The Founders – Part 8 – Giuseppe Farina

The last of this series of notes on the Founders of the Club International des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1 (The Grand Prix Drivers Club) reflects on the man who became the first ever Formula 1 World Champion, Giuseppe Farina. He was a very quiet and slightly introspective man and one wonders what he…

The Founders – Part 7 – Franco Comotti

Of all the founders of the Grand Prix Drivers Club Gianfranco, Alessandro, Maria, “Franco” Comotti probably led the most colourful career, not only in racing but during World War II. Born in Brescia in May 1906 he started racing at the age of 22 and ran a Scuderia Materassi Talbot in the 1928 European Grand…

Paul Frere is congratulated by Stirling Moss in winning the South African Grand Prix in 1960 in a Cooper. It was a Formula Libre event

The Founders – Part 6 – Paul Frere

Paul Frere was one of the youngest founder members of the Grand Prix Drivers Club and had only retired from racing two years before. He was also a very talented man with deep technical knowledge and an ability to write. Even whilst he was racing he was writing interesting technical articles for magazines and was…

Yves-Giraud-Cabantous at the wheel of his Talbot-Lago, Charterhall 1952

The Founders – Part 5 – Yves-Giraud Cabantous

Of all the founder members of the Grand Prix Drivers Club the one who is probably least known to racing enthusiasts is Yves-Giraud Cabantous and yet his career in racing had some memorable highlights. For example he was the first French driver to score points in the newly created World Championship when he finished 4th…

Fangio at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo 158 Alfetta

The Founders – Part 4 – Juan Manuel Fangio

When the Grand Prix Drivers Club was formed fifty four years ago the great Juan Manuel Fangio had been retired for just four years. He competed in his last grand prix at Reims in the 1958 French Grand Prix driving a Maserati 250F and despite losing his clutch still finished fourth. It was exactly ten…

Baron Emmanuel de Graffenried.

The Founders – Part 2 – Tuolo de Graffenreid

It could be said that the true driving force behind the creation of the Club International des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1 (The Prix Drivers Club) was Swiss grand prix driver Emmanuel de Graffenried whose racing career spanned thirty years as a successful private entrant. Baron Emmanuel Leo Ludwig “Toulo” de Graffenried, though born…

Louis Chiron at the wheel of his Bugatti for the 1926 Grand Prix of Provence held at the Miramas circuit

Founders – Part 1 – Louis Chiron

There is a famous photograph, taken on the stairway of the hotel in Villars, Switzerland when the Club International des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1 (now the Grand Prix Drivers Club) was formed.  The nine racing drivers pictured are all dressed in suits with ties and handkerchiefs in their top pockets. Gentlemen drivers representing…