March 75B car-by-car histories
March produced an updated version of their Formula Atlantic design, the March 75B, for 1975. Twelve of the fourteen built were sold to North America, where Bertil Roos and Gilles Villeneuve both won races.
The March 74B had been developed significantly during 1974 with the addition of the side radiators, nose and other features from the works Formula 2 cars, and the new March 75B was a tidy up of that design, using a very similar monocoque. March had designed a completely new and wider monocoque for Formula 2, but the 75B and its sister car, the Formula 3 753, which shared the narrow monocoque that had evolved out of the 1971 design, were given the same nose, cockpit surround, square-topped roll hoop casing and engine cover as the new F2 design. Almost immediately, drivers complained about buffeting, an issue that was cured by cutting down the roll hoop casing so that the top of the hoop was exposed. Joe Grimaldi had been March's importer since the very beginning, but in early 1975 his Race Shop operation was absorbed into Doug Shierson's company in Adrian, Michigan. Shierson had previously run Chevrons: sponsoring the Formula 5000 Chevron B24 of Peter Gethin in 1973, and then running a two-car Formula Atlantic of Chevron B27s for James King and Chip Mead in 1974. He now not only took over the March agency but also ran six March 75B drivers in the Players Canadian series in 1975. Customer 75Bs were also sold to Ecurie Canada, who already had a direct relationship with the March factory, and to three independents: the very promising Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, Californian club racer Don Breidenbach, and the young and slightly out of his depth Jon Batchelor.
Ecurie Canada driver Bertil Roos and young Villeneuve proved to be the quickest of the March 75B drivers, but the 1975 season was a remarkably even battle between Chevron, Lola and March, and their respective importers, Fred Opert, Carl Haas and Shierson. March had the most cars on the grid, Lola scored the most championship points, but Chevron took the title thanks to the hugely experienced Bill Brack. March's Grand Prix star Vittorio Brambilla won at Trois-Rivières in a guest appearance, and Bobby Rahal won the SCCA Runoffs after borrowing the ex-Brambilla car.
The original March 75B prototype was sold to Derek Cook (Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham, South Yorkshire) and was first raced at the 1974 Boxing Day meeting at Brands Hatch. Raced in the British Formula Atlantic series in 1975. To Roy Baker (Ferndown, Dorset), converted to Formula 2, and raced in the European F2 series and the Shellsport Group 8 series in 1976. To Ted Williams (Bristol), fitted with a 2.2-litre Ford BDA or BDG, and raced (as a "752") in British hillclimbs in 1977. Then fitted with a full F2 Hart 420R for the first half of 1978, before Williams bought a 772. To Bob Bailey and raced in the 1600cc class later in 1978 and again in 1979. To Richard Ames (Alderton, Gloucestershire) later in 1979, and raced by him in 1981 and early 1982, by which time it was in 75/782 specification and fitted with a 2.2-litre Hart 420R engine. Ames advertised the car in May and June 1982 and recalls that he sold it to somebody in Scotland. This must be Harvey Gillanders (Ellon, Scotland) who raced a 2.2-litre "75/782" in Ingliston libre races later in 1982. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Derek Cook, Bill Burley, Richard Morgan, Roy Baker, Ted Williams, Mark Williams, Bob Bailey, Richard Ames and Harvey Gillanders. First race: Brands Hatch, 26 Dec 1974. Total of 41 recorded races.
A yellow March 75B invoiced by March to Shierson. The first owner of this car is unknown, but it could be Tim Cooper, Gilles Villeneuve, Vince Muzzin or Chip Mead. A car was owned by William Goldkind in the US in 2019 with an apparently authentic 75B/2 chassis plate and a SCCA stamping '16-145' indicating it was logbooked by Kansas City Region some time around 1975. As Tim Cooper was a member of that region, it would imply it was his car. The only race event known to have been organised by Kansas City Region in 1975 was a Regional at Mid-America Raceway on 1 June, but Cooper was at Westwood for the Pro race that day. It's possible the club involved in the Hutchison National on 4 May but Cooper does not appear anywhere in the official results. If this is Cooper's car, the most likely possibility is that he had the car logbooked at his workshop, not at an event. See the Tim Cooper car.
Also see 'Identifying The March 75Bs'.
A brown March 75B invoiced by March to Shierson. As this was the only brown 75B, this was previously thought to be the Doug Shierson Racing 75B raced by Price Cobb in the Players Canadian Formula Atlantic series, but that is now known to have been an updated 74B.
Don Breidenbach (Oakland, CA) had a new March 75B which he first raced at Holtville Aerodrome 23 Mar 1975. It was blue and ran as #61 entered by D. L. B. Industries. Last known race was in February 1976, after which Breidenbach's new 76B arrived and the 75B went to Jeffrey Alkana (Azusa, CA), replacing his earlier 74B. Alkana is reported to have won the regional championship in 1977 with this car but it seems more likely that he won the 1976 Cal Club Formula B title. Sold to Alan Holly (North Hollywood, CA) for 1977, repainted red and again used in Cal Club SCCA events. Sold by Holly to studio exec Steve Brimmer who raced it in 1978 and then kept it, unused, for some time. History then unknown until owned by Walter Hagstrom in 1988. It then sat unused for ten years from 1990 until sold by Roger Downer (Petaluma, CA) to Ken Stone in 2000. Retained by Stone in 2004. By 2008, the car was with Mark Rincon (Redding, CA), who ran it in Ramada Inns livery. Later bought from Rincon by Steve Cook (Napa, California). Still with Steve in September 2020.
