Chevron B9 car-by-car histories
Chevron's first production single seater was the Formula 3 Chevron B9, the production version of the late 1967 B7. The car was highly successful in British national F3, where Tim Schenken won the Lombank title, but was less competitive on the International stage.
Rodney Bloor's Sports Motors (Manchester) Ltd, previously a significant Brabham customer, transferred their allegiance to Chevron and had run the Chevron B7 for Peter Gethin at the end of 1967. Bloor now bought one of the first B9s which, after an initial outing in Gethin's hands, was raced by Tim Schenken in domestic events, winning the Lombank club F3 title. Red Rose Motors, then run by Charles Bridges, ran a pair of B9s for Chris Williams and Alan Rollinson, Frank Lythgoe bought another pair for Digby Martland and Dave Berry, and private cars appeared for Howard Heerey and John Ralph. Lythgoe also ran a Chevron in F2 but soon gave up on the cars and one of the B9s was sold to prolific US importer Fred Opert who is said to have converted it for Formula B. This led to Opert ordering three more cars for his US customers, the start of a long association between Opert and Chevron.
At present six B9s have been located. Two of these are listed below: Chevron Heritage have the ex-Mike Summers car, and Tomasso Gelmini has the ex-Steve Wilkinson car that is believed to been Schenken's car. In addition to these, Fabio Montani in Italy has a car that can be traced back Tom Hart in 1975 and is believed to be the Martland car; Bernard Juchli is reported to have the B9B in California; Yuzabura Baba has a car in Japan that is believed to be the ex-Heerey car; and Dominic Spicer has the car that Trevor Messett bought from Hervé Cordel in Paris and then raced in HSCC racing. We are currently trying to get in touch with these four owners so that these cars can be connected to the histories shown below.
Thanks to Tim Colman of Chevron Heritage and 1000cc F3 Historic Racing Association record keeper Mike Faloon for their help constructing these histories.
Entered by Rodney Bloor's Sports Motors (Manchester) Ltd in F3 in 1968, initially raced by Peter Gethin and then by Tim Schenken in Lombank F3 races. Advertised with an unused second car in November 1968. Sold to Barrie Maskell who raced it in F3 in 1969; also raced by Bev Bond after Maskell bought a newer B15. Advertised by Bobby Howlings in 1970 and sold to Max Reinhard in July. Fitted with a 1600cc Alfa Giulia engine for 1600cc F3 but was not successful. Advertised as a B9/15 still with the Alfa engine by Ian Raby Racing in April 1971, then unknown until the "ex-Schenken" B9 was bought by John Webb (Hounslow, London) for Formula 4 in 1973. Raced in F4 until 1975 but then replaced with a newer B15/17. Advertised by by Mike Gue's Road & Track Ltd (Fulham, London) in July and August 1975. Presumably the car raced by Mike Wilder in F4 in 1976. Subsequent history unknown but might be the "ex-Schenken" car later advertised by Rick Whyman and Paul Howarth in 1982.
Driven by: Peter Gethin, Tim Schenken, Barrie Maskell, Bev Bond, Max Reinhardt, John Webb, Ernie Felix and Mike Wilder. First race: Oulton Park, 12 Apr 1968. Total of 61 recorded races.
Entered by Red Rose Motors in European F3 events in 1968 for Chris Williams. Wrecked in an accident at Silverstone 27 July 1968 and rebuilt with sheet steel welded to the sides of the cockpit and on the undertray as the B9B. Driven by Peter Gethin at its first race in this form, at Brands Hatch 2 Sep 1968 and won. Then raced by Williams again until the end of the season. Sold to Ben Moore for 1969 and also driven once by Roger Keele as a hire drive. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Chris Williams, Peter Gethin, Ben Moore and Roger Keele. First race: Montjuich Park, 31 Mar 1968. Total of 21 recorded races.
Entered by Red Rose Motors in European F3 events in 1968 for Alan Rollinson. Raced with Lucas and later Holbay engines. Sold to Barrie Smith of Avalon Racing and raced in 1969 across Europe with Holbay engines until crashed heavily at Silverstone in July. Smith recalls that the car was rebuilt on a new chassis and sold to the US. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Alan Rollinson, John Fenning and Barrie Smith. First race: Monza, 7 Apr 1968. Total of 27 recorded races.
