire, Jean Lachaud, Ange-Marie Cheval and Michel Pignard. First race: Nürburgring (R4), 27 Apr 1975. Total of 22 recorded races.
New to Bruce Jensen (Kitchener, Ontario) and used in the Canadian Players Formula Atlantic series in 1975, sponsored by Jensen Exotic Plants. Retained by Jensen for 1976, and retained again for 1977. Leighton Irwin, who crewed for Jensen at this time, recalls that it was sold in early 1978, he thinks to Michigan. Subsequent history unknown, but believed to be the car later converted to A Sports Racing by Lou Infante Motoracing and raced by Jerry Molnar (Lathrup Village, MI) in Can-Am in 1982. To Frank Jellinek (N. Hampton, NH), and used by him at two Can-Am races in 1983. Later sold to a "Dave", and Roger Sieling reports that it was stolen from him some time in the mid-1980s near Cleveland Ohio along with his tow truck, trailer, and an Austin-Healey Sprite. The car was never recovered.
Driven by: Bruce Jensen, Jerry Molnar and Frank Jellinek. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 30 recorded races.
New for Jim Crawford at Oulton Park in late May when his early-season development car was rebuilt on a new monocoque, effectively becoming a new car with chassis number 29-75-15. Crawford raced this car seven times in the British Formula Atlantic series, winning two races, and also raced it in F2 specification at Silverstone in August, using a Geoff Richardson BDA engine. Richard Morgan (Purley, Surrey) then hired the car for a few races at the end of the season. To Len Booysen (Randburg, South Africa) for the 1976 South African Formula Atlantic series, entered by Golden-Flo Racing with Kenitex. Then to Dorino Trochanni and raced by him in a few late 1977 and early 1978 races before it passed to Sarel Pienaar, who raced it for the rest of 1978 and in 1979. According to Chris Townsend's research, the car went subsequently to Peter Haller and Alan McDonald, was owned by Mike Rudolph in 1985, then to Mike Budd who restored the car, and then Mike Ward.
Driven by: Jim Crawford, Derek Cook, Richard Morgan, Len Booysen, Dorino Trochanni and Sarel Pienaar. First race: Oulton Park (R7), 26 May 1975. Total of 30 recorded races.
Sold via US agent Fred Opert to multiple Canadian champion Bill Brack (Toronto, Ontario) and raced through 1975 in STP colours. Won at Halifax in August and at Brainerd in September. Retained by Brack and run for Kevin Cogan at two races in early 1976 as his new B34 was not ready. Sold to 19-year-old Brad Abbott (Messapequa, NY) later in the season and raced twice, both times in SCCA Regional events, scoring a win and a third place according to his later advert. Abbott then bought a new March 77B for 1977 and the Chevron was sold to John Galson (Glen Mills, PA) who raced it in SCCA events in 1977 and 1978. It is believed to have been bought from Galson by Pat Phalan (Wilmington, DE), and that he kept it right up to 2003, by which time it had been restored to STP livery. Reportedly sold to an owner in Arizona who never drove, and then on to Brian Stark (Mequon WI) in 2010, who raced it in 2010 and 2011. This is presumably the STP-Liveried car then raced by Josh Boller (Antioch, IL) in US historic racing from 2016 to 2021.
Driven by: Bill Brack, Kevin Cogan, Brad Abbott and John Galson. First race: Silverstone (R4), 13 Apr 1975. Total of 13 recorded races.
New to Peter Williams (Brentwood) and raced in the British Formula Atlantic series in 1975, but crashed at Brands Hatch in April and not seen again that season. Entered by Williams' Coin News for Jim Crawford in early 1976 and then sold to Martin Birrane (Ballina, County Mayo, Republic of Ireland) who raced it in G8 and in Atlantic in 1976 and 1977. To Laurence Jacobsen (Glasgow, Scotland) for 1978, fitted with a Swindon BDX and entered by him for Bryce Wilson in libre that year. Converted back to Atlantic spec and raced by Bryce, Jacobsen and Graham Hamilton in 1979. In 1980, Jacobsen had the monocoque shortened and fitted the car with a plastic Sunbeam Stiletto body and Cosworth BDG engine, and raced it in GT racing in Scotland as a Hillman Imp. The car was later sold to Eric Munnoch who raced it with a 3.5-litre Rover V8 in 1982. For 1983, it was fitted with a supercharger and entered as a Davrian Stiletto. He returned with the car for 1984, but was not seen again after the first race. The tub somehow returned to Jacobsen and was sent to ex-Chevron engineer Nigel Dickson to be repaired, but this job was still incomplete when the monocoque was sold by Jacobsen to Sandy Watson. John Bradshaw remembers buying the remains of this car from Watson some time around 2006, when "it consisted of aluminium folded panels, uprights and wishbones with some instruments and a chassis plate, apparently driven by Bryce Wilson in his teenage years". He sold it on to Colin Thorpe, and in March 2010, HSCC News reported that Thorpe had rebuilt the car, which was not thought to have raced since the 1980s, and it would be raced by his son Ollie Thorpe in 2010. It was later sold by Ollie Thorpe via Ken Thorogood to Clive Wood, and by 2020 it was being rebuilt for Wood by Dan Eagling for historic F2 racing with a Richardson BDG. However, Wood crashed the car at Donington in March 2021 and while it was being repaired bought a March 782. Raced by Wood in the HSCC Aurora Trophy race at Silverstone in October 2021.