Driven by: Don Breidenbach, Jeffrey Alkana, Alan Holly and Steve Brimmer. First race: Holtville Aerodrome, 23 Mar 1975. Total of 22 recorded races.
A yellow March 75B invoiced by March to Ecurie Canada. Based on the colour, this would be the yellow #22 car raced by Bertil Roos in the opening round of the British Formula Atlantic in mid-April, and then the #40 car raced by him in the Player Canadian Formula Atlantic series from late-May onwards, sponsored by Schweppes and Castrol. The two Ecurie Canada March 75Bs are presumably the 75Bs advertised by PDW Racing (St Lambert, Quebec) in mid-1976. PDW ran Formula Fords in the Canadian championship. Then Jacques Desjardins advertised two 75Bs in December 1976. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Bertil Roos. First race: Silverstone (R4), 13 Apr 1975. Total of 8 recorded races.
A red March 75B invoiced by March to Shierson. Doug Shierson Racing entered two red 75Bs in 1975: the #17 Lambrusco by Zonin of Chip Mead and the #99 entry of Formula Ford star Vince Muzzin, and it is not clear which was this car.
Cavanaugh Racing entered a blue #62 March 75B for Jon Batchelor (Miami Beach, FL) at the start of the 1975 season. After the team ran out of money, the car was sold back to Doug Shierson Racing and photographs show that the car was allocated to Price Cobb, replacing the 73B/74B/75B that he used earlier in the season. Raced by Cobb at Mosport but at Trois-Rivières he had returned to his usual 73B/75B, so this ex-Batchelor car may be the DSR hire car raced at T-R by Marcel Talbot. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Jon Batchelor and Price Cobb. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 3 recorded races.
A yellow March 75B invoiced by March to Shierson and shipped 17 April 1975. It was intended for a French-Canadian woman driver, but when her deal fell through it was raced by Syd Demovsky (Chicago, IL) in a Doug Shierson Racing hire deal for the first two races of 1975. This was the #9 car hired by DSR to Ian Grob for Mont-Tremblant 6 Jul 1975 but when that deal also fell through,the car was sold to Cliff Hansen (Laguna Beach, Orange County, CA) who drove it at that race instead of his usual GRD, and for the rest of the 1975 season. Hansen bought a new March 76B for 1976 but also retained the 75B, racing it at Sears Point in April and later using it as a show car, before advertising in September 1976. Sold to Mike Downs (El Segundo, Los Angeles County, CA) early October 1976 when the invoice identified it as chassis number 75B-8. It is unclear when Downs raced it, as when he advertised it in September 1978, he said it was unraced since 1976. To R. J. (Joe) Ordoqui (Boeing, CA) for SCCA racing, starting with a SCCA Regional in November 1978. He rebuilt it to 77B specification over the winter, and raced it in 1979. Sold by Ordoqui to Dante Heredia (Downey, CA) in 1980, then sold to Mark Biro (Temple City, CA) some time around 1983. Subsequent history unknown, but at some point this car was used in the C Sports Racing class by Stan Goldstein (Watsonville, CA). In 1998, it was bought from Goldstein by Emil Leung (South Pasadena, CA), and in 2020 it was completely restored by Howard Monise.
Driven by: Syd Demovsky, Cliff Hansen and Mike Downs. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 6 recorded races.
A yellow March 75B invoiced by March to Shierson.
A white March 75B invoiced by March to Ecurie Canada. Based on the colour, the white #4 car of Craig Hill in the Player Canadian Formula Atlantic series in 1975, sponsored by Gabriel Special. The two Ecurie Canada March 75Bs are presumably the 75Bs advertised by PDW Racing (St Lambert, Quebec) in mid-1976. PDW ran Formula Fords in the Canadian championship. Then Jacques Desjardins advertised two 75Bs together with two older Lola T360s in December 1976 and April 1977. Desjardins raced in Formula Ford in 1975 and then moved into Formula Atlantic in 1976, but used one of the Lola T360s. He raced again in Formula Ford in 1977 and 1978. The subsequent history of the 75B is unknown, but a "March 752" appeared in historic racing in the 2010s that has a SCCA stamping from Northeast Oklahoma Region and a '75B/10' chassis plate. The history of this car has not yet been ascertained.
Driven by: Craig Hill. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 7 recorded races.
A black March 75B sold to Doug Shierson Racing for Jon Woodner to race in the 1975 Canadian Formula Atlantic series. The car was sponsored by Interscope Racing, a new team formed by Ted Field, the 23-year-old heir to a Chicago department store fortune. Interscope's main focus for Woodner was F5000, so the March was driven by Marty Loft at Westwood when Woodner was at the Pocono F5000 race, and by Richard Melville at Mosport in July. Photographic evidence suggests it was the car raced by South African guest driver Guy Tunmer at Halifax in early August. It was then used by Vittorio Brambilla to win the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières at the end of August and was loaned to Bobby Rahal for the SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta in early November, which Rahal also won. Subsequent history unknown, but probably the Dan Carmichael car in 1976, and reported to be the car owned by Steve Bonney (Pueblo, CO) in 1978 and 1979. The later movements of this car are still unclear, but one rumour was that it was in France for a time. It moved to England, and for around 15 years, it was in storage in Birmingham. A number of restorations were started and abandoned, the last being to finish it with a Ford Pinto engine and Hewland Mk 9 gearbox. By 2011 it was with Stuart Black (Poole, Dorset) and was nearing completion. Still with Black in 2019.
