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/71BM 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 March models than came after it is the braces that run down from the rollhoop into the cockpit. Older cars did not have these braces, and typically did not have them added even 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. As the bodywork originally sold with the 74B is very similar to the 73B, it is worth noting a couple of key differences. The most immediately obvious one is that the 74B rollhoop is enclosed by the bodywork, but this of course could be updated. A more reliable differentiator is the position of the oil tank, which was directly behind the gearbox on the 73B, but to the side of the gearbox on the 74B, a move dictated by a change to FIA regulations for F2.
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 having little 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 20 73Bs raced during 1973, with a 21st appearing at the start of 1974, so the early career of one 73B remains a mystery. It is quite possible it was sold to an SCCA Formula B driver who did not appear in the end-of-season points tables. After 1973, it is then possible to trace the 21 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, but it may have gone to Gordon Gonsalves in Trinidad.
Driven by: Stephen Choularton, Jim Crawford, Cyd Williams, Paul Gardner, Mark Moodie and Richard Knox. First race: Silverstone, 3 Mar 1973. Total of 51 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 19 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 traded to Joe Grimaldi, who sold it to E. Jay Erickson (Stevens Point, WI) in July 1974. Raced by Erickson at Blackhawk Farms in September 1974 and at Watkins Glen three weeks later. He fitted it with a BDA engine for 1975 and raced it in Canadian Formula Atlantic. Advertised by Erickson in late 1975 and sold to Bill Nees (Lenexa, Kansas) in May 1976. Nees crashed at Mid-America Raceway in just a few weeks after acquiring the car and the tub was returned to England for repairs. He then drove it three times in Midwest Division SCCA Regionals and Nationals in 1977, and at Hallett in April 1978.
The car's SCCA logbook records that it was sold to "John Iiams" in January 1981, but it was Roger Riekenberg that raced the car in 1981, appearing four times until an engine failure in August 1981. It was sold in September 1981 to Wayne Horst (Wichita, KS), who raced it three times in 1982. Then to Mike Hays in August 1983 who did not race it, and then in August 1986 to Derek Fox, who used it for a Drivers School and one other event in 1987. Brian Haupt (Kansas City, MO) bought the car in March 1988 and used it in SCCA C Sports Racing in 1988, 1989 and 1990, qualifying for the Runoffs in all three seasons. He then returned the car to Formula Atlantic and raced it in 1991 and 1993. During 2023, Haupt was restoring and upgrading the car.
Driven by: Mike Rand, E. Jay Erickson, Bill Nees, Roger Rickenberg, Wayne Horst and Brian Haupt. First race: Thompson Speedway, 27 May 1973. Total of 19 recorded races.
New to Warren Ogden III (North Andover, MA) and raced in SCCA Nationals in 1973 and 1974. He competed in six events in 1973, but failed to start his first race at VIR in April after a crash in practice. He then retired from his next three Nationals due to engine problems and his only finishes were a Thompson Regional in August and the Bryar National in September. He then loaned the car to Skip Barber for the Pro Colombo Yogurt Formula B race at Watkins Glen in October, where he finished third. The car was rebuilt and updated for the 1974 season by Bob Fletcher's Fast Co. in Marblehead, MA, with a fuel-injected Hart engine, F2 wing, Konis, and F5000 front brakes. It was run in 1974 by Fletcher with help from Norm Marx and Chris Wallach. Ogden's season again started badly with engine failure in practice at Palm Beach in February. During the engine rebuild, the car was repainted from its original red to blue. The engine again failed at the Bridgehampton National in May, but he then won his first race in the car at a Thompson Regional in July. He was classified as a finisher in his four remaining races that season, scoring his first National point for sixth place at Bryar in September. Fletcher alerted Bobby Reen (Springfield, MA) when the car was for sale in January 1975, and Reen acquired the car. He ran it in four SCCA Nationals in 1975, and a few Regionals, winning all of the Regionals. He sold it to Bill Marlowe (Martinsville, VA) who first raced it in the North Carolina Region SCCA Regional at Charlotte in late August 1976, winning easily against a field of Formula Fords. Marlowe bought a Chevron B34 for 1977, and sold the March to Chuck Coleman (Jacksonville, Arkansas) in 1977, who sold it on in 1978 when he upgraded to a newer March 75B. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Warren Ogden, Skip Barber, Bobby Reen, Bill Marlowe and Chuck Coleman. First race: Thompson Speedway, 27 May 1973. Total of 21 recorded races.
