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March 71BM car-by-car histories

Ian Coristine in his March 71BM at Mont-Tremblant in 1971. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

Ian Coristine in his March 71BM at Mont-Tremblant in 1971. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

The March 71BM was a derivative of March's new monocoque Formula 2 car designed for the SCCA's Formula B. It sold very well in Canada and in the US, and Bob Lazier won the SCCA Runoffs in his 71BM.

Since the run of Formula B March 705s in May and June 1970, there had been a disagreement between Graham Coaker, who was in charge of the production side of March, and his partners, who were more concerned with F1. Coaker left March in September 1970, and his position was taken by Bill Stone, with Dave Reeves stepping up into Stone's role. With the factory at Bicester now fully operational, the 1971 range of cars was ready to show to the press in November 1970. Robin Herd had designed a new monocoque for Formula 2, and this was also available in Formula B and Formula 3 specification, although a spaceframe option was also available for F3. The bodywork was all new, but the general layout of the car was the same as 1970, with only detail differences such as narrower wishbones and the foam-filled bag tanks that were now required. According to Bill Gubelmann, who had one of the first 71BMs, some of these were built virtually to Formula 2 712M specification, just with smaller fuel capacity, and of course a twin-cam engine instead of the Cosworth FVA used in F2.

March summary records say that 13 71BMs were built, but 14 are then shown as having been produced. Chassis numbers used went up to 71BM-17, but with 71BM-6, 71BM-7 and 71BM-13 apparently not built. Four are shown as having gone to Canadian dealer Gordon Dewar, and another nine went through US dealer Joe Grimaldi. The final car, 71BM-17, was shown as having gone to Belgium via Montreal!

The key person in the history of the 71BMs was Joe Grimaldi, previously one of the three principals of Springdel Racing Corp in Elmsford, New York, with partners Chuck Schredel and Don Springmeyer. In early 1971, Grimaldi and and Wayne Ricciardi opened their new business "The Raceshop" on Greenwood Ave, Midland Park, NJ, and were awarded the US agency for March. They would import dozens of March 71BMs, 722s, 73B and 74Bs over the next four years. North of the border, Ottawa's Gordon Dewar had acquired the ex-Chris Amon March 707 Can-Am car, and had also taken the Canadian distributorship for March.

If you can add anything to these histories, please contact Allen Brown (allen@oldracingcars.com).

Chassis
History
Current owner
March 71BM-1

Gordie Dewar was appointed March importer into Canada for 1971 and his first purchase, chassis 71BM-1, went to Delta Racing Developments for Ian Coristine (Montréal, Quebec) to race in the Players FB series. Coristine finished the season fifth in the red #50 March but crashed in practice for the final race, at Circuit Ste-Croix in October. The car went to Reg Scullion (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Montréal, Quebec) for 1972 and it was entered for him by Kris Harrison's Ecurie Canada, and prepared by Andy Roe and Tom Greatorex. Ecurie Canada had also bought Wilson Southam's engine manufacturing business, acquiring Greatorex with it, and were preparing the engines in Scullion's car. Scullion started the season racing in Nationals in Texas before returning to Canada for the Players season. He ended the Canadian season in ninth place but then returned to the US to finish second in the SCCA Run-Offs. He retained the car for 1973 as a Scullion-Donolo Racing entry, and it was raced by partner Louis "Lou" Donolo (Montréal, Quebec) once or twice. Subsequent history unknown.

Driven by: Ian Coristine, Reg Scullion and Louis "Lou" Donolo. First race: Mont-Tremblant, 16 May 1971. Total of 32 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM-2

New for Bill Gubelmann (Oyster Bay, NY) and used in British Formula Atlantic at the start of the season, winning at Oulton Park 21 March, and then in the SCCA Pro Formula B series. The car was often described as a 712M but it seems more likely that he used the same 712BM all season. Also raced with a BDA in the Formula A race at Lime Rock in Sep and in one round of the Canadian series. Sold via Joe Grimaldi's The Race Shop to Frank Del Vecchio (Trumbull, CT) and used in NEDiv FB and in a couple of rounds of the Pro series. Sold back via Joe Grimaldi at the end of 1972; Frank thinks it went to a Canadian, and it is very likely to have been the car driven by Ken Huband, Norm Joy and David Westgate in 1973 and 1974. Sold to Mauro Lanaro (Montréal, Quebec) to replace the 71BM he lost in a transporter fire in 1974. Fitted with a Cosworth BDA engine and raced as the LM Special until at least 1977. Whether it is the LM Special he raced from 1980 to 1983 is unclear. The car remained with Lanaro for many years and was eventually rebuilt to original 71BM specification about 1999. In late 2018, it was part of a package of cars bought from Lanaro by David Clubine (Brantford, ON), and was sold to a collector in Ontario.

