Bring A Trailer auction preview: One of the all-time beautiful racing cars.
1970 Chevron B16
Chassis Number – B16-70-23
Exterior Color –Red
Interior Color - Blue
Engine – 2.0 Liter Ford Cosworth BDA four-cylinder with dry sump
Gearbox – Hewland FT200 Five-Speed
Considering the vast resources and technical sophistication required to develop a formidable competition car, Chevron must be counted as among the most innovative and successful independent racecar development companies ever assembled. Despite their bootstrap beginnings and minimal finances, self-taught engineering genius and founder Derek Bennett built a profitable business while delivering highly capable and beautifully designed racecars throughout the 60s and 70s. Unlike many experts in the politically charged world of motorsports racing, Bennett’s lack of specialized engineering training, college degree, or marketing savvy ultimately became his ace against many of his more highly touted competitors. Bennett’s fascination with aircraft, short-lived apprenticeships in a range of fabrication shops, and deftly cobbled aerodynamic experiments often of his own making, made him scrappy and effective at quickly solving challenging track-day problems with practical and effective solutions.
Under these conditions, Bennett built a cadre of like-minded craftsmen and clever engineers, quickly establishing Chevron as a top competitor, amassing win after win in every category entered, right up to Formula One, where a promising car was planned but never completed. Chevron’s best and most successful cars were 2.0L Sports Racers. Along with Lola, Chevron cars were among the most competitive small-bore sports racings cars of the 1970s, leveraging their lightweight and durable chassis construction with proven engines and astutely designed aerodynamic bodies. Both Chevron and Lola essentially dominated sprint and endurance 2.0L sports car racing, with Chevron winning their class at the famed 24 hours of Le Mans three times in 1974 (B23), 1979, and 1980 (B36). And while these cars were superlative in many respects, the lineage of these refined winners can all be traced back to the B16, one of the most beautifully designed race cars from the dynamic 2.0 Liter motorsports era.
History of this B16
According to a 1987 letter from Chevron Race Cars, signed by Chevron Chairman of the Board, Richard Leppla, this car was built for Eris Tondelli, and was retained as a works test car at Chevron. Though it was originally fitted with an FVC engine and FG 300 gearbox, it never raced in Group 4 with this configuration. In late 1970, the car was fitted at the Chevron works facility with a BD series engine for evaluation. In 1971, the car ran in two European hill climbs and was retained by Chevron Cars LTD until it was restored by Chevron in 1985. Members of the restoration team included David Ford in Bournemouth and ex-Chevron employee Nigel Dickson. In 1986, upon completion of the restoration, the car was sold to Richard Leppla, Chevron Race Cars USA, Inc, Twinsburg, OH. Shortly after his purchase, Leppla sold the car in November 1986 to Monte Shallet. At the time of purchase, Shallet also bought a set of wheels, spare brake pads, seals, and hardware from Chevron. Shallet retained the car until 1988 participating in various vintage racing events in 1986 and 1987 including races at Moroso, Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Elkhart, and Watkins Glen. In 1988 the car experienced light fiberglass damage after a racing partner had a minor shunt which was professionally repaired (invoice included). Shelton sold the car that same year to Peter Addison, Sidney, NSW.
The logbooks accompanying this car spans races with consistent entries from 1988-1993 and sporadic entries through the late 1990s including events at Sears Point, Monterey Historics, and other venues. Racing events in the logbooks continue through 2000-2010 including several events at Coronado Island. Service invoices for the car cover ownership spanning the late 1980s and 1990s through to 2013 including brake and suspension parts, tires, new suspension parts, gear sets, fuel pump, racing harness, and other consumables typical for a race car participating in ongoing vintage events.
