Chevron may not be a household name but the company produced some of the winningest small displacement chassis for race teams all over the globe throughout the ’60s and ’70s. Founded by Derek Bennett in 1965, the company quickly made a name for themselves producing beautiful and highly successful racing cars, designed by Bennett and powered by various different engines. Bennett was a self-taught, brilliant engineer and exceptional race car driver who was responsible for a number of “firsts.” These firsts would go on to be staples in the racing world including the first car with a diffuser, the Chevron GT, and the first car with a protective crash box, the Chevron B16. The company was experiencing great success until its founder, Derek Bennett, was unfortunately killed in a hang-gliding accident in 1978. After Bennett’s death, the company limped on for a few more years until its assets were liquidated and sold off to a consortium of Scottish racing drivers who continued to manufacture parts for the numerous Chevron cars produced. Today, Chevrons remain a staple in the vintage racing scene. They are as competitive as they were back in the 1970s always punching above their displacement class.
The Chevron B36 was built from 1976 to 1978, with only 21 cars being produced over this period of time. The B36 represented the ultimate evolution of the 2.0-liter racing cars that Chevron was known for. Featuring groundbreaking technology for the time such as a full monocoque chassis and a front splitter and rear wing producing a much more aerodynamic body than past iterations. The power plant for the car was supplied by various different engines including a 2.0 liter BMW M-12, Cosworth BDG, and a Chrysler Sinca motor, all of which would be mated to Hewland FGA 5-speed gearbox. The B36 was delivered as chassis or a kit to multiple race teams and proved to be highly successful, putting up some very competitive results at Le Mans from 1977 through 1980.
The example on offer here, frame number KIT-ROC-01 and serial number B36-78-ROC-01, is a 1978 Chevron B36. It is reportedly 1 of 3 Chevron chassis bought by ROC in 1978. It was supplied as a chassis kit, with special lightweight chassis and F2 front suspension. Power was supplied by a Chrysler Sinca 2000cc engine mated to a 5-speed Hewland FGA gearbox. This chassis reportedly ran at Le Mans in 1978, driven by Michel Pignard, Lucien Roussiaud, and Laurent Ferrier, where it finished 11’th overall, producing a class win in the 2.0-liter class. The chassis reportedly raced again in 1979 but was retired due to an accident/collision. This information is provided off of the historical documents that were given to us as well as research that was done on our part but as with any historical race car, the actual results are hard to prove beyond a doubt. It is believed that after it raced at Le Mans, the chassis was rebuilt with a Cosworth BDG engine and then sold to a Mr. Jakob Marx of Switzerland. Mr. Marx campaigned the car privately with the Cosworth BDG engine for a short period of time and then re-engined the chassis with a BMW M-12 2000cc engine. Mr. Marx raced the chassis in hill climbs and various other Swiss races from 1981 through 1983 under the pseudonym “Max Jakob”. In 1983 the chassis was sold to Herr Bauman of Nurnberg, Germany without an engine. It was never used or raced by Bauman who then sold the car to Ramon Kofler of Austria in 1986. Kofler placed a BMW 2000cc engine in the car and campaigned it in various Hillclimb events throughout 1986 and 1987 after which he sold it through Walter Pedrazza to a Jakob Oberhauser of Austria. Oberhauser again campaigned the car in various hill climb events through 1991. In 1992, the car was retired from active competition and placed in a private garage museum where it was lovingly cared for with the engine started regularly. In 2002 the chassis was sold to Jacob Shalit of Chatsworth, California who never used the car. In 2005, it traded hands again to a Mr. Somerville of Ottawa Canada. Mr. Somerville commissioned a rebuild in 2007 which was undertaken by vintage racing specialist Lee Chapman of Newtown, Connecticut. Mr. Somerville decided to sell the chassis in 2008 while it was still undergoing its rebuild to the current owner. The rebuild was completed in 2008 and the chassis has been racing in historic events since then. As the chassis sits currently, it is fitted with a Cosworth BDG engine built by Jeoff Richardson. It wears lightened bodywork with the original bodywork included as well. The car has been very well maintained but thorough inspection and sorting should be expected before undertaking any sort of racing with the vehicle. For a better understanding of the current state of the car please refer to the provided documents in the above “documents” section.
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Body And Paint
The car currently wears lightened bodywork that is an excellent copy of the original panels which are included in the sale. The currently fitted bodywork has typical stone chips and cracking paint that you would find on a car that has been recently campaigned in vintage racing events, especially in high wear areas such as the nose of the car and protruding bulges of the fenders, etc. The graphics and paint are of good quality still and the panels all fit relatively nicely.
Glass And Trim
The plexi wind deflector located at the front of the driver's compartment is in good structural shape with some minor scratching from normal use. The car has 1 rear view mirror and 2 side view mirrors, all of which are in good condition. Plexi headlight covers display typical scratching etc. but are in good overall condition.
The wheels currently fitted to the car appear in good shape with no major denting or damage but before actual use will need to be thoroughly checked and tested.
Chipping and cracking of the paint are present in accordance with a racing car that has been recently campaigned in vintage racing events.
Seats And Surfaces
The driver’s compartment of the car presents similar to the outside, in a well kept but actively used presentation. Switches are labeled with the requisite functions and gauges appear clean tidy. The three spoke steering wheel is wrapped in tape and shows some use. It is topped with a DRE shift light unit. The floor pans appear in nice solid condition. The fire suppression system is located in the passenger area but appears to be out of date according to the stamping located on the bottle. The battery for the car is tucked neatly in the passenger area footwell and appears to be a newer unit. Both the shifter and the pedal box appear to be well kept and in good condition.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine compartment houses the Cosworth BDG power-plant. Everything in this area appears well kept and properly looked after. There are no visible signs of issues but before any racing is undertaken, thorough testing and sorting will be necessary. All lines, hoses, and wires appear newer and upon visual inspection look to be in good order. Koni branded suspension components appear in good condition and well looked after.
The chassis throughout appears very well kept and looked after. All welds appear visually solid and very well done. The chassis is clean and straight from front to back.
Removing the front nose piece reveals the integrated front splitter, the radiator and other vital components to the vehicle’s track worthiness. The hoses for the brake ducting appear in good condition. The Koni branded suspension components appear well looked after and show no visible signs of issues. The reservoirs for clutch etc. have some visible pitting to the vessels but no visible signs of leakage or issues.
Testing of the mechanical nature of the engine was not carried out by us. Although visually the engine appears in good condition and well looked after, it should be expected that the car will need thorough sorting and testing before being put to race duty.
Testing of the transmission was not carried out by us and it should be expected that the car will need thorough sorting and testing before being put to race duty.
Brakes And Suspension
Testing of both the braking and suspension systems was not carried out by us and it should be expected that the car will need thorough sorting and testing before being put to race duty.
The tires appear to be older and will more than likely need to be replaced before the car can be put to racing duty.
The B36 represents the pinnacle of the 2-liter racing chassis produced by Chevron. It was extremely competitive in world-class events throughout the ’70s and into the ’80s and continued to do extremely well in the hands of privateers for years after. They remain an extremely popular way to competitively join the vintage racing scene. Although this B36 was untested by us, it was recently rebuilt by some of the best in the business and has been lovingly campaigned since then. This car represents the opportunity to purchase a piece of racing history that can still be thoroughly enjoyed and campaigned in modern-day vintage racing worldwide.
- Drive LHD