Driven by: Bill Gubelmann, Frank Del Vecchio and Mauro Lanaro. First race: Oulton Park (R2), 21 Mar 1971. Total of 18 recorded races.

Canada 2019
March 71BM-3
Bob Newton in his March 71BM at Westwood in May 1973. Copyright Kevin Skinner 2020. Used with permission.

Bob Newton in his March 71BM at Westwood in May 1973. Copyright Kevin Skinner 2020. Used with permission.

New to Chuck Willis's CRW Racing (Anaheim, CA) and leased to Jean de la Bruyere (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) for Max Mizejewski (Woodland Hills, CA) to race in SCCA Formula B in 1971 as "The Edmonton Flyer". As well as one Pro FB race, the March was also fitted with a Cosworth BDA and Mizejewski ran it in the Formula A class at Riverside in April. De la Bruyere then split from CRW and bought a new Lola T240 for Mizejewski. Ron Dykes (Marina del Rey, CA) then took over the car for Pro Formula B races and SCCA Nationals for the rest of 1971.

Sold to Bob Newton (Cupertino, CA) and run in Pro FB and SCCA Nationals in 1972, 1973 and 1974. It was also raced by Craig Fraser (Santa Cruz, CA) in 1973 and 1974 before Newton's last known appearance in it in late 1974. Newton advertised the car in August 1975 from Balboa, CA, in the Huntingdon Beach area of southern Los Angeles as a "March '72 FB" with Falconer body and Big Valve Hart. Bought for 18-year-old Jim Van Horn (Orange, CA) in 1975 by his father, and raced in Cal Club Regionals in late 1975. Advertised by Van Horn Jnr in early 1976, still green-and-white and still using the same #98 that had been the car's usual entry number since Dykes raced it in 1971. Van Horn bought a newer Chevron B27 for 1976, but returned to the March for 1977, which was rebuilt to 76B specification by Marc Bahner and fitted with a BDA engine. The car was registered with the SCCA in September 1977, but curiously used the chassis number of a March 722, 722-38. Van Horn raced this car up to to 1980.

Bought by Bill Hill (Olympia, WA) from Van Horn in 1981. Hill fitted a Mazda engine and a sports car body and raced the car in SCCA ASR and in Can-Am as the "Marzda" or the "Banana Crate". Crashed in a SCCA Regional (NW Region) at Olympia Airport in September 1986. Hill then bought a Lola T360 and the March chassis stayed in the rafters of his garage for many years. After Hill died, the car was sold to Phil Creighton (Georgia) in mid-2017, and then by him to Kevan McLurg (Brighton, UK) in 2018. Sold to Bruce Balchin (Southampton) in July 2019.

Driven by: Max Mizejewski, Ron Dykes, Bob Newton, Craig Fraser, Jim van Horn and Bill Hill. First race: Holtville Aerodrome, 31 Jan 1971. Total of 45 recorded races.

Bruce Balchin (UK) 2020
March 71BM-4

New to US dealer Joe Grimaldi and supplied in white bodywork.

Unknown
March 71BM-5

New to Canadian dealer Gordon Dewar and supplied in blue bodywork.

Unknown
March 71BM-8

New to Canadian dealer Gordon Dewar and supplied in red bodywork.

Unknown
March 71BM-9

New to US dealer Joe Grimaldi and supplied in black bodywork. At some point, a car bearing this chassis number was acquired as a complete car from Vasek Polak by restorer and master fabricator Marc Bahner. Bahner kept the engine and sold it on c2002 as a rolling chassis, but it was stripped of bodywork gauges and other components by its next owner. It was bought in June 2005 by Brad Moore, and still with him in October 2021.

Brad Moore (USA) 2021
March 71BM-10

New to Canadian dealer Gordon Dewar and supplied in red bodywork.

Unknown
March 71BM-11

New to US dealer Joe Grimaldi and supplied in white bodywork.

Unknown
March 71BM-12

New for Matt Spitzley and supplied via dealer Joe Grimaldi in blue bodywork.

Unknown
March 71BM-14

New to US dealer Joe Grimaldi, but date of delivery and colour of bodywork were not recorded.

Unknown
March 71BM-15
Mike Rand in his March 71BM. Licenced by Sports Car Club of America under Creative Commons licence http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-NC/1.0/. Original image has been cropped.