The current family owners purchased this car in 2013. One of many important vehicles in an extensive private collection of vintage sports cars, this B16 was included as part of the family racing team. Under professional preparation this car has been comprehensively refurbished including a 2018 rebuild for the Cosworth BDA engine. The engine rebuild included new Crower cryo-treated titanium rods and Crower cryo-treated micro-polished billet crankshaft, CP ceramic, cryo-treated, gas ported pistons with ceramic crowns and anti-friction skirts, Total Seal rings, Clevite rod and main bearings (cryo-treated and anti-friction coated), Crower billet camshafts, Del West and Xceldyne titanium valves, Joe Hornic (PSI) cryo-treated valve springs, Crower titanium retainers and keepers (cryo-treated), a Cosworth oil pump, MSD ignition, and Amsoil racing oil.
In addition to the comprehensive engine rebuild, the Hewland FT200 transaxle was also rebuilt in 2018 including all gears and shafts cryo-treated and micro polished, a new Tilton clutch and Tilton release bearing, CV joints installed replacing guibos on both axles, and Red Line shock proof oil. Both the engine and transaxle have been run approximately 10 laps since the rebuilds were performed and reinstalled in the car.
Additional work performed on the car includes the installation of a new and larger dry sump oil tank, and extra oil tank added to the left side of the engine compartment, a new Weldon electric oil pump added to pre-lube the engine and keep the engine oil pump supplied under heavy cornering G-loads, a larger oil cooler, and a new AGM High CCA battery (2023).
While any B16 could be considered a well-engineered machine, this example has benefited greatly from extensive but sensitively performed upgrades in keeping with the character of the original design. Improvements include an axle shaft-driven alternator, custom cryo-treated Coleman brake rotors, Performance Friction brake pads with titanium insulator plates, an added foot box cooling duct, heat shielded ceramic foil mat lining installed on the firewall, a Piper air cleaner assembly, an SPA AFFF Fire system, and a shift light.
Having been prepared to a high standard first with the initial restoration performed by Chevron Cars, subsequent professional preparation, and more recent engine and transmission rebuilds and other service work performed under current ownership, this B16 presents today with competitive mechanicals and very nice cosmetics. The paint is in excellent condition overall with a smooth, high gloss finish showing just a few areas of track speckling, minor blemishes, and a few minor chips to the edges of the body panels resulting from trackside removal and installation. The cosmetic condition of the bodywork, paint and graphics are of high quality. The clean and vivid paint scheme enhances the low stance, advanced aerodynamic bodywork, and engaging presence. The lightweight bodywork sits low and tight on the chassis spreading out in wide undulations over the period correct cast alloy wheels and Avon racing tires. Functional side intakes and rear vents finish off the sophisticated bodywork. The Chevron B16 offers a host of innovative features which seamlessly come together in total harmony inside and out, achieving the performance and stability still regarded amongst many contemporary race car drivers as the best in their class.
Lifting the butterfly doors and crossing the door sills, the spartan cockpit is clean, simple, and properly sorted, ready for business. Here too, professional care and service is evident throughout the interior. The sweeping windscreen is vast and panoramic allowing for clear visibility over the beautifully arched front fenders and low-cut hood line.
With the lightweight body sections removed, the chassis, suspension components, gearbox and engine can be viewed in all their technically sophisticated splendor. Although the bodywork presents a wide and large car, the mechanicals are very compact. Having been properly prepared by racing professionals using high quality materials, updated fasteners, and durable finishes, the mechanical injection Cosworth BDA engine is in excellent visual condition with a unifying cosmetic and mechanical presentation consistent with the ongoing trackside attention and professional services performed on the car.
Known for decades as a prominent and competitive Chevron B16 with numerous historic races to its credit, this example is ready to deliver jaw-dropping performance draped in one of the most beautifully shaped race car bodies ever constructed. With sound professional care spanning decades of known ownership, and premium mechanical services recently performed, this Chevron B16 is poised for further acclaim at many of the exciting worldwide vintage racing venues seeking top cars.
Included with this Chevron B16
The car is accompanied by a spare set of wheels, eight spare springs, six spare brake discs, misc. brake pads, various suspension parts, spare plexiglass pieces, spare red seat material, various spare air duct hoses, a spare set of foot pedals, spare belts, logbooks, selected invoices, and various letters and documentation dating back to 1986.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608