New to Ron Cohn (Modena, NY), and run as a two-car team with Bruce MacInnes in 1973, entered by DRC Formula Racing Inc in Players Canadian and SCCA Formula B races, running as #56. Retained for 1974, running in the Players Canadian Formula Atlantic series and in the US GP support 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, but this is a leading candidate for the car used by Cory Mayo with a Chevrolet V6 engine in the RCCA series in the 1980s. .
Driven by: Ron Cohn and Eric Kerman. First race: Edmonton (R2), 3 Jun 1973. Total of 32 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. This must be the March "74B" advertised by Gerry Kinnane in Belfast in June 1976. 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 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 Chevron 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 (Little Rock, AR) who raced it for one season before selling it to Chuck Blair (North Little Rock, AR), who had previously maintained it for Brownlee. Blair ran it a couple of times before selling it, scoring two points in Midwest Division Formula Atlantic in 1980. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: James King, Ric Forest, Fred Phillips, Porter Brownlee and Mike Winn. First race: Indianapolis Raceway Park, 8 Jul 1973. Total of 24 recorded races.
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 Formula B changed in 1975 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 is thought to have raced this 73B briefly in late 1976 and 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 Speedway, 27 May 1973. Total of 23 recorded races.
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. Still owned by Foster in June 2023.
Driven by: Grant Swartz and Nick Van Nugteren. First race: Macau, 18 Nov 1973. Total of 7 recorded races.
New to Bruce MacInnes (Sharon, CT) and raced as part of a two-car team with Ron Cohn. Raced in the Players Canadian FB series and in the SCCA Pro FB races at Road America and Watkins Glen. Retained for 1974, and raced in the Players Canadian series again, and in the US GP support race at Watkins Glen in October. Sold to Joe Ostrowski (Trenton, NJ), and raced in NEDiv SCCA Nationals in 1975 and 1976. Presumably the March he raced in NEDiv in 1977 and 1978. Retained by Ostrowski 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 body after the car was retired from racing and sold the March to Richard Smith (Barrie, Ontario) who raced it in 1989 and 1990, still with the Mazda engine, and fitting 1975 bodywork for 1990. He sold it to Chuck Sieber (McLean, VA) who imported it back to the US in January 1991. He raced it in Solo events in 1991, and maybe in one or two more seasons until selling it back to Seann Burgess. Burgess initially restored it to MacInnes' 1973 livery, but at the request of the Villeneuve Museum traded his 73B bodywork to Marchives for a set of 1975 bodywork, and rebuilt the car to resemble Gilles Villeneuve's Skiroule March 75B. By May 2010, it was on display in the Musée Gilles Villeneuve (Berthierville, Quebec). Still in the museum in April 2022, but the museum staff were quick to point out that it is a "réplication".
Driven by: Bruce MacInnes, Joe Ostrowski and Seann Burgess. First race: Edmonton (R2), 3 Jun 1973. Total of 30 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. A "March 75/782" which had been "completely rebuilt over winter" was advertised from an Epsom number in August 1985.
Driven by: Geoff Friswell, Andy Barton, Dave Muter, Bob Rollo and Stewart Robb. First race: Croft (R7), 1 Jul 1973. Total of 119 recorded races.