Driven by: Jon Woodner, Marty Loft, Richard Melville, Guy Tunmer, Vittorio Brambilla, Chip Mead, Bobby Rahal and Steve Bonney. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 23 recorded races.
A yellow March 75B invoiced by March to Shierson. It is not known how this car was used in 1975 (see 'Identifying The March 75Bs'), but in August 1976 it was logbooked by the SCCA's Northern New Jersey Region for Giovanni di Stasio (Edgewater, NJ). This shows that the car had not appeared in SCCA racing in 1975, so it cannot have been the car of Chip Mead or Vince Muzzin, and probably not the DSR hire car or Tim Cooper's either, depending on which of his two cars he used for his SCCA appearances. The possibilities remaining are that it was Gilles Villeneuve's car or that it was not raced in 1975 and was new to Distasio.
Giovanni Distasio raced it only twice in 1976 and three times in 1977. The SCCA logbook shows that it went to Chuck Coleman (Jacksonville, Arkansas) who raced it four times in 1978, then advertised it with a Jennings BDA engine in October 1978. The logbook shows that it then went to Darryl Foster (Southgate, MI?), who raced it every season from 1979 to 1985, mostly in SCCA Regionals at Indianapolis Raceway Park and Nelson Ledges.
It then passed via Robert W. Kennedy to Cliff Wheeler in 1987, neither of whom raced it, and then to Sam Pontier in 1989. Pontier died before he was able to race it, and it was sold by his widow to Bill Fickling (San Clemente, CA) in 2004, restored into Vittorio Brambilla's F2 Beta livery, and raced in US historic racing. Raced by Fickling at Spring Classic Laguna Seca in May 2017. Still owned by Fickling in August 2021.
Driven by: Giovanni Distasio, Chuck Coleman and Darryl Foster. First race: Lime Rock, 14 Aug 1976. Total of 16 recorded races.
An orange March 75B invoiced to Skip Barber, perhaps intended for one of his racing school pupils. This is likely to be the car raced in late 1975 by Allen Costa.
A March 75B built up specifically for Patrick Depailler to drive at Trois-Rivières in 1975 as part of the Ecurie Canada team. Depailler took pole, but the engine broke during practice and he borrowed a different car for the race. The 75B was sold after the race to Bob Kolowich (Mountain View, CA), who raced it in SCCA events in 1976. At the end of that season, Kolowich had to give up racing, and the car was stored. He still owned it in 2008, when he took it out of storage and started to restore it.
Driven by: Patrick Depailler and Bob Kolowich. First race: Laguna Seca, 23 May 1976. Total of 5 recorded races.
An unnumbered March 75B built for Ray Mallock (Roade, Northamptonshire) and run for him in British Formula Atlantic and some F2 races by Ardmore Racing in 1975. It replaced the second-hand March 742 that Mallock wrecked in the Thruxton Formula 2 race in March, but it is possible that the 75B was still used the chassis plate of the old 742 during this time, as it was listed by Motoring News as "742/12" twice in 1975 and was also described as a 742 by MN at Hockenheim in September 1976. Mallock raced the car in F2 for the last four races of 1975. For 1976, Ardmore Racing bought a Lola T450 for Mallock, but when that proved a flop, fitted the March with a Swindon BDX engine and Mallock raced that car in Formula 2 specification in the European F2 series and in the Shellsport Group 8 series. During the season it was further modified with wider sidepods, it main radiator moved to the front and from Pau onwards used the nose from one of Ray Mallock's father's Mallock U2s. Last raced by Mallock at Brands Hatch on 7 November 1976. This may be the 75B advertised by MRE (Bourne End, Bucks) in Autosport four days later, described as "Updated to full F2 spec" with FG gearbox and "2 litre alloy engine". In the same edition of Autosport, Lucien Lampach (Wiltz, Luxembourg) was seeking a F2 car, and photographs indicate that he acquired the modified Mallock 75B and ran it as a March 742 in European hillclimbs in 1977. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Ray Mallock, Creighton Brown and Lucien Lampach. First race: Silverstone (R6), 4 May 1975. Total of 24 recorded races.
Identifying the March 75Bs
Of the 14 75Bs shown in March records, 75B/U1 and 75B/1 stayed in the UK, and the other 12 went to North America. Not all the March 75Bs crossing the Atlantic went to the same agent, so we have more information that usual from March records to help identify the first owners and drivers of these cars. To start with the most straightforward, March records show 75B/5 and 75B/10 going to Ecurie Canada, and their respective colours identify the yellow 75B/5 as Bertil Roos' car and the white 75B/10 as Craig Hill's car. First owners are listed of John Crean for 75B/4, identifying it as the car raced by Don Breidenbach; "Shierson Woodner" for 75B/11, identifying it as the black car owned by Interscope Racing and raced by Jon Woodner; and Skip Barber for 75B/13.
That leaves 75B/2, 75B/3 and 75B/6 invoiced to Joe Grimaldi; and 75B/7, 75B/8, 75B/9 and 75B/12 invoiced to Doug Shierson. For these seven, the gel coat colours are the next clue, as few racers invested so heavily in sponsors liveries to obscure the delivered colour. Unfortunately, four of the seven were yellow, which is no help, but 75B/3 was brown, 75B/6 was red, and 75B/7 was bright blue. Price Cobb's brown 75B was previously thought to be 75B/3, but Joe Grimaldi's recollection is that Cobb had a rebodied ex-Dale Lang 73B/74B and photographs of Cobb's car support that. However, we can be confident that Jon Batchelor's blue car was 75B/7 as its chassis number was listed on the invoice.
