March 73B car-by-car histories
March's 1973 Formula Atlantic car, the March 73B, was based on the Formula 2 732 and was marketed in the US as a 732. It sold in large numbers and won races in both the British and Canadian series.
The 73B differed from the previous Formula Atlantic/Formula B model, the March 722, by having a full-width nose housing the main radiator, a change from the chisel nose and side radiators of the March 722. As the 73B was a step on the evolution of March's production car design from the 712M all the way to the 77B, it was quite straightforward to update older 712Ms and 722s to 73B specification, and then to update 73Bs with the longer nose of the 742 and its return to side radiators. One of the key distinguishing features of the 73B and all the Marchs than came after it is the braces running down from the rollhoop into the cockpit. Older cars did not have these, and did not necessarily have them added if the car was upgraded to later bodywork. Under the skin, the 73B had a longer sloping section at the front of the monocoque; a change to the flat tub of the 71BM and the short slope at the front of the 722 monocoque. This longer sloping section required the damper support cross tube to be lower, and this got in the way of some drivers' feet. The 74B tub was much the same, but later tubs, such as the 75B, returned to the 722's shape with its higher damper support cross tube.
In the UK, Colin Vandervell won the Yellow Pages Championship in his 73B, and also finished second in the BP championship, winning four races in total. Geoff Friswell won two races in his late-season 73B and was third overall in the Yellow Pages series, and Steve Choularton was also a race winner in his Autovita Developments 73B. In Canada, Roy Folland won at Sanair in his Roman Brio 73B, and Eppie Wietzes drove Folland's car to second place in the Columbo Yogurt Formula B Challenge Cup that supported the F1 Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.
On both sides of the Atlantic, March had taken over from Brabham as the leading Formula Atlantic constructor. Of the 426 starts in British Formula Atlantic championships races, March had a dominant "share of grid" with 192, well ahead of a crowd of contenders led by Brabham on 40, Surtees on 29, Chevron and Lyncar both on 24, Ensign on 20, GRD on 16, and others including Huron, Martin, Rondel, Royale, Tui and Wimhurst. Of those 426 starts, 197 (46%) were in brand new equipment, and the March 73B led the way with 76 starts, followed by the Brabham BT40 on 28, Surtees TS15 on 26, and Chevron B25 on 24. The number of upgraded 712Ms and 722s represented over 25% of the grids in Britain. Of 296 race starts in the major Formula B races in North America, 109 (37%) were in Marches, compared with 97 in Brabhams (33%), 37 in Lotuses (13%) and 33 in Chevrons (11%). GRD and Lola were the only other constructors with more than one representative. In those race starts, 90 (30%) were in cars new for 1973, and the March 73B (45 starts) had a narrow lead over Brabham's BT40 (39), with the Chevron B25, Crosslé 28F and GRD B73 making only very minor impact. As Canada would adopt Formula Atlantic for 1974, this would be the last time the British season was statistically more competitive than North America's.
A total of 22 March 73Bs were produced, but a lack of complete production records means that we do not know the first owner of all of those. As far as can be determined, only 19 73Bs raced during 1973, with a 20th appearing at the start of 1974, so the early career of two 73Bs remains a mystery. It is quite possible they were sold to SCCA Formula B drivers who did not appear in the end-of-season points tables. After 1973, it is then possible to trace the 20 known cars through 1973, 1974 and 1975. Despite numerous accidents, all the cars were rebuilt in some form, even if some of the rebuilds can be regarded as new "bitzas". As well as racing in Britain, Canada and the US, 73Bs also competed in Macau, Malaysia, Australia and even Jamaica. A relatively small number are known to exist today, with a good number having been retubbed into something else, or rebuilt into more fashionable forms for historic racing, such as 712Ms and 732s.
