Derek BENNET, the founder of the CHEVRON brand, began to make “specials” for club races, answering regulations which let the designers’ imaginations run free, all the while using the mechanical parts from the series.
He also built some for clients, and from 1966, he chose the BMW 2-litre engine which came from the brand’s 2002 for his own B4, well before his competitors. The B5 with the 2-litre BRM V8 marked a turning point by going up against the best international manufacturers.
44 B8 (coupés) were built, as well as 14 B15 for Formula 3!
The “B16” model, from 1969, rigorously built, was more than an evolution of the previous “B8” model, with a more aerodynamic body built by “Specialised Mouldings”, and it would go on to win from its first outing after a shortened development.
With two half-spoilers attached to the rear, its handling improved massively, becoming nearly perfect. The drivers appreciated this coupé, simply built, easy to maintain, to run, and to rebuild if needed…
One of Derek BENNETT’s goals was to build at least 25 B16 to get the ‘sport’ homologation. COSWORTH who supplied the 1600 cm3 FVA to be installed in the B8, agreed to raise the capacity to 1’790 cm3 with a different crank shaft so as to near the class cylinder limit of 2.0-litre engines. The FVC stayed unbeatable right until the arrival of the M12/7 BMW in 1972/73.
By removing the roof, the “B16” became the “B16 Spyder”, later renamed B19.
The FVA COSWORTH engine (2 overhead camshafts) was built for Formula 2, limited to 1’600 cm3 at the time for sprint races. The FVC raised to 1’790 cm3 (still a cast iron block), kept the same characteristics of rotation speed, but also lost reliability… the BMW M10 engine (1 ACT) though less powerful was much more adapted to long races. It is this type of engine that equips the car today.