At this stage of the process, we have six cars for which first owners cannot be identified: 75B/2, 75B/3, 75B/6, 75B/8, 75B/9 and 75B/12. Corresponding to those are:
Doug Shierson Racing
- Syd Demovsky (#9 yellow)
- Vince Muzzin (#99 red)
- Chip Mead (#17 red)
- Tim Cooper (#8 yellow)
- Late-season hire car for Marcel Talbot at Trois-Rivières and Bob Beyea at Brainerd (#9)
- Gilles Villeneuve (#69 Skiroule green)
A later invoice tells us that the Demovsky car was 75B/8, and one of Mead's or Muzzin's must surely be the red 75B/6. That leaves Tim Cooper's yellow hire car, Villeneuve's Skiroule green car, and whichever of Mead and Muzzin didn't get 75B/6, to be three of the four other cars: 75B/2, 75B/3, 75B/9 and 75B/12. There is some evidence linking 75B/2 to Tim Cooper but this is by no means definitive. However, we must also consider the possibility that DSR's late-season hire car was actually Jon Batchelor's blue 75B/7, as there is some evidence that it was blue and went to Tom Sokoly for 1976. If that is correct, then there are only five unexplained cars here, not the six we were looking for. Note that 75B/12 was not logbooked until August 1976, so one possibility is that it never raced in 1975. If it did race, then it can only logically be Villeneuve's, as Cooper's, Mead's, Muzzin's and the DSR late-season hire car all appeared in at least one SCCA event at some point during 1975.
The Doug Shierson Racing team in 1975
At the opening race, the Shierson team had six cars present. The most straightforward of those are Vince Muzzin's red #99, which Muzzin retained for 1976; Chip Mead's red Lambrusco by Zonin #17 entry which he raced all year; and the black Interscope #91 raced by Jon Woodner and later by Guy Tunmer at Halifax, Vittorio Brambilla at Trois-Rivières and then by Bobby Rahal at the SCCA Runoffs. A fourth car was Tim Cooper's yellow 75B, which Cooper hired for the season while apparently also retaining his older 73B. The other two cars in the DSR fleet were Syd Demovsky's yellow #9, which he only raced at the opening two rounds before moving over the Bobby Brown's second Chevron B29; and Price Cobb's 73B/75B. After a couple of races, Tom Pumpelly decided to transfer his National Tire Wholesale funding from Cavanaugh Racing, who were running a late-1974 March 74B for him, to the DSR team. Pumpelly had "a brand new FB March out for the first time" at an SCCA National in June, but photographs show that this was his 74B updated. The other half of the Cavanaugh team was Jon Batchelor's 75B/7, but this car was sold back to the Shierson team when Batchelor's money ran out after two races and was then raced by Price Cobb at Mosport in July. How this (blue) 75B was used by the DSR team in the last three races of the 1975 season remains unresolved.
While this was going on, Ian Grob arrived at the fourth race, at Mont-Tremblant in early July, to take over another of the DSR 75Bs, presumably the ex-Demovsky car, only for his finance to be found wanting, and the car was sold instead to Cliff Hansen. Another DSR 75B then emerged, raced first by Marcel Talbot at Trois-Rivières where there was a full set of six DSR or ex-DSR 75Bs present, and finally by Bob Beyea in the SCCA race at Brainerd. There is circumstantial evidence that this Talbot/Beyea car was the ex-Batchelor 75B/7, suggesting that Cobb had only raced it once, at Mosport. (It was previously thought that Guy Tunmer had raced this DSR hire car at Halifax in August but photographic evidence strongly suggests he raced the ex-Interscope 75B/11.)
Vince Muzzin (Northville, Michigan) drove a red #99 March 75B for Doug Shierson Racing in Formula Atlantic in 1975. Muzzin's main focus in 1975 was Formula Ford, but he retained the 75B for another season of Atlantic in 1976, but without any success. He advertised the car in November 1976, noting that it had a McCoy engine, and again in April 1977. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Vince Muzzin. First race: Waterford Hills, 12 May 1975. Total of 14 recorded races.
Tim Cooper (Kansas City, MO) raced a yellow #8 March 75B for Doug Shierson Racing in 1975 with backing from Rutledge Oil. Joe Grimaldi recalls that Cooper hired a new 75B from the team for 1975, and that the car then returned to Shierson. Chip Mead drove Cooper's car at Halifax, with Mead's bodywork transplanted onto it. Cooper moved to Wilbur Bunce Racing in California for 1976, and the "75B/76B" that Bunce built up for him was based on on Cooper's older 73B. The subsequent history of the 75B hire car is unknown.
Driven by: Tim Cooper, Chip Mead and Patrick Depailler. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 8 recorded races.
