Legends of Motorsport - The Greatest Racers Of All Time
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Legends of Race and Rally

Francois Szisz
Francois Szisz (his Hungarian christian name was Ferenc) entered competitions as Louis Renault's riding mechanic in 1900, progressing to chief tester and racing driver. After numerous successes the unflustered Szisz retired in 1908, reappearing briefly in 1914 to contest the French GP in an Alda - an outclassed car - and a French road race at Rochefort, which he won in a 12 liter Lorraine-Dietrich. He died in Hungary in 1970, aged 97.

Jules Goux, a Peugeot Works Driver
Jules Goux, a Peugeot Works Driver.

Georges Boillot
Georges Boillot, another Peugeot Works Driver who, togther with Jules Goux, were renowned for the driving talent and their engineering ability. This photo dates from 1908.

Fernand Charron
Fernand Charron, one of the first successful racing drivers, who won the 1898 Marseilles-Nice and Paris-Amsterdam races for Panhard. He was also victorious in the first Gordon Bennett trophy race from Paris to Luons in 1900, despite running off the road.

S. F. Edge
S. F. Edge, who devoted 13 years from 1900 to the promotion, racing and sales of Napier cars, the most important of which were the six-cylinder models, the first to be built in large numbers. As a driver, his first major success was in the 1902 Gordon Bennett Trophy, after which he became British Team Captain.

Sir Algernon Lee Guinness
Sir Algernon Lee Guinness after winning the 1500 Trophy on the Isle of Man in 1922, with a four-cylinder, twin-overhead-cam Talbot Darracq.

Raymond Mays 1922 Amherst Villiers-supercharged Vauxhall
This picture demonstrates the mechanical complexity of Raymond Mays 1922 Amherst Villiers-supercharged Vauxhall. This picture was taken in 1931 when the car was being re-built.

Campari and mechanic Ramponi after victory in the 1924 French Grand Prix at Lyons
Campari and mechanic Ramponi after victory in the 1924 French Grand Prix at Lyons.
The motor car was scarcely established as a decent form of transport before the turn of the 20th century, and was the subject of a good deal of open hostility and official threats. Yet, in the midst of all this, the automobile was racing against others in smothering clouds of dust, along the ruler-straight roads of Europe.

By 1902 the automobile was attaining quite respectable speeds on the straight stretches of virtually unpoliced public Routes National: about half as fast again as you could travel in the comfort and security of the best express trains. Yet all this frenzied obsession with speed in the new age of motors was to improve these vehicles quickly and surely, so that within a few years of these first motor races, the motor car was a quiet, docile and swift form of everyday transport, and the commercial motor vehicle was on its way.

We owe the greatest respect, therefore, to those brave men in their primitive racing cars: men who drove furiously into the unknown, striving to leave one town and arrive as quickly as possible at the next. Unprotected by crash helmets, protective clothing or Armco barriers, over routes sparsely marshalled and unpractised, they raced, as Charles Jarrott put it, over the never-ending road that led to the unobtainable horizon. Speed, ever more speed, was then the order of the day, at the expense of safe controllability, and driver comfort

Yet, there was never any shortage of keen amateurs who were prepared to pit their strength and improving skills against the hazards of racing, if they could only lay their hands on the steering wheel of the latest racing monster from the Panhard & Levassor or Mors factories.

It all commenced calmly enough. In 1894, Le Petit Journal had the initiative to organise a competition for Voitures sans chevaux, to be run from Paris to Rouen, a distance of 781 miles, which was to be judged by the paper's staff and a number of consulting engineers. This significant and historic event, which took place on 22 July, attracted the remarkably large field of 102 vehicles.

The entrants included Pousselet, Pellorce, De Dion Bouton, Lemaitre, Roussat, Gautier, Hidien, Victor Popp, Scotte, Klaus, Tenting, Pan hard & Levassor, Quantin, Rodier, Archdeacon, Le Blant, Periere, Letar, Gaillardet, Varennes, Vacheron, Coquatrix, Leval, Peugeot, Darras, Geoffrey, Gillot, Loubiere, Duchemin, Ponset, Lemoigne, Bargigli, Le Brun, Spanoghe, De Prandieres, Corniquet, Martin-Cudrez, ... the list is seemingly endless and all these pioneers really deserve to be listed, as they were the true forerunners of every competition driver who followed them.

Peugeot, Panhard, Jeantaud, Landry et Beyroux, Bellanger, and De Dion Bouton

Suffice to say that, adventurous as they obviously were, with very few exceptions such 'as Peugeot, Panhard, Jeantaud, Landry et Beyroux, Bellanger, and De Dion Bouton, their names did not continue into the future of motor racing. The first car race was really not a race at all. It was a trial, and the ingenious means of locomotion announced by many of the entrants were too optimistic to persist and were soon to reduce to steam, electricity and petrol.

But that Paris-Rouen Trial was what sparked-off the great motor races that were to follow. These divide into clearly defined types. Up to 1903, when the Paris-Madrid race was stopped at Bordeaux by order of the French Government because of accidents that had happened along the inadequately marshalled public road, the important races were from one town to others, which were designated low-speed Control areas, the route either ending at one of them or turning back at the final town.

Thus they were road races pure and simple. They might be divided into classes, with the competing vehicles defined by weight or other limits, but speed was the vital ingredient. After Paris-Madrid, such races were, with a few exceptions that persisted into post-World War 2 times, run over closed circuits, which were shorter and could thus be properly controlled.

These road circuits were invariably formed of temporarily closed public roads, often provided with temporary safety fencing to keep spectators off the course, pedestrian-bridges or tunnels. The second sub-division of motor races in this experimental period from 1895 to 1914 involved the purpose behind all the racing. The very earliest contests were mainly a proving ground for the motor vehicle itself, although the better makes gained notice by coming through victorious in. this latest sport.

The French makes led the way for a long time and then came the Gordon Bennett races, for which teams of three cars had to be entered by each competing country. The cars themselves, all the components used in their construction including the tyres, and the drivers were required to be of the nationality of the entrant. Thus motor racing became not a mere proving ground but a battle of the nations.

Emphasis was placed on this by the ruling which said that the next year's Gordon Bennett race would take place in the country of the winner, which caused Britain to search for a course in Ireland for the 1903 contest. This series lasted from 1900 to 1905 inclusive, and the victors were France four times, Britain once and Germany once.

Other nations having tired of French supremacy, and the Gordon Bennett regulations being difficult to enforce, the nationalised series of races gave way to the French Grand Prix, first held in 1906 and won by Renault. Fiat were victorious in 1907 and Mercedes in 1908. This was the most important race of them all, until other nations followed suit and held their own Grands Prix. The idea was to vary the race rules from year to year to promote advance in racing-car design and construction and to stage great international contests in which make raced against make, instead of, as in the Gordon Bennett races, nation competing against nation. This was a great, success until 1909, when the major manufacturers refused to compete in long-distance events through a suspicion that they might lose to a smaller concern like Delage or Bugatti.

Thus, the French Grand Prix was abandoned until 1912 and small-car or voiturette races were held instead. Following the 1894 Paris-Rouen Trial, which sparked off all this automotive activity, the first proper motor race was held, in 1895, in the form of the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris contest, organised by the newly formed Automobile Club de France. It was a struggle occupying three days, from II June to 13 June 1895, with a field of 22 out of 46 somewhat optimistic entries; eleven reached Bordeaux and nine ran the entire distance of 732 miles.

Whilst this sounds unremarkable by today's standards, the distance alone on those primitive carriages over such difficult going defies imagination! Most epic was the drive of Emile Levassor, who insisted on conducting his famous No 5 Panhard & Levassor without relief for fear oflosing his lead, pausing every 100 kilometres or so to take on fresh supplies, but his total stopping time was a mere 22 minutes, on a journey lasting 48 hours 48 minutes!

At Tours on the return run back to Paris he had a lead of 4½ hours over his nearest rival, a Peugeot. Immense enthusiasm greeted him as he drove to the finish by the Porte Maillot, where, in true Gallic fashion, a monument was later erected to mark the finish of the very first motor race. In fact, as Levassor carried but one passenger he was not awarded the first prize (31,500 francs), which went to Koechlin's Peugeot, a carriage which had been on the road for 59 hours 48 minutes.

Whereas Levassor had averaged 15.omph, this Peugeot had run at an average speed of 12.2 mph and another Peugeot, not eligible for the first prize, at 13-4mph. Of those which retired, a Serpollet steamer broke its crankshaft and the Jeantaud, the only electric car to start, had axle trouble.

From this first race came others, faster and better supported, over longer distances. In 1896, they raced from Paristo Marseilles and back, a little matter of 1063 miles, and the winning Panhard, driven by Mayade, averaged 15.7 mph, proof that the motor car was both fast and a stayer. Panhard cars, in fact, walked away with that one. In 1897, they tried shorter races, the 149-mile Paris-Nice-La Turbie going to the Count de Chasseloup-Laubat, whose De Dion steam-brake averaged 19.2 mph.

The Paris-Dieppe race of just over 102 racing miles was divided into classes for motor tricycles, voiturettes, six seater, four seater and two-seater cars, and Jamin's little Bollee contrived to do 25.2 mph, whereas the fastest car, in the four-seater section, was Count de Dion's De Dion, with a speed of 24.6mph. Finally, there was the 107.7-mile Paris-Trouville contest, won by a Panhard at 2s.2mph. In 1898, the race was from Marseilles to Nice, the celebrated driver Charron getting there first on his 6hp Panhard, followed in by two more Panhards.

The Paris-Amsterdam

Charron then won the Paris-Amsterdam race, averaging 26.9mph for the 889-!- miles, with Giradot's Pan hard second. Not only were speeds higher but the number of recognised events increased . . The season opened in March with the 7s-mile Nice-Castellane-Nice race, this new pursuit of motor racing having by now extended from the capital city to the fashionable Mediterranean watering place.

