1973 Chevron B24 Formula 5000
Ex- Everybody. Peter Gethin, Tony Dean, Arie Luyendyk, Alan Jones, and more...
Allen Brown of OldRacingCars.com has done extensive research on the Chevron B24 cars, and this car in particular, including with its current owner. We encourage you to peruse his treatise with particular emphasis on the introduction to the B24 model in general, this car B24-73-08, and the “Richard Messier Car.”
The car offered here is now understood to be chassis B24-73-08, as well as the Messier car. They are one car. Unique features of this one-off pre-production B24, the first built in 1973, plus the layers of paint uncovered during its most recent restoration in 2016, show it to be the B24 run by the works for Peter Gethin in early 1973. As a works car racing in the U.K., the Chevron did not initially have a chassis plate. However it would later acquire an F2 chassis plate, chassis number ‘B25 007’ for transport through Europe for the European series races. When it later returned, the car acquired its B24-73-08 chassis plate before being sold to Fred Opert and coming to the U.S.
The car’s history is extensive. It includes F1 race winner, Peter Gethin’s, win for the Chevron works team at the July, 1973 Oulton Gold Cup Race. Thereafter the Chevron was raced by BRSCC British Formula 3 champion Tony Dean, future two time Indianapolis 500 winner, Arie Luyendyk, future F1 World Champion Alan Jones with John MacDonald’s RAM Racing Team, and F1 driver Damian Magee,
After the car’s career in the U.K. and Europe, it went to Chevron dealer Fred Opert Racing. By the time the B24 arrived at Opert’s, it had been updated to B28 specs. Opert sold the car to racing car instructor Richard Messier from Manchester, New Hampshire. Messier tested the car at Bryar in May, 1976 but had little success with the car.
Bill Tempero bought the Chevron in 1978. The car then gained enclosed bodywork for the U.S. single seat Can Am Series, as did many of the former Formula 5000 cars of the period. The car raced into the mid-1980’s as a single seat Can Am car, including the SCCA Runoffs in 1984 with John Raecker.
Dave Smith from Patterson, California, purchased the Chevron from Raecker, and held onto it until 2016, when it was purchased by Ike Smith. Smith, a long time pro crew chief and race car mechanic, undertook a full restoration of the car. It was during this period when Smith and Allen Brown worked together to better clarify the history of this car.
In 2018, Warren Briggs drove the Chevron at the Rolex Monterey Reunion Formula 5000 feature race. The car won the Rolex Award for Excellence. The car has not been raced since. However, that does not mean that the car has remained untouched. For updates, see below in the Description section.
In 2019, the Chevron’s Chevy engine was rebuilt by Jamie Hamm of Bonefield Customs of Lowell, Michigan. The engine was built using a new block, crankshaft, pistons, cam, springs, etc. The original Falconer engine heads were retained. The engine has Lucas injection, mangneto, and a Mallory coil.
There is no race time on the engine. It was only used for breaking in the ring & pinion in the also freshly rebuilt Hewland DG 300 gearbox. Also installed was a carbon fiber clutch, at a cost of approximately $5,000.
One new fuel cell was installed in 2018, and another one refurbished with new foam. The B24 is also equipped with an aluminum radiator.
The tub has been reskinned at some point and still retains its original, unique, pre-production, 1973 B24 bulkheads.
Current needs before being track tested include a day of prepping, new seat belts, an oil change, and a nut and bolt.
Excitement is brewing for Formula 5000 this year, and for good reason. There is the 2023 U.S. Formula 5000 Revival Series Championship with races at Road Atlanta, Road America, and Laguna Seca. Formula 5000 cars will be featured at the Rolex Monterey Reunion, as they were at the 2018 Rolex Monterey Reunion. They have already been featured this year in Australia at the Phillip Island Classic as well as other races in Australia and New Zealand. Formula 5000 also has a home in the HSCC Aurora Trophy Series where they get to not only compete against other Formula 5000 cars, but they also get to race against F1 cars as they did in period at the 1971 Questor Grand Prix held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in California.
If you have been sitting on the fence about getting one of the greatest racing values of all time, a Formula 5000 car, now is the time to jump into the cockpit. Prices are low and values are rising. Compare their performance to a period F1 car. Then compare their prices. Not even close. Not only that, compare the cost of running and maintaining an F1 car vs. a Chevy V8 powered F5000 car with Hewland DG 300.
Now consider this car. It is a winning works car driven by Peter Gethin, Formula 5000 Champion and an F1 winner. Then comes the laundry list of other top drivers, including Indy winner Luyendyk, and F1 World Champion, Alan Jones. Then add to that restoration and race prep by a top period professional crew chief and mechanic. On top of that, add a fresh engine and gearbox. That’s value on top of value on top of value, short and long term.
If you want to race at the front in this exciting season of F5000, and for years to come in this loud, hugely crowd pleasing, series, this Chevron should be at the top of your list, especially for the price.
All vehicle descriptions are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. Corrections, and supplemental information, are always welcome. Buyers are responsible for confirming vehicle histories, condition, and authenticity to their own satisfaction prior to purchase. Motorsports Market is not the owner of the vehicle and assumes no liability for errors and omissions.
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