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  Chevron B8 BMW
 

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1968 - 1970
Numbers built:44 (all engines)
Designed by:Derek Bennett
Predecessor:Chevron B6 BMW
Successor:Chevron B16 Cosworth
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 14, 2009
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDespite receiving no formal training, Derek Bennett had made quite a name for himself preparing, repairing and modifying a colourful variety of road and racing cars. He had set up shop in Bolton in North England in the late 1950s where he mainly repaired accident damage, often by welding undamaged halves of two cars together. Today this method is heavily frowned upon, but Bennett's meticulous repair work brought many wrecks back to as-new condition. In his spare time he showcased his other talent on the racing track where he successfully campaigned a host of custom racing cars. Both his mechanical and driving skills resulted in a large number of fans for the modest Englishman.

While discussing which new racing car to buy with one of his customers, Brian Classick, Bennett mentioned he could build a more advanced car himself than was available for sale. Being one of the Bennett 'fans', Classick was immediately interested and commissioned the construction of a new Clubman style racing car. To prevent the Lotus 7 from becoming too dominant the regulations had recently been changed, favouring a slightly different type of Clubman racer. This is why Bennett was convinced he could do better. Using his experience with a vast number of vehicles, he assembled a large mix of parts to bolt on a newly build tubular spaceframe. The car was very much designed in Bennett's head and construction was started without any drawings being made.

In the past his creations were simply known as Derek Bennett Specials, but Classick felt a more professionally sounding name was required. After brainstorming for weeks to find an appropriate name for his cars, Bennett glanced over the Highway Code symbols. One of them had the simple description 'Chevrons', which immediately appealed to him. So Chevron it was. Powered by a modified Ford Kent engine taken from an Anglia, the first Chevron made its debut in early July 1965 in Kirkistown, Ireland although the car had to be completed in Ireland and only barely made it to the race. Without any testing Bennett entered the Chevron and immediately put in a stunning pace. As would become somewhat of a tradition for new Chevron models, the Clubman car won 'straight out of the box'. After establishing himself as a proper manufacturer he started producing several models however with no specific type indication. A few years later (1968) a proper type indication system was introduced. Retroactively the completed cars were given a 'name', starting with B1 for the first model.

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  Article Image gallery (75) Chassis (4) Specifications User Comments (2)