Chevron Drivers reunion at the BRDC......
The British Racing Drivers Club house provided a fitting venue for the second annual reunion of current and former Chevron drivers and employees of the company, The timing of the meeting was also very appropriate as it took place during qualifying for the Le Mans Endurance Series Autosport 1000 kilometres a race in which, had the company survived in its original form, it would surely have been strongly represented 31 years after the company’s founder Derek t3ennntI died, the rnarque that he created inspires a loyalty that is almost religious in its fervour and without compare. Many of the leading personalities of the Chevron story were present. The tales and anecdotes of that halcyon period in the ‘60s and 70s were told as if they happened yesterday. Red Rose Racing, Worcester Racing and many other teams were discussed as if still current entrants.
John Burton, who of course is still competing in his Chevron B26 in Supersports, recounted his accident on the old Mugello road circuit in his B16. At a recent visit to the modern autodrome, he went off into the countryside to find the errant storm drain that stopped the flight of his car. Chris Craft told tales of the old circuits like the original Clermont Ferrand. Once the topic of the fearsome corners was broached, there was no stopping the conversations. The group relived taking the Curve Grande at Monza without the chicanes to slow them up, the Hella Licht at the old Oesterreichring and naturally the awesome challenges of the original Spa and Nurburgrlng. Andrew Fletcher, who still owns his B16. mused on the possibility of running it again, while Pete Smith is content justl to be around those examples of Chevron that still run. Others present who survive from that bygone era included Brian Classic, Steve Sheldon, Roger Heavens, John Sheldon, David Yates. end Johnny Blades.
No one has helped to keep the Chevron name alive or embodIes Derek Bennett’s ethos more than Vin Malkie, whose company, run by himself and his wife Helen — also very much a Chevron exponent - is still the leading supplier of CHEVRON HERITAGE and parts. The reunion was his concept and like everyone else, he thoroughly enjoyed it. As was remarked, if Vin leaves his body to science, they will find Chevron blood running through it and Chevron imprinted in his bones.
(Text courtesy of Historic Motor Racing News - October 2008)
Picture: Memories of the 1970s, Iain McLaren's B31 at the Nurburgring in 1976.
(Picture courtesy of Paul Kooyman)