The Ex-Lord Angus Clydesdale Targa Florio, Monza and Spa 1000Km, Steinlager Championship Winning 1968 Chevron B8
Chevron is the true British motor racing story, the talented engineer who started in a lock up garage and went on to be one of the worlds leading names in both sports car and single seater formula racing. No fewer that six former Chevron drivers went on to achieve World Champion status. An extraordinary talent, Derek Bennett was a brilliant and mainly self taught engineer with an impressive aptitude for repairing, modifying and sculpting race cars. Like so many of the great race car producers of his era, when he was not working at the track he could be found behind the wheel racing mostly custom built racing cars.
Competing himself in a number of cars and considering purchasing a new race car, with the ever changing racing regulations he felt he could produce a better example himself. Created on a space frame chassis and powered by a Ford Kent engine and carrying the Chevron name the B1 made its debut at Kirkistown in 1965 and won the race.
This was to be the first of many victories for Derek Bennett and his impressive Chevron cars. The success of the Chevron marque became closely intertwined with its customers worldwide, buying and racing their Chevron cars most notably in 2-litre sports car competition but also single seater Formula 5000, Formula 2 and Formula 3.
The Chevron B8 is widely regarded to be one of the most beautiful sports racing cars ever produced, with their looks only to be matched by their handling. To all intensive purpose the B8 was an ‘improved’ version of the B6. The basic design remains the same, but on the B8 the under tray is bonded onto the chassis frame and it carries larger radiators, oil pipes and fuel tanks. In answer to customer demands a front anti-roll bar was fitted, although this was deemed unnecessary by Derek Bennet who already felt the car was perfectly balanced as it was. By the time the B8 appeared Chevron production had become a well-honed operation. Arch Motors supplied the chassis direct to Chevron and Specialised Mouldings manufactured the smooth and sleek bodywork.
The B8 was homologated as a Group 4 Sports Car in 1968. Only 44 examples were built between 1968 and 1970 and were fitted with a number of different engines with the most popular being a 2 litre BMW unit. In order the get the B8 homologated as a Group 4 car it was necessary to produce 50 cars but by some clever interpretation of the rules including adding the 1967 B6 cars in the calculations the FIA accepted the B8. The 1968 B8 was perhaps the car that really established Chevron as a serious production car manufacturer capable of taking on all-comers and beating them.
It was success from the start for the B8 with Digby Martland and Brian Classick finishing 9th overall at the BOAC 500 miles at Brands Hatch. Other results included an amazing 2-3-4-5 at Croft, 5th and 6th overall at the Speedworld International Trophy at Oulton Park for Chris Craft and Tim Schenken and finally Peter Gethin was third at the Guards International Trophy at Brands Hatch. Adding to this several wins in UK club racing as well as some success on the Continent and for Brian Redman in the South Africa’s Springbok series, meant that Chevron could look back on 1968 as an important step in their increasing stature.
In 1969 the B8 took a big step further towards its now legendary status, with the Kleinpeter/Gun/Beaty B8 taking sixth overall and a class in the Daytona 24 Hour race. The Wisell/Hine B8 finished seventh in the 1969 BOAC 500 Mile race at Brands Hatch also winning their class. The Red Rose Racing B8 in the hands of John Lepp was dominant in the RAC British Spots Car Championship taking the 1969 and 1970 titles. The B8’s place was well and truly stamped in motorsport history. With the ever growing array of distance and endurance races and events in historic racing the B8’s speed, handling and versatility has very much made to the car of choice for drivers both in Europe and the USA. As such the B8 has continued to shine and be the car to beat.
This fine example that we are delighted to offer for sale is no exception. Chassis Number CH-DBE-81, it was supplied new to regarded and well known racer Lord Angus Clydesdale, finished in the standard mid-blue gel coat. An engineer and avid racer and pilot, whose father was the first man to fly over Mount Everest and was the force behind the creation of Prestwick Airport and Scottish Aviation. Lord Angus’ career included being an aerial photographer for the RAF in Malaya before going on to be one of the team which developed the Supercat, an amphibious vehicle still in military and civilian service today.
Lord Angus Clydesdale raced CH-DBE-081 in 30 races during the 1969 and 1970 season. Maybe with the advantage of suitable private funding, this B8 had the advantage over may of its counterparts as being raced further afield in a number overseas World Sportscar events in the 1969 season.
The first outing was the Monza 1000km on the 25th of April 1969. Entered under Falken Racing Developments, sadly Angus Clydesdale and John Markey failed to qualify.