Driven by: Peter Williams, Jim Crawford, Martin Birrane, Bryce Wilson, Graham Hamilton, Laurence Jacobsen and Eric Munnoch. First race: Thruxton (R2), 31 Mar 1975. Total of 55 recorded races.
New to Ted Moore of racing car freight specialists Rapid Movements, to be driven by Matt Spitzley in British Formula Atlantic in 1975. For some reason, presumably an accident, this car was replaced by chassis 75-25 in May 1975.
Driven by: Matt Spitzley. First race: Snetterton (R3), 30 Mar 1975. Total of 4 recorded races.
New to Stephen Choularton (Hale Barns, Cheshire) and raced in British Formula Atlantic in 1975, entered by SDC Racing. To Phil Dowsett (Chelmsford, Essex) for the Indylantic Championship in 1976, entered by Sangria Designs and Capital Radio. Then sold to John Ledlie for the Irish series in 1977 but badly damaged at Phoenix Park in September 1977 when Ledlie hit a tree. As one of relatively few B29s left in Britain and Ireland by this time, it may be the car raced by Trevor Templeton in May 1979 and then by Nelson Todd later in 1979, sponsored by Belfast car dealer Isaac Agnew. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Stephen Choularton, Phil Dowsett and John Ledlie. First race: Mallory Park (R1), 9 Mar 1975. Total of 27 recorded races.
New to Joe Sposato (Ridgefield, CT) and used in SCCA Northeast Division Formula B in 1975, entered by Spoasto Motoracing (Waccabuc, NY). Also used in one Players Canadian Formula Atlantic race at Mosport. Retained for 1976, again in NEDiv SCCA Nationals and for two IMSA Formula Atlantic Championship races. To John Higgins (Elizabeth, NJ) for 1977, and raced in NEDiv SCCA events. Presumably the Chevron he raced in 1978. Chris Townsend advises that the car then went to Mike Cronin, and was retained by him until it was sold to Mike Malley (Greenville, NC) in April 2001. Malley crashed the car at Summit Point in 2003, breaking his back, and the car was then rebuilt using "a new tub by Chevron" and sold to Dick Ward (Australia) in 2007 or 2008. Ward raced it in events at Waneroo Park from 2009 to 2014, before selling it to Gwyn Pollard in the UK in 2015. Pollard had the car extensively rebuilt by Vin Malkie, then fitted a Gathercole BDG and raced the car in HSCC racing from 2016 to 2019, prepared by Gerry Wainwright Motorsport. Raced by Pollard at the Silverstone Classic in July 2019 and Dijon three months later.
Driven by: Joe Sposato, John Higgins and Mike Cronin. First race: Bridgehampton, 18 May 1975. Total of 22 recorded races.
New to Bobby Brown (Hicksville, NY) who took delivery in England. Raced by David Morgan in two early British Formula Atlantic races, entered by Roger Chalk Racing, before being shipped to the US. Raced by Brown in the Players Canadian Formula Atlantic series in 1975, entered by B&B Racing. Unseen in early 1976, then sold to Lyle Heck (Reading, PA) and raced in NEDiv SCCA Nationals. Retained by Heck for 1977 and 1978, and presumably the Chevron he raced at Summit Point in May 1979. Then to Mike Rand (Amherst, Mass) for NEDiv SCCA events in 1979, then to Nolan 'Lanny' Drevitch (Milton, MA) and Nick Leonard. Devitch was a member of the SCCA's New England Region, and scored one point in SCCA Nationals in 1980 in this car. It was then advertised by Leonard (Pipe Creek, TX) in early 1982, noting that the car was in New York. Then to Chris Perrotti (New Rochelle, NY), and fitted with a Chevrolet V6 engine for the RCCA Formula American class, but Perrotti found he had litle competition. By 1988, the car was with Tony Carpanzano (New Milford, CT), who restored it to Atlantic specification. Sold to Paul Lasko (Las Vegas, NV) in 2006. Advertised by Lasko in June 2009, but then raced by him in 2010. The next stages of its life are sadly opaque, but a car claiming this same identity was sold by RM Motorsports (Livonia MI) in 2014 or 2015 to Chuck Parsons (Chicago IL), who restored it and had tested it once by 2020.
Driven by: David Morgan, Bobby Brown, Lyle Heck and Mike Rand. First race: Silverstone (R4), 13 Apr 1975. Total of 15 recorded races.
New to Bobby Brown (Hicksville, NY) and run by his B&B Racing for customer Syd Demovsky (Chicago, IL) in the CASC Players Formula Atlantic series in 1975. Retained by B&B Racing and Demovsky for 1976. Sold to Bob Williams, and raced in SCCA Central Division Nationals and Regionals in 1977. Retained by Williams for 1978. To Richard Shephard by 1980 and run by him in Formula Atlantic in Colorado until 1985. Then unknown until owned by Peter Gates in 1990. Sold by Gates to Robert Clarke in 1992, and still with him as a bare tub in 2006.