Mike Rand in his March 71BM. Licenced by Sports Car Club of America under Creative Commons licence http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-NC/1.0/. Original image has been cropped.

New to US dealer Joe Grimaldi and supplied in red bodywork. New to Mike Rand (Greenwich, CT) in time for the SCCA Runoffs, where he crashed in practice. Raced in Pro FB and SCCA Nationals in 1972. Sold to Charlie Gibson (Poughkeepsie, NY) for 1973, and again raced in Pro FB and in SCCA Nationals. Retained again for 1974, when it was run in the Canadian series in 73B specification. Also raced more rarely in 1975, before Gibson advertised it in early 1976. According to current owner Simon Perkins, it was sold for 1976 to "Eric Schneider who only did a few events and then neglected the car when he went off to college". In 1989, Charlie Gibson reacquired the car and resold it to Chris Smith, who had it refurbished by Derek Matthews at Ark Racing in 1989/1990. After racing it occasionally, Smith sold it to Perkins (North Newington, Oxfordshire) who did a few US Vintage races in 2002 and 2003 before bringing the car back to the UK in 2004. He has since raced it in HSCC and European F2 races. Raced by Perkins in HSCC Historic Formula 2 in 2008, and HSCC Derek Bell Trophy in 2009. Still owned by Simon in April 2020 but not used for some time.

Driven by: Mike Rand and Charles T. Gibson. First race: Lime Rock, 2 Oct 1971. Total of 28 recorded races.

Simon Perkins (UK) 2020
March 71BM-16

New to US dealer Joe Grimaldi and supplied in white bodywork.

Unknown
March 71BM-17

March records state that this car went to Belgium (via Montreal). If it had gone to Belgium, it is more likely that it would have been described there as a 712M rather than a 71BM. Nothing more known.

Unknown

March 71BMs in 1971

Establishing the chassis numbers of the 71BMs sold into North America has proved very difficult, a theme that will recur through the 722s, 73B and later Formula Atlantic Marchs. The simplest way to approach the task is to look at Canada and US sales separately.

Canada

The four cars sold to Canada via Dewar (71BM-1, 71BM-5, 71BM-8 and 71BM-10) were for a group of Quebecois drivers: Wilson Southam in Montréal who bought two for himself and Randy Fraser of Piedmont, and two more Montréal drivers, Ian Coristine and George Brocklehurst. Trying to identify these by colour is difficult, as three of Dewar's four cars were red. Ian Coristine recalls that his car was the Dewar's first, which would identify it as 71BM-1. This is supported by Coristine's car being red, matching the recorded colour of 71BM-1. The two Wilson Southam cars were reported to be red-and-white, so this best matches 71BM-8 and 71BM-10 which were recorded by March as red. That leaves George Brocklehurst's car as 71BM-5, although Brocklehurst's car was reportedly silver, and 71BM-5 was blue.

USA

Of the nine cars that went via Grimaldi into the US, it has been possible to identify the first drivers of only three with a reasonable degree of confidence: Bill Gubelmann had 71BM-2; CRW Racing had 71BM-3 for Max Mizejewski and later Ron Dykes, and Mike Rand bought 71BM-15 late in the season. Apart from these drivers, three other drivers appeared regularly in 71BMs in 1971: Bob Lazier and John Girdler in their own cars, and the car shared by Dale Lang and Joe Grimaldi. That brings the total so far to six, still leaving three 71BMs unaccounted for, and two of these could be the 71BMs bought by Geoffrey Freeman (Yellow Springs, OH), who sold one of them to Peter Nye and raced the other, very briefly, himself before selling it to Tom Sokoly in Racine, Wisconsin.

The ninth and final 71BM might be explained by Bob Criss, who raced a March at the Fort Sumner SCCA National at the end of the Midwest Division season. It seems unlikely he acquired a second-hand March 705 as the 705s all seem to have stayed in New England, so a March 71BM is probable, but as he would race an older Brabham BT29 the following year, the March may have been rented. Although a member of Colorado Region, Criss was racing on the west coast by this time, so the CRW Racing 71BM-3 is one possibility, and the car of fellow Colorado Region member Bob Lazier is another.

At the end of 1971, Chuck Dietrich raced a 71BM in the SCCA Runoffs, but he never used it again as he bought a new 722 for 1972, so this is assumed to have been a hire car, most likely the Dale Lang/Joe Grimaldi 71BM. Note that Dr Steve Mandy was recorded as scoring points in both NEDiv and SEDiv in a March of some description, but he says his only Formula B car was a 1969 Chevron B15b, so this was some sort of administrative error.