Chip Mead (Dayton, OH) raced a red #17 March 75B as part of the Doug Shierson Racing team in the Players Canadian series 1975 with backing from Zonin wines. He also raced the car in CenDiv Formula B, finishing in a tie for second place for the title. H. T. Mead Jr, who was 25 years old and worked for his father's investment company, had previously raced for Doug Shierson Racing in 1974 in a Chevron B27. Advertised by Chip Mead with a Nicholson/McLaren BDA in December 1975 and January 1976. This car was raced by Ted Johnson (Arlington Heights, IL) in a SCCA National at Mid-America Raceway in May 1976, when a photograph shows that it was still in Mead's distinctive livery. Sold soon after to Glenn Guerra (Barrington, IL) who raced it in Midwest Council and SCCA Central Division Formula B in 1976, winning the MCSCC event at Blackhawk Farms in late May, and scoring scoring three points for his fifth place finish (fourth in the FB class) at Indianapolis Raceway Park in June. Guerra scored three points again in the SCCA division in 1977, and competed in Midwest Council events at Blackhawk Farms, winning two races. He also appeared at least once in MCSCC events in 1978, and scored three points in SCCA CenDiv in 1979. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Chip Mead, Ted Johnson and Glenn Guerra. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 19 recorded races.
Gilles Villeneuve (Lasalle, Montréal, Quebec) ran a March 75B in the Players Canadian Formula Atlantic series in 1975, with some support from Ecurie Canada. He was sponsored by Skiroule Snowmobiles, the Quebec company founded by Rejean Houle and sold to the Coleman Company of Wichita, Kansas in 1972. Skiroule used a signature shade of green, and Villeneuve's 75B was repainted in this colour, but a picture of the car taken early in the season shows the car was yellow where the green paint had been chipped away. Villeneuve won the Gimli race in this car. His 75B was advertised by Joe Grimaldi's The Race Shop (Adrian, MI) with two Swindon engines in January 1976, and in March 1976 by Doug Shierson, who had acquired Grimaldi's operation. The car was presumably taken it in part exchange on Villeneuve's new 76B. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Gilles Villeneuve. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 8 recorded races.
Allen Costa (North Billerica, MA) raced a Formula B March in a New England Region SCCA Regional at Thompson Raceway in August 1975, and then in the Canon Camera SCCA National at Lime Rock a few weeks later. He advertised the car in March 1976 from Arlington, MA, saying that it had never been "painted or lettered" and had "less than 2 hours running time" on it. He advertised it again in March and April 1977, saying that it had not run in 1976. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Allen Costa. First race: Thompson Speedway, 10 Aug 1975. Total of 2 recorded races.
Doug Shierson Racing had a yellow #9 entry in the early part of the 1975 season for Syd Demovsky and Ian Grob, but this car was sold to Cliff Hansen, and renumbered #33. A couple of races after Hansen's purchase, DSR had another car entered as #9, firstly for Quebecois Marcel Talbot at Trois-Rivières on 31 August, and then for fellow Canadian Bob Beyea in the SCCA Formula Atlantic race at Brainerd a week later. This was not necessarily the same car of course. Given the number of 75Bs present at Trois-Rivières, there are only two real possibilities for Marcel Talbot's car: that it was the blue ex-Jon Batchelor 75B/7 which returned to DSR after Batchelor's deal with Cavanaugh Racing fell through, or that it was the yellow 75B/12, the history of which in 1975 is unknown. A colour photograph of Talbot's car at Trois-Rivières would therefore be immensely helpful. There are more options for Beyea's car, which could also have been the brown 73B/75B that Price Cobb had raced earlier in the season. A picture of Beyea's car at Brainerd would probably be enough to determine which car it was.
Driven by: Marcel Talbot and Bob Beyea. First race: Trois-Rivières, 31 Aug 1975. Total of 2 recorded races.
One additional car was built from parts towards the end of 1975 using a 753 monocoque supplied by March.
In late 1975, Richard Paul (North Hollywood, CA) and his mechanic Chic Gladding built up a new car for Formula Atlantic, using a March 753 monocoque, tub number 753-38. It was fitted with aluminium bodywork designed and fabricated by Paul and Gladding. Paul did not race the car often, and in 1978, sold it to James Wood (Suisun, CA) who fitted a Hart BDJ and ran it that season in Formula C. It was then sold to Eric Steeg (Daly City, CA) in 1987, and he raced it in Formula C in 1988. In 1997, Ken Stone (Redding, CA) bought the car and restored it between May 1999 and June 2000 with Tim Fortner, then selling it to Tony Seiniger. Still with Seiniger in January 2004. Bought by Mark Jaremko (Spokane, WA) in early 2012 from Mike Mallinen, and used to win the Monterey Pre-Historics that year when it was dark blue with Elf signwriting and wearing #15. Then sold to Dave Swigler (Panama City, FL) who raced it at the Mitty in early 2014 in the same livery. For sale via Rick Larner's Race Car Locators, LLC in November 2020.
Driven by: Richard Paul, Jim Wood and Eric Steeg. First race: Riverside, 29 Aug 1976. Total of 7 recorded races.
March 75Bs in 1976
Of the identified cars, 75B/U1 and 75B/1 stayed in the UK; Don Breidenbach's 75B/4 went to Jeffrey Alkana; Ecurie Canada's 75B/5 and 75B/10 were advertised by PDW Racing in mid-1976; the ex-Jon Batchelor 75B/7 disappeared; Cliff Hansen kept his ex-Demovsky/Grob 75B/8 for most of 1976; the Interscope Racing 75B/11 disappeared; the late-season orange 75B/13 disappeared but we can be reasonably confident that this was Allen Costa's car, in which case he kept it through 1976; and the ex-Patrick Depailler 75B/R1 went to Bob Kolowich.