An entry of 24 cars and fifteen tricycles had been obtained and Peugeot-Freres gave Lemaitre the new big Peugeot, the 140 x 190 mm two-cylinder engine of which was sufficient to give this driver victory at 26.0 mph over Giradot on the four-cylinder 80 x 120 mm Panhard, a smaller Peugeot finishing in third place. The racing motor tricycles were nearly as quick: Teste on a De Dion averaged 25.1 mph, but their riders were apt to be badly hampered, even involved in accidents, due to the dust flung up by the cars.

Charron, de Knyff and Giradot

The Panhard drivers, Charron, de Knyff and Giradot, filled the first five places in the Paris-Bordeaux contest, the winner's speed for the 351 miles being almost 30 mph; a Mors finished 6th. Flag signals were used throughout the Tour de France, which covered 1350 racing miles and was again dominated by the Panhard Company's entries, the big 16hp racer of de Knyff winning at 30.2 mph. Note how speeds were for ever creeping up as engines increased in size.

These average speeds are most impressive if you can imagine the conditions under which cars raced in 1899. On the downhill straights on their top speed (or gear) such racers were truly awe-inspiring. Gerald Rose, the first writer to chronicle the great motor races of that period, recalled 'the tremendous rush and roar of one of the big racers coming down the straight towards Dieppe at 100 miles per hour, the driver crouching under the wheel and the mechanic's head just visible above the high scuttle', a thrill modern racing cars and conditions can never repeat.

He wrote that of the 1908 Clement-Bayards in the Grand Prix, but the spectacle must have been just as thrilling before the turn of the century as the higher, more unwieldy racing giants and their intrepid pilots battled over the long French highways at speeds of over 60 mph.

Back in 1899, there was the little jaunt from Paris to St Malo, accomplished by Anthony's Mors at 30.7 mph, while in the Paris-Ostend race the forthcoming struggle between Panhard and Mors was beginning, Giradot and Levegh respectively on these rival makes both averaging 32.5 mph, with a Peugeot third for good measure. Then, in the Paris-Boulogne race, Giradot's Panhard & Levassor was the victor at 33.5mph but Levegh on a Mors tailed him home, and was only 0.3 mph slower.

To give a sense of proportion, in 1899 came a novel contest, run between Paris and Trouville, in which pedestrians, horses, cyclists, motor cycles and racing cars took part, over a distance of 104.5 miles under a handicap to end all handicaps. Thus, the runners got an allowance of twenty hours, the horses were given fourteen hours, the cyclists five hours, the motor bikes 3t hours and the racing cars had to do the course with a start of three hours. It was rather a snub to progress, as they finished much in that order, except that two horses arrived first and second, and a motor cycle was two seconds ahead of the first car. The average speeds are interesting: runners, 4.9 mph; best horse, 8.5 mph; fastest bicyclist, 19.4 mph; best motor cyclist, 32.5mph, fastest racing car, a Mors, 35.2 mph.

Motor traction had justified itself, but perhaps the racing men were glad to return to normal contests. In the light of modern knowledge it is seen that Ernest Henry did not, in 1912 and the remaining pre-war years, exploit to the full his splendid new engines. The hemi-head that his properly actuated inclined overhead valves made possible was less suited to the comparatively low crankshaft speeds he envisaged than for quicker-running engines, and another pre-eminent aspect of his design, namely the use of four valves to each cylinder, was at the time more a concession to its ability to combat valve breakage than a serious endeavour to obtain optimum breathing through the additional, if smaller, inlet valve ports.

A. J. Foyt  

A. J. Foyt

b. 1935
A. J. Foyt was born on 16 January 1935 at Houston, Texas. Anthony Joseph Foyt Jnr entered motor racing almost as soon as he was able, taking part in his first race at Houston in 1953. He drove in a rough-and-tumble midget-car event. This type of racing was held on cinder-tracks of one quarter, one third or half-mile, and the bravest man invariably won. Foyt soon began to attract notice and quickly moved up into Sprint cars. More>>
Achille Varzi  

Achille Varzi (AUS Edition)

(1904 - 1948)
Varzi was born in Milan in 1904, of wealthy parents. At 21 he took up motor-cycle racing, and the duels with Nuvolari began, but after two years, Achille decided to make the switch to cars. It was expensive, of course, but he had no financial problems whatever, and bought a P2 Alfa Romeo, at that time the finest racing equipment available. He was an immediate success, finishing second in the 1928 European Grand Prix at Monza, and in 1929 was a member of the Alfa factory team, winning four Grands Prix. In 1930, he alternated between Maserati and Alfa Romeo, winning several Grands Prix as well as the Targa Florio. More>>
Al Unser  

Al Unser

b. 1939
AI Unser began racing at the age of 18, racing Supermodified cars from 1957 to 1963. His business, however, was the running of a scrap yard which his father had purchased for him. In 1960 he ran at Pike's Peak for the first time, finishing second to Bobby. He was runner-up to his elder brother again in 1962, but in 1964 he broke the hill record and Bobby's run of six successive victories. More>>
Alan Jones  

Alan Jones

b. 1946
Born in Melbourne, Jones was the son of Stan Jones, an Australian racing driver and winner of the 1959 Australian Grand Prix. It was inevitable that Alan would want to follow in his fathers footsteps, and so the young Jones left for Europe in 1967 to make a name for himself - but success would not come easily. More>>
Alfred Neubauer  

Alfred Neubauer (AUS Edition)

(1891 - 1980)
Arguably the greatest, and in the annals of motor-sport history, undoubtedly the best known team manager in motor racing was Alfred Neubauer. His large figure, festooned with stop watches and holding a red and black flag, was a familiar sight at Grand Prix and sports-car races contested by Mercedes-Benz from 1926 to 1955. Many was the time Neubauer threw his hat under the front wheels of a winning car from his team. Neubauer also had a knack of spotting budding champion drivers. He offered Hermann Lang, a mechanic, the chance to race a Grand Prix car. Also, in the 1950s, when Mercedes-Benz returned triumphantly to Grand Prix racing for two years, he chose drivers of the calibre of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss. More>>
Antonio Ascari  

Antonio and Alberto Ascari (AUS Edition)

1888 - 1925 and 1918 - 1955
It is unusual for a father and son to follow the same path through life so closely as the Ascaris - Antonio and Alberto. Both were gripped by the excitement and joy of fast driving, both took up motor racing, both reached the peak of their profession, both died at the wheel at the age of 36 and, by an even crueller coincidence, both left a widow and two children. The thirty years that separated their respective careers showed living and motor racing in two very different phases of development. More>>
Barney Oldfield  

Barney Oldfield

1878 - 1946
Berna Eli 'Barney' Oldfield was a showman, a rich showman. He specialised in short match races, chiefly on dirt-tracks, shortly after the turn of the 20th century, but he was also an accomplished road racer. Perhaps because of his showmanship on the dirt-tracks, his circuit achievements did not receive the recognition due. More>>
Bernd Rosemeyer  

Bernd Rosemeyer (AUS Edition)

1909 - 1938
There are some tragically short stories of the world’s greatest drivers among those listed here on Unique Cars and Parts - although most at least drove more than the one car. But the only car Bernd Rosemeyer ever raced was the tricky 400 bhp rear-engined Auto-Union, yet in his meteoric three-year career, he established himself as the world's fastest road-racing driver. More>>
Bjorn Waldegard  

Bjorn Waldegard

b. 1943
Bjorn Waldegard was born in Ro, Sweden, on 12 November 1943, the son of a farmer. In 1962 he began his motor sporting career, shooting to fame in T -races, miniature rallies with short but difficult special stages. At first he used his own car, a Volkswagen 1200, but such was his prowess Scania-Vabis, the Swedish Volkswagen importers, supplied the machinery. More>>
Bobby Unser  

Bobby Unser

b. 1934
Al and Bobby Unser were both double Indianapolis winners. And both were winners at Pike's Peak hill-climb, a venue which was almost considered the property of two generations of the Unser family. Both tried road-racing in addition to their forte, the USAC National Championship trail. And both were deadly rivals. More>>
Cale Yarborough  

Cale Yarborough

b. 1939
William Caleb ‘Cale’ Yarborough was born on 27 March 1939, in Timmonsville, North Carolina. At school he became a football fanatic, representing Timmonsville High School as an all-state fullback. Later he played semi-professional football with the Sumter Generals, nearly making the big time. Yarborough married Betty Jo, whom he had met at his uncle's drug store, and tried to support her, farming turkeys, and racing cars. He was not all that successful at either venture, although he just scraped along as a stock car exponent. As an eighteen-year-old he added three years to his age to be eligible for NASCAR racing. More>>
Carlos Reutemann  

Carlos Reutemann

b. 1942
Carlos Reutemann was the first world-class racing driver from Argentina since the days of the legendary five-times World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio. He first made his mark at the top by winning Grands Prix in 1974, taking his works Brabham BT 44-Ford to victory in South Africa, Austria, and the United States. More>>
Camille Jenatzy  

Camille Jenatzy (AUS Edition)

1865 - 1913
CAMILLE JENATZY, BORN IN 1865, was a Belgian civil engineer turned motor manufacturer who made his competition debut in 1898 at the controls of one of his own electric vehicles, in the Chanteloup hill-climb organised by La Prance Automobile. Although heavy rain had affected the road surface, Jenatzy made the fastest time of the day, covering the 1800-metre course at an average speed of 17 mph. Three weeks after this, on 18th December, La Prance Automobile held a second speed trial, this time over a standing-start, two-kilometre course on a deserted stretch of level road at Acheres, to the west of Paris. More>>
Carroll Shelby  

Carroll Shelby (AUS Edition)

1923 - 2012
Carroll Hall Shelby was an American automotive designer, racing driver and entrepreneur. He was best known for his involvement with the AC Cobra and later the Mustang-based performance cars for Ford Motor Company known as Shelby Mustangs which he had done since 1965. His company, Shelby American Inc., founded in 1962, went on to create and sell modified Ford vehicles, as well as performance parts. More>>
Charles Jarrott  

Charles Jarrott (AUS Edition)