Driven by: Syd Demovsky, Robert Williams and Richard Shepard. First race: Mont-Tremblant (R4), 6 Jul 1975. Total of 17 recorded races.
The Rapid Movements Chevron B29 driven by Matt Spitzley is believed to have suffered a testing accident at some point early in 1975, and it was rebuilt with a new monocoque. At the Oulton Park race on 26 May, it was noted as having chassis plate 75-25, but exactly when the rebuild took place is still unclear. Gunnar Nilsson took over the car from Spitzley in August, and recorded five successive wins in it, four of them from pole. In January 1976 it was sold to John Gibb (Randburg, South Africa), to be raced in the new South African Formula Atlantic series, entered by Team Mum for Men with backing from Pioneer Hi Fi. It was sold to Geoff Frizell (Durban, South Africa) for 1977, and returned with Frizell in 1979, when it was described as a B34. It then went to Manny Pinto, and was raced by him from 1980 to 1983, and then reappeared two years later with Trevor Trautman who raced it in 1986. It remained in South Africa after that, but its ownership history is not fully resolved. Bernard Tilanus reported that it went from Pinto to Alan Dunlop then to Mike Budd, who restored it, then to Mark du Toit who owned it in 2000. It was purchased by Anthony Corin (Malmesbury, South Africa) in 2004 and was still owned in him in June 2008, but by 2019 it was owned by Colin Frost. Purchased by Anthony Corin (Malmesbury, South Africa) in 2004. Still owned in Corin in June 2008, but by 2019 it was owned by Colin Frost.
Driven by: Matt Spitzley, Gunnar Nilsson, John Gibb, Geoff Frizell, Manny Pinto and Trevor Trautmann. First race: Oulton Park (R7), 26 May 1975. Total of 30 recorded races.
New to Harald Ertl (Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany), and run for him in Formula 2 in 1975 by Fred Opert Racing. Chevron records show that it was invoiced to Gustav Hoecker, a German tuning specialist who worked with Ertl on a number of projects. The car was a mid-season replacement for his Chevron B27, and the B29 wore the B27-74-12 chassis plate from Ertl's previous car. To Hohmann Racing (Leonberg, Baden-Württemberg) in April 1976, and raced by Helmut Bross (Herrenberg, Baden-Württemberg) in F2 at the start of 1976, entered by Jörg Obermoser's Team Warsteiner Eurorace, then by Manfred Schurti at Salzburgring in May and at Hockenheim in June, and later by Marc Surer at Hockenheim in September. Unknown in 1977 and the first half of 1978, with no change of ownership or German events listed in the car's Wagenpass.
To Heinz Wengert (Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg) by August 1978, and used in German hillclimbs. The car's Wagenpass then shows that it passed to Georg Lorenz (Hirschaid, Bavaria) in December 1979, then Reinhold Gruber (Munich, Bavaria) in March 1982. It remained with him until it was sold to Freddy Kumschick (Schötz, Switzerland) in 1992. It returned to England when sold in 2005 to Simon Hadfield (Shepshed, Leicestershire). It was sold by Hadfield to Ted Walker (Dursley, Gloucestershire) about 2016, and restored to Ertl's original livery.
Driven by: Harald Ertl, Helmut Bross, Manfred Schurti, Marc Surer, Heinz Wengert and Georg Lorenz. First race: Hockenheim (R6), 8 Jun 1975. Total of 15 recorded races.
New to Hugh Cree (Georgetown, Ontario) and used in the Canadian Players Formula Atlantic series in 1975. Retained for 1976 and 1977, but seen only rarely. Then unknown until bought from Peter Gates by Robert Clarke in April 1991, at which time the car had been sitting unused for some time. Clarke restored the car and used it in historic events in 1992 and 1993, mostly at VARA events including Firebird, Phoenix, Willow Springs, Las Vegas and Sears Point, then less regularly from 1994 to 1998, after which it sat unused until it was advertised by him in 2011. The car was later driven by John Hill (Seattle, WA) at the 2014 Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Driven by: Hugh Cree. First race: Gimli (R3), 22 Jun 1975. Total of 7 recorded races.
New to Derek Cook (Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham, South Yorkshire) in August 1975, and raced in British Formula Atlantic with support from George Cooper Lubricants. To Jeremy Rossiter (Kidlington, Oxfordshire) for 1976, and raced in Shellsport G8 and Indylantic races. The series died at the end of 1976, and the car was unused until August 1977 when it was sold to John Pollock (Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland), who raced for Gerry Kinnane's team in Irish Formula Atlantic. Pollock raced it at Phoenix Park and Mondello Park in September 1977, but it was then sold to Tom O'Leary (Dalkey, County Dublin), Pollock taking O'Leary's older Brabham BT40 in part-exchange. Raced by O'Leary in the Irish series in 1978 and 1979.
Driven by: Derek Cook, Jeremy Rossiter, John Pollock and Tom O'Leary. First race: Snetterton (R5), 10 Aug 1975. Total of 24 recorded races.