The 71BMs that went to Grimaldi that do not have a first owner known were: 71BM-4 (white); 71BM-9 (black, so probably Bob Lazier's car); 71BM-11 (white); 71BM-14 (colour unknown); and 71BM-16 (white). However, 71BM-12 was also supplied via Grimaldi for Matt Spitzley with in blue bodywork but no record has yet been found of him racing it.

The missing 71BM-6, 71BM-7 and 71BM-13

It is unusual for a racing car constructor to miss out chassis numbers. In Lola's summaries, it can happen because a car was used by Lola's works team and the summaries were produced from invoice records. In the case of these Marchs, there was no works FB team, so it is more likely that they were allocated numbers when an order was placed, but the order felll through and the car sitting on the jig was repurposed to fulfill a F2 or F3 order. An analysis of the Arch Motors frame numbers used during 1971 does not indicate that there are any cars missing from the record so we must assume that these three 71BMs never existed.

Chassis
History
Current owner
March 71BM
'the Randy Fraser car'
Randy Fraser in his March 71BM at Mont-Tremblant in 1971. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

Randy Fraser in his March 71BM at Mont-Tremblant in 1971. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

Wilson Southam acquired two red March 71BMs for Canadian Formula B in 1971, one for Randy Fraser and one for himself. Fraser's was the first to appear, running as the #54 Tartan Fraser entry and is most likely to have been 71BM-8. In early 1972, the car was sold to Gilles Léger (Lachute, Quebec) and updated to 722 specification by Tom Greatorex, who also prepared the car for Léger. Then to Patricia Smith (Montréal, Quebec) in 1973 entered as #51 by P.S. Translations. Subsequent history unknown.

Driven by: Randy Fraser, Gilles Léger and Patricia Smith. First race: Mont-Tremblant, 4 Jul 1971. Total of 18 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the Bob Lazier car'
James King in his March 71BM at Lake Garnett in 1972. Copyright David Hutson 2009. Used with permission.

James King in his March 71BM at Lake Garnett in 1972. Copyright David Hutson 2009. Used with permission.

Robert Lazier (Vail, CO) raced a black March 71BM in the SCCA Pro Formula B series and in SCCA Nationals in 1971. The car was sold to James King ( East St Louis, IL) for 1972, when it was repainted green and yellow and entered as #22 in Pro FB and in Nationals. King qualified the car for the 1972 Runoffs, but retired. This may be the car he raced at Mid-America Raceway in May 1973, before his March 73B was delivered. Subsequent history unknown.

Driven by: Bob Lazier and James King. First race: Seattle (R1), 23 May 1971. Total of 20 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the John Girdler car'

John G. Girdler (Southampton, Long Island, NY) raced a white #22 March 71BM in SCCA Nationals in 1971. He advertised the car in January 1972, calling it "the least used and most sanitory '71 for sale in the country". Nothing more known.

Driven by: John Girdler. First race: Lime Rock, 29 May 1971. Total of 2 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the George Brocklehurst car'
Derek Johnson in George Brocklehurst's March 71BM at Mont-Tremblant in 1971. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

Derek Johnson in George Brocklehurst's March 71BM at Mont-Tremblant in 1971. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

George Brocklehurst (Montréal, Quebec, Canada) bought a March 71BM but preferred to race it only in minor events, leaving it to Derek Johnson (Montréal, Quebec) in the bigger events. Brocklehurst's car ran as a #93 Todco Racing Team entry. Although it was silver, it seems likely to have been the blue 71BM-5 shown in March records as having gone to a customer of Canadian March importer Gordie Dewar. The car was written off in Johnson's accident in the rain at Trois-Rivières in August when he wrapped it round a telephone pole. [CT]

Driven by: Derek Johnson and George Brocklehurst. First race: Edmonton (R1), 20 Jun 1971. Total of 6 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the Dale Lang/Joe Grimaldi hire car'

March dealer Joe Grimaldi ran a white #21 March 71BM in Pro Formula B events in 1971 and early 1972 for himelf and also for Dale Lang (Wilton, CT). Nothing more known.

Driven by: Dale Lang and Joe Grimaldi. First race: Edmonton (R4), 1 Aug 1971. Total of 4 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the Wilson Southam car'
Wilson Southam in his March 71BM at Circuit Ste-Croix in October 1971. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

Wilson Southam in his March 71BM at Circuit Ste-Croix in October 1971. Copyright Bruce Stewart 2017. Used with permission.

