Chevron Cars Ltd is a small British automaker that should really be a whole lot more famous than it is (outside of the motor racing community). The company was founded by Derek Bennett in 1965 as a way to sell his own unique and successful racing car designs to other privateer racers in the United Kingdom.
Derek had no formal training as an automotive engineer, he had started out with an apprenticeship in mechanical and electrical engineering before becoming a mechanic and eventually getting into racing. Bennett quickly discovered that he was a pretty handy driver, he began building, racing, and maintaining his own cars – and it wasn’t long before others came knocking to ask him to build them cars too.
Chevron cars became known for their on track ability and their good-looks. The early clubman designs were amongst the most beautiful cars in Britain and they made the Lotus Seven look downright boxy by comparison.
Between 1964 and 1978 Derek built his company into one of the most highly respected race engineering firms in the country, he had developed Formula 2, Formula 3, F5000, Formula B, GT, and Clubman cars, and he was hard at work on his first Formula 1 car – the B41. Tragically he was killed before he could complete his transition into Formula 1 in a hang gliding accident, his company carried on in the hands of his colleagues and has changed hands a number of times since – but today its still alive and kicking, and producing the cars that he designed and loved.
This 1977 Chevron B36 was one of the last of Derek’s designs before his ambitions moved on to Formula 1. It’s powered by a 1975cc Cosworth BDG DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine with fuel injection and produces 280bhp – this is sent to the rear wheels via a Hewland FT-200 5-speed manual transmission sends it all to the rear wheels.
This particular Chevron B36 has a long history of racing in the USA and recently had a 2-year frame-up restoration, costing in excess of €200,000. It’s now being offered for sale via RM Sotheby’s on the 14th of May – there’s no estimated value but it’s safe to say it’ll go to a person of significant means, hopefully they’ll keep it active in the FIA vintage racing scene.
Photo Credits: Tom Gidden ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s