1970 Chevron B16

Ascott Collection

In keeping with the other cars produced by Chevron (from the 1965 B1 to the B65 built for the Group C category C2), the B16 was a truly emblematic car.

It has its place in the history of the English craftsmanship of its time as a work of art – a car designed to embody lightness and finesse, and one that also chalked up numerous successes. Ascott Collection is now offering the Chevron B16 chassis # DBE04 for sale, one of the most reliable and fastest of the Chevron B16s, fully ready for racing: an authentic chassis built in 1970, with outings in particular at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring, as attested by its fully documented history.

The Chevron B16, designed for Group 6 competition, saw the light of day in 1970. This category was reserved for prototypes, with no minimum production required. Derek Bennett saw in it an opportunity to impose his name internationally and, above all, a way to capitalize on his previous creations, from the Chevron B8 to the single-seater Chevrons (such as the B9 and the B17, both designed for Formula 3 racing).

The B16 caught the eye right from the start. Carefully designed, it attracted attention with its low-slung body. The Chevron B16 was no higher than the roll bar of the Formula 3 cars that this true craftsman was building at that time. Derek Bennett made full use of the construction and design methods he already knew and did not try to revolutionize his winning recipe. The B16 was simply a more ingenious, optimized Chevron. The chassis took the shape of a shallow multi-tube frame, similar to Maserati’s “birdcages”. The riveted and glued body was made of aluminium, and was taken directly from the world of aviation. It also incorporated steel of different thicknesses.

The central section was made up of two tubular sub-sections bolted to the covered part of the frame. It was therefore not a true monocoque, a fact that speeded up faster repair work after an accident. This solution was chosen by Derek Bennett so as to be able to quickly offer an alternative solution to his customers of the time. There was no need to wait for a full new body to be built or to order a new chassis. It was a smart solution, similar to that proposed by Bruce McLaren on his Can-Am cars.

The Chevron B16 incorporated several other good ideas: the mounting of the oil reservoir at the front partially compensated for the weight of the driver. The doors had inbuilt intake ducts to cool not only the oil and the rear brakes, but also the driver. At high speed, the atmospheric pressure inside the cockpit caused small vents to open, thus allowing fresh air to flow through the cockpit itself. Driving in a nicely cool cockpit is always better than in an overheated cockpit, is it not?

Originally powered by a BMW engine (in the still-in-development prototype version), the Chevron B16 was subsequently fitted with a Cosworth FVA engine (renamed FVC). Later, one Chevron B16 was fitted with a Mazda Wankel engine, becoming the first car to line up on a starting grid with a rotary engine… thus heralding the 1991 victory!

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Report by ascottcollection.com


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