Although the Steve McQueen movie Le Mans focused on a battle between Ferrari and Porsche, a brace of Chevron B16s were key to filming the incredibly complicated on-track sequences. Yesterday it was our honour to host one of these cars …
The story goes that the cars were acquired through Grand Prix driver and Swiss Chevron agent Jo Siffert: One with a BMW motor and the other a Cosworth FVC. The machine you see here is the latter and was brought to Gooders by its owner Nick Jarvis with founder of Chevron Racing Cars Ltd Vin Malkie in tow to ensure its correct operation. Sadly we’ve not been able to establish whether the ‘King of Cool’ himself drove the car during the filming of Le Mans, but either way it’s pretty cool.
The car ran without missing a beat and sounded superb, as you can hear in the clip, but alas the weather wasn’t conducive to high-revving, lightweight sports cars for most of the day. As time wore on though our hallowed loop of blacktop dried out enough for a few laps to be possible.
BTCC star and Methuen House Captain Anthony Reid was at the wheel and his smoothness belies the very tricky conditions. Despite the greasiness of the surface, Anthony reported that he saw a stratospheric 9,000rpm once or twice from the screaming Cosworth motor. Clearly we need to get back here in it in the dry to really see what it can do!
In order to comply with the testing regulations we had to mount our GoPro quite low in the B16. This obscured the view of the track a little, but affords us a fine view of Mr Reid at work.
Although we usually say this of ‘multi’ cylinder engines and not four-potters, turn this one up!