Of the unidentified cars - 75B/2, 75B/3 and 75B/6 invoiced to Joe Grimaldi; and 75B/9 and 75B/12 invoiced to Doug Shierson - one of these is Gilles Villeneuve's car and the other four were Doug Shierson Racing cars. Of the DSR cars, Vince Muzzin retained his car and Chip Mead's went to Ted Johnson then Glenn Guerra, but Tim Cooper's car and the late-season car of Marcel Talbot and Bob Beyea (possibly ex-Batchelor) both disappear. Note that we can be confident that Tom Pumpelly's "75B" was his 74B updated. Of these cars, we know that 75B/12 was with Giovanni Distasio in 1976, even if we don't know who had it in 1975.
So, even if we assume the two Ecurie Canada cars weren't raced in 1976, that leaves between four and six 75Bs that cannot be tracked into 1976: the black Interscope 75B/11, Villeneuve's, Cooper's, and the late-season DSR hire car, plus maybe the ex-Batchelor 75B/7 and maybe the late-season orange 75B/13. Corresponding to those are three or four unidentified 75Bs in 1976: the cars of Thomas Sokoly, Dan Carmichael and Joe Shepherd, plus perhaps Jim Mullins who appeared once that year in a 75B, but Mullins could have hired a car. Any of these could be older cars updated to 75B specification, and we also know that Dave Morris's car had been rebuilt with a 1975 monocoque and sold on, and that Price Cobb's 73B/74B was in 75B specification by the end of 1975. Colour may be a clue to some of these cars; for example, Dan Carmichael's car appears to be in the same colours as the Interscope 75B/11.
The appearance of so many second-hand March 75Bs in Central Division is no surprise given Joe Grimaldi's move from New Jersey to Doug Shierson's base at Adrian, Michigan, and the need for DSR to sell off four or five of their 75Bs. It is possible that Villeneuve's 75B was kept as a spare car by Ecurie Canada or as a show car by Skiroule during 1976 and then sold to Dorsey Schroeder at the end of the year, but Shierson advertised this car as well in February 1976, so that may not be the case.
For 1976, Thomas and Theodore Sokoly acquired a March 75B from Doug Shierson Racing. The car was blue when they first acquired it, and they were told that it had been raced by a Canadian hire driver at Trois-Rivières, who had damaged the engine during practice. This would seem to be a reference to Marcel Talbot, as he was the only Canadian to drive for DSR at that race, and he failed to start the race. With Tom Sokoly (Mayville, WI) driving, and brother Ted as chief mechanic, they raced the March 75B in Formula Atlantic in 1976, including one IMSA round, two Players rounds, plus SCCA Nationals. Tom did not score any points in Central Division in 1976, but scored three points in 1977. For 1978, the car was sold to Frank Scott (Racine, WI), a local Assistant District Attorney. He scored only three points in CenDiv FB in 1978, and took part in the Labatts Championship Series race at Road America in July 1978. Advertised by Scott in March 1979 as a 75B/77B with a choice of BDD and BDN engines. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Thomas Sokoly and Frank Scott. First race: Road Atlanta (R1), 11 Apr 1976. Total of 7 recorded races.
Dan Carmichael (Columbus, OH), a 56-year-old veteran of SCCA racing, raced a #74 March 75B in SCCA Central Division Formula Atlantic in 1976. The car was in very similar livery to the Interscope March 75B: black with an orange stripe. He retained the car for 1977, scoring 14 points in the Division, although his car was described at the end of that season as a "Mascot". John Gloviak used this car at the 1977 Runoffs, but Gloviak returned to his Brabham BT35 in 1978, so may have just hired the March for this one event. For 1979, Carmichael acquired a brand new March 79B, but it is not clear whether he had also bought a newer car for 1978. Carmichael, who was 60 when the 1979 season started, was an architect from Columbus and had focused on his golf in 1978, winning the Ohio Senior Golf Championship, so may not have raced that season. The subsequent history of the 75B is unproven, but if this was the ex-Interscope car, then it went to Steve Bonney in late 1977 or early 1978.
Driven by: Dan Carmichael and John Gloviak. First race: Road America, 6 Jun 1976. Total of 6 recorded races.
Joe Shepherd (Indianapolis, IN) raced a #7 or #97 March 75B in SCCA National, Players Canadian and IMSA series races in 1976. He advertised the car in October 1976, noting that it had only raced three times in 1976. This car was unusual for a March 75B as a Tom Schultz photograph taken at the Road America June Sprints shows that it did not have a standard 75B left-hand radiator. Also at the back of the car, it can be seen to have its oil tank behind the gearbox, as on a 73B, this having been moved to the side of the gearbox on the 74B. That would suggest it was a 73B updated to side-radiator 75B form, and the obvious contender for this would be Price Cobb's March 73B/74B/75B, last seen at the end of 1975. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Joe Shepherd. First race: Road America, 6 Jun 1976. Total of 4 recorded races.
Two further cars are relevant to this story, both emerging in late 1976. One was a March 75B which was sold to New Zealand using the chassis number of 75B/8, a car that had been sold to the US, and given how easily damaged cars could have their monocoques replaced, it is hard to see how 75B/8 could possibly have been back in England. The second was a car built for Formula C and called a 75C, but it is not known whether this was built as such in England or was brought over to the US as components and built there.