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 and Val Musetti. First race: Mallory Park (R6), 24 Jun 1973. Total of 46 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, until he announced his retirement in June 1974. Alan Jones took over the drive for the rest of the 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. It was then sold to Graham Brown, a Scot who emigrated to Australia and took two Formula Atlantic cars with him. Brown raced it in Scottish hillclimbs in 1980 before it went. 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. Sold to Tim Jacobsen in June 2022 to run in F2 and Historic Formula Atlantic.
Driven by: Bev Bond, Alan Jones, Damien Magee, Bill Gowdy, Des Donnelly, Eddie Jordan, Colin Simpson, John Fyda, Graham Brown, Geoff Nicol and John Blennerhasset. First race: Brands Hatch (R15), 30 Sep 1973. Total of 60 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 14 of the 22 cars have been identified. These are Stephen Choularton's 73B/1, Richard Paul's 73B/2, Mike Rand's 73B/3, Warren Ogden's 73B/4, Ron Cohn's 73B/7, Colin Vandervell's 73B/8, James King's 73B/10, Frank DelVecchio's 73B/12, 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 eight where little is known. These are 73B/5, 73B/6 and 73B/9 where nothing is known; and 73B/11, 73B/14, 73B/15, 73B/16 and 73B/19 where we have a few clues.
The eight unidentified cars will be explained by the unidentified cars driven by Roy Folland, Gary Magwood and Tom Outcault in North America, all of whom had raced by 3 June; by Max Callicott who appeared in July; by the Dale Lang/Joe Grimaldi car that appeared in August or September; by Sonny Rajah in the Far East, and by Jas Patterson in Britain. Max Callicott's car is by no means certain, so that only explains six or seven of the eight, leaving one or two unexplained. It is possible that a 73B may have gone straight into the depths in SCCA Divisional racing, even though all the Marches that scored points in 1973 have been identified, at least in terms of their model. It is also possible that a late-season 73B did not race until 1974, and the car of John Gillmeister may be one of these. However, Gillmeister's may have been built from parts and as such not be part of March's official production. The other possibility to consider is that David Purley's March 73B, which started life as an F2 March 722 but photographs show had been fully rebuilt with a 1973 monocoque as well as 1973 bodywork by July 1973. LIke Patterson's and Gillmeister's cars, it is hard to know whether this would have appeared in March records as a new 73B.
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. At the Selangor Grand Prix at Batu Tiga in early September 1973, it appears that Rajah won using his updated 712M/73B, with the 73B being driven to third place by Percy Chan. Historian Eli Solomon reports that Rajah's 73B was bought by Jan Bussell a couple of weeks before the 1973 Macau GP, so would be the car Bussell drove for Team Rothmans at that race, through 1974, and in early 1975. In May 1975, Bussell left Malaysia for Zaire, and Percy Chan was moved from the team's second car to drive the 73B at the Penang and Selangor Grands Prix later in the year.
The 73B's subsequent history remains unresolved, but it is thought to have been the Brian Tyler car from 1976 to 1978.
Driven by: Sonny Rajah, Percy Chan, Jan Bussell and Harvey Yap. First race: Batu Tiga, 15 Apr 1973. Total of 15 recorded races.
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 hired a new 75B and ran as part of Doug Shierson Racing in 1975, and the subsequent history of the 73B is unknown.
Driven by: Roy Folland, Eppie Wietzes and Tim Cooper. First race: Westwood (R1), 27 May 1973. Total of 24 recorded races.
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.
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 6 recorded races.
Jas Patterson (Roslyn Heights, NY) raced a March 722 in British Formula Atlantic in early 1973 and after a couple of accidents in the car reappeared for the British GP support race in July in a March 73B. He raced this car for the remainder of the 1973 season, and retained it for 1974, again running in the British Formula Atlantic series. He then raced the 73B at the US Grand Prix Formula B support race in October 1974. 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. 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: Silverstone (R5), 14 Jul 1973. Total of 24 recorded races.
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.
