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 1982, after which he sold it to somebody in Scotland.
Driven by: Derek Cook, Bill Burley, Richard Morgan, Roy Baker, Ted Williams, Mark Williams, Bob Bailey and Richard Ames. First race: Brands Hatch, 26 Dec 1974. Total of 40 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 existed in 2019 in the US with an apparently authentic 75B/2 chassis plate and a SCCA stamping linking it to Kansas City Region. As Tim Cooper was a member of that region, it would imply it was his car. 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 21 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 but it is currently unclear how it was then used.
Driven by: Jon Batchelor. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 2 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 is almost certainly 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. Retained by Hansen in 1976 as a show car, and then advertised 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 5 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 and Gary Robinson. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 11 recorded races.
A black March 75B sold to Doug Shierson Racing for Jon Woodner to race in the 1975 Canadian Formula Atlantic series. Raced by Woodner at most events as a Shierson entry; also by Marty Loft at Westwood as Woodner was at the Pocono F5000 race, and by Richard Melville at Mosport in July. Then used by guest driver Vittorio Brambilla to win the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières at the end of August. 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, Vittorio Brambilla, Chip Mead, Bobby Rahal and Steve Bonney. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 22 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 maybe not Tim Cooper's either, depending on which of his two cars he used for his SCCA appearances. It also cannot have been Cliff Hansen's, as that was retained. The possibilities remaining are Gilles Villeneuve's, maybe Cooper's, and the late-season car of Guy Tunmer et al.
Few of Giovanni Distasio's results in the car have yet been found, but he raced in two Pro events in 1978 with a March "77B" that is assumed to be this same car. The SCCA logbook shows that it went to Chuck Coleman (Jacksonville, Arkansas) in 1978, who advertised it with a Jennings BDA engine in October 1978. The logbook shows that it then went to Darryl Foster (Southgate, MI?) in 1979, then Robert W. Kennedy, then Cliff Wheeler in 1987, and Sam Pontier in 1989. It was acquired by Bill Fickling in 2004. Raced by Fickling at Spring Classic Laguna Seca in May 2017.
Driven by: Giovanni Distasio. First race: Lime Rock, 6 Sep 1976. Total of 3 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. In 1976, Mallock raced the car in Formula 2 specification in the European F2 series and in the Shellsport Group 8 series. It is possible the car was still using the chassis plate of the old 742 during this time, as it was described by Motoring News as a 742 when it appeared at Hockenheim in September 1976. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Ray Mallock. First race: Silverstone (R6), 4 May 1975. Total of 22 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. 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 Guy Tunmer, Marcel Talbot, and Bob Beyea (#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 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 SCCA events at some point during 1975.
The Doug Shierson Racing team in 1975
At the opening race, the Shierson team had six cars present. The simplest 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 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 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 older 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 how this (blue) car was used by the DSR team 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 Guy Tunmer at Halifax in August and then by Marcel Talbot at Trois-Rivières where there was a full set of six DSR or ex-DSR 75Bs present. Evidence is growing that this Tunmer/Talbot car was the ex-Batchelor 75B/7.
'the DSR Vince Muzzin car'
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.
'the DSR Tim Cooper car'
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.
'the DSR Chip Mead car'
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 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. Nothing more is known of this car, but Johnson entered it as #17, the same number that Glenn Guerra when Guerra first raced his 75B, at Blackhawk Farms three weeks later. Guerra lived about ten miles from Johnson, in Chicago's northwestern suburbs, and this would suggest Johnson sold the 75B on to Guerra.
Driven by: Chip Mead and Ted Johnson. First race: Edmonton (R1), 25 May 1975. Total of 10 recorded races.
'the Gilles Villeneuve car'
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. Villeneuve won the Gimli race in this car. His 75B was advertised by The Race Shop (Adrian, MI) with two Swindon engines in January 1976, and in March 1976 by Doug Shierson, who had 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.
'the DSR late-season #9 car'
Doug Shierson Racing had a yellow #9 entry in the early part of the season for Syd Demovsky and Ian Grob, but this car was sold to Cliff Hansen, and renumbered #33. At the next race after Hansen's purchase, DSR had another car entered as #9, firstly for South African Guy Tunmer at Halifax, then for Quebecois Marcel Talbot at Trois-Rivières, and then for Bob Beyea at Brainerd. It is possible that this was the blue ex-Jon Batchelor 75B/7, which returned to DSR after Batchelor's deal with Cavanaugh Racing fell through. A colour photograph of this car would be immensely helpful.
Driven by: Guy Tunmer, Marcel Talbot and Bob Beyea. First race: Halifax (R6), 7 Aug 1975. Total of 3 recorded races.
'the Allen Costa car'
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 Raceway, 10 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.
'the Richard Paul car'
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, but Tim Cooper's car and the late-season car of Guy Tunmer et al (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 di Stasio 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 between three and five unidentified 75Bs in 1976: the cars of Thomas Sokoly, Dan Carmichael and Joe Shepherd, plus Glenn Guerra's that is likely to have been Ted Johnson's ex-Chip Mead car, and 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 of 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.
'the Thomas Sokoly car'
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. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Thomas Sokoly and Frank Scott. First race: Road Atlanta (R1), 11 Apr 1976. Total of 7 recorded races.
'the Glenn Guerra car'
Glenn Guerra (Barrington, IL) raced a March 75B 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. Although usually entered as #50, Guerra was entered as #17 at his first race, suggesting he had acquired Ted Johnson's car. Guerra's home town of Barrington is part of the Chicago metropolitan area, not far from Johnson. 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: Glenn Guerra. First race: Blackhawk Farms, 30 May 1976. Total of 9 recorded races.
'the Dan Carmichael car'
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 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.
'the Joe Shepherd car'
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. 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.
'the Bob Welch car'
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. Subsequent history 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: R. C. (Bob) Welch. First race: Road Atlanta, 31 Oct 1976. Total of 4 recorded races.
'the Dave Saunders car'
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, and are now joined by Chip Mead's (if Guerra didn't have it) and Vince Muzzin's cars. 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 four mystery 75Bs seen in 1976 of Thomas Sokoly, Dan Carmichael, Glenn Guerra and Joe Shepherd. Sokoly's is likely to be the late-season hire car, and Guerra's is likely to be ex-Mead/ex-Johnson. 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 four Central Division mystery cars from 1976, Thomas Sokoly, Dan Carmichael and Glenn Guerra all 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 Cincinatti 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 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 in 1997. Hish later sold it to Jim Oppenheimer who sold it to Murray Smith in late 2005/early 2006. Smith sold it to Gordon Medenica 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. Sold to Gordon Medenica (New York, NY) in 2014 or 2015. Still with Medenica in January 2020.
Driven by: Dorsey Schroeder. First race: Road Atlanta, 31 Oct 1976. Total of 10 recorded races.
'the Ted Titmas car'
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.
'the Max Sebba car'
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.
'the Wayne Dassinger car'
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 1975 cockpit and the 1975 cut-down rollhoop casing. One possibility is that this was the ex-Ray Mallock March 75B which was possibly wearing a March 742 chassis plate and was last seen in England at the end of 1976.
'the Ernst Schneider car'
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.
Chris Townsend has led the way on this model of March, and thanks are also due to Simon Hadfield and Richard Paul for patiently explaining in detail the 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 and Joe Ordoqui 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 and Keith Devereux for the use of their photographs.
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