Bob Welch (Alexandria, VA) raced a new March 75C in the Formula C class at the Runoffs at Road Atlanta in October 1976. He had qualified in Southeast Division driving an older Lola T240. According to a later advert for the March, Welch had brought the car to the US, so it may have started life as a Formula 3 March 753, or could have been built around an unused monocoque. The original monocoque number of 'AM753-50' supports the idea that it was an unused monocoque. Welch scored six points in SEDiv Formula C in 1977, then 18 points in 1978, then nine points in 1979. The car went to John Hood in May 1979, then to R.R. DeCardenas in August 1996. History then unknown, but the car was still in Welch's livery when sold to its current owner (as of 2020). By 2020, it had been rebuilt on a 1977 monocoque (tub number M773:32) and rebuilt to Formula Atlantic specification with a Cosworth BDA engine. In October 2020, it was being advertised by Art Hebert's Motorsports Market.
Driven by: Bob Welch. First race: Road Atlanta, 31 Oct 1976. Total of 4 recorded races.
Carrying chassis plate 75B-8, this car was bought by Kiwi Dave Saunders from March in 1976, after it had been returned to the works. It is unclear why 75B-8 would have been in England but March records do contain a note saying that its Shierson Racing sister car 75B-2 was returned to England for repairs. Presumably Saunders, who had raced in the UK in 1976, took it back with him to New Zealand because it appears in the first two rounds of the 1977 NZ series, being badly damaged in practice for the second. A NZ vehicle registration document [required for all cars in NZ] dated 10 Nov 77 confirms the plate is chassis number 8. The Pukekohe damage was made good with a new tub, bought not from March but John Thompson's fabrication company, numbered M772PU6. The car is now in Australia, and these documents were forwarded from the owner via Bryan Miller, and had been confirmed with Dave Saunders.
Driven by: Dave Saunders and Ross Cameron. First race: Baypark Raceway (R1), 3 Jan 1977. Total of 14 recorded races.
March 75Bs in 1977
Of the identified cars, 75B/1 stayed in the UK, but 75B/U1 vanished from England at the end of 1976; Ecurie Canada's 75B/5 and 75B/10 had been missing since mid-1976; and the ex-Jon Batchelor 75B/7, the Interscope Racing 75B/11 and the late season orange 75B/13 had all disappeared at the end of 1975. Only three of those cars in North America can be tracked into 1977: Alan Holly's ex-Don Breidenbach 75B/4, which he was still racing in April 1977, Cliff Hansen's ex-Demovsky/Grob 75B/8 which went to Mike Downs, and Bob Kolowich's ex-Patrick Depailler 75B/R1 which he retained. Also Allen Costa advertised what we strongly suspect was 75B/13 in March 1977.
Of the five cars from the original production run where first drivers are not known - 75B/2, 75B/3 and 75B/6 invoiced to Joe Grimaldi; and 75B/9 and 75B/12 invoiced to Doug Shierson - one of these is Gilles Villeneuve's car and the other four were the Doug Shierson Racing cars. Villeneuve's car and the DSR car of Tim Cooper and DSR's late-season hire car had all disappeared at the end of 1975. One of these is likely to be 75B/12 which Giovanni di Stasio retained for 1977, but the possibility remains that Di Stasio had that from new. The other four are likely to correspond with the three mystery 75Bs seen in 1976 of Thomas Sokoly, Dan Carmichael and Joe Shepherd. Sokoly's is likely to be the late-season hire car. Also, we must remember Price Cobb's "75B", which had been converted by Shierson from a 73B, and also goes missing at the end of 1975.
Of those three Central Division mystery cars from 1976, Thomas Sokoly and Dan Carmichael both retained their cars for 1977 and ran them in Central Division alongside the "75B" of brothers Gary and Wayne Dassinger. Apart from the Dassingers, the other mystery 75Bs to appear in 1977 were Dorsey Schroeder's ex-Ecurie Canada car and the car that Max Sebba drove at the 1977 SCCA Runoffs.
With so much unknown here, we can only speculate about the newcomers, but the Dassingers in Cincinnati could have had the Joe Shepherd car from Indianapolis or the Vince Muzzin car from Michigan or the ex-Cobb 73B/75B, and Max Sebba, on the east coast, could have acquired the Allen Costa car or the ex-Tim Cooper 73B/75B.
Dorsey Schroeder (Manchester, MO) bought a March 75B from Ecurie Canada after the Trois-Rivières race in September 1976. At the time, the car was described as being the car James Hunt had raced at Trois-Rivières, but Schroeder has also stated that he bought an Ecurie Canada show car. Schroeder first raced it at the SCCA Runoffs at Road Atlanta at the end of October, and then raced it in SCCA Nationals in 1977, winning twice at Mid-America Raceway and one race at Hutchinson. He then transferred to B Sedan racing and sold the March to an unknown owner. Next seen with John Arvanis (Port Byron, IL) who advertised it in 1982. It was bought by Ben Treadway (Roswell, GA), who sold it to Kenneth Cotterell (Decatur, GA), who sold it to dealer Chuck Haines (Manchester, MO) in January 1989. The car is then missing until bought some time before 1996 by Mike Sauce (Arlington, TX), who was told it was the Gilles Villeneuve car in 1975, and then the James Hunt car in 1976. It came with both 75B and 76B bodywork sets. Sauce sold it to Cy Moreland (Trainer, PA) in 1996 or 1997, and it was sold via Fred Ashplant to Joe Hish (Hinsdale, IL) in 1997. Hish later sold it to Jim Oppenheimer (Chicago, IL) who sold it to Murray Smith (Washington, CT) in late 2005/early 2006. Smith sold it to Gordon Medenica (Pelham, NY) in 2014 or 2015. The car had been in Villeneuve's Skiroule livery for much of this time. The log book with the car establishes that it is the ex-Schroeder car, but whether it is also the Villeneuve car remains uncertain. Still with Medenica in January 2020.