In July 1974, David Loring raced a Formula Atlantic March at Mosport Park. Canadian Motorsport Bulletin reported that it was "a nice March 73 owned by Dale Lang and supplied by Joe Grimaldi". At the next race, Seb Barone raced what CMB called "the Grimaldi March that Loring had driven at Mosport". From this, it seems highly likely that this was the same car that Grimaldi had raced at the opening two races of the 1974 Canadian series, at Westwood and Edmonton. Richard Paul recognised the car as the March Grimaldi had raced at Trois-Rivières in September 1973, so we can trace this 73B that far back at least. It may even be the car Lang drove at several other races in 1973, but we cannot yet be clear about that. Presumably the car raced by Grimaldi at Waterford Hills in September 1974, but this is uncertain as Grimaldi had a 74B by this time.
In 1975, Grimaldi joined forces with Doug Shierson Racing, and DSR ran an older updated March for Price Cobb. Cobb described this in an interview as a 73B, and Grimaldi, when talking to Kevan McLurg in 2020, said that Cobb got Lang's old car. So this seems to be a 73B starting in September 1973, possibly earlier, and continuing until Cobb's last race in it at Trois-Rivières in August 1975. Subsequent history unknown, but this car was unusual for a "75B" in that it had no left-hand radiator, so may have been the Joe Shepherd 75B in 1976.
Driven by: Joe Grimaldi, David Loring, Seb Barone and Price Cobb. First race: Trois-Rivières, 2 Sep 1973. Total of 11 recorded races.
March 73Bs in 1974
All the 14 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, Warren Ogden retained 73B/4, Ron Cohn retained 73B/7, Colin Vandervell's 73B/8 went to Des Donnelly, James King kept 73B/10 as a hire car, Frank DelVecchio retained 73B/12, 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 unidentified cars, six can be traced into 1974: Gary Magwood, Jas Patterson and Dale Lang/Joe Grimaldi all retained their cars; Sonny Rajah's went to Jan Bussell in late 1973; Roy Folland's went 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. David Purley's 722/73B was last seen in Macau in November 1973, and it is possible that it was the "732" that Joey Bundalian drove at Macau in 1974. Bundalian continued to drive a March "732", "752", or "722" at races through to 1981.
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.
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. 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 later took the 73B/74B back to the US where he used it in minor Formula Atlantic races. Dawn advertised the car in 1983, but still had it when he died in 1990, aged just 51. His widow sold the car in April 1991. Subsequent history withheld.
Driven by: John Gillmeister, Derrick Worthington and Wes Dawn. First race: Brands Hatch (R2), 17 Mar 1974. Total of 9 recorded races.
Percy Chan drove a March 732 in Southeast Asian racing in 1974. He had previously raced a 732 at the Selangor Grand Prix in September 1973, but that was thought to have been Sonny Rajah's car on loan. At the Malaysia GP in April 1974, his car was described in the programme as "Rothman's latest acquisition, a March 732 with Richardson engine". A photograph in the programme showed a car with standard 732 bodywork and forward-facing stays, but this may have been a photograph from Selangor GP in September 1973 rather than a picture of Chan's new mount. Eli Solomon published a picture of Chan's "732" in his excellent 'Rides of March - Part 2' article which shows the car with no forward stays. Solomon is confident it was a 732-bodied 722, although a 723 would also be a possibility. Chan raced the car through the 1974 season as a Team Rothmans entry. Chan did not plan to continue in 1975, so Team Rothmans assigned the March 722/732 to saloon car racer Harvey Yap for the Malaysian Grand Prix in early 1975. After Rothmans' team leader Jan Bussell emigrated in May 1975, Yap took over his 73B and the older 722/732 was raced by Pocholo Ramirez at the Grands Prix of Penang and Selangor later in 1975. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Percy Chan, Harvey Yap and José "Pocholo" Ramirez. First race: Batu Tiga, 7 Apr 1974. Total of 3 recorded races.