Stephen Choularton (Hale Barns, Cheshire) acquired the first production March 73B and raced it in libre events and in the British F/Atlantic series with support from Autovita Developments Ltd. His mechanic Jim Crawford also raced this car in a libre race that year. Choularton continued with the car in 1974 when it was driven by Crawford in one round, at Brands Hatch in September, after Crawford had damaged his usual car. The car was next seen in May 1975 when Choularton dusted it off for Cyd Williams to drive after Williams had wrecked Graham Eden's Brabham BT40. Choularton retained the car, unused, until 1977 when it was sold to Paul Gardner (Preston, Lancashire) and used in libre racing in 1977. It then travelled out to the West Indies, quite possibly via Manchester-based racing car dealer Bobby Howlings, who would have known Gardner well, and was a regular visitor to the West Indies series. Raced by Mark Moodie in 1978 and 1979, winning the 1979 Jamaican National Championship. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Stephen Choularton, Jim Crawford, Cyd Williams, Paul Gardner, Mark Moodie and Richard Knox. First race: Silverstone, 3 Mar 1973. Total of 52 recorded races.
New to Richard Paul (North Hollywood, CA), and first raced it at the Phoenix SCCA National in February 1973 where it was entered as #48, sponsored by Fire Suppression Inc. Paul crashed heavily at Trois-Rivières in September. Paul retained the car for 1974, when it was usually described as a 74B, but wrapped it around a lamppost in practice for the St Johns Formula Atlantic race in July 1974. The car was rebuilt but may have used an older 722 monocoque. Paul entered it as a 742 in races in early 1975. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Richard Paul. First race: Phoenix International Raceway, 25 Feb 1973. Total of 20 recorded races.
New to Mike Rand (Riverside, CT/Greenwich, CT/Amherst, Mass) and raced in SCCA Nationals, but also taking in Pro races at Sanair and Watkins Glen. To Fred Opert in part-exchange for a Rondel and sold to E. Jay Erickson (Stevens Point, WI), appearing at Watkins Glen in October 1974. Fitted with a BDA for 1975 and raced in Canadian Formula Atlantic. Advertised by Erickson in late 1975 and sold to Bill Nees (Lenexa, Kansas) who retained it until 1989. Then to Brian Haupt (Kansas City, MO) and used by him in SCCA C Sports Racing. Still with Haupt in December 2015.
Driven by: Mike Rand, E. Jay Erickson and Bill Nees. First race: Thompson Raceway, 28 May 1973. Total of 9 recorded races.
A new green March 73B entered by DRC Formula Racing Inc for Ron Cohn (Modena, NY) in Canadian and US Formula B 1973, running as #56. Retained for 1974, running in the Canadian F/Atl series and in the F/Atl race at Watkins Glen in October. To Eric Kerman (Hempstead, NY/Glen Cove, NY) for 1975 and updated with new orange bodywork, entered as #81 or #87, and running as a 75B. Raced by Kerman in SCCA Nationals from 1975 to 1979. Later to Oran Bushey (Huntingdon, NY) and raced until 1982. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Ron Cohn and Eric Kerman. First race: Edmonton (R2), 3 Jun 1973. Total of 25 recorded races.
New to Colin Vandervell (Purley, Surrey) and raced with great success in the Formula Atlantic in the UK in 1973, winning four races, and securing the Yellow Pages Championship. Sold to Des Donnelly (Naas, County Kildare, Ireland) for the Irish Formula Atlantic series, and raced by him in 1974 and 1975. There is then no mention of the car in 1976 or 1977, but in 1978, the car was raced by Ken Fildes (Clonskeagh, Dublin), and it had been owned by Gerry Kinnane for part or all of this period. Sold to Graham Brown, who took it to Australia when he emigrated in 1979, and raced by him in Western Australia in 1980 and 1981. Also raced by Joe Ricciardo in 1981. To Rod Housego, and raced by him in Western Australia in 1982 and 1984. Acquired by Richard Carter in 1988, and restored. Raced by Carter in HSRCA events from 1999 to 2002. Later to George Makin (Melbourne), and raced by Andrew Makin in historic events from 2003 onwards. Raced by Andrew Makin at Historic Winton May 2018, the Winton Festival of Speed in August 2018, Historic Sandown November 2018, Historic Winton May 2019, the Winton Festival of Speed August 2019 and Historic Sandown October 2019.
Driven by: Colin Vandervell, Des Donnelly, Ken Fildes, Graham Brown, Joe Ricciardo and Rod Housego. First race: Mallory Park (R1), 11 Mar 1973. Total of 64 recorded races.
