1970 Chevron B16 FVC
Chassis B16-70-26 Le Mans / Steve McQueen Solar Productions
AM Frame AM-70-24
We are proud to offer this outstanding Chevron B16 FVC with a lauded history for sale.
Arch motors frame AM- 70- 24 was one of three Le Mans entries for 1970. This chassis (b16-70-26) was originally fitted with a BMW engine and race number 44, driven by Digby Martland and Clive Baker and completed 3/4 distance before retiring with valve spring trouble.
Two other B16’s went to Le Mans that year, but neither finished. Ian Skailes and John Hine retired with a couple of hours to go when their FVC engine gave up, while Digby Martland and Clive Baker had gone out a couple of hours earlier when their BMW engine dropped a valve. This car was one of three that had been bought through Swiss agent Jo Siffert by Steve McQueen’s Solar Productions film company to use in the film ‘Le Mans’. One of the cars was entered in the race itself to give continuity to the racing footage. Reliability was a vital concern as they wanted to film it for as long as possible, so a BMW engine — as used in the B8s — was fitted complete with ‘unbustable’ double valve springs. In the event it was outlasted by the ‘fragile’ FVC.
Soon after the car became obsolete and returned to the Chevron factory where it was stripped for parts with the 4 suspension corners being used to build john bridges B19-71-07. The chassis frame B16-70-24 was hung in storage.
In September 1971 John Lepp crashed his B19 (chassis no B19-71-09) at Zandvoort and it required a new frame. There were short stocks of frames at that time so his car was temporarily rebuilt using the B16 frame AM-70-24. This suited him well as he only drove cars with a left hand gear change. His original B19 chassis was the only one supplied new with this arrangement.
The car then follows the course as documented by Allen Brown on his web site "Old Racing Cars" in the section chevron B19. B16-70-26 had a varied racing history at one point being converted to the "Chimp" competing against Gerry Marshall and the like. At the end of 1986 the original chassis was finally retired and retained by the then Chevron owner Roger Andreason and remained within the Chevron company until being sold around 8 years ago to the current owner.
At this point the decision was made to restore Chassis B16-70-26 (AM Frame 70-24) back to its original 1970 specification substituting the original BMW for the more evolved and competitive Cosworth FVC. Importantly the original Arch Motors chassis remains with the car along with the original Le Mans garage plaque for car 44 which was unscrewed and taken by one of the Chevron mechanics. The original chassis retains some unique features such as an internal connection for the fire extinguisher, this in built system runs in the chassis tubes and fluid would exit via tiny holes in the cockpit and some engine tubes. A Chevron mechanic who ran the car at Le Mans in 1970 has confirmed the authenticity of the chassis. In addition this car is one of very few examples, if not the only one to have a centre positioned gear shift.
Over the last three years the car has been professionally reassembled with all new components and has taken part in the Silverstone Classic 2019 and the Spa World Sportscar Masters finishing 1st in Class.
Ford Cosworth FVC, built by Gathercole Race Engines and is FIA compliant.
Producing 281 bhp at 9000 rpm with data sheet. 5 hours running to date.
The B16 Chassis was fabricated by Leicester Engineering, Northwich using jigs made from the original chassis, together with all aluminium panelling etc.
The Hewland FT 200 Gearbox was supplied new by Elite Engineering .
The bodywork was made from moulds at G Cat and fitted by the fibreglass specialist who worked for Vin Malkie, Alan. He also fabricated all The handles and hinges to original spec.
MB Wheels made the two sets of wheels.
FIA fuel cells x3 manufactured by Advanced Fuel Systems.
Brake Calipers are from BG Developments to original AP spec .
FIA HTP GR 1966 to 1971 FIA Class TSRC16 valid thru 21/12/2030
The only item on the car not fabricated or supplied new is the Chassis plate!
This sale represents an opportunity to acquire an absolute top flight, top specification B16 with an undisputed history linking both Le Mans and Hollywood to its past accolades. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful sports cars ever to grace the international racing scene, chassis B16-70-26 is 100 percent ready for action and will be a welcome and eligible entrant at all of the desirable events.