1975 Chevron B31 (B31/75/05)
Championship-winning Martini-liveried B31 from long term ownership, continuously developed, very competitive, recently refreshed and in fantastic condition.
GUIDE PRICE: £100,000 - £120,000
Shy, intuitive engineer and vastly underrated driver, Derek Bennett, was once dubbed Britain’s Enzo Ferrari, yet his most stunning world-beating Chevron cars emerged from the gloom of a lofty old brick-built Lancashire cotton mill in Bolton’s Old Chorley Road.
The Chevron story officially started with a pair of beautifully built front-engined sports cars for the quirky new Clubmans Formula of 1965. Bennett himself started a tradition by winning the model’s debut race at Kirkistown in Northern Ireland, but the prototype GT cars which followed paved the marque’s way to international stardom. The ubiquitous B6 and B8 coupes of 1967 and 1968 took the world by storm, particularly with 2-litre BMW 2002 engines, enabling pecunious privateers to take on the world while satisfying the demands of the greatest professional talents – superstars like Lancastrian Brian Redman.
Debuted in 1969, the B16 sports racer – arguably the prettiest sports coupé ever to grace the circuits - spawned a long series of 2-litre prototypes, much beloved by connoisseurs of the sport then as now. Today, the closed coupés are among the most popular models, but the incredibly agile and quick open 'Group 6' sports cars, derived from a cut-down B16 Spyder (Bennett’s response to Lola’s T210), enjoy a loyal following throughout Europe.
The B31 was an evolution of the B26 and featured subtle changes, such as slightly redesigned fibreglass bodywork, but it retained the same basic aluminium monocoque as its predecessor. Designed to compete in the European 2-Litre Championship, it was powered by a Hart 420R naturally-aspirated, 2-litre, 16-valve DOHC, fuel-injected straight-four generating 290bhp at 9,500rpm fed through a Hewland 5-speed gearbox. Suspension featured double wishbones, coil springs over dampers with an anti-roll bar at the front, and single top links, twin lower links, twin trailing arms, coil springs over dampers with an anti-roll bar at the rear. With ventilated discs all round, rack and pinion steering and weighing only 580kg, the B31 was incredibly nimble.
The B31 offered here is the fifth of six documented as built in 1975 and at one point was finished in red and powered by a 3-litre Cosworth DFV. It's now superbly presented in Martini colours and is powered by an Anderson Racing Hart 420R coupled to a J&P Hewland FG400 transaxle, both of which have been rebuilt. Significantly, the car won the 2013 HSCC Martini Sportscars Trophy, achieving four out of 11 wins, and has been professionally maintained and further developed by our vendor ever since. Recently refreshed, it remains in fantastic condition and will come with basic running consumables and four spare wheels. The history file contains HSCC papers issued in 1998 and FIA papers issued in both 2001 and 2007, so renewal should be relatively straightforward if required.
One of the best looking '2-litre Sportscars' ever produced, B31/75/05 is well known for being competitive, racing continuously in the HSCC for nearly 30 years and a constant front runner. We invite and encourage your inspection of this superb example of Derek Bennett's magic touch.