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Chevron B4 Owner's Site

The Chevron B4 Discovered

David Gordon Provides a Clue

It was at about this time that Helen Malkie (Chevron Racing Ltd.) established the Chevron Association. Since my research had reached a dead end I decided to try to a further publicity exercise in the hope of prompting a response from anyone with more information on the car's history - this time with an article in the Chevron Association News. Unfortunately this didn't produce any significant leads, but I did receive some useful suggestions from David Gordon (Chevron expert and author of the book The Chevron Story) on what to try next. David had told me that the frames for the B8 chassis were made by Arch Motors and that the frame numbers were stamped on the offside rear upright and that this number would indicate the year of manufacture. Many hours were spent removing the primer, which I had carefully applied to the frame in the area described, but no number was to be found [photograph 12].

I telephoned David to confirm his description of the relevant location and I looked again using a magnifying glass, stripping off more primer over an even larger area until almost the entire rear frame was back to bare metal. There was nothing that resembled a number stamped, scratched or engraved on the rear framework.

Convinced that the solution must lie in the identification of some unique marking on the frame, I put myself in mind of a constructor, reckoning that a unique mark may have been applied to link the car to its creator. But, after hours of tedious rubbing, there was still no sign.

The Chassis Number Revealed

I was just about to give up when I noticed an indentation in the top edge of the pedal box. I started to remove the primer from this area and, at last, some distinct characters came into view. The thick layer of Hammerite paint had filled the stamped numbers and had masked them from view. They were about a quarter of an inch high and were stamped into the top offside edge of the box. It was not in the style of the Arch Motors number that had been described to me. What I found was the marking - G T 2 66.

But what did this mean? It didn't take much reasoning to work out that it probably meant GT car number two, and that the year of manufacture was 1966. This didn't mean much to me at the time so I telephoned David again and told him of my discovery. He agreed with my interpretation of the number and went on to tell me its significance.

In 1966, Derek Bennett had designed and built three GT cars; the first and third were Ford twin-cam powered and designated B3, but the second was a BMW-powered car designated B4, which was a works car that Derek had driven himself. The first chassis were constructed in the Chevron workshop at Bolton by Derek and his partner Paul Owens before Arch Motors were involved, so these frames would not have had an Arch Motors frame number. He told me that the frame number GT 2 66 is recorded in race programmes in his possession for Derek's B4. He went on to say that after a few races in 1966 it was sent to race at Daytona in February 1967 under the control of Fred Opert and that it was sponsored by Valvoline Oils. It was at this race that it gained the distinctive red white and blue colour scheme. After the race it returned to the workshop in Bolton where it was used as the works car, but spent most of 1967 languishing in the workshop. He believed that it was sold to Roy Johnson via Brian Classick in about May 1968.