New to James King (East St Louis, IL) and used in Central Division SCCA Formula B, one round of the Players Canadian series, and the Watkins Glen Pro race in October. Raced briefly in SCCA Nationals in early 1974 before his new Chevroin B27 arrived from England, then leased to Ric Forest and Fred Phillips for the 1974 Players Canadian series. King took over the car again for 1975, rebuilt it on a new tub, fitted a March 742 nose and side radiators, and raced it in the Players Canadian series. It then went to Porter Brownlee (Little Rock, AR) who raced it in Midwest Division Formula B in 1976 and 1977. After blowing the engine, he sold it to Mike Winn who raced it for one season before selling it to Chuck Blair, who had previously maintained it for Brownlee. Blair ran it a couple of times before selling it. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: James King, Ric Forest, Fred Phillips and Porter Brownlee. First race: Indianapolis Raceway Park, 8 Jul 1973. Total of 19 recorded races.
New to Joe Grimaldi in green bodywork. Nothing more known.
New to Joe Grimaldi in green bodywork. Nothing more known.
In the mid-1970s, Grant Swartz (Berkeley, CA) was an aircraft maintenance specialist working for the Flying Tiger Line air freight company in Hong Kong and Vietnam. In 1973, he acquired a March 73B, presumably the chassis 73B/13 that is shown in March records as going to Hong Kong, and he raced at the Macau Grand Prix in November that year. Unfortunately, he hit a wall and broke his ankle. Undeterred, he returned to the Macau race in the car in 1974 and 1975. It was then sold to Nick Van Nugteren (Singapore), who raced it at Macau in 1977 and 1978. By 1978 it had been updated to March 742 bodywork, and was sponsored by Black & Decker. It was later owned by Chris Farrell in Australia, and raced by him in HSRCA from 1999 to 2001. To Robert Foster by 2002, and raced by Foster in HSRCA events from 2004 to 2017. Raced by Foster in the Historic Autumn Race Meeting at Wakefield Park Raceway in April 2017.
Driven by: Grant Swartz and Nick Van Nugteren. First race: Macau, 18 Nov 1973. Total of 6 recorded races.
New to Joe Grimaldi. Nothing more known.
New to Joe Grimaldi. Nothing more known.
Originally raced by Bruce MacInnes (Sharon, CT) as part of a two-car team with Ron Cohn. After 1973, it was sold to Joe Ostrowski (Trenton, NJ) and used in SCCA club events until early 1982 when it was bought by Seann Burgess (Caledon, Ontario). Burgess won the CASC Ontario Formula Atlantic championship and the BARC Drivers Championship in 1982 as well as appearing in 'pro' events.
After two more seasons of Atlantic, he converted the car to Can-Am specification at the end of 1985 and then fitted a McLaren M1B body and a Mazda 13B rotary engine for 1986. This "March RX10-B" was raced through the 1986 season. Burgess kept the Can-Am car after it was retired from racing and eventually restored to immaculate condition, winning two Concours awards in 2016 and 2017.
However, by this time the March 73B was no longer a part of the Can-Am car, and was restored to 73B specification. By 2019, it was in the Musée Gilles Villeneuve (Berthierville, Quebec), in the livery of Villeneuve's March 75B.
Driven by: Bruce MacInnes, Joe Ostrowski and Seann Burgess. First race: Edmonton (R2), 3 Jun 1973. Total of 25 recorded races.
According to surviving March records, this was a F/Atlantic car built for Geoff Friswell (Coventry) and raced by him in the UK series through 1973 and 1974. It was then sold to Andy Barton (Newcastle upon Tyne) as a libre car and upgraded to 74B and then 75B spec over the next two seasons, also acquiring a F2 BDG engine at times in 1976. Barton sold it to Bob Rollo (Prestonpans, Scotland) for 1977, as an Atlantic again, and it then went to Stewart Robb (Alloa, Scotland) during 1978 in F2 spec. The car was rebuilt on a "new" 752 tub after a crash in 1978 and then rebuilt to 782 spec by Robin Smith after the 1979 season. It was raced again by Robb as a "March 75/782" with steel 2-litre Cosworth BDG engine from 1980 to 1982 and was sold to Roger Andreason at the new Chevron Cars Ltd around 1984.
Driven by: Geoff Friswell, Andy Barton, Dave Muter, Bob Rollo and Stewart Robb. First race: Croft (R7), 1 Jul 1973. Total of 99 recorded races.