Sold to John Ralph and used in European F3 events in 1968 with Lucas engines. Sold to Wayne Kelly (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) for 1969 and fitted with a Ford twin cam engine for Formula B. Raced in US and Canadian FB events from July to September 1969. Kelly, the builder of the Kelly Formula Vees, died in 1971 following an accident in a Formula Ford race. Subsequent history of the Chevron is unknown but it is possible that this, rather than Peter Broeker's Chevron B14, was the car raced by Bill Eagles in 1970 and 1971.
Driven by: John Ralph and Wayne Kelly. First race: Oulton Park, 12 Apr 1968. Total of 18 recorded races.
Identified by Chevron Heritage as the B9 sold to Frank Lythgoe Racing for Dave Berry (Colwyn Bay) to drive in British F3 in 1968. The car was not successful in its early outings and with the F2 Chevron also proving uncompetitive, Lythgoe dropped all his Chevrons mid-season and bought Brabhams. Berry last raced his car at Thruxton 3 June 1968, after which it is believed to have gone via Fred Opert to the US. Subsequent history but Chevron Heritage believe this to be the car they bought recently from Mike Summers.
Driven by: Dave Berry. First race: Silverstone, 27 Apr 1968. Total of 3 recorded races.
Sold to Howard Heerey of Midland Garage and raced in British F3 in 1968, using mainly Holbay engines. Sold to Harry Stiller in October 1968 after Stiller decide to come out of retirement but only raced once. Sold soon after via Frank Williams to Simon Saye and raced in November 1968 and again, occasionally, in 1969. Advertised in July 1970. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Howard Heerey, Harry Stiller and Simon Saye. First race: Silverstone, 27 Apr 1968. Total of 20 recorded races.
The unidentified 1968-69 cars
According to Chevron records, eight B8s were built. These would be the identified cars above of Schenken, Williams, Rollinson, Ralph, Berry and Heerey plus the second Lythgoe Racing car of Digby Martland and the unused red car that was advertised by Sports Motors at the end of the season. The Schenken, Williams, Rollinson and Heerey cars stay in the UK for 1969 but the Ralph car definitely goes to Canada and the Martland car also appears to go to the US. The Berry car and the unused red car are currently unresolved but it would appear that the red car is the "Schenken's spare" that was used in hillclimbs by Tom Clapham in either 1969 or 1970.
Meanwhile in North America, the story of the B9s cannot be considered without also looking for the B7, which vanishes, and the three or four Chevron B14s, which were basically B9s with Ford twin cam engines. One possibility is that Tom Tufts' car, which first raced in late July, was the ex-Martland B9 that Fred Opert had advertised in late June. It is also possible that one of the mystery 'B15' Chevrons, such as the car raced in 1970 by Peter Darr in the Pacific northwest, may have been a second- or third-hand B9.
'the second Frank Lythgoe car'
A second Chevron B9 entered by Frank Lythgoe Racing for Digby Martland but only raced once or twice by Martland: possibly at Brands Hatch 15 April 1968 but the result is unknown, and then a dismal 22nd at Silverstone two weeks later. Martland did not take to single-seaters and the car was handed over to Peter Gethin to race at Oulton Park on 11 May, after which it was not seen again. Very likely to be the car advertised by Fred Opert in CP&A in late June: "We have one used '68 available that has done only two races". No engine was mentioned in Opert's advert so it is possible that this could then be the car raced as a Formula B car by Tom Tufts in July 1968. The chassis number quoted for that car, FB-68-8, is right next to the other Lythgoe F3 car, F3-68-9. Nothing further known at this point.
Driven by: Digby Martland and Peter Gethin. First race: Silverstone, 27 Apr 1968. Total of 2 recorded races.