Wilson Southam ran a team in Canadian Formula B in 1971. He bought two March 71BMs and raced this one himself. Southam was expected to run the car again in 1972, and it was fully updated to 722 specification by Tom Greatorex, well known in Canada as Kris Harrison's Can-Am mechanic. In February 1972, he loaned the car to Gus Hutchison for the two Formula B races in Bogotá. Southam sold his operation to Ecurie Canada for 1972, and this car is believed to have gone with it. Subsequent history unknown, but believed to be the car driven by Ian Coristine for Ecurie Canada in 1972 and 1973.

Driven by: Wilson Southam and Gus Hutchison. First race: Trois-Rivières (R4), 28 Aug 1971. Total of 6 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the Bob Criss car'

Bob Criss finished third in a March in the Formula B class at a SCCA National at Fort Sumner, New Mexico in October 1971, the last National of the 1971 Midwest Division season. Criss was then a member of the SCCA's Colorado Region. It seems unlikely that Criss would have owned this car, as he would spend 1972 racing an older Brabham BT29, so it's possible it was hired for that event, perhaps from fellow Colorado Region member Bob Lazier. Nothing more known.

Driven by: Bob Criss. First race: Fort Sumner, 10 Oct 1971. Only one recorded race.

Unknown

March 71BMs in 1972

For the purpose of exploring the likely ownership histories of these cars, we'll start from the assumption that the four Canadian cars stayed in Canada.

Canada

George Brocklehurst's car (71BM-5?) had been written off at Trois-Rivières in 1971, leaving three in Canada. Ian Coristine's car (71BM-1?) went to Reg Scullion; Wilson Southam's car is believed to have gone to Ecurie Canada for Coristine to drive, and Randy Fraser's went to Gilles Léger.

USA

The cars that were identified as running in 1971 in the US were those of Bill Gubelmann (71BM-2), Max Mizejewski and Ron Dykes (71BM-3), Mike Rand (71BM-15), Bob Lazier, John Girdler, the car shared by Dale Lang and Joe Grimaldi, and the two cars of Geoff Freeman. Of these eight cars, Gubelmann's went to Frank Del Vecchio for 1972; the ex-Mizejewski car to Bob Newton; Rand's was retained; Lazier's went to James King; and the car of John Girdler went missing. Freeman's cars are complicated as he sold one to Peter Nye for 1972, but the other to Tom Sokoly some time later. The car shared by Dale Lang and Joe Grimaldi was only seen at Bogotá in February and March, so had probably been sold on by the start of the SCCA season.

There are no other unexplained March 71BM drivers in 1972 at present, but as we acquire more results from SCCA Nationals, especially in NEDiv and Central Division, we are likely to find outwhat happened to the Girdler and Lang/Grimaldi cars.

Chassis
History
Current owner
March 71BM
'the Freeman/Nye car'
Peter Nye's #81 March 712 at Mosport Park in 1974. Copyright Peter Viccary (<a href=http://www.gladiatorroadracing.ca/ target=_blank>gladiatorroadracing.ca</a>) 2021. Used with permission.

Peter Nye's #81 March 712 at Mosport Park in 1974. Copyright Peter Viccary (gladiatorroadracing.ca) 2021. Used with permission.

Raced by Geoff Freeman (Yellow Springs, OH) in SCCA events in Central Division in 1971 but this 71BM did not appear in Pro events until bought by Peter Nye (Fostoria, OH) for the 1972 season. It may be the "ex-works 712 FB" advertised by 'Forward March' of Yellow Springs in February 1972. Nye crashed the car early in the season but rebuilt it on a new tub supplied by March and raced through 1972 and 1973 in Pro events and in SCCA. After relocating to Texas, Nye scored points in Southwest Division in 1974 and 1975. In 1974, Nye loaned the car to Galen Lyons (Austin, TX) and he raced it in one or two SCCA Nationals before it was sold to the Northwest US where its new owners planned to rebuild it as a sports car.

Driven by: Peter W Nye and Galen Lyons. First race: Bryar Motorsports Park (R2), 29 May 1972. Total of 8 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the Freeman/Sokoly car'
Tom Sokoly in the Falconer-bodied March 71BM at Gimli in 1975. Copyright Thomas Sokoly 2020. Used with permission.

Tom Sokoly in the Falconer-bodied March 71BM at Gimli in 1975. Copyright Thomas Sokoly 2020. Used with permission.

