Brian Redman was in Savannah Georgia for this year’s Savannah Speed Classic, a historic racing event run in conjunction with the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and HSR. Redman, a nine-time road racing champion, was there to race a Chevron B16 he took victory in 45 years prior. Why? “This Chevron is very high up on my list of GREAT cars to drive and I love Savannah!” exclaims Redman.
Here’s the backstory:
This B16 was built in July of 1969 and its first race was at Nürburgring in Germany, a 500 kilometer race – over 300 miles – through the Eifel Mountains.
“It was the first race for the car. We tested the car in England but it was a short track, now we arrive at the Nürburgring, 14 miles for one lap, 175 corners, and it (car) was terrible. The three factory Abarths were 22 seconds a lap faster in practice on Friday.
Twelve times a lap this car was in the air over the bumps. At the Nürburgring in those days there were no barriers, it was all little bushes on the side of the track. That was it, there were no curbs. We could not get it to handle, it was weaving all over the road. We changed the suspension, we lowered it, we raised it, we put narrow wheels on it, we put little flaps on the back, which weren’t there, you see the rivets (pointing to back wing) – it made a huge difference.
We ran one lap at a time changing everything, and right at the end of practice we got it on pole-position. The Abarth guys were running to their cars to try to beat us but it was too late.” (Continued below.)
“In fact we lead the race from start to finish. So that was a fantastic effort and Chevron sold 12 cars immediately because of that.”
Redman attends many historic racing events each year including the Goodwood Revival in England, Rennsport, Historic 24 Hours of Daytona, and the Mitty. He is quick to point out that “vintage racing through out the world has grown tremendously, the value of the cars is going up and I’m very fortunate and happy to be part of it.”
“It was a fantastic win, and now to come back and drive it again 45 years later is quite a thrill. But of course I won’t be driving it like I drove it in ’69! As with many of the cars here, it’s fantastic to see it here in Savannah. There are so many beautiful cars hopefully the racing will be interesting and incident free.”
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Photography by Matthew Emmer
Story by Guy Smith
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