'the Warren Flickinger car'
Warren A. Flickinger II (Golden, CO) raced a Chevron in Formula B in 1969. The car was usually entered as #5, was described as yellow/coral and had Vegantune and later HRE engines. The identity of the car remains a mystery but it is most likely to have been an ex-F3 B9 as all the B14s and B15s can be identified at this point and the B7 appears to have run in FC during the time, not FB. He raced this car until a Regional race at Texas International Speedway in July 1970 when he "flipped his car a number of times". He then acquired a Winkelmann WDB2. Flickinger, later of Denver, CO, went on to race a Chevron B18 in FB in 1971 and then a F5000 Lola T300 for two seasons. Nothing more is known of his 1969/70 Chevron and it is quite possible that it was destroyed in the accident.
Driven by: Warren Flickinger. First race: War Bonnet, 13 Apr 1969. Total of 12 recorded races.
'the Tom Clapham car'
Tommy Clapham (Keighley, West Yorkshire) acquired a Chevron B9 for 1969 which was described as "last year's Sports Motors spare F3 chassis", implying it was the unused red car advertised by Sports Motors at the end of 1968 alongside Tim Schenken's usual car. Clapham had it fitted with a 1.6-litre Ford twin-cam and Hewland FT200 for hillclimbs but his only known appearance was a third in class at Barbon in June 1969. Advertised late November. In May 1970, Howard Wilkinson (Brighouse, West Yorkshire) appeared at Harewood in a B9 with Ford twin-cam engine but he also did not use it for long as, by July 1970, Bobby Howlings was advertising a "Chevron FB" with Cosworth Mk 13 twin-cam which was "3 hill-climbs only from new". In July 1971, Louis Lorenzini (Prestwich, Manchester) was racing a Chevron which was said to be "Schenken's spare of 1968" since hill-climbed by Tom Clapham and Howard Wilkinson. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Tommy Clapham, Howard Wilkinson and Lou Lorenzini. First race: Barbon Manor (R4), 31 May 1969. Total of 5 recorded races.
The later mystery cars
'the Tom Hart car'
A 1-litre Chevron B9/15 first known when raced by David Pullen in Formula 4 in 1974, replacing the ex-Glenn Hyatt March 703 that he had used in 1974. According to former Chevron employee Kevin Hodgkinson, this is the car then hillclimbed by Thomas Hart (Beckenham) from 1975 to 1978. Sold by Hart to Russ Ward (Churchdown nr Cheltenham) for the 1979 season and then with John Davies (Stow-on-the-Wold) by 1981. According to Mike Faloon at the 1000cc F3 Historic Racing Association, this car then travelled via Paul Howarth, Julian Cotterell and Richard Earle to Fabio Montani. Cottrell had driven a 995cc B9 at Wiscombe Park in April 1985, and Montani advertised a B9 'chassis 10' from Milan in September 1997. This car has a chassis plate dating from the early 1980s when Chevron Cars was based in Scotland. Advertised by Repetto Motorsport in early 2014.
Driven by: David Pullen, Tom Hart, Russ Ward and John Davies. First race: Silverstone (R14), 28 Sep 1974. Total of 25 recorded races.
'the Steve Wilkinson car'
Steve Wilkinson (Lach Dennis, Cheshire) found a Chevron B9 in south Manchester in the late 1990s that was said to be ex-Schenken. There is still a degree of doubt whether this is Schenken's main (blue) car that was last seen in the London area, or the (red) "spare car" that was last seen in the Manchester area. Restored as Schenken's main car and given a MSA HTP in July 2010. Reportedly sold to Tommaso Gelmini (Soragna, Italy) in 2009, but the HTP date suggests this was later. Run at Cholmondeley in July 2009. Raced in Italy by Federico Buratti in 2011, 2012 and in 2014. This car was still in Italy in 2015, still in Schenken's livery, when it was raced by Enrico Spaggiari.
In addition to the above, unknown Chevron B9s were driven by B Swan and John McCartney.
We are indebted to Mike Faloon, Archivist for the 1000cc F3 Historic Racing Association, for information on the current whereabouts of many of these cars. The 1000cc F3 race results referenced here are based in large part on the ground-breaking work of the Formula One Register, and many of the chassis numbers were originally identified by FOR partner Duncan Rabagliati. Our immense gratitude for the work of the FOR cannot be expressed too often. Thanks also to Steve Wilkinson, Chris Townsend, Simon Hadfield, Philippe Demeyer, Michael Oliver and David McKinney.
These histories last updated on .