1877 - 1944
Finish At All Costs was the racing motto of Charles Jarrott, one of Britain's greatest drivers in the first decade of motor sport, who took part in just about every race that mattered, up to 1905. Yet, out of all those events, he had just one major victory, although he was often well up with the leaders Jarrott's creed, recalled Arthur Bray (one of his racing contemporaries), was that it was always better 'to race clean and lose, than to win by foul driving'. More>>
Chris Amon  

Chris Amon (AUS Edition)

b. 1943
CHRIS AMON drove in his first international Formula One race in 1963 and tried for many seasons to notch his first elusive victory. Time and again he would prove to be the equal of his contemporaries, would set pole positions and lead Grands Prix. And every single time luck, fate, call it what you will, intervened. Amon had driven for many top teams - Ferrari, McLaren, Matra, March, Tyrrell and Ensign - but somehow had an uncanny knack of leaving them when things were just about to turn right. More>>
Colin Chapman  

Colin Chapman (AUS Edition)

1928 - 1982
It could be argued that Colin Chapman did more to establish Britain as the home of international motor racing during the 1960's and 1970's than any other single person, with the possible exception of John Cooper, who got in first with the Cooper racing cars, but failed to keep pace with the astonishing versatility of the designs Colin Chapman produced for Lotus. More>>
Count Louis Zborowski  

Count Louis Zborowski (AUS Edition)

1895 - 1924
Count Louis Zborowski, whose father had been killed in a Mercedes 60 at the 1903 La Turbie Hill-climb, was half-Polish, half-American, and had been educated at Eton. His collaborator in the development of a giant racing car was Clive Gallop, who had been involved in the evolution of the 3-litre Bentley: in the work-shop at Higham they shoehorned a six-cylinder 300 bhp Maybach Zeppelin engine into an innocent 75 bhp Mercedes chassis of pre-war vintage. More>>
Craig Breedlove  

Craig Breedlove (AUS Edition)

b. 1937
Craig Breedlove was one of a select band of Californian dragster fanatics whose sole hobby was attempting to go faster than the next man. He decided to build a car to crack the land-speed record but, lacking the enormous funds available to Donald Campbell, he designed a very simple car. More>>
Dario 'Dolly' Resta  

Dario 'Dolly' Resta

1882 - 1924
One of the most skilled and versatile racing drivers of his age, Italian-bern Dario 'Dolly' Resta was brought to London at the age of two in 1884. Resta went into the motor trade and eventually opened his own business in the West End of London as a naturalised citizen. He took part in the opening meeting at Brooklands on July 6, 1907, driving a 1906 Grand Prix Mercedes entered by the wealthy sportsman F. R. Fry. More>>
Denny Hulme  

Denny Hulme (AUS Edition)

1936 - 1992
Denny Hulme was almost a has-been before he ever started seriously in Formula One racing. He began with an MG TF at club races in New Zealand driving in shorts and bare feet. When he arrived in England in 1960 as one of two "Drivers to Europe" that season, he was still racing his Formula Two Cooper in bare feet because he maintained he had a better feel of the accelerator. More>>
Derek Bell  

Derek Bell

b. 1941
Derek Bell MBE, won the Le Mans 24-Hour race in June for the fifth time in 1987. This was an achievement exceeded by only one man, his former driving partner Jacky Ickx, who had six successes (three of them with Bell) and, at the age of 45, Bell was by far Britain's most successful sportscar driver. More>>
Dick Seaman  

Dick Seaman (AUS Edition)

1913 - 1939
Dick Seaman's career as a professional racing driver in the 1930s was both short and meteoric. Born Richard John Beattie Seaman in 1913, he is still believed to be, at least by motoring historians, as Britain's best. And it all happened in just two-and-a-half seasons - before a tragic accident which claimed his life when he was only 26. At the time he was Britain's sole representative in Grand Prix racing. More>>
Don Garlits  

Don Garlits

b. 1932
In his day, it could truthfully be said that Don Garlits released more horsepower onto tarmac than any other motor sportsman in history, yet he remained little known outside America. The sport in which he achieved equal measures of fame and fortune in the USA was drag racing, the supercharged standing-start sprint down a flat quarter-mile strip. More>>
Doug Whiteford  

Doug Whiteford (AUS Edition)

? - 1979
As a regular member of the Datsun Racing Team Doug Whiteford was a fixture in small capacity Datsuns, usually as partner to John Roxburgh. Undoubtedly he counts with Lex Davidson, Stan Jones and Len Lukey in the "Hall of Fame." His list of successes was a long one, but the measure of the contribution he made to Australian motor sport is unlikely ever to be assessed fully as it was so diverse. More>>
Duncan Hamilton  

Duncan Hamilton (AUS Edition)

1920 - 1994
These days there can be little doubt that someone like Duncan Hamilton would be forced to live a very different life should they wish to participate in the elite races of motorsport. But back in the 1950s, racing was for professional and amateur alike, and Hamilton managed to be both successful on the track while enjoying a drink and chasing girls. And there is nothing wrong with that. More>>
Earl Cooper  

Earl Cooper

1886 - 1965
Although not as well known as drivers like Barney Oldfield, Ray Harroun and Ralph de Palma, Earl Cooper was one of the most successful racing drivers in the pioneer days of American motor racing. Early American professional motor racing was largely confined to track racing, either on small dirt or cinder ovals, or on the bigger half-mile board tracks or even bigger concrete bowls, of which Indianapolis was the first in the USA. More>>
Elizabeth Junek  

Elizabeth Junek (AUS Edition)

1990 - 1994
ONE OF THE GREAT Bugatti drivers - perhaps the greatest female driver of all time - was Elizabeth Junek from Czechoslovakia, who, in a few crowded seasons in the mid 1920s, showed that she had the ability to meet and beat the world's racing elite. Born in 1900, Junek first heard of the Bugatti in Paris, where, at the age of 21, she met her future husband, Cenek Junek, a Prague banker. That was shortly after Bugatti's famous victory in the Circuit di Brescia. More>>
Emerson Fittipaldi  

Emerson Fittipaldi

b. 1946
The story of Emerson Fittipaldi almost parallels that of Juan Manuel Fangio, who also started from humble beginnings and rose to become a multiple World Champion. It is not coincidence, though, that both men come from South America, where chronic poverty often inspires young men to fight their way out of their environment to reach the top of their chosen profession. More>>
Erik Carlsson  

Erik Carlsson (AUS Edition)

b. 1929
Born in 1929 at Trollhattan in Sweden, Carlsson's first love was motor cycling but, after his military service, he graduated to rallying with cars like an Austin A40 and a VW Beetle. In 1953, he took part in his first major event, the Swedish Rally, as co-driver in a Volvo. This whetted his appetite and, in 1954, he bought a Saab 92 for rallying. The Saab car factory had only been established since 1950, although the company had been building aircraft and other engineering products for many years. More>>
Felice Nazzaro  

Felice Nazzaro (AUS Edition)

1881 - 1940
Felice Nazzaro reached the peak of his international fame over 100 years ago, in 1909. He was then 28 years old, and had been a racing driver for nine years. The son of a well-to-do coal merchant, Felice had been apprenticed to Ceirano, who were acquired by Fiat at the turn of the century; his abilities as a driver were soon realised by the new owners, and in 1900 he was entered in the Padua-Vicenza-Padua race with a 6 hp Fiat, and came second (his friend Vincenzo Lancia won the event, although one report claims that both men 'and a dozen other drivers' were disqualified for pushing their cars up one of the hills on the course). More>>
Frank Gardner  

Frank Gardner (AUS Edition)

1931 - 2009
Few race drivers had a more memorable racing career than our own Frank Gardner, who took up motor racing in 1949. Gardner was born in Sydney, Australia on 1 October 1931; the son of a trawler skipper, so it was natural that his formative years should have been spent on or in the sea where he became an expert swimmer, oarsman, surfer, surf lifesaver and even a boxer. More>>
Frank Williams  

Frank Williams (AUS Edition)

b. 1942
Frank Williams started out in Formula One racing in 1969 and from late 1972 he was running his own cars. A Grand Prix victory eluded him for his first years, but with the advent of Saudia Williams F1 team in 1978, Frank Williams' star began to rise, and with Alan Jones behind the wheel many thought he would quickly enjoy success – however he would still have to wait until 1980. More>>
Fred Dixon  

Fred Dixon (AUS Edition)

1892 - 1956
We list Fred Dixon here in the Legends of Motorsport section of Unique Cars and Parts but, if we also had a legends of motorcycle section, he could have equally been listed there too. For forty-six years Fred Dixon divided almost equally between the car and motorcycle fields, the deeds of this prankish genius was the stuff of lengend, and why a movie has not been created about his exploits seems a travesty. More>>
George Eyston  

George Eyston (AUS Edition)

1897 - 1979
Eyston is probably best remembered today as a record breaker, and in this field he had some great successes, such as being the first driver to exceed 100 m.p.h., 100 in the hour, and 120 m.p.h. with a 750-c.c. car, the famous MO "Magic Midget", breaking the Land Speed Record three times, the World's hour record on four occasions, the 12-hour thrice, and the 24- and 48-hour records twice, as well as setting up some significant diesel records, the fastest at nearly 160 m.p.h. More>>
George Follmer  

George Follmer

b. 1934
Born in 1934, Follmer was destined for an engineering career, but like so many others interested in mechanical things his interest turned to cars and he was soon taking part in the inevitable gymkhanas, and other mild sporting events in a Volkswagen. His interest centred on road racing and he began to take part in the Sports Car Club of America amateur events with a variety of sports cars. More>>
George Robertson  

George Robertson

1884 - 1955
Though 'Big George' Robertson's racing career only encompassed half a decade, he is remembered as one of the immortals of motor-sport history. Robertson was the first American driver to defeat the top European makes in an international event in an American car. More>>
Giuseppe Campari  

Giuseppe Campari (AUS Edition)

1892 - 1933
It's difficult to imagine anyone who looked less like a racing driver than Giuseppe Campari, a portly 16-stone lover of good food and grand opera, who was liable to burst into an aria from Rigoletto, in his fine baritone voice, whenever he felt elated. In fact Campari, born in 1892, was a natural. More>>
Giuseppe Farina  

