“I haven’t seen the old girl – in must be 22 years.” says a clearly elated Charles Ivey. “I have a lot of good memories about this car.” Not surprising as it gave him his best result as an entrant at international level: that first in class at Le Mans in ’81. “Dudley Wood bought the 935 from the Kremer brothers in late ’79, I think it was, and we ran at Le Mans the following year with Dudley sharing the car with John Cooper and Pete Lovett. Sadly, we had engine problems so didn’t finish the race. We then did the Brand Hatch 1000Km and managed fifth overall (second in class). This was a period when a privateer could run up against the bigger teams and stand a chance of being in a decent position at the end. The great thing about the 935 was that it was quick and bulletproof – most of the time.”
Then Le Mans came around again.
Things didn’t get off to a particularly good start as the original application by Ivey Engineering was rejected by the ACO: the K3 was officially entered by Belgian tin-top driver Claude Bourgoignie. “We had a good run to fourth, and at one point we were on for third but lost time during the night [thanks to flickering headlights]. To finish that high up among all those big teams was really special. It all got a bit emotional at the end, I must admit. Even now I start welling up just thinking about it, which is not like me at all!”
Further successes at the Brands Hatch 1000Km (fourth overall, second in class) and Mugello (second at the flag and class honours) rounded off an impressive season. Ivey followed it with a further Group 5 win at La Sarthe the next year with a different K3, with Cooper, Bourgoignie and Paul Smith.