Filipino driver Joey Bundalian drove a March in Southeast Asian racing from 1974 to 1981. The car was described as a March 732 when it raced at Macau at the end of 1974, but was also described once as a 752 and several times as a 722. Eli Solomon published a picture of Bundalian's car in his excellent 'Rides of March - Part 2' article. It was taken at Greenhills on 14 July 1974, Bundalian's first known outing in the car, and shows it with dark 73B bodywork and forward-facing stays. It appears very plausible that Bundalian had acquired the ex-Purley March 722/73B that Team Harper had run for Dieter Quester at the Macau GP in November 1973. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Joey Bundalian. First race: Manila-Greenhills, 14 Jul 1974. Total of 5 recorded races.
March 73Bs in 1975
Of the 14 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, Warren Ogden sold 73B/4 to Bobby Reen, Ron Cohn sold 73B/7 to Eric Kerman, Des Donnelly retained 73B/8, James King retained and rebuilt 73B/10, Frank DelVecchio retained 73B/12, 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 seven unidentified cars, Tom Outcault's had been wrecked, but four of the other six that were traced into 1974 can be traced a year further into 1975: Gary Magwood retained his car for another season; Team Rothmans retained the ex-Sonny Rajah car; Jas Patterson's was sold to Diana Black; and the Dale Lang/Joe Grimaldi car was rebuilt by Doug Shierson Racing as a 75B for Price Cobb. Tim Cooper may have retained the ex-Roy Folland 73B for SCCA Nationals while driving a new 75B with the Shierson team. Max Callicott's car, if he really had one, continues to be a mystery. 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. The ex-David Purley 73B that started life as a 722 had last been seen in Macau in November 1973 and may have been the car Joey Bundalian raced in 1974.
In Southeast Asia there were as many as six cars now in 1973 bodywork: the March 73Bs sold new to Sonny Rajah and Grant Swartz; Rajah's earlier 712M which had now been rebuilt; Teddy Yip's ex-Vern Schuppan March 722 which had swapped its Falconer bodywork for 732 bodywork during 1974; a March 723 that had also been bought by the Malaysian Rothmans team; and perhaps also the ex-David Purley March 722/73B. It is proving difficult to determine how they were used later in the 1970s.
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.
Harry Greenwood's March, shown on previous versions of this page as a mystery "73B", has now been identified as a March 71BM with Falconer bodywork.
Brian Tyler, described as a Singapore-based Englishman, raced a March "732" in the Selangor Grand Prix at Batu Tiga in August 1976. Eli Solomon found two pictures of the car for his excellent 'Rides of March - Part 2' article which show that it looked a lot like the Team Rothmans March 73B, the ex-Sonny Rajah car. Tyler raced the car again 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. It was advertised by Tyler from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in September 1977 as a March 732 fitted with a "brand new Holbay 1600cc twin cam" and FG400 gearbox. The engine 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: Penang (R2), 2 May 1976. Total of 5 recorded races.
Sonny Rajah (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) raced a March in Southeast Asian 4-valve formula racing in 1976, then in Formula Pacific from 1977 to 1981, but it is not yet clear whether this was his updated March 712M or his March 73B.
Driven by: Sonny Rajah. First race: Batu Tiga (R3), 15 Aug 1976. Total of 5 recorded races.
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
Of the roughly 22 March 73Bs that we know about, 14 ended up in North America. Steve Choularton's 73B/1 had gone to Jamaica in 1979; Richard Paul's 73B/2 was last seen in southern California; the ex-Mike Rand 73B/3 went to Kansas City, where it remains today; Warren Ogden's 73B/4 was last seen in Arkansas in 1977; Ron Cohn's 73B/7 was last seen in New York state; the ex-James King 73B/10 was also last seen in Arkansas; Frank Del Vecchio's 73B/12 was also last seen in New York state; 73B/17 went to Canada, and has stayed there; Roy Folland's was last seen in the Midwest; Gary Magwood's was last seen in Canada in 1977; Tom Outcault's was rebuilt as a 74B in New Jersey; Dale Lang's was rebuilt as a 75B and was last seen with Doug Shierson; Wes Dawn's was in California throughout the 1980s; and Jas Patterson's was last seen in Maine. Max Callicott may have had a 73B, but it's hard to know. Of the cars that did not go to the Americas: 73B/8, 73B/13 and 73B/22 went to Australia; 73B/18 was in Scotland in the mid-1980s; 73B/20 was last seen in Warwickshire; 73B/21 survived until it was repurposed for historic racing; Steve Choularton's second 73B was wrecked in 1975; and Sonny Rajah's car has remained on the other side of the planet.
