Built in late 1975 – early 1976, by Adrian Reynard and Bill Stone (former production chief at March Racing) in their small shop in St John Street, Bicester, England operating as Sabre (an anagram of their initials). Chassis 009 was the ninth of only eleven customer cars built by Reynard and Stone in 1975 and 1976, and one of six configured for FF1600 competition. The chassis could accommodate either a 1.6 (FF-75) or 2.0 (SF-75) litre Ford engine. Although Reynard and Stone called their small company Sabre Automotive, the cars were christened Reynards in order to capitalize on Adrian Reynard’s racing success with the chassis in both the British Formula Ford and Formula Ford 2000 racing series. In correspondence in August, 2009, Adrian Reynard confirmed: “It was indeed built by Bill Stone at Sabre fabrications and would have been 1975 I guess. The chassis number was usually on the dash bulkhead on the LHS. We didn't build many in 1975 (about 5, I recall) and this chassis may well have been part of a 1976 shipment that went to the USA with Hawke uprights.” In 1976 three FF-75 1.6 litre Formula Fords were imported into the U.S. by ADEC in Columbus, Indiana through Hawke, acting as Sabre’s agent. Dennis O’Neal, of Columbus, purchased the first car, totaled it early in the racing season, and replaced it with another one of the FF-75’s from ADEC. James (Jimmie) Rowe, a wealthy gentleman farmer from Metcalf County, Kentucky purchased chassis 009. According to British automotive writer Mike Lawrence, four FF-75’s were imported in 1976 (according to Adrian Reynard five). I have no information concerning the importer or customers of these cars.
The car was first raced at the SCCA Mid-Ohio National on July 4, 1976. Jimmie Rowe’s main crewman throughout 70’s and early 80’s was David Livingston of Lexington, Tennessee. The car was maintained by Livingston, but not raced for several years as Jimmie Rowe pursued other racing interests until his death in the late 1980’s. David Livingston purchased the car from Rowe’s widow about a year after Rowe’s death. Livingston raced the FF-75 in the SCCA, first in Formula Ford, then in Club Formula Ford through 1995. In the spring of 1996 the car underwent a full frame-off restoration complete with a new Charlie Williams-built engine. Livingston raced the car a few times following the restoration, but had to park it when he could no longer fit into it. I purchased the FF-75 from David in August 2002, and first raced it in June 2003 at a Midwestern Council event at Blackhawk Farms, finishing on the podium in the Club Formula Ford class. The car was raced in six events at Blackhawk in 2003 and 2004 as both a FF and CFF. The FF-75 became VARA, and SCCA historic-eligible in 2004. The top end of the motor was freshened by Kelly Moss Motorsports at the end of 2003, and a new Bosch distributor installed at the end of 2004. A leak-down test in 2011 indicated need for valve work to achieve full performance. I have sufficient suspension parts to rebuild all four corners if necessary, a jig for fabricating the control arms, a spare original factory nose still in primer, and nose mold. I am aware of only one other FF-75 still in the United States. It was purchased by Dan Targonski of suburban Chicago in March 2002 from Gregory Noe. The car was bought disassembled, and, as of the last communication I had from Dan in the spring of 2015, the car is still a work in progress.