Giuseppe Farina (AUS Edition)

1906 - 1966
Giuseppe Farina was the first official World Champion, gaining the title in 1950. Also Italian Champion in 1937, 1938 and 1939, he is best known as the driver who set the style of modern race-driving style: Farina's trademark was to control his machines with arms outstretched and head held back. Ironically enough, although he gave an impression of smoothness and precision, during his thirty-year racing career he suffered a series of accidents. Burns, fractures, cuts and abrasions were part and parcel of the life of Giuseppe ('Nino') Farina. More>>
Goldie Gardner  

Goldie Gardner

1889 - 1958
Although all his major records were broken in cars that were basically MGs in origin, Lt-Col A. T. G. Gardner (universally known as Goldie), born in 1899, was one of the most versatile and ingenious speed merchants of the 1930s and 1940s, and was especially adept at modifying an engine so that it could become eligible for widely differing capacity classes. More>>
Graham Hill  

Graham Hill (AUS Edition)

1929 - 1975
Graham Hill was Born on 15 February 1929, and christened Norman Graham Hill. He was the son of a wealthy stockbroker who was not interested in the car or in driving, so the motor car did not play any significant part in Graham Hill's development. Like so many other top racing drivers Hill's schooling, undertaken mostly at Hendon Technical College, was borne grudgingly, but he took refuge in sport by playing football and cricket and becoming a very competent oarsman with the London Rowing Club. More>>
Gunnar Nilsson  

Gunnar Nilsson (AUS Edition)

1948 - 1978
Gunnar Nilsson was the second son of a building contractor and was born in Helsingborg, Sweden, on 20 November 1948. He went to school in his home town and subsequently served as a submarine radio officer in the Swedish Navy. For a while it seemed that he would follow the family business. He studied engineering for four years and gained a degree from the University of Stockholm but eight months of working as a supervisor in the construction industry was as much as he could tolerate. He left his job in Stockholm to return home and start his own business. More>>
Gwenda Hawkes  

Gwenda Hawkes (AUS Edition)

1894 - 1990
There were only a handful of female drivers able to compete in terms of sheer speed with the racing motorists of the inter-war period - although this is no reflection of ability, but a result of little opportunity. One to break the mould, so to speak, was Gwenda Hawkes. Hawkes father was Sir Frederick Manley Glubb CB, KCMG, DSO, who served during the Boer War and World War 1, while her brother John was Glubb Pasha of the Arab Legion. Gwenda herself had a war record of some note, having driven ambulances on the Russian and Rumanian fronts between 1914 and 1918. More>>
Hans Stuck  

Hans Stuck

1900 - 1978
Hans Stuck was known as the 'King of the Mountains'. His forte was hill-climbing-or mountain races - but he was also an accomplished Grand Prix driver and record breaker. He competed until the early 1960s, collecting trophies and championships before finally retiring from motor sport to coach his son Hans-Joachim, who by the 1970s was one of Germany's leading racing drivers. More>>
Henri Pescarolo  

Henri Pescarolo (AUS Edition)

b. 1942
Henri Pescarolo, the sone of a top French surgeon, was born in Montfermeil on 25 September 1942. The serious-looking, bearded medical student was, however, not destined to follow his father's footsteps. Motor sport appealed to him and, after navigating for his father in a doctors' rally in 1964, the following year found him at a racing drivers' school and competing in a Ford-backed series of races for novices in Lotus 7 sports cars. More>>
Henry Segrave  

Henry Segrave (AUS Edition)

1896 - 1929
To many, Sir Henry Segrave epitomised all that was best in the British character. Segrave was in fact born in Baltimore, Maryland, of an Irish father and an American mother, in 1896, and only educated in England. The name "Segrave" dated back to the Vikings, and meant "Lord of the Sea". Segrave's interest in motor racing apparently dated from a wartime visit to the Sheepshead Bay track on Long Island; his first experience with fast motor cars was gained in America with Marmon, Packard and Stutz cars. Returning to England, he did war service with the Royal Flying Corps, using a 120 hp Itala racer. More>>
Ian "Pete" Geoghegan  

Ian "Pete" Geoghegan (AUS Edition)

1940 - 2003
Long before Liverpool (Great Britain) was famous for the Beatles, Liverpool (New South Wales) was known, in the motor racing world, to be the home of the Geoghegans. In the mid 1960s the two Geoghegan brothers, Leo and Ian, were members of the TOTAL Racing Team and the pair cut a swathe of successes through the intensively competitive sport of motor racing, and set lap records on every major circuit in Australia. More>>
Innes Ireland  

Innes Ireland (AUS Edition)

1930 - 1993
Innes Ireland was one of the last great characters of motor racing, after he gave up racing in 1966 the amount of sponsorship money hanging on race results precluded any of the all-night pre-race parties and escapades in which Ireland often indulged. Although he was a professional racing driver, his approach was that of a gentleman amateur to whom the sport was simply a well paid means of assisting him to enjoy life. Born Robert McGregor Innes Ireland at Kirkcudbright, Scotland, in 1930, he was the son of a veterinary surgeon who attempted to give him a good education. More>>
Jack Brabham  

Jack Brabham

b. 1926
Sir John Arthur "Jack" Brabham, AO, OBE (born April 2, 1926) is Australia's best known and most successful race export, and remains the only Australian driver to take out three Formula One championships, in 1959, 1960 and 1966. He was a founder of the Brabham racing team and race car constructor that bore his name. More>>
Jack Sears  

Jack Sears

b. 1930
Jack Sears racing career started in 1949 and terminated, after a rather unpleasant testing accident, at the end of 1965. Immediately immersing himself in the administrative side of motor racing, Sears became a member of both the Race and Competitions Committees of the RAC as well as sitting on the Council of the BRDC and taking an active interest in the commercial side of Silverstone circuit's operation as a director. More>>
Jackie Stewart  

Jackie Stewart (AUS Edition)

b. 1939
Born on the 11th June 1939, John Young Stewart - always known as Jackie - was the son of a garage proprietor, Robert Stewart, who once raced motor cycles as an amateur. The boy was introduced to motor racing by his brother Jimmy, eight years his senior, who was an accomplished sports car driver. Jimmy raced for the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar team and the works Aston Martin team until a serious crash at Le Mans in 1954 ended a promising career. That same year 15-year-old Jackie left Dumbarton Academy. More>>
James Hunt  

James Hunt (AUS Edition)

1947 - 1993
By the mid 1970s James Hunt was very much public property. He had battled his way up through a string of accidents in Formula Three to become Grand Prix chauffeur for the rich young Lord Hesketh who was regarded as something of a joke until Hunt started winning races for him. But during the 1975 F1 Season the champagne dried up first and then the money. By the end of the year Hesketh announced he couldn't afford to continue and Hunt was stranded without a drive at a time when all the major teams had settled their drivers months earlier. More>>
Jean Behra  

Jean Behra (AUS Edition)

1921 - 1959
Behra, born in Nice in 1921, soon fell for the lure of speed on wheels: first he took up cycling, then motorcycling, his prowess on two wheels earning him the French motor-cycle-racing championship, three years in succession. Like so many motor-cycle racers before and since (including Tazio Nuvolari, Piero Taruffi, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, John Surtees and Mike Hailwood), Behra hankered after four-wheel racing and, as soon as organised motor racing began in Europe, following World War 2, he was at the wheel of a Talbot which he drove to sixth place in the Coupe du Salon meeting at Montlhery, near Paris in 1949. More>>
Jean Gregiore  

Jean Albert Gregoire (AUS Edition)

1899 - 1992
Gregoire started out racing an Amilcar and a Bugatti for fun; he also met Pierre Fenaille, a wealthy amateur engineer who was to have a great influence on Gregoire's subsequent career. Fenaille suggested that Gregoire should join him in the construction of a light sports/racing car with the then-revolutionary feature of front-wheel drive. It was to be called the Tracta, from the French words traction avant - 'front-wheel drive'. The prototype, nicknamed 'Gephi', after the phonetic sound of the initials of Gregoire and Fenaille, was built in the works of Langlois & Journod of Courbevoie, Seine, and first ran in the summer of 1926. More>>
Jean-Piette Beltoise  

Jean-Pierre Beltoise (AUS Edition)

1936 - 1968
Sometimes words alone are not enough to describe the brilliance and talent of a man or woman. Such is the case with Jim Clark, who's life was cut tragically short on the 7th April, 1968 in a Formula Two race at Hockenheimring in Germany. What made it even more difficult for race fans to accept was that Clark should have been driving in the BOAC 1000 sportscar race at Brands Hatch, but had to switch to the Formula 2 event due to contractural obligations with Firestone. More>>
Jean-Pierre Wimille  

Jean-Pierre Wimille

1908 - 1949
Jean-Pierre Wimille, son of a journalist, was born in Paris on 26 February 1908. He began his career at 22 as a racing driver by entering a Bugatti in the 1930 French Grand Prix at Pau. Early in 1931 he competed with a Lorraine in the Monte Carlo Rally and finished second. Soon he became a regular at the racing tracks. More>>
Jim Clark  

Jim Clark

1936 - 1968
Sometimes words alone are not enough to describe the brilliance and talent of a man or woman. Such is the case with Jim Clark, who's life was cut tragically short on the 7th April, 1968 in a Formula Two race at Hockenheimring in Germany. What made it even more difficult for race fans to accept was that Clark should have been driving in the BOAC 1000 sportscar race at Brands Hatch, but had to switch to the Formula 2 event due to contractural obligations with Firestone. More>>
Jimmy Johnson  

Jimmy Johnson (AUS Edition)

1929 - 1957
Jim Johnsons first victory came early in 1953. Many others followed, in N.S.W. and in Queensland, the most important ones being the South Pacific Championship for sports, cars under 1500 c.c. (Orange, January 1956), the N.S.W. Hillclimb Championship for sports cars (Newcastle, August 1956), and the handicap section of the Bathurst 100-miler, Easter 1956. At Newcastle Jimmy's car became the first MG to break the minute for the tough hillclimb - his time was 59.4 seconds. More>>
Jimmy Murphy  