New to Joe Grimaldi. Nothing more known.
New to Charles Lucas (Ellington, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire) in July 1973, and raced in British Formula Atlantic. In September, he took the car to Ireland for the Phoenix Park for the Player's No 6 GP and was running in an aggregate second place near the end of the second heat when he left the road at Phoenix Corner and wrapped the March round a tree. He was still classified third. The March was rebuilt and sold to Ken Bailey (Stretford, Greater Manchester) for 1974, but sold on again in May to touring car driver Andy Rouse (Leamington Spa, Warwickshire). Rouse crashed it at Snetterton at the end of October, and it was not seen again. Ralph Broad, Rouse's touring car boss at Broadspeed, then insisted Rouse choose between single-seaters and touring cars, and Rouse wisely chose the latter. He would be British Saloon Car Champion four times. The fate of the March 73B is not known.
Driven by: Charles Lucas, Ken Bailey and Andy Rouse. First race: Silverstone (R5), 14 Jul 1973. Total of 18 recorded races.
New to Stan Mathews (Wicken, Wolverton, Bucks) in June 1973, and raced in British Formula Atlantic. To Chris Oates (Kimberley, Notts) for 1974, but sold mid-season to Val Musetti (London). Retained by Musetti for 1975, when it was updated to 74B specification. It was also rebuilt on another tub about this time, but the details are obscure. Damaged by Derek Cook's March 73B in practice at Silverstone in July, and rebuilt in time for the race on the car's original tub - only to be crashed and damaged again in the race. At the end of 1975, Musetti built up a March "742", which could be said to have inherited the identity of 73B-21, but as the tub had been changed, the chassis plate had long gone, and its appearance and description were radically different, it could be argued that 73B-21 had dissipated by the end of 1975. The successor "742" later went to Bill Wood, then Ray Rowan, before spending much of the 1980s in Monoposto and then being rebuilt as a "712M" for historic racing in the late 1980s.
Driven by: Stan Mathews, Chris Oates, Val Musetti and Tom Walkinshaw. First race: Mallory Park (R6), 24 Jun 1973. Total of 47 recorded races.
New to Harry Stiller Racing and entered for Bev Bond in a few late-season 1973 Formula Atlantic races, but only appeared once. Rebuilt by March to 74B specification over the winter and appeared as 74B chassis 'U1' for Bond in 1974. Alan Jones took over the drive mid-season and won three races. Advertised by AW Brown (London) in January 1975. Briefly to Frank Blanchard in early 1975 but then to Bill Gowdy (Belfast, Northern Ireland) for Irish Formula Atlantic. To Gerry Kinnane for Des Donnelly to drive in 1976, then to Eddie Jordan (Dundrum, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland) for 1977. Subsequently to Colin Simpson (Dundee, Scotland) for Scottish hillclimbs in 1978 and 1979, when it was fitted with a 1800cc Cosworth BDE; then to Grahame Brown, a Scot who emigrated to Australia and took two Formula Atlantic cars with him. Raced by Geoff Nicol in Australian Formula Pacific in 1981, and by John Blennerhasset in 1982. Then to Michael Miller, brothers Peter and Terry Simms, then the Kendall family, then to Bryan Miller in 2002. Sold by Bryan to Richard Carter (Berry, NSW) in September 2018, and shortly afterwards sold to Richard Ellingworth. Raced by Ellingworth in European Historic F2 in 2019.
Driven by: Bev Bond, Alan Jones, Damien Magee, Bill Gowdy, Des Donnelly, Eddie Jordan, Geoff Nicol and John Blennerhasset. First race: Brands Hatch (R15), 30 Sep 1973. Total of 55 recorded races.
Over the 1973/74 winter, Jim Crawford built up Steve Choularton's March 73B spares in to a second car. He raced the car with great success in the two British Formula Atlantic series in 1974, winning two John Player races and narrowly losing the title to John Nicholson after the two collided at the last race. He also won one race in the Southern Organs series, before crashing at Brands Hatch at the end of September, which resulted in the car being rebuilt on a new tub from March. The car was then raced at least once by Choularton, while Crawford moved over to Fred Opert's Chevron B27 for the last two races, winning both, and taking the title. The 73B that appeared for Cyd Williams in May 1975 is thought to be Choularton's 73B/1. The ex-Crawford car was sold to Derek Cook (Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham, South Yorkshire) in July 1975 but in practice for his first race, the British GP support race, Cook spun off and hit Val Musetti's March, writing off both cars.