Of all these cars, only two had made their homes west of the Rockies: Richard Paul's significantly reworked 73B/2 and Wes Dawn's ex-John Gillmeister "bitza". One mystery car emerged in southern California in 1985, owned by Mort Haaz, and as Wes Dawn still had his car when he died five years after this, the ex-Richard Paul car is the favourite to have become the Haaz car. Paul's car had been very significantly rebuilt, and this may have become the "742" that Ozzie Pohl ran in late 1975 and early 1976, and maybe then the 75B-ish car that Wally Farrell used in 1977 and 1978 before finding its way to Mort Haaz.
During this period, three 1973/74 Marches were running in Caribbean racing, the ex-Bobby Brown March 74B raced by Peter Moodie in Jamaica, a March 73B raced in Trinidad by Gordon Gonsalves, and a 73B or 74B with Jimmy Fifi also in Trinidad. One of those 73Bs will be the ex-Choularton/Crawford 73B/1 but the identity of the other car remains unknown.
One of the 73Bs in the NEDiv area (73B/4, 73B/7 and 73B/12) reemerged in the early 1980s when the RCCA Formula America series started for pre-ground-effect Formula Atlantic cars. Cory Mayo converted one car to fit the RCCA's Chevrolet V6 engine.
Charles Crotts (High Point, NC) raced a March in a North Carolina Region SCCA National at North Carolina Motor Speedway in June 1978. This is too early to be the ex-Joe Sposato March 77B that he raced later in 1978, so the identity of this car is currently unknown.
Driven by: Charles Crotts. First race: North Carolina Motor Speedway, 11 Jun 1978. Total of 2 recorded races.
Gordon Gonsalves (Maraval, Trinidad & Tobago) bought a March 73B in 1980, and raced it in Trinidad. He got the car through Peter Moodie, and it had previously been in Jamaica. Gonsalves raced the car until 1983, when it was involved in an accident. It was due to be sold to Bobby Howlings, but evidently stayed on the island as it was later seen still in crashed condition in a garage in south Trinidad.
In 1985, Mort Haaz (Santa Monica, CA) raced in the WCAR event at Riverside in what was described as a March "724". In September that year, he advertised it in The Wheel, describing it as a Formula Atlantic "Tri-C March". With narrow nose and wing side pods. It appears that it then went to Walter Moss in Southern California, and was bought from him by Al Gambetti (Sacramento, CA), who ran it in SCCA Solo 1, Regionals and Nationals in 1987 and 1988. For 1990, it went to Mike Bernstein (San Ramon, CA) who raced it in Solo II, replacing a Fiat-engined Alexis that he sold to vintage racer Stan Peterson. Gambetti recalls that the car was later acquired by Marc Bahner, and the car's chassis plate shows that it was rebuilt by Bahner in 2005. The March chassis plate is now stamped "73B 09". The car was offered for sale by Mike Finch (Austin, TX) in 2008, and by 2010 was with Terry and Greg Caton (Maidstone, Kent), who restored it in early 2010, painted it in a Beta Tools orange livery, and raced it as a March 73B in historic events in 2010. It was raced by both Greg and Terry in HSCC Derek Bell Trophy and Formula 2 races in 2012 and 2013. Raced by Christopher Cappuccini at Brands Hatch in July 2014 and at Silverstone in May 2015. Sold by Greg Caton to David Mercer, and raced by Marc Mercer (Thatcham, Berkshire) in 2017 and 2018. Sold by Mercer to Martin Wood (Faversham, Kent) in early 2022.
