After an absence of more than 40 years, the mighty muscle car once known as ‘The Beast’ made a thunderous racing return at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (29-31 July).
Back in the early seventies, the awesome 6.4-litre AMC Javelin was a real crowd favourite when competing in the British Saloon Car Championship (as the BTCC was known then) and Special Saloons series. But then, after an impressive victory at Silverstone in August 1975, its intrepid owner/driver David Howes suffered a badly broken leg in a road accident and, as a result, ‘The Beast’ had never again turned a wheel in anger.
For the following four decades, the brutish Javelin remained spotless, sparkling and silent under wraps in Howes’ garage and was even declared as ‘lost’ or ‘missing’ on internet forums. It was, however, only biding its time until the moment Howes could let go, and that hour finally arrived at the end of 2015.
The iconic and intriguing car’s new owner is well-known historic car collector and racer Marc Devis, and the Belgian fanatic was thrilled at the prospect of bringing the much-loved ‘big-banger’ back to life at this year’s Classic.
I.C.E. Automotive, Silverstone were given the task to bring the heart of the ‘Beast’ back to life and completed the rebuild of the former racing engine in time for the car to run at both the Silverstone Classic and Spa 6-hour meetings.
The car surprised many with its early competitiveness and finished 3rd in class and 4th overall at Spa