Driven by: Jim Crawford, Cyd Williams, Stephen Choularton and Derek Cook. First race: Mallory Park (R1), 10 Mar 1974. Total of 18 recorded races.
Unidentified March 73Bs in 1973
Through a variety of methods, the first owners of twelve of the 22 cars have been identified. These are Stephen Choularton's 73B/1, Richard Paul's 73B/2, Mike Rand's 73B/3, Ron Cohn's 73B/7, Colin Vandervell's 73B/8, James King's 73B/10, Grant Swartz' 73B/13, Bruce MacInnes's 73B/17, Geoff Friswell's mid-season 73B/18, Charles Lucas's 73B/20, Stan Mathews' 73B/21 and Harry Stiller's 73B/22.
However, this leaves another ten where little is known. These are 73B/4, 73B/5, 73B/6 and 73B/9 where nothing is known; and 73B/11, 73B/12, 73B/14, 73B/15, 73B/16 and 73B/19 where we have a few clues.
The 10 unidentified cars will be explained by the cars driven by Warren Ogden, Roy Folland, Gary Magwood, Frank Del Vecchio and Tom Outcault in North America, all of whom had raced by 3 June; by Max Callicott who appeared in July; and by Sonny Rajah in the Far East. However, that is only seven, leaving another three cars that are completely unexplained. Some cars may have stayed in SCCA Divisional racing, even though all the Marchs that scored points in 1973 have been identified, at least in terms of their model. It is also possible that one or two cars did not race until 1974, and the car of John Gillmeister may be one of these. However, Gillmeister may have been built from parts and as such not part of March's official production.
'the Sonny Rajah car'
New to Sonny Rajah (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and used in British Formula Atlantic in 1973. In August 1973, it was flown to South East Asia, where it spent the rest of its racing career. However, it is difficult to understand exactly how this car was used, as Rajah also owned a March 712M which was updated to 73B specification, and was also involved with a March 723 which had been converted to the local 1600cc 2-valve formula. Rajah won the Selangor Grand Prix at Batu Tiga in early September 1973, almost certainly in the 73B, and the car was later raced by Jan Bussell at the 1974 Malaysian GP, and by Rajah in Formula Pacific in the latter half of the decade.
Driven by: Sonny Rajah, Percy Chan and Jan Bussell. First race: Silverstone (R3), 20 May 1973. Total of 14 recorded races.
'the Warren Ogden III car'
Warren Ogden III (North Andover, MA) raced a March 73B in SCCA Nationals in 1973 and 1974. Only a handful of his appearances are known, but it is likely he ran in other events, but too far back to be reported. The car was maintained by Bob Fletcher's Fast Co. in Marblehead, Ma, with help from Norm Marx and Chris Wallach, and Fletcher alerted Bobby Reen (Springfield, MA) when the car was for sale in January 1975. Reen recalls that Skip Barber had rented it from Ogden for the Colombo Yogurt Formula B race at Watkins Glen in October 1973. Reen ran the car in four SCCA Nationals in 1975, and a few Regionals, winning all of those. He sold the car "to a guy in New Jersey or Maryland" in early 1976. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Warren Ogden III, Skip Barber and Bobby Reen. First race: Thompson Raceway, 28 May 1973. Total of 9 recorded races.
'the Roy Folland car'
Roy Folland (Montréal, Quebec) had a purple #6 March 73B for 1973 but crashed at Trois-Rivières in Sept and after being repaired, the 73B was sold to Ecurie Canada for guest driver Eppie Wietzes to race at the Watkins Glen Pro FB race five weeks later. Then sold to Tim Cooper (Kansas City, MO) who raced the "ex-Ecurie Canada" 73B at a Willow Springs Regional in December 1973. Raced extensively in SCCA racing early in 1974 and then in the Pro F/Atlantic series, prepared by Charlie Williams Racing. Cooper raced a 75B as part of Doug Shierson Racing in 1975, probably a new car. He then went to Wilbur Bunce's team for 1976, and it is possible that the 75B/76B that Bunce built up for him could have been based on the old 73B. The self-entered 77B he had in early 1977 may have been this car again. It might even have been the ex-Cooper March "78B" later entered by Ted Titmas in 1978 and 1979. The latter years of this history become increasingly uncertain and we're very keen to talk to Tim Cooper to clarify.