Jimmy Murphy (AUS Edition)

1894 - 1924
Jimmy Murphy was a hero in American motor racing during the early 1920's - the 'Golden Age' of the sport in the United States. He was twice US champion, he won the most famous race of all, the Indianapolis 500 miles, and he became the first American driver to win a European Grand Prix. Murphy's race-driving career spanned only five seasons before he was fatally injured in a crash, yet this was sufficient enough for him to become a legend. A dance was named after him, the Jimmy Murphy Fox Trot. More>>
Jo Siffert  

Jo Siffert

1936 - 1971
While few would dispute that Jo Siffert was one of the fastest Formula One drivers of his time, it was in the exacting and exhausting field of endurance sports-car racing that he excelled. Siffert was born in Fribourg, Switzerland, on 7 July 1936. He started racing motor cycles in 1957 and by 1959 was the Swiss 350cc champion. Shortly afterwards he switched to four wheels using a Formula Junior Stanguellini. In 1961, he exchanged this machine for a Lotus 22 and soon began to make his mark on the European circuits. At the end of the year he was declared joint European Formula Junior champion with Trevor Taylor and Tony Maggs. More>>
Joakim Bonnier  

Joakim Bonnier (AUS Edition)

1930 - 1972
Bonnier was one of the first Swedes to tackle motor racing seriously in the post-war years and led the way for other Swedish drivers like Ronnie Peterson and Reine Wisell. Bonnier was born in Stockholm in 1930, the son of a professor who ensured that his son had an international education in Paris and Oxford before taking up employment with his uncle's publishing business. More>>
Jochen Rindt  

Jochen Rindt

1942 - 1970
Despite being very successful in Formula 2 (by winning for instance the 1964 London Trophy), Rindt kept on choosing the wrong F1 cars. Rindt made his Formula One debut for Rob Walker Racing Team in the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix. It was to be his only Grand Prix of the year. From 1965 to 1967, Rindt raced for Cooper Car Company, scoring 32 points in 29 races. More>>
Jody Scheckter  

Jody Scheckter (AUS Edition)

b. 1950
To say Jody Scheckter caught the Formula One aficionados by surprise would be a huge understatement. When he burst onto the F1 scene he was virtually unknown, inexperienced and very young. Still, the hugely talented South African managed to rise from anonimity to a Formula One debut in a mere twenty months! More>>
John Cobb  

John Cobb (AUS Edition)

1899 - 1952
John Rhodes Cobb (December 2, 1899 - September 29, 1952) was a British racing motorist. He made money as a director of fur brokers Anning, Chadwick and Kiver and could afford to specialise in large capacity motor racing. He was born and lived in Esher, Surrey, near the Brooklands race track. Cobb's rise to fame was meteoric, and soon it was said: 'For handling really huge and difficult cars, he is already on a par with Parry Thomas, and there is every reason to suppose he will go further, for his time seems only just begun'. More>>
John Surtees  

John Surtees

b. 1934
Italians have always been parochial when it comes to supporting their local race heroes, but one of the more notable exceptions to the rule was 'Big John' Surtees, who had earned their respect by bringing honour to Italy as he won honours for himself, leading the works team of MV Agusta motor-cycles: the famous four-cylinder 'fire engines' from Gallarate. More>>
John Watson  

John Watson

b. 1946
John Watson was Irish, but it seemed ‘the luck of the Irish’ alluded him for much of his early Grand Prix career. Watson was born in Belfast on 4 May 1946. His father was a motor trader, himself a racing driver and winner of Ireland's first saloon car race. John often watched his father race and by the time he left school, to join the family garage business, racing was in his blood. More>>
John Wyer  

John Wyer

1909 - 1989
Word has it that, at the peak of his career, John Wyer wore dark glasses not to protect his eyes, but to protect his mechanics from the 'Deathray' - a title that would soon become his unofficial title. Wyer was no ordinary racing manager, but a specialist who became legendary in long-distance sports-car racing, where the disciplines and the difficulties demanded a more organised and rational approach than in any other kind of racing. More>>
Johnnie Parsons  

Johnnie Parsons

1918 - 1984
Born in 1918, Johnnie Parsons had a love of motorsport that saw him rise to the peak of success winning the Indy 500 in 1950. It was a fantastic victory, however it was somewhat overshadowed by the silversmiths making a rather glaring mistake, inscribing the name "Johnny" instead of "Johnnie" on the Borg-Warner trophy, and thereby giving Parsons the somewhat dubious distinction of being the only Indianapolis 500 winner to have his name misspelled. More>>
Jose Gonzales  

Jose Gonzales

b. 1922
Jose Froilan Gonzales was one of the most popular and talented of the bunch of South American drivers who invaded the European motor-racing scene in the 1950s. He never matched the almost clinical tidiness of his countryman Juan Manuel Fangio, because his technique at the wheel of a racing car was to hurl it at every corner as fast as it would possibly go, sorting out the slides with lightning movements of his enormous arms. Like Fangio, Gonzalez, who was born in 1922, raced the primitive cars used in Argentinean road races, but these powerful old cars with poor roadholding helped him to achieve a great deal of skill in controlling slides on the dirt roads often used in local races. More>>
Juan Manuel Fangio  

Juan Manuel Fangio (AUS Edition)

1911 - 1995
Who do you consider to be the world’s best ever driver? Ayrton Senna would obviously rate a mention, and here in Australia we can be rightly proud of our home grown heroes, such as Jack Brabham, Alan Jones, Peter Brock and Allan Moffat. But there is one man that, above all others, seems to be the one against which all others are judged. That man is Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio, the five-times World Champion who did not make his bow in European Grand-Prix racing until he was 37, and who finally retired at the end of 1958 when he was 47. More>>
Kay Petre  

Kay Petre (AUS Edition)

1903 - 1994
One of the most glamorous pioneering race drivers of all time was Mrs Kay Petre, whose petite appearance concealed a steely determination to win, and which made her one of the outstanding racing drivers on the British scene in the 1930s. Kay Petre started racing with sports cars, and during 1935 was one of an all-girl team at Brooklands, along with Aileen Ellison and Mrs Tolhurst. More>>
Kenelm Lee Guinness  

Kenelm Lee Guinness (AUS Edition)

1887 - 1937
Kenelm Lee Guinness was a driver who seldom made the headlines, but always did a job well. That was only part of the story, however, as this modest, retiring man, who drove unspectacularly, but could always be relied upon to finish well. He had received his baptism of fire - literally - as riding mechanic to his elder brother Algy (Sir Algernon Lee 'Bart' Guinness) in the notorious V8 200 bhp Darracq, whose 22.5-litre engine boasted only the most minimal of exhaust stubs, and which threw great spurts of flame back over the occupants of the car's two tiny bucket seats causing many anxious, and probably heated, moments. More>>
Lance Reventlow  

Lance Reventlow (AUS Edition)

1936- 1972
Lance Reventlow was the son of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton and her second husband Count Curt von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow and also the stepson of actor Cary Grant and Prince Igor Troubetzkoy. He was one of the Americans who developed a new enthusiasm for European-style motoring sport in the 1950s. This led him to go racing in Europe in 1957, and subsequently he decided to build an American competition car, and therefore formed the new company. More>>
Leo Geoghegan  

Leo Geoghegan (AUS Edition)

Unlike his brother Ian, Leo spent much of his racing career in open wheel racing cars and sports racing cars. In addition to being a multi-Australian championship winning driver, Geoghegan has the rare distinction for an Australian of having won an international grand prix, specifically the 1969 Grand Prix of Japan. He was also the principal driver for Chrysler Australia during the period (19701972) when the company supported Valiant Pacer and Valiant Charger Series Production touring car teams. More>>
Lee Petty  

Lee Petty

1914 - 2000
By 1975 only one man had beaten Petty's NASCAR record, and that was his son. As the influence of NASCAR spread, so those first stock-car drivers had to travel further and further afield in the search for prize money. Lee Petty, along with other famous drivers like Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly and so on, would drive overnight from one meeting to the next, trailing their race cars behind their trucks and having only their wives for company. The sport was strongest by far in the Southem states, and this is where the majority of top drivers have come from over the years. More>>
Lee Roy Yarbrough  

Lee Roy Yarbrough

1938 - 1984
Lee Roy Yarbrough decided when he was a small boy in Jacksonville, Florida, that one day he would race cars. At fourteen in 1952 he lied about his age to obtain a licence and left school to race self-built machines on dirt tracks. It was obvious from his successes there that he would graduate to become one of the United States' top motor sportsmen. More>>
Lex Davison  

Lex Davison (AUS Edition)

1923 - 1965
Born on the 12th February, 1923, Alexander Nicholas "Lex" Davison would go on to become a leading race driver, winning the Australian Grand Prix four times between 1954 and 1961 , along with the Australian Drivers' Championship in 1957. He drove HWM-Jaguar, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Cooper-Climax grand prix cars. Davison won Class A of the 1960 Armstrong 500 forerunner of the Bathurst 1000. In 1961 he won the Aintree Grand Prix, finished third in the British Empire Trophy and placed tenth in the Intercontinental Championship - his only point being a sixth in the Guards Trophy, all whilst racing an Aston Martin. More>>
Lord Hesketh  

Lord Hesketh (AUS Edition)

b. 1950
Although amateur racing teams were the rule rather than the exception in the earlier part of the twentieth century, most people thought that these were extinct, as far as competitive Grand Prix racing was concerned, by the 1970s. Any supposedly amateur outfit could not exist for long without massive sponsorship from, in most cases, one of the big tobacco companies; and even with this support, success was hard to come by. This was all thrown to the wind when the Hesketh team arrived on the Formula One scene in 1973 and, amid laughter and ridicule fsom rivals, began to pick up good places in their rented March 731. More>>
Lorenzo Bandini  

Lorenzo Bandini (AUS Edition)

