1972 Chevron Single-Seater

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1972
  • Chassis number 
    B20-72-9
  • Lot number 
    378
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

The Ex-Steve Millen
1972 Chevron-Ford B20 Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. B20-72-9

On May 6, 1972, star driver Peter Gethin won the International Pau Formula 2 race in a Chevron B20 similar to the example now offered here. That victory marked the elevation of Derek Bennet's Bolton-based Chevron marque from a popular and tremendously effective sports-racing car manufacturer to an all-round force within the motor racing marketplace.

This particular Chevron B20, which features a fully blue-printed and extremely rare 1790cc Chevron factory Cosworth-Ford FVC 4-cylinder racing engine. As driven by Steve Millen the Chevron established the marque's name and stature in open-wheeler racing in Asia and in the New Zealand Tasman series.

It is the last B20 to have been sold from the Bolton factory, being acquired by John Green early in 1973. It was then sold on to the New Zealand Schollum brothers with Steve Millen driving the car from 1974-75. Ian Grey then acquired it, continuing its racing career through 1976-77. Subsequent owners include Dick Ward in Western Australia in 1979 and the current owner in 1990.

Steve's success with the car whilst harassing the F5000 cars during the 1975 New Zealand Tasman Series and the New Zealand Grand Prix is well documented in the book titled "Millen"(copy on file). Here, the car punched well above its weight with many strong finishes, including 5th at Bay Park and a F2 Class Record at Teretonga – "Whenever there was a twisty bit, we could out-handle and out-brake the F5000 cars" states Steve Millen. Perhaps though the three podium finishes in Asia represents his greatest success with the car, including that exciting race documented in the book titled "Colour and Noise, 40 Years of the Macau Grand Prix" where Steve in second place behind John Macdonald suffered a fuel starvation problem on the final lap to finish third behind Kevin Bartlett. This is the car that launched Steve Millen's racing career culminating in his wins at Daytona, Sebring and the class win at Le Mans.

The car has been fully rstored by Gary Simkin in Sydney, Australia, while the factory Chevron FVC engine was rebuilt by Rodney Gibbs of Superior Automotive in Sydney with support and advice from one of Australia's most celebrated engine builders – Peter Molloy. Superior Automotive subsequently professionally-maintained the car alongside their other charges, including Formula 1 Ferraris.

Once its complete last nut-and-bolt restoration had been completed, this sparklingly-presented Chevron B20 made its racing return at Sydney's Easter Creek circuit A1 meeting in 2007. The current owner campaigned the car more widely in Australian events and in January 2010 took the car back to New Zealand to compete at Hampton Downs and on the historic NZ GP course at Pukekohe. There the car won outright in a mixed field of 1970-1990 Super Historics cars, lapping in 62.3 seconds.

The FVC engine's rebuild – which entailed the purchase of a new cylinder head – prevented its installation in the car until the start of 2010, since when it has been raced only six times. This is an outstanding and significant example of the Chevron B20 – with the company's renowned contemporary build quality very evident in its fabric. We are advised that it has completed only 11 race meetings since completion of its restoration and it has never been in an accident since then (and to the best of the owner's knowledge nor has it been crashed during its entire career). "This is an extremely quick car that is easy to drive and goes where you point it. The Chevron is ready to race and is the most reliable race car I have ever owned," states the current owner.

The car comes with an extensive spares package, including the body moulds and patterns for the wheels, along with many original spares and also components replaced during its extensive and complete restoration.

In addition to this the car is offered with a spare Cosworth 1600cc, fuel Injected BDM engine. Purchased by the current owner in 1998 at a cost of $20,000(Australian) and rebuilt to fuel injected BDM specification for use in the car. Built around a new unused block, fitted with Lucas fuel injection at a cost $5,000 (Australian), the build was completed in 2005. Run at five race meetings between 2007 and 2010, being fully maintained during this period. The only reason it was replaced was due to acquisition of the FVC currently fitted to the car. According to the vendor it will require checking and tuning following a period in storage but should be an excellent engine. Offered with a dyno sheet dated 2005 showing a power output of 190bhp. This engine is sold strictly as viewed.

Should the lot remain the EU, local import taxes of 5% will be applied to the hammer price.