Harry Greenwood at Lime Rock in July 1978 in his March, still with Falconer bodywork and with the Players stickers from 1975. Copyright Bill Wagenblatt 2019. Used with permission.

Harry Greenwood at Lime Rock in July 1978 in his March, still with Falconer bodywork and with the Players stickers from 1975. Copyright Bill Wagenblatt 2019. Used with permission.

Geoff Freeman (Yellow Springs, OH) raced a March 71BM in the latter part of the 1971 SCCA season, first appearing in a National at Blackhawk Farms in August, and later winning a couple of Regionals. He also raced at Blackhawk Farms and Nelson Ledges in July 1972. It was sold by Freeman to brothers Tom and Ted Sokoly updated with Falconer bodywork, and was raced by Tom Sokoly (Racine, WI) in various incarnations from 1973 to 1976. Sokoly advertised it at the end of 1975 as a Falconer March 712/732 with Traylor BDD, and replaced it for 1976 with a 75B. Sold to Harry E. Greenwood (Fanwood, NJ, later Warren, NJ), who raced it in SCCA Formula B from 1976 to 1978. He entered it at Lime Rock in July 1976 as a March "732", advertised it as a "73B" in October 1976, and as a "1973 chassis with 1974 coachwork" in September 1978. A photograph of the car in July 1978 shows it still wearing 1973 Falconer bodywork, and with the Sokoly's very distinctive rollhoop. Subsequent history unknown.

Driven by: Geoffrey Freeman, Thomas Sokoly and Harry Greenwood. First race: Blackhawk Farms, 22 Aug 1971. Total of 12 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the 1972 Ian Coristine car'
Ian Coristine in his 
March 71BM/722/71BM at Edmonton in 1973. Copyright owned by the Northern Alberta Sports Car Club 2019. Used with permission.

Ian Coristine in his March 71BM/722/71BM at Edmonton in 1973. Copyright owned by the Northern Alberta Sports Car Club 2019. Used with permission.

The talented but cash-strapped Ian Coristine (Montréal, Quebec) had run his own March 71BM in 1971, but for 1972 rented an updated car from Ecurie Canada. The 71BM, probably Wilson Southam's old car, was updated to side-radiator 722 specification by team mechanic Tom Greatorex. Coristine stayed with the team for 1973 but the car was put back to 71BM specification. The team almost ran out of money mid-summer, but were rescued by a sponsorship deal with Schweppes. The 71BM was then sold to Mauro Lanaro (Montréal, Quebec) and used in Canadian Formula Atlantic in 1974. Coristine recalls that this car was destroyed in a transporter fire on its way to a race at Debert, but the exact date of this has yet to be determined. Lanaro then bought another 71BM to replace it.

Driven by: Ian Coristine and Mauro Lanaro. First race: Sanair, 4 Jun 1972. Total of 16 recorded races.

Destroyed 1974

March 71BMs in 1973

As we move into 1973, the four original Canadian cars have been reduced to three to an accident, but are joined by a further car from the US.

Canada

Of the four 71BMs sold into Canada, George Brocklehurst's car (71BM-5?) had been written off, leaving three. Reg Scullion retained his ex-Coristine car (71BM-1?) for another year; Ecurie Canada retained the ex-Wilson Southam for Ian Coristine to drive for another year; and Gilles Léger's ex-Randy Fraser car went to Patricia Smith. However, at least one more 71BM had by now arrived in Canada, as Ken Huband of Ottawa raced a 71BM all season, so that is probably the ex-Frank Del Vecchio 71BM-2 that Frank recalls was sold into Canada for 1973. Also Richard Doran of Montréal raced a 71BM at Trois-Rivières in September, having raced the ex-David McConnell GRD the rest of the year. Scullion, Coristine and Huband all started that race, but it's possible Doran had hired Pat Smith's car after problems with the GRD.

USA

Of the eight 71BMs that were identified as running in 1972 in the US: Frank Del Vecchio's ex-Bill Gubelmann 71BM-2 had been sold to Canada; Bob Newton retained his ex-Max Mizejewski 71BM-3; Mike Rand's 71BM-15 went to Chuck Gibson; James King's ex-Bob Lazier car disappears; John Girdler's car had not been seen since 1971; the Dale Lang/Joe Grimaldi was last seen at the Bogotá FB races in March 1972; and both Peter Nye and Tom Sokoly retained their ex-Freeman cars.