Driven by: Roy Folland, Eppie Wietzes and Tim Cooper. First race: Westwood (R1), 27 May 1973. Total of 23 recorded races.
'the Gary Magwood car'
New to Gary Magwood (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), and raced in the Players Canadian series. Magwood was increasingly absorbed with his racing school at Mosport Park, and the March 73B was raced once by Luke de Sadeleer in 1974 before Magwood had his first race of the year in it at Sanair in July. After qualifying third, he hit the pit wall during the race, and wiped out the left side of the car. Magwood acquired a new Lola T360, but the March was eventually repaired and was advertised by Magwood in June 1977. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Gary Magwood and Luke de Sadeleer. First race: Westwood (R1), 27 May 1973. Total of 5 recorded races.
'the Frank Del Vecchio car'
New to Frank DelVecchio (Trumbull, CT) and raced in SCCA Formula B and in rounds of the Players (Canadian) Formula B series in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976. When the series move to accept the BDA engine, Frank continued with a fuel-injected Ford twin cam engine. He recalls that he sold the car to Peter Neumahr, who had raced a 71BM/733 in 1976 and would progress to a new 77B in 1977, but it thought to have raced this 73B briefly in late 1976 or early 1977. Neumahr sold the car to Jack Deaso (New York, NY), who DelVecchio recalls crashing it at Lime Rock first time out. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Frank Del Vecchio and Peter Neumahr. First race: Thompson Raceway, 28 May 1973. Total of 20 recorded races.
'the Tom Outcault car'
New to Tom Outcault (Cranford, NJ, later Middletown, OH) and entered for him by Troco Racing (Cranford, NJ, later Carlisle, OH) in the Players Canadian Formula B series and in SCCA Nationals. At Mosport in August 1973, Outcault went off at corner 3 and collided heavily with Al Lader's abandoned Brabham BT40. The March was "written off" and Outcault was hospitalised with ankle injuries. Outcault acquired a March 743 tub and rebuilt his car on that, so the history of the 73B effectively ends at that point.
Driven by: Tom Outcault. First race: Edmonton (R2), 3 Jun 1973. Total of 5 recorded races.
'the Max Callicott car'
Max Callicott (Anaheim, CA) ran a March 73B in the Players (Canadian) Formula B Series race at Debert in July 1973. He ran a McLaren M4A at other times during that season, both before and after Debert, so this may be a transcription error, or may have been a hire car.
Driven by: Max Callicott. First race: Debert (R5), 16 Jul 1973. Only one recorded race.
March 73Bs in 1974
All the twelve cars that have been identified in 1973 can be traced into 1974. Stephen Choularton retained 73B/1, Richard Paul kept what was left of 73B/2, Mike Rand's 73B/3 went to E. Jay Erickson, Ron Cohn retained 73B/7, Colin Vandervell's 73B/8 went to Des Donnelly, James King kept 73B/10 as a hire car, Grant Swartz kept 73B/13, Bruce MacInnes's 73B/17 went to Joe Ostrowski, Geoff Friswell retained 73B/18, Charles Lucas's 73B/20 went to Ken Bailey and then Andy Rouse, Stan Mathews' 73B/21 went to Chris Oates and then Val Musetti, and Harry Stiller's 73B/22 was rebuilt as a 74B for Bev Bond.
Of the seven unexplained cars, six can be traced into 1974: Warren Ogden, Gary Magwood, Frank Del Vecchio, and Sonny Rajah all retained their cars; Roy Folland's went to to Tim Cooper; and Tom Outcault's had been wrecked. Only Max Callicott's is a mystery, and this may have been a hire car or a typo anyway.
Just one further car appeared in 1974, for John Gillmeister in Britain, which was built up for him by Ralph Hume for the 1974 season. We also have the puzzle of the car raced by Jas Patterson at Watkins Glen in October 1974. He sold his March 722/73B in the UK, so his Watkins Glen car, which was sold in the US, must have been an extra car. It may date back to July 1973, when Patterson was said to have a new 73B, but as his previous 722 was updated to 73B specification, it is hard to know when the new car appeared.