Driven by: Dorsey Schroeder. First race: Road Atlanta, 31 Oct 1976. Total of 10 recorded races.
Ted Titmas (Van Nuys, CA) registered a Formula B March with the SCCA Cal Club Region in Southern California in June 1977. That SCCA log book gives the chassis number as '722-33', but it is unclear why the car had not already been logbooked by the SCCA before June 1977. However, Titmas had two very similar cars, one red and one orange, and it not yet clear which was the old 722. Titmas ran a March "78B" or "77B" for a number of hire drivers from 1977 onwards. In 1977, he is said to have run it for Dennis Firestone (Los Angeles, CA), but Firestone focused on Formula Ford that season, and it is not clear where he raced the March. In 1978, Titmas ran it for Ben Schilachi (Beverley Hills, CA), at which time it was blue and entered as #22. He retained it for 1979, when it was entered for Dick Gamble at the Long Beach race, and then Titmas sold it to Juan Carlos Bolaños. Bolaños advertised a March 73B in July 1979, which only deepens the mystery of this car. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Ron Dykes, Kevin Cogan, Skeeter McKitterick, Dick Gamble and Gustavo Bolaños. First race: Riverside, 13 Feb 1977. Total of 7 recorded races.
Max Sebba (Sandy Springs, GA) raced a Formula B March 75B/76B in SEDiv and MWDiv events in 1977, and at the SCCA Runoffs in 1977. He had raced a March "722/32" in 1976, and it appears that he hired a Chevron B29 for the 1976 Runoffs and then acquired the newer 75B at the start of the 1977 season.
Driven by: Max Sebba. First race: Mid-America Raceway, 12 Jun 1977. Total of 4 recorded races.
Brothers Gary and Wayne Dassinger (Cincinatti, OH) shared a March 75B in Central Division Formula B in 1977, each scoring three points in Nationals. Wayne also drove the car in 1978. The brothers moved to Sebring, FL in 1979, and Wayne was reported to still have a 75B in 1980. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Wayne Dassinger. First race: Mid-America Raceway, 10 Sep 1978. Only one recorded race.
March 75Bs from 1978 onwards
In 1978, Steve Bonney (Pueblo, CO?) scored 33 points in Midwest Division Formula B in a March 75B. He was also very successful in the Division in 1979, ending on 35 points in a tie for second place. His car is reported to have been chassis 75B/11.
Also in 1978, Raymond Levet raced in French hillclimbs in what was reported at the time as a March 742, but has since been described as a 75B. Photographs of the car clearly show a standard 1975 cockpit and the standard 1975 cut-down rollhoop casing. Previous versions of this page suggested this could be the ex-Ray Mallock March 75B, but photographs have shown that the Mallock car had been significantly modified by the end of 1976 so that is highly unlikely.
Dale Euga (Winchester, VA) raced what was described as a March 75B in SCCA Regionals in 1978. Nothing more known.
Driven by: Dale Euga. First race: Lime Rock (R1), 29 Apr 1978. Total of 4 recorded races.
Gary Robinson (Broken Arrow, OK) upgraded his March 712M for a newer March 75B some time during 1979, but exactly when this happened during that season remains unclear. Robinson finished fifth in MidWest Division Formula Atlantic in 1979, then retained the car for 1980, finishing seventh in the division. He was still racing it in 1982. The identity of his March 75B is unknown but a "March 752" appeared in historic racing in the 2010s that has a SCCA stamping from Northeast Oklahoma Region, Robinson's home region, and a '75B/10' chassis plate.
Driven by: Gary Robinson. First race: Ponca City, 1 Jul 1979. Total of 4 recorded races.
Steve Overton (Belleville, IL) owned a Formula Atlantic March in 1984 which was raced by his mechanic Ernst Schneider (Belleville, IL) in Midwest Division Formula Atlantic in 1984, winning the title. It is presumably the same March Schneider had raced in 1982. It was advertised by Overton in March 1985 as a March 75B, and sold to Tim Adcock, who raced it in SCCA Regionals from 1985 to 1988. Adcock sold it to Peter Gates in 1989.
Driven by: Ernst Schneider. First race: Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, 20 Jun 1982. Total of 5 recorded races.
In addition to the above, unknown March 75Bs were driven by Jim Mullins and Scott Vuillemot.
Thanks to Chris Townsend for blazing the trail on this model of March, and thanks are also due to Simon Hadfield and Richard Paul for patiently explaining the detailed differences between the 73B, 74B and 75B Marches. Thanks to Kevan McLurg for interviewing Joe Grimaldi, suitably assisted by Chris Townsend, to former 75B owners Thomas Sokoly and Mike Sauce, to Wilbur Bunce for explaining the two updated March cars he ran during 1976, to Alan Holly, Richard Ames, Ken Stone, Howard Monise, Steve Cook, Scott Hansen, Joe Ordoqui, Bruce Balchin and Bill Fickling for their assistance, to former Bob Cavanaugh Racing chief mechanic Gary Bell, to former Doug Shierson Racing crew member Keith 'Wombat' Devereux, and to fellow researchers David McKinney, Bryan Miller, Ted Walker, Steve Wilkinson, and Alan Brown. Thanks also to Pepper Bowe, John Sadler, Alan Holly, Keith Devereux and Jeff Luebker for the use of their photographs.
These histories last updated on .