Built as a works development car, and tested by Brian Redman. Then entered by Jörg Obermoser's Team Warsteiner Eurorace for Hans Binder to drive in Formula 2 with a Rosche BMW engine, when it was reported to be chassis 32. Brian Redman drove it in the 1976 New Zealand Internationals, still with its 2-litre BMW engine, this time as part of the Fred Opert team. Sold in New Zealand to David Oxton, fitted with a Formula Pacific BDA engine and raced in the New Zealand Formula Pacific series in January 1977. Then to Eric Morgan for Gold Star and International races from 1977 to 1981. Sold to Chris Read for 1982. Later history with the car indicates that it was sold by Read to Kenny Smith in 1991, then to Brian Sampson in 1992, then Peter Whelan in 2000, and Miles Jackson in 2008. On display in the World of Speed Museum (Wilsonville, OR) in May 2015. Still on display in August 2016. Raced by William Stull (Marysville, WA) in US historic racing in 2021. By 2022, it was owned by Cooper DuBois (Portland, OR).
Driven by: Hans Binder, Brian Redman, David Oxton, Eric Morgan and Chris Read. First race: Silverstone (R11), 31 Aug 1975. Total of 44 recorded races.
Other possible Chevron B29s built
Some references have been found to later Chevron B29 chassis numbers, but it is unclear whether these are separate cars, or replacement monocoques.
- 29-75-32 was the number given in Motoring News for Hans Binder's car at the Silverstone and Zolder rounds of the European F2 championship in 1975.
- 29-75-32 is also the number recalled by Richard Shepard for a car that he ran in SCCA Regionals in Colorado in about 1978/79.
- 29-75-33 has appeared at auction and appears to be a rebuild of the ex-ROC car B79-75-12.
- 25-75-35 is reported to be the monocoque number in car B29-75-06, presumably as a result of the car being rebuilt on a new monocoque after Lawler's accident at Snetterton on 10 August 1975.
The 1975 mystery cars
In North American Formula Atlantic, at least 11 cars appeared; possibly 12. Fred Opert ran three cars for Héctor Rebaque, Juan Cochesa and Bobby Dennett, and the four season-long privateers were Peter Ferguson (75-09), Bruce Jensen (75-14), Bill Brack (75-16) and Seb Barone (believed to be 75-24), with Hugh Cree (75-28) appearing from Round 3 onwards. In addition to these, Bobby Brown (75-21) appeared at the first five races but was not at Trois-Rivières, and his teammate Syd Demovsky (75-23) ran from Round 4 onwards. At Mosport Park in July, an 11th Chevron B29 arrived when Joe Sposato raced 75-20. Of the three cars run by Chevron agent Opert for Rebaque, Cochesa and Dennett, one would be chassis 75-08 and the other two could be 75-22 and 75-26, the entries for which are blank in Chevron records.
At Trois-Rivières at the end of the 1975 season, Opert ran three cars in Gitanes livery for Jean-Pierre Jarier, Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, and José Dolhem. As Cochesa and Dennett were absent, two of these cars would be their usual mounts. However, Rebaque was at Trois-Rivières, so the third Gitanes car must have been something new. The only B29 privateers absent from Trois-Rivières were Bobby Brown and Joe Sposato, and it is possible Opert had hired one of their cars and replaced their bodywork with a spare set of his pale blue bodywork. Jim Crawley's B29 may well have arrived from England by this time, so is another possibility. The Jarier and Jaussaud cars were raced by Tom Bagley and Steve Durst at Brainerd the following weekend, meaning that if one car was hired, it is likely to have been the one Dolhem raced at Trois-Rivières.
The Chevron B29 used for testing in the US in early 1975 was acquired by Steve Choularton in February for Jim Crawford to race in the 1975 British Formula Atlantic series. It was rebuilt at the Chevron factory and was run by Choularton's SDC Racing from its premises near the factory. At the opening round it was described by Motoring News as "the Florida test car rebuilt" and by Autosport as "based on the original test car taken to the US for customer evaluation", a reference to the car tested over the winter by Bertil Roos, but whether this car was B29-75-01 or B29-75-02 is unclear. Crawford had four successive second places in this car. Prior to the Oulton Park race on 26 May, the car was rebuilt on a new monocoque which Autosport described as having "restored the car to standard specification". That car carried the chassis plate 29-75-15 so was effectively a new car and is covered under that heading.
Driven by: Jim Crawford. First race: Mallory Park (R1), 9 Mar 1975. Total of 6 recorded races.
New to Fred Opert Racing for Juan Cochesa (Venuzuela) to drive in the Players Canadian Formula Atlantic series with backing from "Visit Venuzuela" and Valvoline. It would then have been either the car raced by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud or that of José Dolhem at Trois-Rivières, where three Opert cars ran with Gitanes sponsorship. It is most likely to have been the #3 Jaussaud which was then raced by Steve Durst at Brainerd a week later. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Juan Cochesa. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 5 recorded races.