'the John Gillmeister car'
Australian John Gillmeister had a red and white March 73B in British Formula Atlantic 1974. Gillmeister had a workshop making bodywork for March, and acquired a monocoque, suspension and other parts. This was built up for him by Ralph Hume over the winter of 1973/74 using a Richardson BDA engine with the intention of running in the British series. After a sponsor pulled out, Gillmeister sold the car mid-season to Gil Nickel Racing, and it was run by Bob Eggington for Wes Dawn to drive. Subsequent history unknown, but it is believed that Dawn took the car back to the US with him. A car said to be Dawn's now carries the chassis plate 742-14 but it is not at all clear how it would have come by that identity. Wes Dawn was from Hollywood, California, and was a very successful makeup artist in film and TV. He and Gil Nickel (Park Hill, Oklahoma) finished fifth in the 1975 Cannonball Run in a Mercedes-Benz 450SL. He died in 1990, aged just 51.
Driven by: John Gillmeister, Derrick Worthington and Wes Dawn. First race: Brands Hatch (R2), 17 Mar 1974. Total of 9 recorded races.
'the Jas Patterson Watkins Glen car'
Jas Patterson (Roslyn Heights, NY) raced a March 73B at the US Grand Prix Formula B support race in October 1974. The entry list shows that it was red and entered as #3 by Renoir International Racing. Photographic evidence shows that this was the March 73B raced by Diana Black (New York, NY) in minor Formula B races at Lime Rock and Bridgehampton in 1975 and 1976. Her home town was given in entry lists as Kew Gardens, NY or Briarwood, NY, both neighborhoods in the New York City borough of Queens. Later in 1976, she moved to the former Bobby Brown Chevron B34, and the March was sold to David Laemmle (Wiscasset, ME) who continued to race it in SCCA Regionals that year. Laemmle recalls that he sold it to someone from New York state. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Jas Patterson, Diana Black and David Laemmle. First race: Watkins Glen, 4 Oct 1974. Total of 5 recorded races.
March 73Bs in 1975
Of the twelve cars that were identified in 1973 and were all traced into 1974, Richard Paul's 73B/2 and Andy Rouse's 73B/20 had been crashed, but all the other ten can be traced again into 1975: Stephen Choularton retained 73B/1 again, E. Jay Erickson retained 73B/3, Ron Cohn sold 73B/7 to Eric Kerman, Des Donnelly retained 73B/8, James King retained and rebuilt 73B/10, Grant Swartz retained 73B/13, Joe Ostrowski retained 73B/17, Geoff Friswell sold 73B/18 to Andy Barton, Val Musetti retained 73B/21, and Harry Stiller's 73B/22, now a 74B, was sold to Ireland.
Of the six unexplained cars, Tom Outcault's had been wrecked, but all of the other five that were traced into 1974, can be traced a year further into 1975: Gary Magwood, Frank Del Vecchio, and Sonny Rajah all retained their cars for another season; Warren Ogden sold his to Bobby Reen; and Tim Cooper probably retained the ex-Roy Folland car, but that's a bit hard to tell. Only Max Callicott's car, always a mystery, continues to be. John Gillmeister's car, built for 1974, appears to have gone to the US with Wes Dawn and was retained by him for several years.
Diana Black acquired a 73B for 1975 that was in the same livery used by her near neighbour Jas Patterson when he raced his mystery 73B at Watkins Glen in October 1974. That becomes one of five 73B in a relatively small geographical area over the next two years: Eric Kerman, owner of 73B/7, who was less than 15 miles away in Hempstead, NY; Joe Ostrowski who owned 73B/17 was 80 miles south in Trenton, NJ; Frank Del Vecchio was just 60 miles northeast in Trumbull, CT; and Bobby Reen was 135 miles away in Springfield, MA. As all these cars overlap in some way, we must conclude that Patterson's car was new to the US, so probably brought back with him from England. That in turn implies that Patterson had two cars during 1973 and 1974, the Formula Atlantic March 722-based car that stayed in England and was sold to Roy Baker, and a newer 73B that he brought to the US.
