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How many of the greats are still with us?


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#1 R.W. Mackenzie

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 22:58

I was just watching a video on YouTube of Stirling driving a 1959 Cooper around Donnington:

http://www.youtube.c...ature=endscreen

It was fascinating as he described the car and techniques required to drive it competitively.

But as I watched, I began to wonder how many of the great drivers of the past are still with us. I'm an old fart so forgive me if my list starts to taper off in the mid-seventies but this is what I have put together so far:

Stirling Moss
Jack Brabham
Dan Gurney
A.J. Foyt
Mario Andretti
Richard Petty
Jim Hall
Emerson Fittipaldi
Jackie Stewart
Jacky Ickx
John Surtees
Niki Lauda
Brian Redman
Derek Bell
Vic Elford
Jean Pierre Beltoise
Bobby Unser
Al Unser
Johnny Rutherford
Cale Yarborough
David Pearson
Jackie Oliver
George Folmer
Parnelli Jones

I could probably go on a bit further but I'm starting to run out of names. As I said, I'm a child of the sixties and seventies so I haven't listed too many drivers from the later and current era. I leave that to others to name. And as time passed it became somewhat less difficult to survive so the list becomes a bit less exclusive.

I also haven't mentioned any drag racers, land speed record drivers and rallyists. Again, I don't intend to demean them. It's just not my area of interest.

And I'm sure I'll slap myself on the forehead and ask, "How could I have forgotten him?"

Just a bit of fun. Who would you include?

Bob Mackenzie



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#2 wagons46

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 23:48

Why not have a cut off year, say 1978, 35 years ago. That would make the list more meaningful, which I'm sure you are wanting to achieve.



#3 R.W. Mackenzie

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:07

Sounds good to me.

#4 Emery0323

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:05

Here are some that I would add:

Henri Pescarolo
Joe Leonard
Kurt Ahrens
Udo Schütz
Bobby Allison
Donnie Allison
Buddy Baker
Gijs Van Lennap
Helmut Marko

Helmut Marko just got some TV coverage this past weekend, due of the Malaysian GP drama.


#5 mikeC

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:20

Tony Brooks

#6 roger.daltrey

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:44

Chris Amon - thats a big miss of the list

#7 wenoopy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:51


Froilan Gonzalez is still among the living, is he not. Also lesser lights of the 1950's who ran in World Championship races :

Tony Gaze
Andre Guelfi
'Nano' da Silva Ramos

#8 wenoopy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:37

Froilan Gonzalez is still among the living, is he not. Also lesser lights of the 1950's who ran in World Championship races :

Tony Gaze
Andre Guelfi
'Nano' da Silva Ramos


A look at the 'Pilotes Anciens' thread further down this page gives you Robert Manzon, who was 4th in the 1950 French GP and 3rd there in 1954. Also Maria-Teresa de Filippis. David Piper also had one World Champ GP start in 1959. Not necessarily 'Greats' but some of them quite competent.

Stu


#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:47

I suggest checking out Richard Jenkins's Where Are They Now pages on the ORC site for definitive info on who is and isn't still with us:

http://www.oldracing...m/drivers/watn/

#10 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 13:43

I think a few are not in the best of health. Even Sir Stirling was using a mobility scooter at Race Retro.

Edited by Derwent Motorsport, 26 March 2013 - 15:52.


#11 f1steveuk

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 14:52

Well I am a child of the seventies, and there are a few names that I have trouble putting in the same sentence as "great". Like all lists, what is the criteria?

E.g. Great, Marko??


#12 Les

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 15:07

Well I am a child of the seventies, and there are a few names that I have trouble putting in the same sentence as "great". Like all lists, what is the criteria?

E.g. Great, Marko??


Depending on your opinion it could be 'he's a great' or 'he grates'.

Anyway Carlos Reutemann should be added to the list.

#13 Rob29

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 17:55

Depending on your opinion it could be 'he's a great' or 'he grates'.

Anyway Carlos Reutemann should be added to the list.

Agreed there-my qualification would be to have won a F1WC race.only 3 Argentines on my list-Fangio,Gonzalez @ Reutemann.More Brits than any other nationality :wave:

#14 D-Type

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 18:13

I don't think we should be F1-centric. So I'd add winners of Indianapolis, Le Mans, a NASCAR * cup (where * is Winston, Sprint or whatever), an Indycar (USAC, CART or IRL) championship. And given the forum membership, an Ausralian, New Zealand, Argentine or other national championship.

#15 Emery0323

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 18:19

E.g. Great, Marko??


He was a LeMans winner and scored fastest lap at the Targa Florio, then his career was cut short by his eye injury.


In the same vein, we can probably add:

Richard Attwood
Hans Herrmann

Edited by Emery0323, 26 March 2013 - 22:16.


