The rolling celebration of the 40th anniversary since Derek Bennett created the Chevron marque pitched up at its spiritual home at Oulton Park’s Gold Cup event in Northeast England on August 28–29. Two races for closed- and one for open-wheeled Chevrons headed a traditionally varied Historic Sports Car Club program. Star visitor was local man Brian Redman, returning to the circuit where he ran many miles, testing and developing Chevron cars before he and the marque went on to international success.
Longtime Chevron exponent, John Burton/B26 and Mike Catlow/B19 enjoyed a win apiece in well-suppported races for the closed-wheeled cars. Burton’s win came after the tires marking the apex of a chicane were demolished, partially blocking the track toward the end of the race. Catlow was made to work hard for his victory, fending off the close attentions of Martin O’Connell/B19 and Richard Piper/B31. Brian Redman and his red B16 battled hard to secure 6th and 7th places respectively. Ed Swart drove a B26 strongly all weekend. Two-time British F5000 champion and Chevron competitor, Teddy Pilette, was on hand to present the trophies.
Simon Hadfield was on a winning streak throughout the meeting, with a dominant win in the race for Chevron single-seaters, running a B40 F2. Brian Redman took his B42 into the slipstream of journalist Marcus Pye’s B37, missing out on 3rd spot by just 0.2 second.
Establishing a modest shop, first in Salford and then in an old cotton mill in nearby Bolton, club-racer Derek Bennett set out to beat Colin Chapman’s Lotus 7 with the Chevron B1. His first customer, Brian Classic, was present to race the same car during this celebration. Bennett soon won a reputation for building strong and carefully conceived racers that would take 30 major titles in many categories during the years 1965–1979, bagging 218 victories from the 418 cars built. Bennett was tragically killed in a hang-gliding accident in 1978 and Chevron Racing Cars in its initial form closed early in 1980. Since then Vin Malkie, long associated with the marque, has kept the name alive by restoring, preparing and supplying parts for almost all the range, having obtained the rights to the Chevron name. The Chevron 40th Anniversary Tour is Malkie’s initiative and a fitting tribute to Bennett’s brainchild.
Submitted by Keith Booker