New to Fred Opert Racing for Bobby Dennett (Venuzuela) to drive in the Players Canadian Formula Atlantic series with backing from "Visit Venuzuela" and Valvoline. Then for Jean-Pierre Jarier at Trois-Rivières, where it was entered as #2 and had Gitanes sponsorship. Tom Bagley (Centre Hall, PA) then raced the #2 Chevron B29 at Brainerd in September. This car was advertised by Opert later as ex-Jarier/Dennett with "eight races on car" which is consistent with it also being Bagley's car. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Bobby Dennett, Jean-Pierre Jarier and Tom Bagley. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 8 recorded races.
As well as running a Formula 2 Chevron B29 for Héctor Rebaque in Europe, Fred Opert Racing also ran a Formula Atlantic Chevron B29 for the Mexican in North America, sponsored by Cafe Mexicana. As the F2 season started earlier, Rebaque was able to compete in the first five F2 races before moving to North America for the Players Formula Atlantic series and the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. He returned to Europe for the last two races, so the Formula Atlantic car was raced for Opert by Freddy van Beuren at Brainerd in September. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Héctor Rebaque and Freddy van Beuren. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 8 recorded races.
New to Isola Racing and entered for Seb Barone (Portland, CT) to race in the Players Canadian Formula Atlantic series in 1975. Taken over by teammate Herman Gugliotta (Dilliner, PA) for races at Lime Rock and Brainerd in September. At this latter race, Gugliotta had a massive accident just after Turn 8, went over the inside bank and ended up backwards in the spectator fence. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Seb Barone and Herman Gugliotta. First race: Gimli (R3), 22 Jun 1975. Total of 7 recorded races.
James Crawley (Phoenix, AZ/Frenchtown, NJ) raced a Chevron B29 in the British Formula Atlantic series, starting at Mallory Park in June, where he crashed during practice and did not start. At the British GP meeting, his car was described by Autosport as "built on one of the original prototype tubs, suggesting its monocoque was B29-75-01 or B29-75-02, quite possibly whichever of those had been used in Jim Crawford's early-season car. Crawley then took the B29 back to the US, where he had been driving a B27 in SCCA Regionals or Nationals earlier in the season. He crashed the B29 in practice at Bridgehampton in September, the last SCCA National of the season, so raced the B27. His win gave him nine points which pushed him into second place in the poorly-supported Southeast Division, so he qualified for the SCCA Runoffs. He was very impressive at Road Atlanta, taking pole and finishing second. The car was advertised by Crawley and sponsor George Walsh in January 1976 and sold to RJ Nelkin (Roslyn, NY/Woodbury, NY) who used it in Northeast Division SCCA Nationals in early 1976. In June, Nelkin upgraded to a brand new B34, and the B29 was sold to Rick Wellner (New York, NY), who ran it in SCCA Nationals at Summit Point in late June, where he failed to start, and Lime Rock in early July, where he failed to finish. Nelkin's recollection is that Wellner crashed the car heavily at Lime Rock. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: James Crawley, Robert J. Nelkin and Rick Wellner. First race: Silverstone (R10), 19 Jul 1975. Total of 9 recorded races.
Chevron B29s in 1976
Of the eleven B29s known to have raced in North America during 1975, Peter Ferguson (75-09), Bruce Jensen (75-14), Joe Sposato (75-20), Syd Demovsky (75-23) and Hugh Cree (75-28) all retained their cars for 1976. Bill Brack ran his old car (75-16) for Kevin Cogan, and Bobby Brown sold his (75-21) to Lyle Heck. They had been joined at the end of the season by James Crawley's car which went to RJ Nelkin for 1976 and one of the F2 cars (75-03) also moved into North American Formula Atlantic for 1976 to be raced by Carl Liebich, bringing the total number of B29s in North America to 13. Four of those cannot be tracked into 1976: the Isola Racing/Seb Barone car (believed to be 75-24), and the three Fred Opert Racing cars (75-08 and maybe 75-22 and 75-26).
Three new B29 drivers appeared in 1976 with unidentified cars: Bill Kneeland in New Hampshire, Gordon Strom in California, and Marcel Talbot in Canada. Kneeland had bought one of Opert's pale blue cars, and it is likely that Talbot and Strom had done the same.
Meanwhile in Britain and Ireland, the ex-Richard Morgan 75-04 went from Brett Riley to Ken Bailey; Alo Lawler retained 75-06; Patsy McGarrity retained 75-07; the ex-Crawford 75-15 went to Len Booysen in South Africa; Peter Williams sold 75-17 mid-season to Martin Birrane; Matt Spitzley had wrecked 75-18 during 1975; Steve Choularton's 75-19 went to Phil Dowsett; Matt Spitzley's replacement 75-25 went to John Gibb for the South African series; and Derek Cook's 75-29 went to Jeremy Rossiter. The early-season car of Jim Crawford was either broken up to create 75-15 or became the mid-season car of James Crawley so either way was no longer part of the local equation. With two gone to South Africa and 75-19 destroyed, that left only six of the original ten or eleven B29s in Britain and Ireland.