#16 RS250

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 19:35

Sorry to be pedantic, Jo Siffert is no longer with us....

#17 f1steveuk

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 19:54

Marko. He was a LeMans winner and scored fastest lap at the Targa Florio, then his career was cut short by his eye injury


Johnny Herbert. Won Le Mans, won Grand Prix, good driver. Great? Probably not. Marko hardly set the world alight, that's why I asked what the criteria is, because the title "great" isn't that easily won!

#18 Emery0323

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 22:17

Sorry to be pedantic, Jo Siffert is no longer with us....


Yes, of course - redacted.

#19 Gabrci

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 22:28

Not really greats but unless I missed something we don't know who the oldest living Grand Prix or Formula One driver is. Are we sure that Heinz Brendel really passed away in the 1980's and do we have any idea whether Robert La Caze is still with us?

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#20 Zeroninety

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 23:46

I don't think we should be F1-centric. So I'd add winners of Indianapolis, Le Mans, a NASCAR * cup (where * is Winston, Sprint or whatever), an Indycar (USAC, CART or IRL) championship. And given the forum membership, an Ausralian, New Zealand, Argentine or other national championship.


On the Indycar side, two-time Indy winner Gordon Johncock's still with us, and Tom Sneva had already won a USAC national title by 1978 (and, Rick Mears won his first Indycar races in '78, as did Danny Ongais--of course, Ongais was a drag racing champ in the 60's, which opens up a whole other list of living greats, there).

#21 R.W. Mackenzie

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 00:42

Hi everyone and thanks for your interest and participation. There has been some discussion as to what qualifies one to being one "of the greats". I mentioned my prejudice in that I am an old fart and have trouble getting too excited about modern racing. Up until the end of the seventies you had drivers who were true characters and not manufactured test-tube babies started out in go-karts while still in diapers. (Boy, I'm really going to offend a few people here!)

The actual cut-off isn't that important. I do consider many of the more modern drivers to be greats too. I'm just thinking of the period before things got really commercialized and technified. You know, "the good old days".

By great I don't mean they had to be multiple champions only that they reached the pinnacle of their chosen area of the sport (F1, USAC, NASCAR, FIA endurance, Can-Am, etc) based on their talent and not their Daddy's bank account. They may not have even won a race but they deserved to be there and they were potential race winners.

Almost as soon as I posted my list I thought of Chris Amon. Definitely a great.

Bob Mackenzie

#22 W154

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:19

Can't believe Parnelli Jones gets a mention when a balls out, ex World Drivers Champ of same surname is missing on the list. :eek:

#23 fer312t

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:49

[Amon] No offence, may I ask why "definitely"?


Considered by his peers (Stewart etc) to one of the absolute elite of his era. Under slightly different circumstances he could (and should) have been a multiple GP winner...

#24 fer312t

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:02

As far as Nascar guys, do add Ned Jarrett

Edited by fer312t, 27 March 2013 - 10:02.


#25 fer312t

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:49

I see.

Another thread to reiterate the drivers we were fans of. Not for me, thanks.

yes ,lest you take time away from those other, important,non-subjective forum lists. Anyway...don't think this thread was really about parsing the good from the great.

#26 f1steveuk

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:58

That's why I used the word "criteria". Whenever Autosport, or Motorsport publish a list of the "Ten Best Ever", my heart sinks! No one's list will match anybodies else's, well only on the infinite amount of monky's theory, but in general, we all have different criteria. I'd mention Zanardi, but this is based on achievements made before and after his accident, but his performances after, in a car, were still pretty staggering (as were some of Nannini's). So great, but for a different reason to say Stewart, who could just read a car and extract the best from it. Just for balance, when I mention Zanardi, I don't consider the over take at the "Corkscrew" as a great move, he cheated, he was off the track, but he certainly had the gonads to try it there!

Alesi, great driver, full of spirit, one win, great? I think the trouble with "great" is, it's hard to realise it at the time!



#27 fer312t

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:43

Even having quite a bit of trouble to follow your prose - trying as hard as I might - I still can't fathom who Ned Jarrett is and what he's here

You need a history lesson. The OP has included Nascar drivers. Jarrett being a multiple champion

#28 RCH

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 12:17

Going to annoy everyone here but isn't this list a bit US centric? In my view, NASCAR drivers hardly qualify but if they do then we've got to be adding the likes of Jack Sears, John Whitmore, Andy Rouse, John Cleland...

#29 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 22:22

Not really greats but unless I missed something we don't know who the oldest living Grand Prix or Formula One driver is. Are we sure that  Robert La Caze is still with us?

