Lot 345: Chevron B29 Formula 2 Race Car
Derek Bennett was a mostly self-taught, intuitive engineer who was the main driving force behind the formation of Chevron Cars Ltd. Near the close of the 1950's his involvement in motorsport started by getting involved with Stock Car racing where he quickly developed a name for himself. Bennett soon graduated to circuit racing, building, running and also driving racing cars for himself and other local enthusiasts, quickly establishing himself as a competitive driver at club level, particularly in the eponymous Bennett Special, running in the original Clubman's series for 1172cc Ford powered cars. By 1965 as there were sufficient requests for replicas of his Clubmans car, Bennett was able to establish himself as a constructor. Aided by a small staff of like-minded enthusiasts, Bennett penned and produced a formidable variety of successful race cars. During the early '70s Chevron produced a series of Formula Atlantic and Formula Two single seater race cars. Examples include the B25, B27, B29 and B35. The Chevron B-29 is an excellent example of the Chevron racing car, as they were inexpensive yet very competitive and nowadays the model is much sought after in historic racing circles. Such cars featured Hewland gearboxes, monocoque chassis, and fiberglass bodies with a total all-up weight of about 1000 pounds. The budget version Atlantic-spec cars' engine capacity complied with regulations at the time, consisting mostly of Ford/Cosworth 1600cc engines and featuring twin-cams. Performance was similar to the Formula 2 cars, but at a much reduced cost. 'Proper' Formula Two cars such as the example on offer ran far more exotic BDA /G engines with beefed-up Hewland FGA gearboxes. According to our vendor Chassis No B29-75-33 was driven in period by soon-to-be F1 legend, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, for the French race team 'Associate Roc' and then by Lavel for another French Team called 'Ecurie Ocean'. This car has been owned by Rick Hall and then in later years owned by noted historic racer, Nick Shrigley-Feigl and race preparers, Hall & Fowler. In 1999 the car was rebuilt by marquee specialist Vin Malkie. A photographic record of this work exists showing the extent of new parts commissioned in this exacting rebuild. At that time, new magnesium Chevron race wheels were commissioned in both dry and wet configuration. Apparently having seen very little use since this rebuild, the car is offered less engine but complete with Type FGA Hewland gearbox fitted with a Cosworth BDA/G installation. With the straightforward fitting of a suitable race engine, the vendor is more than confident that this car will be 'ready to race'. Such a car is suited to International FIA F2 series races and U.K-based series, in the manner of the immensely popular HSCC-run Derek Bell Trophy for Historic F5000 and Historic Formula 2 single-seaters, built and raced between 1967 and 1979. This series caters for the more powerful cars with wings and slick racing tyres. The racing is spectacular and varied, with the fastest of the F2 cars battling with the thundering Formula 5000s. This historic Chevron would fit the bill with style.
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