1935- 1967
Enzo Ferrari tended to pair a very fast foreign driver with an Italian driver in his Formula One team, with the result that the Italian driver often drove too fast for his ability. Drivers like Luigi Musso, Eugenio Castellotti and Lodovicco Scarfiotti lived and died in the shadows of team mates like Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, and Chris Amon, while Bandini invariably had to play second fiddle to Phil Hill and John Surtees in the Ferrari team. Despite this emotional and psychological handicap, Lorenzo Bandini captured the imagination of the Italian public as well as the Press. Darkly handsome in the typical Latin manner, he behaved the way Italians felt their motor racing heroes should behave. More>>
Louis Chiron  

Louis Chiron (AUS Edition)

1899 - 1979
Chiron was born in 1899 and, like so many of his generation, gained his first experience of motoring during World War 1. Even at that age he must have been an outstanding driver, for it is recorded that in 1919 he was chauffeur to the great Marechal Foch himself. The young Monegasque spent his early career working in the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, and his love for motor racing was nurtured in this sybaritic atmosphere. He first appeared in competition in 1923 at the wheel of a Brescia Bugatti. He enjoyed little success until 1927, when he bought the first supercharged 2.3-litre type 35B Bugatti to be produced. More>>
Louis Rosier  

Louis Rosier (AUS Edition)

1905 - 1956
Born in 1905,  Louis Rosier, a garagiste from Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne, had driven a blown SCAP 1100 cc sports car in local hill-climbs since 1928, graduating to one of the new Talbots of the Lago regime in 1938, which he campaigned further afield, including Le Mans - though without success. His first major victory came in 1947, in the Albi Grand Prix, with his old 4-litre 'streamlined, pseudo-racing' Talbot, with which he had taken seventh place at Spa a fortnight before and sixth place at Reims a week after that. More>>
Louis Wagner  

Louis Wagner

1882 - 1960
Louis Wagner, born in Paris in 1882, was one of the most famous drivers of the 'heroic age' of motor racing. Wagner joined the racing department of Darracq at Suresnes in 1901, and became a team driver in 1903. Alexandre Darracq believed in entering his racing cars in as many speed events as possible, and throughout the 1903 season, Wagner was fully occupied with races, hill-climbs and sprints. More>>
Luigi Musso  

Luigi Musso (AUS Edition)

1924 - 1958
Luigi Musso was a deeply religious man, who in his youth excelled at shooting, fencing and horse riding, knew he had the honour of Italy at stake, but it was a terrible burden to bear. On 6 July 1958, he crashed fatally in the French Grand Prix at Rheims. He had been following his Ferrari teammate Mike Hawthorn round the difficult corner after the pits at a speed in excess of 130 mph, when he lost control and crashed. Musso was born in Rome on 27 July 1924, the youngest of three brothers. More>>
Luigi Villoresi  

Luigi Villoresi (AUS Edition)

1909 - 1997
Luigi Villoresi was born in Milan on 16 May 1909, and began racing in 1931 at the same time as his elder brother Emilio. In the 1935 Coppa Ciano voiturette event at Montenero his modified Fiat sports car was third, and the following year he was third again in the same event driving a Maserati. He showed his versatility in 1936 as a class winner in the Monte Carlo Rally. More>>
Malcolm Campbell  

Malcolm Campbell (AUS Edition)

1885 - 1948
Campbell had already tried his hand, at Brooklands in 1908, with a Paris-Madrid Renault, but without result. His new car, a 34 hp Darracq nicknamed 'The Flapper', was more competitive, however, and, in 1910, he won his first race with it, lapping at around 75mph. After owning a Peugeot ('which brought me no luck') and a 1906 Darracq, more powerful than 'The Flapper' ('which led me into every kind of trouble'), Campbell acquired a 59.6hp Vanderbilt Cup Darracq, which became the first Bluebird. More>>
Mario Andretti  

Mario Andretti (AUS Edition)

b. 1940
Andretti scored victories in almost every branch of the sport, from saloon racing to Indianapolis and from sports cars to Formula One. He raced anything and everything - 'because I don't know how to do anything in life apart from race cars'. By any standards, Andretti's career was spectacular. His ambitions were in Grand Prix racing and the World Championship. During the long haul towards breaking into the European-dominated 'circus', he was three-times United States Automobile Club Champion and, in 1969, he realised the great American dream, winning at Indianapolis. More>>
Maurice Trintignant  

Maurice Trintignant

1917 - 2005
Maurice Trintignant, born on 30 October 1917, was the son of a farmer and the youngest of four brothers, Raoul, Rene, Louis and Henri. In 1938, after his brother Louis was killed, Maurice purchased the very Bugatti T51 in which his brother had been killed and entered his first race, the round-the-houses Pau Grand Prix. Racing against tough opposition he was fifth. He won his second race, the Grand Prix des Frontieres at Chimay, and repeated this victory in 1939. But for the outbreak of war he would have joined the famous Ecurie Bleue to race Delahayes and Maseratis. More>>
Mike Hailwood  

Mike Hailwood (AUS Edition)

1940 - 1981
Mike Hailwood retired with 76 Grand Prix victories, 14 Isle of Man TT wins and 9 World Championships. He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1979. The FIM named him a Grand Prix "Legend" in 2000. He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2001. But, here at Unique Cars and Parts, we believe Mike Hailwood is best remembered for the bravery displayed when he pulled Clay Reggazoni from his blazing car in South Africa in 1973, a feat for which he earned the George Medal. Mike Hailwood - proof that the good really do die young. More>>
Mike Hawthorn  

Mike Hawthorn (AUS Edition)

1929 - 1958
Mike Hawthorn was not a clinical driver in the Fangio and Moss mould, arguably a little inconsistent, but when he was on song he was almost unbeatable. John Michael Hawthorn was born on 10 April 1929 at Mexborough, Yorkshire (UK), but in 1931 his father Leslie Hawthorn went into partnership in a garage business at Farnham, in Surrey. Hawthorn senior was a keen racing motor cyclist and the major reason for the move was to be near the Brooklands track at Weybridge. More>>
Mike Parkes  

Mike Parkes (AUS Edition)

1931 - 1977
Michael Johnson Parkes was born in Richmond, Surrey, on 24 September 1931. His father, John Joseph Parkes, once a test pilot, moved to the midlands in the mid 1940s and was to become chairman and managing director of Alvis. Educated at Haileybury (where Stirling Moss was a fellow pupil), Mike joined the Rootes Group as an apprentice in 1949. He worked for 18 months as a fitter and a further 18 months inthe administration department before joining the experimental section, where he was closely concerned with the development of the Hillman Imp between 1956 and 1963. More>>
Niki Lauda  

Niki Lauda (AUS Edition)

b. 1949
Niki Lauda started his racing carrer by pawning his life for $69,000, the money enabling him to buy his way into Formula Andreas Nikolaus "Niki" Lauda was born on February 22, 1949 in Vienna, and would establish during his lifetime a reputation as both aviator, entrepreneur and Formula One racing driver, racking up three F1 World Championships. He founded and ran two airlines and was manager of the Jaguar Formula One racing team for two years. More>>
Parnelli Jones  

Parnelli Jones

b. 1933
In the rough and tumble world of American stock car and Indianapolis-style racing, Parnelli Jones was one of the most outstanding performers, winning many races and being involved in many controversies. Born Rufus Parnell Jones, on 12 August 1933, the young Californian soon gravitated towards racing cars; at the age of nineteen he took part in his first race, a stock car event in Los Angeles. More>>
Paul Frere  

Paul Frere (AUS Edition)

1917 - 2008
Life is all about "the dash" - the period between the year of your birth and the final curtain. Paul Frère certainly had a long dash, and achieved so much during his life. Brilliant as a race driver, engineer and journalist, he was one of the most widely respected drivers of all time. Having lived to the age of 91, most would assume Frere passed quietly at home - they would be wrong. Only weeks before his 91st birthday in January 2007, Frère was badly injured in an accident near the Nurburgring, and was hospitalized for 14 days in intensive care. He died on 23 February 2008 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (France). Turn 15 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, formerly the first part of the Stavelot corner, has been renamed in his honour. More>>
Pedro Rodriguez  

Pedro Rodriguez

1940 - 1971
The Mexican brothers Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez were encouraged from an early age by their rich father, and were winning motor races when their contemporaries were still worrying about school examinations. Both became national heroes in Mexico. Both were killed in horrific racing accidents, the hot-headed Ricardo at the age of 20 and Pedro, who had matured into a top-flight Formula One and sports-car driver, when he was 31. More>>
Per Inge Walfridsson  

Per Inge Walfridsson

b. 1950
It was during the 1970's that there was a regular anomaly on the rally leader boards, that being the sight of a big, heavy, unwieldy Volvo 142, thanks to the incredible skills of the elfin, blonde-headed Swede, Per-Inge Walfridsson. Almost inevitably sideways through the forests, undeterred by snow, ice or loose stones, Walfridsson swung the big Volvos around from seat and pedals elevated to suit his 5 ft. frame. More>>
Peter Collins  

Peter Collins (AUS Edition)

1931 - 1958
Peter Collins was born at Kidderminster in 1931, the son of a garage proprietor, so it was inevitable that he should graduate to four wheels very early in life. In fact, at the tender age of 17, he was behind the wheel of a Cooper-Norton 500, the car that, in the pre war years, started many young men on their motor-racing careers. He soon showed the natural talent that all top drivers of the time seemed to possess and he began winning almost immediately. He spent three years in the cut and thrust of Formula 500 racing, a good deal of it on the Continent where he gained valuable experience. More>>
Peter Gethin  

Peter Gethin (AUS Edition)

1940 - 2011
Peter Gethin participated in 31 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix, debuting on 21 June 1970. He won the 1971 Italian Grand Prix in the fastest average speed in Formula One history (until the record was broken by Michael Schumacher in the same race in 2003), but this was his only podium finish. There was only 0.01 seconds between him and second placed Ronnie Peterson, also a record). Indeed, he never led an entire lap of Formula One racing,[citation needed] as he passed from fourth to first in the last lap. He also participated in numerous non-Championship Formula One races. More>>
Peter Revson  