 

You know, I've been irked by this in the last few days as Tony Crook's death removes one of the oldest drivers on the survivors list. Is La Caze (who never raced in a F1 car in a Grand Prix) really the oldest ex-GP driver, or is it Manzon. Well... after searching, La Caze is alive, but apparently very ill now and what this report reveals, which I never knew, is that he is the grandson of the great Ferdinand de Lesseps. http://www.h24info.m...2-siecles/19679

 

FYI - the oldest surviving drivers who appeared in a World Championship GP are:

1) La Caze, 97 in late Feb

2) Manzon, 97 in April

3) Andre Guelfi, 95 this summer

4) Eric Thompson, 95, in November

5) Ken McAlpine, 94 this year

6) Al Pease, 93 this year (Really?!)

7) Leslie Marr, 92 this year

 

then there's a few years gap and I think it's da Silva Ramos (Dec '25), Brabham (Apr '26), Settember (Jul '26) and then de Filippis.



#30 Tuboscocca

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 23:08

You know, I've been irked by this in the last few days as Tony Crook's death removes one of the oldest drivers on the survivors list. Is La Caze (who never raced in a F1 car in a Grand Prix) really the oldest ex-GP driver, or is it Manzon. Well... after searching, La Caze is alive, but apparently very ill now and what this report reveals, which I never knew, is that he is the grandson of the great Ferdinand de Lesseps. http://www.h24info.m...2-siecles/19679

 

FYI - the oldest surviving drivers who appeared in a World Championship GP are:

1) La Caze, 97 in late Feb

2) Manzon, 97 in April

3) Andre Guelfi, 95 this summer

4) Eric Thompson, 95, in November

5) Ken McAlpine, 94 this year

6) Al Pease, 93 this year (Really?!)

7) Leslie Marr, 92 this year

 

then there's a few years gap and I think it's da Silva Ramos (Dec '25), Brabham (Apr '26), Settember (Jul '26) and then de Filippis.

..and then  Hans Hermann 86 years on 23rd Feb...seems to be the 'youngest'..

 

Michael



#31 Emery0323

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:03

..and then  Hans Hermann 86 years on 23rd Feb...seems to be the 'youngest'..

 

Michael

Hans Herrmann retired from racing after the 1970 LeMans win at the rather advanced age of 42 - Which is now just over half a lifetime ago (for him).



#32 David Beard

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:15

Going to annoy everyone here but isn't this list a bit US centric? In my view, NASCAR drivers hardly qualify but if they do then we've got to be adding the likes of Jack Sears, John Whitmore, Andy Rouse, John Clelan

 

Good point! Let's add Whizzo?


Edited by David Beard, 11 February 2014 - 09:16.


#33 Alan Cox

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:34

Froilan Gonzalez is still among the living, is he not. Also lesser lights of the 1950's who ran in World Championship races :

Tony Gaze
Andre Guelfi
'Nano' da Silva Ramos

Sadly, Gonzalez and Gaze are no longer with us, both died in 2013



#34 Bob Riebe

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 20:27

I would add John Greenwood as he pretty much put the Corvette back on the racing map, along with others who through SCCA and IMSA GT racing kept road racing on the map in the seventies in the U.S.



#35 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 12:03

La Caze is alive, but apparently very ill now and what this report reveals, which I never knew, is that he is the grandson of the great Ferdinand de Lesseps. 

 

Really ? I never knew that either, thanks :) Any idea what's his relation to Ferdinand de Lesseps the 1980s/90s driver ? Uncle ?



#36 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 21:39

Really ? I never knew that either, thanks :) Any idea what's his relation to Ferdinand de Lesseps the 1980s/90s driver ? Uncle ?

 

Sorry Frank, I should've replied earlier. I'm not hugely familiar with the complete de Lesseps family tree, but La Caze is the son of Giselle de Lesseps, who was the youngest child of FdL by his 2nd wife. In 1906, Giselle married Louis Jean Jacques La Caze.

 

So, it depends who the 80's FdL descends from I guess.



#37 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 22:08

No worries Richard ;) Thanks for the additionnal information. So the Lesseps and Lacaze families were closely linked then : it seems the 1980s driver Lesseps is the son of Victor de Lesseps, born 1910 July 1 from Edmond Jules de Lesseps and Amélie de Lesseps née Lacaze. Not sure how Victor and Giselle (Gisèle ?) are related though :stoned:



#38 David Beard

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 20:51

I would add John Greenwood as he pretty much put the Corvette back on the racing map, along with others who through SCCA and IMSA GT racing kept road racing on the map in the seventies in the U.S.

Corvette on a racing map? What map is that?



#39 Bob Riebe

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 04:28

Corvette on a racing map? What map is that?

Either you are not from the U.S. or you are too young to remember.

 

Other than that the term is an idiom.