Gordon Strom (Santa Cruz, CA/Sunnyvale, CA) ran a Brabham BT35 in west coast SCCA racing from 1972 to 1975 when he moved up to a nearly-new Chevron B29. The car was yellow with red top bodywork and ran as #9. The identity of the Chevron is not known. Strom raced this in 1976 and 1977 until an accident at Laguna Seca in June 1977 in which he suffered massive head injuries. It is likely that the car was destroyed. Strom was hospitalised but his medical insurance "ran out", and a fund was established to help his wife Kay with the overwhelming hospital bills. He died in November 1977 without having regained conciousness.
Driven by: Gordon Strom. First race: Riverside, 15 Feb 1976. Total of 14 recorded races.
Bill Kneeland (Franklin, NH) bought a pale blue Chevron B29 from Fred Opert for the 1976 season. He raced it in several Pro races as well as a program of SCCA racing in 1976 with support from Real Estatement Marketing. Photographs show that Kneeland's B29 was driven by Max Sebba (Sandy Springs, GA) at the SCCA Runoffs, instead of the much older March 722 he had used in SCCA Nationals. Kneeland did race at the Runoffs, so it seems likely he had hired a new car, so a B34, from Opert. Kneeland acquired the first of the Chevron B39s for 1977, but the Runoffs at the end of October 1976 is too early for it to have been that car. The B29 went back to Fred Opert as a trade on the new car. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: William Kneeland and Max Sebba. First race: Palm Beach International Raceway, 22 Feb 1976. Total of 11 recorded races.
Marcel Talbot (Granby, Quebec), raced a second-hand Chevron B29 in the 1976 CASC and IMSA Formula Atlantic championships. The car was black and raced as #10, with Tamaco Industries sponsorship. After Mont-Tremblant in July, he upgraded to a new Chevron B34. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Marcel Talbot. First race: Road Atlanta (R1), 11 Apr 1976. Total of 7 recorded races.
Chevron B29s in 1977
Of the 13 B29s based in North America at the beginning of 1977, Peter Ferguson retained 75-09, Bruce Jensen retained 75-14, John Galson acquired Bill Brack's 75-16, John Higgins acquired Joe Sposato's 75-20, Lyle Heck retained his ex-Bobby Brown 75-21, Syd Demovsky's 75-23 went to Bob Williams, and Hugh Cree retained 75-28. James Crawley's car had not been seen since Rick Wellner crashed it in mid-1976 and the ex-F2 car, 75-03, is unknown after November 1976. Of the three unidentified cars that appeared in 1976, Gordon Strom retained his car, Bill Kneeland upgraded to a B39 sometime during 1977 and his B29 returned to Opert, and Marcel Talbot had also upgraded, to a B34, in August 1976. One other car cannot be accounted for after the end of 1975, but this may be the car that Eddie Marcelo raced in late 1976/early 1977, as he was said to have purchased "one of Fred Opert's B29s". There is time for Talbot's car to have returned to Opert and then be sold to Marcelo.
Formula reported that "Kenneth Valca" raced Chevron B29 at the Palm Beach National in February 1977, and the official race results say that Kenneth Valca, of Wilmington, Delaware, raced a #11 Chevron. However, no "Kenneth Valca" has ever been found, and it seems far more likely that this was Kenneth Valan, who was from Wilmington, Delaware and usually entered his cars as #11. Valan had a B27 in 1978, and the most likely scenario is that this was Valan, not Valca, and in a B27, not a B29.
Only six B29s had been left in Britain and Ireland in 1976. As Formula Atlantic did not continue in Britain in 1977, most of them moved to Ireland: Ken Bailey retained 75-04 unused in 1977; Alo Lawler sold 75-06 to John Eastwood in Ireland; Patsy McGarrity's 75-07 went to Derek Shortall in Ireland and then to Joey Greenan in Belfast; Martin Birrane retained 75-17 for some Shellsport G8 races; Phil Dowsett sold 75-19 to John Ledlie in Ireland where it would be wrapped round a tree at Phoenix Park; and Jeremy Rossiter's 75-29 went to John Pollock in Ireland.
Doug Cohee (Madison, CT) raced a "1975 Chevron", so presumably a Chevron B29, in SCCA Drivers School at Watkins Glen in June 1977 and at Lime Rock six weeks later, and then made his race debut in the car in a Watkins Glen Regional in August. He raced twice more that season, then in Regionals at Bryar, Pocono, Bridgehampton and Lime Rock in 1978, and at Bryar and Lime Rock in 1979. His last known race was at Bryar Motorsport Park in September 1979. It was bought from Cohee by James Deady (Lyme, CT), and raced by him in SCCA events until he upgraded to a newer March 80A. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Doug Cohee. First race: Watkins Glen, 28 Aug 1977. Total of 12 recorded races.
Chevron B29s in 1978
To recap where we are, a total of 11 Chevron B29s originally went to North America, and it was possible to track seven of those into 1976, when they were joined by James Crawley's car and an ex-F2 car. Three unidentified cars appeared in 1976, so that accounted for ten of the original 11. Moving into 1977, all seven of the identified cars could still be tracked, as could one of the three unidentified cars, Gordon Strom's, but the cars of Kneeland and Talbot could not. James Crawley's car and the ex-F2 car had also disappeared by the end of 1976. There were no additional unexplained B29s to account for those three, except perhaps the Eddie Marcelo car.