Peter Revson

1939 - 1974
As Teddy Mayer once reflected, 'It's stupid really. The man gained more publicity over his romance with Marjie Wallace, the reigning Miss World, than he ever did for all his racing achievements.' That perhaps was a sad comment on just how big a handicap Peter Revson's name and family background really did represent. More>>
Phil Hill  

Phil Hill

1927 - 2008
Phill Hill was one of Maranello's great exponents of the late 1950s and early 1960s and was America's first World Champion driver. He was primarily an enthusiast of motor cars and motor racing, this fundamental enthusiasm being responsible for leading him into the sport as a competitor. Throughout his life, and even after retiring from competitive motor racing, Phil Hill's enthusiasm remained untarnished. In 1974 he visited the French Grand Prix so that he could take part in the "restrospective parade" of former participants in historic motor racing as well as meeting old friends and colleagues of his era. More>>
Phillipe Etancelin  

Philipe Etancelin (AUS Edition)

1896 - 1981
Philippe Etancelin, or 'Phi Phi' as he was nicknamed, was one of the few drivers who raced in the top flight of motor racing both before and after World War 2 and, although he was a successful driver, his main claim to fame among racing enthusiasts was his curious habit of wearing a cloth cap back to front when racing. This was quite common in the early days of racing but he persevered with the cap even when crash helmets were compulsory - he simply wore it over the crash helmet! Born in 1896 in Rouen, Etancelin began his motor-racing career in 1926 with a Bugatti, taking part in local hill climbs and other small events. More>>
Phil Hill  

Piero Taruffi

1906 - 1988
An engineer, a racing driver, a motor-cycle racer, a record-breaker and a team manager, Piero Taruffi enjoyed a long and involved career participating in motor-sport, stopping only when he had satisfied his greatest ambition: to win the Mille Miglia. This was in 1957, when he was fifty, 27 years after his first attempt at this classic Italian road race. He was known as the Silver Fox because of his grey hair. More>>
Piers Courage  

Piers Courage (AUS Edition)

1942 - 1970
Piers Courage was born on 27 May 1942, the first son of the Chairman of Courage breweries and therefore destined to inherit the vast fortune of the brewery family. However, like so many sons of wealthy fathers, he turned his back on the family business and began to make his own way in the precarious world of motor racing, with very little assistance from the family. His upbringing was conventional for someone from his background; after preparatory schooling at Seaford, he went to Eton. This is an establishment he hated, partly because he was not a great scholar and partly because he disliked most games intensely, especially football and cricket. More>>
Pietro Bordino  

Pietro Bordino (AUS Edition)

1890 - 1928
Pietro Bordino was arguably the finest road-racing driver of his generation, was born in Italy in 1890. In 1904, he was acting as riding mechanic in Fiat racers, accompanying Felice Nazzaro, Vincente Lancia and Ralph DePalma. By 1908 he had become a competition driver himself, making his debut at the Chateau- Thierry hill-climb. In 1911 he went to England with the giant four-cylinder, 28-litre, 300 bhp Fiat racer, which made a number of high-speed runs at Brooklands. His career did not start in earnest, however, until 1921, when his twin-ohc Fiat took the lead at the start of the 1921 Brescia Grand Prix and kept it until the fourteenth lap. More>>
Prince Bira  

Prince Bira (AUS Edition)

1914 - 1985
Birabongse, the second oldest (he was born in 1914), had been crazy about cars ever since, as a little boy, he had sat on the lap of a chauffeur and steered one of the royal cars. He didn't get the chance to drive on the roads, however, until he was sixteen at Eton; his elder cousin and guardian, Chula, allowed Bira, as he was known, to drive his 1928, 12 hp, sleeve-valve Voisin - 'a wonderful little machine'. More>>
Ralph de Palma  

Ralph de Palma (AUS Edition)

1882 - 1956
Considered by many automotive historians as the greatest racing driver the United States has ever known, Ralph de Palma was one of the most successful. Over a 27-year period, he participated in approximately 2800 speed events and won over 2500 of them. Above all else, he was a pleasant, friendly man, always willing to offer advice and assistance, even to rival teams. A true sportsman, he accepted defeat with grace. More>>
Rauno Aaltonen  

Rauno Aaltonen (AUS Edition)

b. 1938
Outside the close knit world of international rallying the name of Rauno Aaltonen may mean little, but Aaltonen, born 7 January 1938, at Turku, Finland, was once regarded as an institution in fast driving. One of the first of the famous 'Flying Finns', he started rallying as far back as 1956, and even after retirement he was rated as one of the leading exponents of his particuiar art. More>>
Ray Harroun  

Ray Harroun

1879 - 1968
Ray Harroun won the very first Indianapolis 500 miles race in 1911, and he also gets the gong for being the first person ever to fit a rear-view mirror to a car. Even Harroun, who was born in 1879, was quick to deny the statement: 'Hell, no. We had them on horsedrawn carriages,' he would growl 50 years later. But what is true is the fact that Harroun was the first man to use a rear-view mirror as a substitute for the riding mechanic who was employed on early racing cars as much to keep a look-out for following cars. More>>
Raymond Mays  

Raymond Mays (AUS Edition)

1899 - 1980
Raymond Mays was one of the most prominent British racing drivers of the between-war years. However, not only did he race cars successfully, he also developed the ERA during the 1930s and, after World War 2, was responsible for instigating the BRM project. Born in 1899 at Bourne, Lincolnshire, Raymond Mays 'was the son of a pioneer motorist who used to enter his Napiers and Vauxhalls in early speed events. The young Mays became infatuated with the motor car, and schooling at Oundle and Cambridge was impatiently suffered while schemes were laid to get into motor racing. More>>
Raymond Sommer  

Raymond Sommer (USA Edition)

1906 - 1950
Raymond Sommer was the son of Roger Sommer, a wealthy manufacturer of felt, who from 1909 to 1912 had been one of France's best-known pioneer aviators and manufacturers of aircraft, but had sold his aviation business to MM Bathiat and Sanchez-Besa in 1913 and returned from aviation to the less exciting but more remunerative business of making felt slippers. Thus young Raymond, born in 1906, was brought up in an atmosphere of 'mechanical sport and progress'; he first started motor racing with a 4.6-litre Chrysler straight-eight, which had a carburettor for each cylinder, and, though he retired at Le Mans in 1931, he and his co-driver Delemer won the sports car class in the Belgian 24 hours'race at Spa. More>>
Reg Parnell  

Reg Parnell (AUS Edition)

1911 - 1964
Although he was not all that well known here in Australia, Reg Parnell was one of the best GP drivers in the post war GP era. He began as a wild, seemingly reckless driver in the mid 1930s, but after World War 2 his style had matured. Parnell raced successfully into the mid 1950s and then became a team manager. His vast experience and knack of spotting up-and-coming drivers paid dividends and 'Uncle Reg', as he was affectionately known, was sorely missed when he died in January 1964. More>>
Rex Mays  

Rex Mays

1939 - 1998
Rex Mays was one of the best known American drivers never to have won the Indianapolis 500 mile race, despite twelve attempts to do so. It could even be argued that he became better known to European racing enthusiasts because he also took part in road races on America's East Coast, instead of sticking almost exclusively to the dirt tracks and paved ovals of the West as did most of his colleagues. More>>
Ricardo Rodriguez  

Ricardo Rodriguez

1942 - 1962
Both the Rodriguez brothers, Pedro and Ricardo, entered the Mexican Grand Prix, the first Formula One race in that country. Ricardo, in the absence of Ferrari, agreed to drive Rob Walker's Lotus 24-Climax. He died during the first day of practice, when he inexplicably failed to brake for the fearsome Peraltada corner, and entered the banked turn far too fast, hitting the barriers at the exit. He was 20 years old and his death provoked national mourning in Mexico. More>>
Richie Ginther  

Richie Ginther

1930 - 1989
For many years during the late 1950s and early 1960s, America's Richie Ginther was one of the world's leading Grand Prix drivers, offering formidable opposition to the European aces. Ginther, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney showed the world that the USA could produce racing drivers of the highest calibre. Born in Los Angeles in 1930, Paul Richard Ginther was given a grounding in motor engineering and began work as a motor mechanic. He moved to Santa Monica where his interest in motor racing led him into a friendship with Phil Hill who, in 1950, was just beginning his international career. More>>
Rob Walker  

Rob Walker

1917 - 2002
Rob Walker was not a good racing driver. Instead he became an entrant whose superbly-prepared machines were driven by such well-known drivers as Tony Rolt, Reg Parnell, Stirling Moss, Tony Brooks, Maurice Trintignant, Jack Brabham, Jo Bonnier, Jo Siffert and Graham Hill. When the cost of running his own Grand Prix car became too much at the end of 1970, he helped sponsor the works Surtees team and became closely involved with the career of Mike Hailwood. More>>
Rodger Ward  

Rodger Ward

1921 - 2004
In 1946 Ward had his first attempt at motor racing. For some time he had been allowed to act as mechanic during leave from the Air Force, looking after a Willys-engined midget. He yearned to race one and, at last, one day the driver did not arrive for a meeting. Ward jumped into the vacant cockpit. But although the seeds of a racing career were sown that night at Wichita Falls the actual result was dismal: Ward spun and was hit by another competitor. More>>
Roger Clark  

Roger Clark

1939 - 1998
Roger Clark's competitive spirit was always fiercely displayed - he was an outstanding natural competitor at his exciting, and frequently sideways, best. As the son of a garage proprietor, Roger's upbringing on the outskirts of Leicester (UK) provided a fitting background for an enthusiast. More>>
Roger Penske  

Roger Penske

b. 1937
Of German descent (his grandfather came from Leipzig), Roger Penske was born in Philadelphia on 20 February 1937. His wealthy father was vice-president of a warehousing firm and taught Roger early to earn money. When Roger was nine, he and his father became regular attendees at the Akron Sportsman's Park, watching midget-car racing. He said, 'We went for years. It was built into my blood, and I knew I'd race some day.' More>>
Ronnie Peterson  

