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Chevron B8


The Chevron B8 is arguably one of the prettiest GT cars produced during the 1960s, and represents an important chapter in the history of Chevron Cars, the plucky yet humble marque of Lancastrian Derek Bennett. Bennett’s B8 instantly proved a hit thanks to sublime handling and a fantastic power to weight ratio. Success and popularity, as with many of Chevron’s cars, was extensive and almost immediate. 

Built between 1968 and 1970 only 44 examples of the B8, or as it was originally known, the ‘GT’, were built. Bennett was a highly talented designer and driver who developed a knack for creating cars that always looked right, proved reliable and invariably found success right out of the box. The B8 was conceived for the FIA’s Group 4 class. However with its requirement that 50 examples be produced in order to homologate the model, Bennett’s fledgling outfit had a challenge on their hands. Upon announcement of the new car, orders soon flooded in. However it took the inclusion of similar earlier cars (B3 and B5) plus a little artistic license by counting orders placed (but not yet built!) before the B8 was homologated. The diminutive car had a lightweight spaceframe chassis that was powered by either BMW M10 or Cosworth FVA engines. It was enveloped in a striking and swoopy fibreglass body and cut a very low silhouette.

The feisty little B8s chalked up 53 wins and a further 47 class wins in period, and can be credited with really launching Chevron into the league of Britain’s top sportscar manufacturers of the period. Their precise handling and neutral chassis make these cars a joy to race. Indeed, even Sir Stirling Moss, who raced an example in the late 1970s remarked that it was one of the best handling cars he'd ever driven. A true featherweight at a homologated weight of 575kg, the mechanical grip in both wet and dry conditions is truly astonishing. 

Chassis CH-DBE-51, is one of the two B8s run by the works Red Rose Racing, and one of just five B8s to originally be fitted with the fabled Cosworth FVA engine. It is believed to be the sole remaining example known to still use this engine, thus making it exceptionally rare. The screaming Cosworth FVA powerplant, a formula two unit of the day, and essentially half of the legendary DFV V8, was dropped into the B8 with the intention of entering the 1600cc class of Group 4, where it would clean up. Today it produces a very healthy 240bhp, comfortably more than alternative BMW M10 powering all other B8s. 

CH-DBE-51 was delivered new to Red Rose Racing and campaigned throughout 1968 and 1969 by team owner (and Chevron shareholder) John Bridges and co-driver John Lepp. Lepp was a noted Chevron driver who had won the 1967 Motoring News GT Championship behind the wheel of a B3. Together Bridges and Lepp deployed CH-DBE-51 at four events across 1968. They utilised it as their spare car during the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, then raced it in the Guards Trophy Spring Cup at Oulton Park, before venturing to the continent for the Nürburgring 1000km. Soon after they raced it in the Guards Trophy at Mallory Park. As a one-off during 1969 Red Rose loaned the car to JC Bamford Excavators to be run inder their banner during that season’s Nürburgring 1000km where it was driven by P. Brown and T. Stock.

In 1970 Derek Bennett gifted CH-DBE-51 to John Lepp in recognition of and gratitude for his services to Chevron Cars. Lepp his prized B8 in storage until 1978 when he sold it to club racer Richard Simms, who later in turn sold it to John Howarth. In 1979 Lepp would again be reunited with his trusty old B8 in the HSCC Wild Rose Historic Championship. In 1980 John Heath acquired the car and promptly won the Birkett 6 Hour race as part of the ‘Wood Treatment Team Chevron’. Heath then sold the car to Mike Pearce a few years later, who would race it in historics during 1983/4. In 1985 it passed to then Chevron Managing Director, Roger Andreason who had Chevron restore the car. For the next quarter of a century CH-DBE-51 was raced in historics as a Chevron works car across Europe and even in America. In 2009 Andreason sold the car to John Harrold (USA) who enjoyed the car  at a variety of events including the HSR Daytona 24 Classic.

The current owners acquired CH-DBE-51 in early 2022 and set about having a no expense spared restoration carried out, before embarking on a comprehensive testing program. Since then they have raced it successfully at events such as the Spa Classic, Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or and Estoril Classics. Genuinely ‘on the button’, the car is sold with a freshly rebuilt and dyno tested engine from Geoff Richardson Racing Engines, which continued producing more power well past the 10,000 rpm mark if fully unleashed. Other noteworthy features include a six-point roll cage; new Bilstein shock absorbers; new fire extinguishing system; rebuilt and crack tested suspension; fully silenced exhaust system (105db); and two sets of wheels. In addition this superb B8 is offered with current FIA HTP papers (valid until 2029). 

Today she is resplendent in her 1969 Nürburgring 1000km livery and genuinely ready to be enjoyed by her next custodian. Highly eligible for the finest events from Le Mans Classic, to Peter Auto’s CER 1 series, Daytona and Sebring Classics plus the Goodwood Members Meeting (where another B8 won the Surtees Trophy outright this year). 

Keyword Search Terms:

Chevron, B8, Goodwood, Cosworth, Revival, Members Meeting, Peter Auto, CER, Le Mans Classic,


Seller: JarrahVenablesLtd
Joined November 2014
  Maxwell Lynn
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Company: Jarrah Venables Ltd
Country: United Kingdom
City: Chichester
Phone: +447871418549
Condition Rebuilt
Trade or Private: Trade
Price: £325,000
Make an Offer
Added: 07/06/2024
Views: 1053

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