As 1978 began, Peter Ferguson's 75-09 went to Colin Hine, Bruce Jensen's 75-14 was sold early in 1978, John Galson retained 75-16, John Higgins' 75-20 went to Mike Cronin, Lyle Heck retained his 75-21, Bob Williams' 75-23 went missing for a while but would turn up again in Colorado, and Hugh Cree's 75-28 went missing until it reappeared with Peter Gates c1990. Of the three unidentified cars that appeared in 1976, Gordon Strom's car is likely to have been destroyed in the accident that took his life, and the other two had already vanished. James Crawley's car and the ex-F2 75-03 had also vanished. Also the ex-Fred Opert team car 75-08 reappeared in the hands of Pierre Gadoury in Quebec in 1978.
Two unidentified B29s appear in 1978: Allen Karlberg's in Washington State, and Ray Schuler's in Illinois.
Of the six B29s left in Britain and Ireland from 1977, Ken Bailey's 75-04 went to Eddie Jordan in Ireland for 1978; John Eastwood's 75-06 went to Joe Greenan in Belfast; the ex-Patsy McGarrity's 75-07 went to John Smith in Northern Ireland; Martin Birrane's 75-17 went to Laurence Jacobsen for Bryce Wilson to drive in Scottish libre; John Ledlie's 75-19 had last been seen trying to reposition one of Phoenix Park's trees; and John Pollock's 75-29 went to Tom O'Leary in Ireland.
Allen Karlberg (Seattle, WA) raced a Chevron in Northern Pacific SCCA Formula B in 1978, scoring 18 points, but his only known result so far is a second place at Portland in June. In September 1978, he advertised that he was parting out a Chevron B29. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Allen Karlberg. First race: Portland International Raceways, 11 Jun 1978. Only one recorded race.
Raymond E. Schuler (Canton, IL) raced a Chevron B29 in Central Division Formula B/Atlantic in 1978 and 1979 as a Central Illinois Region member. He scored only one point in 1978, and four points in 1979. He then transferred to St Louis Region in Midwest Division, and scored 14 points in the Chevron in Formula Atlantic in 1980, qualifying for the Runoffs, where he finished ninth. He acquired a March 78B for 1981, and the later history of the Chevron B29 is unknown. Schuler died in 1997 at the age of just 59.
Driven by: Ray Schuler. First race: Indianapolis Raceway Park, 25 Jun 1978. Total of 2 recorded races.
Chevron B29s in 1979
Few of the 13 B29s that went to North America were still racing in 1979. The only ones so far found in results of SCCA Nationals are Mike Cronin in 75-20, Mike Rand in 75-21, and Doug Cohee and Ray Schuler in their unidentified cars. All those were in NEDiv except Schuler in CenDiv.
Of the six B29s that had remained in Britain and Ireland, three continued to be raced in Irish Formula Atlantic in 1979: 75-04 by Vivian Candy; 75-06 by Ken Fildes; and 75-29 which was retained by Tom O'Leary. A fourth, John Ledlie's 75-19, had not been seen since its Phoenix Park accident in 1977 and may still have been in Ireland. Two more had returned to Britain: John Smith's ex-Patsy McGarrity's 75-07 was sold to Dave Rackham in England in early 1979 and Laurence Jacobsen retained 75-17 in Scotland for Formula Atlantic and Scottish Libre. Trevor Templeton (twice) and Nelson Todd (three times) also raced B29s in Ireland in 1979 and the identity of their car(s) remains unresolved. Templeton's may have been the B42 he raced in 1980 rather than that a B29, as reports are contradictory. Both Todd and Templeton appeared in the same races as Candy and in the same races as Fildes, so can't have had 75-04 or 75-06. Neither Todd nor Templeton appeared in the same races as O'Leary, but it seems much more likely they were racing a fourth B29, and the ex-John Ledlie 75-19 would be the most likely candidate.
It is worth catching up on the other group of B29s, the five Formula 2 cars. Fred Opert's 75-03 had gone back to the US for Formula Atlantic; Xavier Lapeyre's 75-10 had last been seen in June 1976, but there is good reason to believe it had been used to create his Chevron B35; the other ROC car 75-12 had gone into French hillclimbs and had last been seen when advertised by Ange-Marie Cheval in Echappement in October 1977 as a B29/35; Harald Ertl's 75-27 had gone into German hillclimbs and would remain in Germany until 1992; and the a late-season works development car 75-30 had gone to New Zealand and would stay there until the 1990s. That Lapeyre B35, just in case it is relevant, was with Henri-Paul Magnan from 1979 to 1982. The cars used in France by Jean Arzeno in 1979 and Bernard Hazotte from 1980 to 1982 are therefore likely to be 75-12. One puzzle will emerge in May 1982, when Patrick Gasquet had a B34 that was also called a B29.
