Bobby Rahal’s Chevron B16 wooed the crowds at the Retromobile 2012 show in Paris earlier this month.
The Chevron B16, assembled by Kelvin Jones and his Liverpool-based company, which specialises in racing and re-storing historic cars, has been owned by Rahal, 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner and CART Champion in 1986, 1987 and 1992, since 2009. It was manufactured to the exact specification as the original cars, using the same jigs, moulds and drawings as its predecessors from the late 1960s and took pride of place on the Courage stand.
“It is probably one of the most exact B16’s racing today,” Kelvin said. “The chassis was built at Arch Motors, who have been building them since the 1960s. The response to it at Retromobile was fantastic.
“The French racers and car fans were completely blown away with the finish and the quality of the car we have built.
“I am now looking forward to working with Courage and promoting the Chevron product in France.”
Since July 2009, Rahal has enjoyed much success with his KJM-assembled Chevron B16, taking a class win with it first time out at the World Sports Car Masters race at the Silverstone Classic event and also enjoying success with it at Circuit Mont Tremblant in 2010.
It last took class ‘gold’ at the end of 2011, with Brian Redman, the ex-Chevron works driver, steering it to victory at Sebring International Raceway in the Legends of Motorsports season finale.
“It was a great honour for me to build the car for Bobby,” Kelvin continued. “It was a pleasure to work with him and since we have become good friends. He keeps an eye on the career of Declan [my son] and the whole relationship has been built up through this car.
“I was sad when it went to America some 18 months ago. But like any love affair you get over it in the end!
“I am glad it is back in Europe now and promoting what we can do on this side of the Atlantic. It certainly did that in Paris and it is also currently doing that at the Courage factory, where it is on display. It is a good advertisement for what we can do.
“It has done its bit for Bobby and now it is time for someone else to enjoy it. Bobby loved it. He couldn’t race it enough and the first time he sat in it, he won the hour and a half race at Silverstone. I’d only finished the car on the Wednesday and by Saturday night we had already notched up victory number one. That sort of pressure is unbelievable. But we did it and he was impressed.
“It was later shipped to the USA and that is where it has been until recently. It has won all over America, but now Bobby has decided to sell it and he has charged me with doing so on his behalf.
“It is a fantastic car and is probably one of the best cars I have ever built. It really is a top bit of kit.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about Bobby Rahal’s Chevron B16 should contact Kelvin direct on +44 (0)7989 585186. Kelvin can also be reached via email:firstname.lastname@example.org