Of the three 71BMs that had disappeared by this time: James King's would have been in Illinois but could have gone back to March dealer Joe Grimaldi when King bought his new March 73B; John Girdler's was last seen in the New York area; and the Lang/Grimaldi car is also most likely to have stayed in the US northeast. Either the James King car or the Lang/Grimaldi car could be the "712" bought from Grimaldi by Richard Hudgins and Kevin Clower for 1973.

When trying to track the 71BMs, we have to remain mindful of the handful of March 712Ms that had moved to North America: Warren Ogden's 712M-15, last seen when traded back to Joe Grimaldi's The Race Shop in February 1973 and therefore another contender to be the Richard Hudgins/Kevin Clower car; Allen Karlberg's 712M-17 in Seattle, WA, although this car can be safely tracked through to its destruction in 1978; and the "ex-[Carlos] Pace" 712M bought from Fred Opert via Doug Shierson by Mike Cambern in Dearborn, Michigan in 1973 or 1974, after which it can be tracked to 1977. It is unclear where this "ex-Pace" car would have been in 1972 and 1973.

Chassis
History
Current owner
March 71BM
'the Ken Huband car'
Norm Joy's March 71BM at Westwood in May 1974. Copyright Kevin Skinner 2020. Used with permission.

Norm Joy's March 71BM at Westwood in May 1974. Copyright Kevin Skinner 2020. Used with permission.

Ken Huband (Ottawa, Ontario) raced a #9/#8 red-and-white March 71BM in Canadian Formula B in 1973, with support from Tangent Travel Ltd. When Huband advertised the March, together with his older Brabham BT29, in CMB in September 1973, he said it had five races from new. Sold to Norm Joy (Montréal, Quebec) for 1974, with support from T.G.Yachts of Canada Ltd, but he failed to qualify at the opening race, and then skipped the second round. Then to David Westgate (Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec) for the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. Subsequent history unknown.

Driven by: Ken Huband, Norm Joy and David Westgate. First race: Westwood (R1), 27 May 1973. Total of 6 recorded races.

Unknown
March 71BM
'the Hudgins/Clower car'

Richard Hudgins, originally from Surrey in England, and Kevin Clower (Nashville, TN) acquired a March "712" from dealer Joe Grimaldi in 1973, trading in the Chevron B18 that Hudgins had previously acquired from Grimaldi for his racing school based at Virginia International Raceway. Hudgins and Clower raced the March for a while around June/July 1973 before trading again with Grimaldi for a March 722. Nothing more known.

Driven by: Kevin Clower and Richard Hudgins. First race: Summit Point, 10 Jun 1973. Total of 2 recorded races.

Unknown

March 71BMs from 1974 onwards

By the start of the 1974 season, six 71BMs were still in use. In Canada, Mauro Lanaro was running the ex-Ian Coristine car; and Norm Joy had the ex-Ken Huband car, both in Montréal, Quebec. In the US, Bob Newton and Craig Fraser were racing 71BM-3 on the west coast; Charlie Gibson had the ex-Rand 71BM-15 in the New York area; and Peter Nye and Tom Sokoly were still racing their ex-Freeman cars in Ohio and Wisconsin respectively. Also George Brocklehurst's car (71BM-5?) had been written off, so a total of seven can be accounted for. It appears that 13 had originally gone to North America, so another six remain to be discovered, including the cars last raced by Reg Scullion, Patricia Smith, James King, and John Girdler; and the Lang/Grimaldi car.

The only unexplained newcomer was Dennis Krueger who had an unidentified 71BM with Falconer bodywork at the Westwood Pro race. Krueger was from Washington state, so if this was a 71BM, it had travelled quite a distance. One possibility is that it was Allen Karlberg's ex-Formula 2 March 712M, which had been brought back to Karlberg's home town of Seattle, Washington, after Karlberg raced it in Britain in 1973. Next time that 712M was seen, it was in Falconer bodywork, so it could well be Krueger's car. Another possibility is 'the Freeman/Nye car', which was sold to somebody in the US Northwest around 1975, but that that car now appears to have remained in Texas until 1977.

Chassis
History
Current owner
March 71BM
'the Dennis Krueger car'
Dennis Krueger in his Falconer-bodied March 71BM at Westwood in May 1974. Copyright Kevin Skinner 2020. Used with permission.

Dennis Krueger in his Falconer-bodied March 71BM at Westwood in May 1974. Copyright Kevin Skinner 2020. Used with permission.