Ronnie Peterson (AUS Edition)

1944 - 1978
Throughout his career, Peterson quickly adapted to every sort of car he drove, flinging each more powerful model around just as he threw the karts around in Sweden to win six national titles. In other forms of racing he drove Ferrari sports cars, drove for BMW in Group 5 between 1974 and 1978 and campaigned a Camaro in the International Race of Champions series. He expressed a dislike for Indy racing as it would not be much fun driving to strict orders from the pit around a boring oval circuit. It is this enthusiasm and love for driving that made Ronnie so competitive: you can only do something well if you enjoy doing it, and during his all too short career no one enjoyed race driving more than Ronnie Peterson. More>>
Roy Salvadori  

Roy Salvadori

b. 1922
Roy Salvadori was an exceptionally accomplished racing driver whose career spanned twenty seasons. An all-rounder, he won countless races in Formula One, Formula Two, sports, GT and touring cars, and competed professionally for leading works and private teams. More>>
Rudolf Caracciola  

Rudolf Caracciola (AUS Edition)

1901 - 1959
Caracciola started his competition career in a very modest way. Born in 1901, he made his track debut in 1922, driving a Fafnir light car, with which he won a class victory at the Berlin Avus track. The next year, he began racing in earnest, with a borrowed Ego, matched against makes of such stunning obscurity as the Omikron, the Coco and the Grade. Parts to bring the Ego up to racing trim had been provided by the car's makers on the firm understanding that if Caracciola won the parts were free, but if he lost he'd have to pay for them. As he had just blown his remaining cash on a square meal before the race, the threat was of little moment. More>>
Sammy Davis  

Sidney Charles Houghton "Sammy" Davis (AUS Edition)

1887 - 1981
The media is filled with ex racing drivers that made the successful switch to journalism after their morotsport retirement. But the story of Sidney Charles Houghton "Sammy" Davis is quite different, as this is the story of a man who, as a motoring journalist, decided in his 30's to become a competition driver. The fact that he made it to international standard makes the story all the more remarkable. More>>
Stirling Moss  

Stirling Moss (AUS Edition)

b. 1929
Born Stirling Crauford Moss on 17 September 1929, he was the son of Alfred and Aileen Moss who had both taken part in motoring competitions. Alfred Moss had driven a Fronty-Ford into 14th place at Indianapolis in 1924, while Aileen Moss had driven in many rallies and trials, winning several of them, too. Although the Moss family was not in the motor trade - his fither was a dentist and a farmer - sporting machinery was much in evidence and the talk was all about motor racing, so Stirling Moss grew up indoctrinated with racing lore. Education was undertaken unwillingly, largely at Haileybury public school and the youthful Moss was destined, it seemed, for the catering trade. More>>
Tazio Nuvolari  

Tazio Nuvolari (AUS Edition)

1892 - 1953
Tazio Nuvolari may have been a man of small stature, but he possessed uncanny car control, who appeared to take enormous risks yet none of his accidents kept him from the cockpit of a car for long. Not only did Tazio have a thirst for speed, but he appeared to have a flirtation with death. As a boy, he attempted to jump off a roof with a home-made parachute, somehow without breaking any bones, and later he acquired a dismantled Bleriot aeroplane. Attempting to take off, he found his machine careering into a haystack. It burst into flames, but Nuvolari had only an injured shoulder. More>>
Ted Horn  

Ted Horn (AUS Edition)

1893 - 1948
In his day, Eylard Theodore 'Ted' Horn was reckoned to be one of the America's greatest-ever racing drivers. But as you would expect, it was hard to find anyone outside of the USA to agree with the verdict or, indeed, who had actually heard of someone called Ted Horn. At the age of 21, Ted began racing on the Californian dirt tracks, and within a couple of years was kicking up the cinders all over the United States. He visited Indianapolis as a spectator in 1934, returned as a competitor in 1935 at the wheel of a works-sponsored Ford V8 - and dropped out of that race. More>>
Tim Birkin  

Tim Birkin

1896 - 1993
It may seem a long time ago for the car enthusiast of the 21st Century, but if you were to wind the clock back almost 100 years you would find a generation of motor-racing enthusiasts who found Sir Henry R. S. (Tim) Birkin the epitome of the glamour of motor racing, a fearless driver at the wheel of a great green Bentley, blue-and-white spotted silk scarf a-flutter at his throat. More>>
Timo Makinen  

Timo Makinen (AUS Edition)

b. 1938
Timo Makinen was one of the finest rally drivers to emerge from Scandinavia during the 1960s. His compatriots, Rauno Aaltonen, Simo Lampinen, Hannu Mikkola and Markku Alen, learned from Makinen. Born in Helsinki on 18 March 1938 Makinen gained an early grounding in motor vehicles because his father owned a large transport company. He was soon racing around the countryside, attracting the notice of the police, but luckily he began chaneling his energy into rallying and ice racing in 1960. The most popular cars in Finland were, naturally enough, Saabs and Volvos, so he used them to good effect, although on one notable occasion he drove a D-type Jaguar in an ice race. More>>
Tom Trana  

Tom Trana (AUS Edition)

b. 1937
Tom Trana was born in Kristinehamm, Sweden, on 29 November 1937. Both his parents were keen motor-sport enthusiasts, his father competing on motorcycles and his mother in cars. In 1956, as soon as he was old enough to hold a licence, Trana purchased an old Volvo which he rebuilt for racing and rallying. Trana won his class in many 1958 Swedish rallies and the following year he took second place in the Swedish Racing Championship to Volvo star Gunnar Andersson. In 1960 he conquered Andersson in the series and was given a car from Volvo with which he repeated his success in 1961 and 1962. More>>
Tommy Milton  

Tommy Milton (AUS Edition)

1893 - 1962
Tommy Milton‘s early ambition to become a racing driver, because he simply memorised the standardised eyesight test cards of the day! He had earlier shown promise as an automobile engineer and worked as a builder and tuner of racing cars. At the age of I7, he joined a barnstorming exhibition team driving a Mercer, but the ambitious Milton soon tired of the fixed results of the races in which he took part and was eventually sacked for disobeying team orders. He then joined the Duesenberg team which was enjoying considerable success at that time in the hands of drivers like Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Murphy and Wilbur D'Alene. More>>
Tony Alcock  

Tony Alcock (AUS Edition)

1941 - 1975
Tony Alcock was born in Salisbury, South Australia, and his big break in motorsport happened at the age of 34 when he started work for Graham Hill's Embassy Racing Formula One team after completing a season running the Bob & Marj Brown Thermax Birranas, with driver Bob Muir, in Formula Atlantic. A dedicated designer/constructor, Tony first went to England in the mid sixties and worked for both the McLaren and Brabham Formula One teams. He returned to Australia some years later, worked at Elfin and there designed and built the brutish Elfin ME 5 Chev sports car for Xiel Allen, and joined Allen's privateer racing team upon completion of the car. More>>
Tony Brooks  

Tony Brooks (AUS Edition)

b. 1932
When Juan Manuel Fangio was planning his retirement from motor racing, he was asked who would succeed him as World Champion. He instantly named Tony Brooks - a prophesy that never came true because Brooks was up against such other talented British drivers as Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn and Australia's own Jack Brabham. More>>
Vic Elford  

Vic Elford

b. 1935
Elford's reputation grew immensely when he tied up the 1967 Grand Touring Rally Championship in his factory Porsche 911S, in the process making the young Elford a hot favorite for any "tarmac" rally he entered. His first time out in the Targa Florio, he took third place overall - typical of the application to detail racing enthusiasts around the world were getting used to. More>>
Victor Etienne Demogeot  

Victor Etienne Demogeot (AUS Edition)

1881 - 1970
Victor Etienne Demogeot was born on August 14, 1881, at Bainville-sur-Madon. His father was shop superintendent in a foundry at nearby Neuves Maisons and it was in the machine shop of the foundry that Demogeot felt that he spent the most important part of his adolescence. Devoted to machinery, he began his formal technical schooling at age 12. Growing up with the bicycle, he became his region's cycle-racing champion at 18. Then came a stretch in the Engineering Corps of the French Army, following which he found employment as a draftsman for De Dietrich in Luneville. More>>
Vincenzo Lancia  

Vincenzo Lancia

1881 - 1937
Vincenzo Lancia was a better driver than the records show. He was a great driver but not a lucky one. He tried hard, perhaps too hard. He drove in nearly all the big races of his decade and never scored a lucky win. Lancia still drove Fiats after 1906, but was by then in business for himself. On November 29, 1906, he formed a partnership with Fiat test driver Claudio Fogolin. Each put up 50,000 lire to start making cars on their own account. Before the end of the year they rented a small factory in Turin, previously used by Itala. Lancia devoted himself to design and engineering work and Fogolin took care of the business side. More>>
Whitney Willard Straight  

Whitney Willard Straight

1912 - 1979
Born in 1912, Whitney Willard Straight was one of the very few American drivers to make his mark on the European competition scene, a fact which is all the more remarkable for the fact that his racing career encompassed just four years before he retired in 1935 to begin a brilliant career in civil aviation. More>>
Wolfgang von Trips  

Wolfgang von Trips

1928 - 1961
Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips was an aristocrat, a tall blond German Count who was a lover of fast cars and of life itself. Familiarly known as 'Taffy', von Trips survived a succession of high-speed accidents until he crashed to his death at Monza in 1961. After having dabbled in racing for a number of years, Von Trips entered an old Porsche in some rallies. His success persuaded him to contact Porsche's racing director, Huschke von Hanstein, to ask for free parts to modify his machine. More>>
Woolf Barnato  

Woolf Barnato (AUS Edition)

1895 - 1948
OF ALL THE larger than life team of racing drivers known as the Bentley Boys, the most outrageously extrovert was Woolf Barnato, whose vast personal fortune helped the Bentley Company survive its mid-1920s financial crises; yet the Barnato millions dated back only one generation to the 'Babe's' father Barney, son of an East End of London shopkeeper called Isaac Isaacs. More>>
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