Jacques Arzeno appeared at the Côte de Ceyreste hillclimb in September 1979 with a Chevron "B35" with ROC engine. It is possible that this was Jean Lachaud's 35-76-07 which had only appeared a few times in 1979, the most recent being the preceding weekend, or it could have been Jean Lapierre's 35-76-09 but that had a BMW engine and had been described as a B40 in 1979. What seems more likely is that it was the ROC-engined B29/B35 last seen when raced by Ange-Marie Cheval in 1977. Arzeno was then in his mid-20s and was best known for driving Hema sports cars, which he built alongside Henri Mayeur. He died in December 2020. The subsequent history of the Chevron is unknown but this is a candidate for Bernard Hazotte's mystery "B35" from 1980 onwards.
Driven by: Jacques Arzeno. First race: Ceyreste, 2 Sep 1979. Only one recorded race.
Chevron B29s from 1980 onwards
The North American B29s had now largely faded from view, with only Lanny Drevitch in 75-21 and Ray Schuler in his mystery car scoring points in SCCA Nationals.
Of the six B29s that had remained in Britain and Ireland, 75-04 was sold back to England in 1980 for libre racing and was reportedly broken up for spares later in the decade; 75-06 was sold via Bobby Howlings back to England in 1981 and was then a regular hillclimb car for many years; 75-07 was crashed by Dave Rackham and its parts appears to have been dissipated; and 75-17 was converted to a 'GT' Sunbeam Stiletto in Scotland in 1980 and still exists today restored back to its original form. That leaves two unaccounted for: Tom O'Leary's 75-29 and John Ledlie's 75-19, which now appears likely to have been repaired after its Phoenix Park accident in 1977 and raced by Nelson Todd in 1979.
Bernard Hazotte (Metz, Lorraine, France) raced a Chevron "B35" in the 1600cc class of French hillclimbs in 1980, 1981 and 1982. Although always described as a B35, the car was photographed in Echappement at the Bourbach le Haut event in May 1982 and can be seen to have B29 sidepods, which are much wider than those on the B35. It is therefore likely to be chassis 29-75-12, the only B29 to have appeared in French hillclimbs. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Bernard Hazotte. First race: Bourbach le Haut, 11 May 1980. Total of 20 recorded races.
Roger Mathis (Portsmouth) used a Chevron B29 in hillclimbs at some in the 1980s. He sold his car to David Gambs (Guildford, Surrey) in the late 1980s, when it was in a terrible state, and Gambs carefully restored it, having the monocoque reskinned, and then used it in track days. He sold it to Dave Pearce (Reading) who went further with the restoration before selling it to Chris Sharples in 2005. Sharples had the car put into 'Donington Collection' livery by Simon Hadfield's restoration company. Raced by Sharples in HSCC Derek Bell Trophy and Historic F2 from 2005 to 2012. Raced by Peter Alexander at Brands Hatch in July 2016, when the car was still owned by Sharples. Bought about 2017 by Paul Tonkin, and raced with the HSCC in 2018 and 2019. Still with Tonkin in May 2021.
In 1993, wheeler-dealer Roger Cowman (Belper, Derbyshire) sold a Chevron B29 (and an older B25) to Mike Wrigley (Ashbourne, Derby). Cowman said that both cars had come from a Roger Eccles in 1989, and that Eccles had owned then since 1981, prior to which they had been run by the ROC team for Xavier Lapeyre. Wrigley had the car rebuilt by Chevron expert Vin Malkie, and raced the car in the Formula 2 class of the HSCC's Derek Bell Trophy series in 2001. HSCC papers gave its chassis number as B29-75-36, later than any chassis number recorded in period. Mike recalls that the B29 later went via Frank Lyons to John Monson in the US.
Frank Lyons acquired a Chevron B29 from Vin Malkie and raced it in HSCC Derek Bell Trophy events in 2004. He understands that it was one of the B29s raced in Ireland, and it is raced with 'Irish Racing Cars' on the side. It was used until 2011, and then stored until 2015, when it was hired by Mark Charteris and driven at the Brands Hatch Superprix. The car was next raced when Lyons drove it in 2018. Raced by Lyons in HSCC F2 in 2019.
In addition to the above, unknown Chevron B29s were driven by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, José Dolhem, Steve Durst, Eddie Marcelo, Dan Marvin, Trevor Templeton, Nelson Todd and Terry Myr.
My thanks once again to Chris Townsend for his work on this topic over many years. He first offered a set of histories on these cars as long ago as 2004! Thanks also to Bryan Miller, Tony Nicholson, Steve Wilkinson, Alan Brown, Andrew Fellowes, Tim Colman, Dan Rear, Simon Hadfield, Peter Brennan, Marcus Pye, James Murray, Philippe Demeyer, Chris Sharples, Brian Speake, Rick Hall of Hall and Hall, John Gale, Colin Hine, Jeff Downes at Can Am Cars, Ltd, Rick Larner, Miles Jackson, Roger Sieling, Doug Brown, Bill Murray, Chris Porritt, John Bradshaw, David Beatty, Paul Tonkin, Jeff Luebker, Wil Arif, Peter Hill, Matt Dagostino, Tony Garmey, James Deady and Tim Jacobsen. Thanks also to Peter Viccary, Alan Cox, Ted Walker, John Nemy Jr, Arny Spahn, Andrew Scriven, Vincent Puleo, Bill Wagenblatt, Pepper Bowe, Miles Jackson and Ralph Colmar for use of their photographs.
These histories last updated on .