Driven by: Mort Haaz, Al Gambetti and Michael Bernstein. First race: Riverside (R1), 31 Mar 1985. Total of 5 recorded races.
This car is first known when it was bought from dealer/collector Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) by Gary Dausch (Indianapolis, IN) in 1989 as a white rolling chassis. Dausch has a note in his files that Haines had bought it "from Jon Rhodes, who bought it from Judge Parker", but was unable to trace either of these. Jon Rhodes may be the CSR racer from Webster Grove, MO who converted a McLaren M4B to CSR specification for the 1982 season and could well have had a newer March for CSR later in the decade. Dausch acquired a Hewland FT200 and Hasselgren BDA engine and completely restored the car, finishing it in blue livery with Elf signwriting. He sold it to Joel Wienberger (Hinsdale, IL) in 1996, after which it passed to Joe Griffin (Philadelphia, PA), who raced it in VSCDA events. Griffin advertised it on race-cars.com from October 2000 to March 2001 as a March 75B with serial number "75B04" but the heavily scratched and non-original chassis number appears to say 73B-4. At that time the car was blue and wore #23. Griffin sold the car to John Hemmingson (Spokane, WA) to join a collection of Ford Mustangs assembled by his wife. He sold it to Mark Jaremko (Spokane, WA) and Jay Ivey in September 2012. Jaremko researched the car, and ascertained that it had been bought from Don Flores (Jacksonville, FL) by Haines in 1980. Tom Turner (Jacksonville, FL) was also involved with it about this time, and Turner recalls Flores, who died around 2014, having a March 77B. Photographs of the car indicate a 1973/74 monocoque with 1975 front suspension and 1976 or 1977 bodywork. Oddly, the dashboard appears to be from a 1972 car, opening up the possibility that this car started life in 1972, and was rebuilt later on a 1973 or 1974 monocoque. At this point the car was white, with Elf signwriting, wore #6 and was and entered as a 75B. Jaremko raced it at the 2014 Monterey Motorsports Reunion. In September 2019, Jaremko sold the car to Steve Saleen, who has had it repainted into the livery he used on his March 77B in 1978, and now uses it as a show car.
This has been a mammoth 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, Kevin McLurg and Eli Solomon; to Wilbur Bunce for explaining the updated 73B he ran for Tim Cooper during 1976; and to 73B owners Bobby Reen, Seann Burgess, Frank Del Vecchio, Mike Winn, Richard Paul, David Laemmle, Al Gambetti, Gordon Gonsalves, Warren Ogden, Bill Marlowe and Tim Jacobsen. Also to Brian Williams, whose photograph of David Loring's car triggered a rethink about the Dale Lang/Joe Grimaldi car in 1974, to Jack Pavone, who found customs paperwork showing Frank DelVecchio's car was chassis 12, to Mike Agnifilo for information on the RCAC, and to Kevin McLurg again, who interviewed Joe Grimaldi in April 2020 and added significantly to our knowledge of this subject.
Eli Solomon, author of 'Snakes & Devils', his magnificent history of the Singapore Grand Prix, has done a great deal of work on the various March single-seaters than ran in the Southeast Asia in the 1970s and his two articles 'Rides of March - Part 1 (1971-1973)' and 'Rides of March - Part 2 (1974-1977)' have been important sources for the histories shown here. Of paricular important was his untangling of the Team Rothmans cars raced by Jan Bussell, Percy Chan and Harvey Yap in 1974 and 1975.
Thanks also to Pepper Bowe, Richard Bunyan, Seann Burgess, Ron Cohn, Frank Cornell, Alan Cox, Frank DelVecchio, Al Gambetti, Gordon Gonsalves, Rich Harman, Mark Jaremko, Kurt Oblinger, David Mark Pesce, Bobby Reen, Roger Riekenberg, Kevin Skinner, Bill Wagenblatt, Julian Roberts and Bill Marlowe for the use of their pictures.
These histories last updated on .