March 73Bs in 1976
There had been seven March 73Bs in the UK: Stephen Choularton's 73B/1 which he kept until 1977 and which ended up in Jamaica in 1978; Choularton's second, ex-Crawford 73B that had been wrecked by Derek Cook in 1975; the ex-Vandervell 73B/8 which had gone to Ireland; Geoff Friswell's 73B/18 which went to Andy Barton and was still being thrashed round Croft in 1976 and 1977; Andy Rouse's 73B/20 which had been crashed in 1974; Val Musetti's crashed and rebuilt 73B/21 which continued in service for many more years; and Harry Stiller's 73B/22 which became a 74B and was racing in Ireland in 1976 and 1977.
In October 1976, Rob Moffat appeared with a 73B/74B, and there are not many of the seven that it can be. It can't be 73B/1 as Choularton kept that until 1977, and Barton's 73B/18, Musetti's 73B/21, and the ex-Stiller 73B/22 were all still racing. It seems very unlikely that 73B/8 would leave Ireland for two seasons and then go back, still in its 73B bodywork. If Andy Rouse's 73B/20 really did die in 1974, and if the ex-Crawford 'SDC1' had died in 1975, that suggests the Moffat car was something older. One distinct possibility is the ex-Bill Gubelmann/Jas Patterson March 722/73B that Roy Baker had raced in Formula Atlantic in 1975 but then disappeared.
In the middle of the NEDiv cluster of 73Bs in the US, Harry Greenwood appeared in 1976 in a March "73B" that had Falconer bodywork. Generally speaking, Falconer bodywork was fitted to 1971 or 1972 Marches, which suggests that this car might have been older than a 73B. If it is one of the NEDiv cluster of 73Bs, then Bobby Reen's car, sold "to a guy in New Jersey or Maryland" in early 1976 seems the most likely.
'the Harry Greenwood car'
Harry E. Greenwood (Fanwood, NJ, later Warren, NJ) raced a Formula B March from 1976 to 1978. He entered it at Like 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 appears to show 1973 Falconer bodywork. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Harry Greenwood. First race: Lime Rock, 5 Jul 1976. Total of 4 recorded races.
'the Bryan Tyler car'
Brian Tyler, described as a Singapore-based Englishman, raced a March "732" in the Selangor Grand Prix at Batu Tiga in August 1976, and then in two races in 1977, the Malaysian Grand Prix in April and the Penang GP in May. It ran in the 1600cc 2-valve class at Penang, so presumably had a Ford twin cam engine at all three races. This makes it much more likely that it was a 73B, not a 732. One possibility is that it was the March 722/73B that Dieter Quester had taken out to the Macau Grand Prix in November 1973. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Brian Tyler. First race: Batu Tiga, 15 Aug 1976. Total of 3 recorded races.
'the Rob Moffat car'
London-based Australian Rob Moffat raced a March 73B or 73B/74B in a few Indylantic races at the end of 1976, and then in the Shellsport Group 8 series in 1977. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Rob Moffat. First race: Brands Hatch (R10), 3 Oct 1976. Total of 5 recorded races.
March 73Bs from 1977 onwards
'the Caton family car'
Terry and Greg Caton (Maidstone, Kent) raced a March 73B in historic events in 2010. It had previously been offered for sale by Mike Finch (Austin, TX) in 2008. It has a SCCA log book which starts in 1987 with "A Gambetti" and then "Mike Burstein" in 1989. The car's chassis plate shows that it was rebuilt by Marc Bahner in 2005, and his recollection was that it had been raced by Mort Haaz. The March chassis plate is stamped "73B 09". The car was restored in early 2010, and painted in a Beta Tools orange livery. Raced by both Greg and Terry in HSCC Derek Bell Trophy and Formula 2 races in 2012 and 2013. Raced by Christopher Cappuccini at HSCC Silverstone in May 2015. Sold by Greg Caton to David Mercer, and raced by Marc Mercer in 2017 and 2018.
This has been a huge piece of work, and much of the credit for our knowledge of car movements must go to Chris Townsend. Thanks also to Bryan Miller, Ted Walker, Alan Brown, Michael Ferner, Philippe Demeyer, Steve Bay, Ralph Hume and Kevin McLurg; and to period 73B owners Bobby Reen, Seann Burgess, Frank Del Vecchio, Mike Winn, Richard Paul and David Laemmle.
These histories last updated on .