An authentic Chevron B16 with a well-known history
The Chevron B16 # DBE04 was part of the first series of nine Chevron B16s fitted with the Cosworth DFV engine. Chassis DBE04 was the first car to be built in 1970, the three previous ones having been built in 1969. A total of 23 Chevron B16s were assembled … before new models came into existence at the end of the 90s, with the approval of the owners of the Chevron brand. It should also be noted that a number of B16s returned to the factory in 1972 to be converted into B21s or B23s, with no roofs … before (sometimes) subsequently receiving the reverse treatment.
This explains why there are today about fifty Chevron B16s to be found in the world, sometimes with the same chassis numbers and rather vague histories.
The history of the Chevron B16 # DBE04 is crystal clear, well-known and fully documented
It all began at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1970. Entered by Chevron Cars, the car sported No. 37 but failed to finish due to injection problems. Its owner Brian Robinson then entered it for the 12 Hours of Sebring. It raced as No. 62, but again failed to finish (accident).
After these complicated beginnings, the Chevron B16 managed to secure a fine 5th place at Silverstone in the British Sports Car Championship, which was reserved for cars in the 2-litre category. There were several Chevron B16s at the start of the race, but it was a Lola T210 (driven by Jo Bonnier) that won it. The car was then engaged at Crystal Palace, finally finishing in 3rd place. Brian Robinson spent a studious summer of 1970 and entered the car at Hockenheim (for the 2-litre European Championship) finishing in 10th position. He followed this up with an 8th place at Croft (an Interseries event) then a 4th place at the Jyllandsringen Grand Prix (in Denmark) and a 5th place at Brands Hatch, again in the British Sports Car Championship. It was an intense year of competition, the golden age of the B16s’ participation in the 2-litre category.
In 1971, Brian Robinson’s results were even better. With his fellow countryman Barrie Maskell as partner, he raced in the 1,000 km of Brands Hatch, with a 13th place finish. Then the European season brought several Top 10 places, for example at Oulton Park (4th), Thruxton (7th), Silverstone (8th) and Croft (7th). The Chevron B16 was also to be seen at the Trophy of Auvergne on the Charade Circuit, lined up against a number of Lola T210s and T212s, Matra MS660s and the new Chevron B19s, finishing in a fine 10th place. Brian Robinson treated himself to one final race with his Chevron B16 in October 1971, at the 1,000 km of Paris (teamed up with Jean-Louis Lafosse). Finishing 11th after starting off in 17th position, the duo was up against several Porsche 917Ks and 917 Spyders and also Ferrari 365 GTB/4s.
A life between the United States and England
Brian Robinson then parted with the Chevron B16, which was bought by Fred Opert. Robinson had decided to buy another B16 to convert it into a Spyder and turn it into a B21. Competitions with open-top cars were catching on…
The B16 # DBE04 then changed hands several times. It remained in the United States with Fred Opert and Mike Gue. One of its many owners across the Atlantic was Richard Budge. This mining entrepreneur had the distinction of being nicknamed “King of Coal”. He kept the car for 14 years, from 1985 to 1999. It was then converted into a Spyder, and its livery changed to blue, with the car being known as “Blue Budge”. When Michael Schryver bought the car in 1999, he commissioned a specialist (Simon Hadfield) to restore it to its original configuration. During the restoration work, another body was acquired but never used. It is being offered with the car. It should be noted that the original chassis has not been tampered with, modified or cut, even when the car was in its Spyder configuration.
Michael Schryver had the car painted dark green and entered it for historic racing events, in which it won numerous victories. In 2004, Michael Schryver and Lord Laidlaw competed in the 2004 Le Mans Classic. The car was sold to Lord Laidlaw in 2003. During this period, it was given the grey-striped Burgundy livery of the Lord Laidlaw team cars and Simon Hatfield continued to maintain the car. It was subsequently acquired by Paul Knapfield, at the London RM Auction in 2013. He had it repainted in its 24 Hours of Daytona livery (orange / red) and sold it in 2014 to the current owners. It then competed in Classic Endurance Racing 1 (CER) and in the Le Mans Classic twice. The well-known Swiss workshop Burgol Racing Technology was in charge of maintaining and preparing the Chevron B16, with the engine being entrusted to Geof Richardson. The car’s papers include the invoices that attest to the car’s regular maintenance. The FVC engine was overhauled in September 2017 and has only had one race since then. The four tanks were replaced in February 2018. The car is ready to race and is being sold with a large set of spare parts.
In just a few years at the end of the 60s, Derek Bennett made a mark in particular with his B8 and the B16, which quickly became the perfect car for 2-litre competitions. In England, at every race weekend dedicated to sport-prototypes, a Chevron B16 was necessarily present! The car being offered for sale here has the distinction of having started its career in the United States, where it could boast two participations in legendary endurance races, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. It is an authentic car, with a documented history that makes it one of the most sought-after of all Chevron B16s.