Things improved greatly for the world famous Targa Florio on the 4th of May when Angus Clydesdale and Edgar Berney, entered under Racing Team Falken finished 3rd in the S5.0 class and 24th overall.
The Spa 1000km, a week later, saw Clydesdale, this time driving with Terry Hunter and entered by Lord Clydesdale himself, finish 3rd in the S2.0 class and 19th overall.
From Spa he returned to the UK for the Martini Trophy at Silverstone on the 17th of May, where driving on his own and entered this time as Falken Racing Developments, he came 6th overall. A further outing at the Croft Martini Trophy saw Lord Clydesdale, this time driving alone, finish 6th. Another week and another track and Lord Clydesdale, again sharing the driving duties with Terry Hunter, took 11th in the RAC Tourist Trophy at Oulton Park.
In the second half of the season he also took the car to Sweden on two occasions, taking 12th at Anderstorp on the 29th of June and 13th in the Nordic Challenge at Matrop Park on the 31st of August 1969.
In 1970 the B8 took part in two more World Sportscar events, the BOAC 1000Kms at Brands Hatch in April, as seen above and the Spa 1000Kms in May. At Brands Hatch he co-drove with Mike Franey in the now Intertech Steering Wheels-entered car finishing 4th in the S2.0 class and 14th overall.
At Spa, again entered as Intertech Steering Wheels, the driving duties were shared with John Markey and sadly they retired with oil and water leaks. The RAC British Sports Car Championship saw another 1970 outing finishing 6th in class and 17th overall in the WD & HO Wills (The Jock Leith Trophy Race for Group 5, 6 and 7 Sports Cars) at Croft.
In 1971, Ch-DBE-81 was sold to Richard Simms who raced it at the Daily Express Meeting at Oulton Park on the 9th of March 1971 where he came 7th and again at the BRDC Meeting at Silverstone on the 8th of May, where he came 15th. In 1972 he reputedly fitted a Gropa spider body to the car and Cosworth FVA engine before racing twice at Croft, taking 5th on both occasions.
In 1973, CH-DBE-81 was sold to well known Chevron racer Brian Classic who, according to a letter in the history file from L. H. Owen Automotive in February 1987, “ran the car with an FVA, then BMW and the FVA again. During his ownership he had the car fully restored back to its original coupé configuration by Chevron”.
Brian sold CH-DEB-81 in 1981 to Jim Wallace who had the car rebuilt by Otford and ran with the FVA. From him ownership passed to Don Prater some time in 1982/83, who continued to run the car with the FVA engine fitted. In 1985 it was purchased by Andrew Marler who ran the car once with the FVA engine before fitting a Lester Owen BMW M10. Andrew went on to win the Steinlager Supersports outright with the car in 1986.
Ownership then passed to Tim Hassall from 1987- 1989 who continued to race the car in the Steinlager Championship taking a class win at the Norisring. During his ownership the car was painted dark silver as can be seen in the HSCC Vehicle Identity Form in the history file, dated 1988. He sold the car to Jan Heuten in 1989 who in turn sold it to well known historic racer Chris Philips in 1997.
Chris Philips had well know race preparation specialist restore the car around this time and the 1998 HSCC Vehicle Identity Form for the car on file, in Chris Philips name, show the car in dark purple. From there it gained a yellow stripe across the nose and Chris Philips continued CH-DBE-81’s life long race history during his ownership, racing both in the UK and on the continent. The car was professionally maintained by RW Racing and the engine was maintained by Lester Owen.
In 2003 fellow historic racer and well known aviation specialist Tony Bianchi purchased CH-DBE-81 from Chris Philips. He continued to race the car with success in the World Sportscar masters both in the UK and on the continent as well as the Le Mans Legends Support race in 2004. The current owners purchased the car directly from Tony and have continued to campaign the car across Europe.
Run by well known marque specialists Martin O’Connel Racing, the car has been professionally prepared with no expense spared. Upon purchasing the car it was stripped back to a bare metal chassis and given a complete and meticulous restoration. Painted in a striking deep red with red white and blue centre stripes and the car continued to be raced with great success by the current owners, with multiple class and outright podium positions with both the HSCC and Masters. These included wining the 2016 Snetterton Autosport Historic 1 Hour Guards Trophy and Snetterton 2016 Autosport Historic All comers races outright.
Fitted with a zero hours Lester Owen BMW M10 engine and accompanied by its 2015 FIA HTP papers, extensive history file, eight spare wheels (four with tyres and four without) and a healthy running spares package. In short if you are looking for a well prepared race proven Chevron B8 with great international and continuous race history to race in a wide variety of events both here and on the continent, look no further, this is your car!