Dennis Krueger (Seattle, WA) drove a #44 March 71BM with Falconer bodywork in the Formula Atlantic race at Westwood in May 1974. Krueger, whose home town was also given as Eugene, WA and Bellevue, WA, had previously raced a Merlyn in Formula Ford. Just ten laps into his Formula Atlantic debut, Krueger was forced into a ditch when Dave Morris spun his March 74B right in front of him. Krueger and the March were not seen again.

Driven by: Dennis Krueger. First race: Westwood (R1), 26 May 1974. Only one recorded race.

Unknown
March
'the Fred Lee car'
(1975-1976)

Fred Lee (Tulsa, OK) is recorded as winnning the Formula B class in a March at SCCA Regional held at Hutchinson's Sunflower Aerodrome in Oklahoma on 3 May 1975, but only very minimal details of the event are available. He was then listed as a non-starter at the Ponca City Grand Prix in Oklahoma in July 1975 with a #54 Formula B March, but surviving Midwest Division records make no further mention of him in 1975. In 1976, he raced the #54 March in two SCCA Nationals at Hutchinson, the Hutchinson Grand Prix and the Prix des Plaines, and then at Lake Afton in Kansas in August. Lee was a member of NeOkla (Northeast Oklahoma) Region. Nothing more known.

Driven by: Fred Lee. First race: Hutchinson Naval Air Station, 3 May 1975. Total of 4 recorded races.

Unknown
March "712"
'the Alfred Irving car'
(1975 only)

Alfred Irving (Hackensack, NJ) drove a March "712M" in a New England Region SCCA Regional at Bryar Motorsports Park on 26 May 1975. Irving advertised the car in Autoweek in January 1976 as a 1971 March with only nine races from new, a big valve Hart and Hewland FT200. Nothing more known.

Driven by: Alfred Irving. First race: Bryar Motorsports Park, 26 May 1975. Only one recorded race.

Unknown
March "712"
'the Hugh Mooney car'
(1976 only)
Hugh Mooney in his Falconer-bodied March 71BM at the Laguna Seca IMSA race in May 1976. Copyright Don Odiorne 2020. Used with permission.

Hugh Mooney in his Falconer-bodied March 71BM at the Laguna Seca IMSA race in May 1976. Copyright Don Odiorne 2020. Used with permission.

Hugh Mooney (Huntingdon Beach, CA) raced a "March 712" in SCCA Formula B and IMSA Formula Atlantic in 1976. When he first appeared, he referred to it as a converted F2 car, and when he advertised it in Formula magazine in August 1977, he called it a "March 712 Formula Atlantic", However, it is assumed here to have been a 71BM. In his advert, it had Falconer bodywork and a Hart BDA engine, and photographs show that it had the Falconer body throughout his ownership of it.

Driven by: Hugh Mooney. First race: Laguna Seca (R2), 2 May 1976. Total of 2 recorded races.

Unknown
March "712"
'the Peter Neumahr car'
(1976 only)
Peter Neumahr in his 
March 71BM/733 
at Lime Rock in 
October 1976. Copyright Arny Spahn 2020. Used with permission.

Peter Neumahr in his March 71BM/733 at Lime Rock in October 1976. Copyright Arny Spahn 2020. Used with permission.

Peter Neumahr (White Plains, NY/Bronzville, NY) raced a Formula B March in the Thompson NERRC race on 22 August 1976, and at Lime Rock in October 1976. He then advertised a "712FB updated to 733", which had run one hour on a new BDA engine, in Autoweek 25 Dec 1976 and 1 January 1977. Neumahr, who ran a car dealership, Neumahr Brothers Inc, in Eastchester, NY, acquired Frank Delvecchio's newer March 73B for the start of the 1977 season and then bought a new March 77B. The subsequent history of the 71BM/733 is unknown.

Driven by: Peter Neumahr. First race: Thompson Raceway, 22 Aug 1976. Total of 2 recorded races.

Unknown

In addition to the above, unknown March 71BMs were driven by Chuck Dietrich, Richard Doran and Dick Renard.

Acknowledgements

First and foremost, thanks to Chris Townsend for his hard work trying to make sense of an intensely difficult subject. Thanks to Adam Ferrington and Ted Walker for information from their archives, and to Simon Hadfield for technical information about these cars. Thanks also to former owners Bill Gubelmann, Peter Nye, Bill Hill, Frank Del Vecchio and Tom Sokoly for their recollections, to ex-Wilbur Bunce crew member Alan Degasis, to Rocky Entriken for his archive of Midwest Division Formula B resuts, and to Kevan McLurg for his insights.

If you can add anything to these histories, please contact Allen Brown (allen@oldracingcars.com).

These histories last updated on .