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Tony Hegbourne's biography


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#1 Muzza

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 20:26

Dear Fellows,


My apologies for my silence during the last weeks, which was due to a complete failure in my personal computer.

The work at Motorsport Memorial continues as hectic as usual and we have just prepared another mini-biography, this time on the British driver Tony Hegbourne. Almost completely forgotten today, Hegbourne was considered in the early 1960s one of the most promising British drivers, making his name as a consistent and versatile racer and a nice fellow. He passed away six weeks after suffering a horrific accident at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo TZ-1 during the 1964 500 km de Spa. Since then his name has "slipped under the Carpet of History" - and now we are trying to remember his career and his life.

This biography was collectively prepared by a number of people in the Motorsport Memorial team and this forum, notably Hélio Rodrigues, Hans-Hugo Boecker, "kjj", Richard Page and Gianni Dietrich. It is a work in progress, and any contribution - pictures, racing results, racing reports, contacts with those that knew, worked with or raced against Hegbourne, literally anything - would be much appreciated. For example, we are looking for a letter Hegbourne sent to the magazine Motor Sport thanking its readers for their support and good wishes while he stayed at the hospital recovering from the accident at Spa - a convalescence that sadly would not be completed.

As you know, Motorsport Memorial is a non-profit, non-commercial initiative and the original copyright holders will retain full rights on any material submitted. Also, your participation will be properly credited in our pages.

This is what we already wrote on Hegbourne:


[begins]

Tony Hegbourne


Born on 24 July 1931, Anthony Victor Hegbourne’s first forays into motorsport were on two wheels, competing with 350 and 500 cm3 Norton motorcycles in 1955 and 1956. He debuted on car racing two years later and scored a victory first time out, winning a race at Brands Hatch with a Cooper T39 equipped with an 1100 cm3 Climax engine. Already universally known as Tony Hegbourne, he raced a Tojeiro - Climax 1100 cm3 in 1959 and then stayed off the tracks for two years, not taking part in competitions in 1960 and 1961.

Hegbourne’s return to the sport in 1962 would be crowned by the conquest of the Brooklands Memorial Trophy Championship, which was based on BARC members meetings at Goodwood, driving a Lola Mk1 powered by an 1100 cm3 Climax. Hegbourne’s success drew some attention, and in 1963 he raced a Lotus 23 for Normand Ltd., obtaining numerous wins and good finishes in races both in the United Kingdom and abroad. One of the most celebrated results was a second place overall in the Auvergne Trophy in Clermont Ferrand, in which Hegbrourne shared the Lotus 23 with his friend Mike Beckwith.

Enthused by such displays, Normand decided to take a step up into Formula 2 - a category that would allow the use of racing-designed one-liter engines for 1964 -, keeping the duo Hegbourne and Beckwith as drivers but with the latter also responding for running the team. Off the race track, Hegbourne was by 1964 a director at Godfrey Lambert Automobiles Ltd. and lived in Kenley, Surrey.

Leaving aside the fact that other teams were buying Formula 2 chassis from companies such as Brabham and Lotus, Normand valued its association with Cooper and acquired two new Cooper T71s with Cosworth SCA engines for Hegbourne and Beckwith. If the cars looked pretty in the team’s livery - white body with bright blue and red stripes -, their performance was quite ugly, as the Cooper chassis was plagued by poor handling and both Hegbourne and Beckwith had a tough season. Hegbourne demonstrated that the car was fast on straight lines by winning both heats of the X Grosser Preis von Berlin at Avus on 24 May, but the underbellies of both cars were badly scratching by bottoming. The win in Berlin did not bring much relief as Avus was a circuit with very specific characteristics - two four-kilometer long straights linked by a hairpin in one end and by the fearsomely banked Nordkehre in another -, thus the team struggled anywhere else. Indeed, Hegbourne’s first place at Avus would be the last Cooper win ever in a category the marque had once completely dominated.

Normand chief mechanic Colin Knight made extensive modifications to the suspensions of the T71s along the season and much improved the cars, but they remained uncompetitive and a handful to drive; to make things more complicated, Cooper only sold three T71s, so there was little information exchange possible with other users of the car. Despite all troubles, Hegbourne still managed to score a second place on aggregate in the Grande Premio di Roma at Vallelunga - where he was followed by Beckwith -, a fifth at Mallory Park and sixth places at Pau and Crystal Palace.

Hegbroune’s 1964 season may not have what he expected, but his efforts did not remain unnoticed. His results were showing a continuous progression and, despite not being a particularly young driver - he was already past thirty-two -, he was by then considered one of Britain’s most promising racing talents. One of those betting on Hegbroune’s potential was famous Lotus privateer Ian Walker, who had taken delivery of a Lotus 30, chassis 30/L/1. That was, in fact, the first Lotus 30 ever built, and Walker was racing it as a sort of semi-works team since Lotus itself was too busy handling a number of projects at the same time. The 30 had shown some teething problems, and Walker invited Hegbourne to drive the car in one of the supporting races for the 1964 British Grand Prix in Brands Hatch. This ride ended in a huge shunt during practice and the car broke in two at the bottom of the dip at Dingle Dell. Amazingly, Tony walked away from the accident with minor injuries only, whilst the Lotus was completely destroyed.

Walker’s interest on Hegbourne would not be deterred by this accident though: Tony was by now considered a hot shoe, and actually managed to find two good engagements for the 1965 season: he would race for John Willment in Formula 2 and for the newly assembled Walker-Day Racing in sportscars as well. Both were amongst the best private team in the business: Willment counted on extensive support from Ford - John was the Blue Oval dealer in Twickenham, England - and Walker-Day was the result of an association between Ian Walker and backer Alan Day of London; also, Ian and John were close, having raced together and against each other for a decade.

Hegbourne’s season started on 03 April at Oulton Park, driving a Lola T55 for Willment, and he finished the race in a creditable sixth place. A few days earlier, on 26 March, Walker-Day received two new, beautiful Alfa Romeo TZ1 Zagato from Alfa Romeo Limited in London - one for Hegbourne, the other for fellow Brit Boley Pittard. The cars, chassis #AR750053 and #AR750073, were painted red with black interior and were astonishingly beautiful - two of the most evocative and exciting racing machines ever built. The TZ1s were then prepared in Bristol-Siddeley Engines Ltd. workshops in Hendon, London, and their first racing meeting was the legendary Goodwood Easter Monday meeting on 19 April.

Hegbourne went back to Willment for the Eifelrennen in the Nürburgring on 25 April; the Formula 2 race was held in the Sudschleife instead of the Nordschleife as usual, being surprisingly won by Paul Hawkins in the trouble-prone Alexis Mk6 - Cosworth, whist Hegbourne's fourth place meant another respectable result in his résumé.

John Willment’s association with Ford meant that Hegbourne would also have a chance of racing in North America, and he took part in two events of the fledging United States Road Racing Championship. The USRRC calendar included two back-to-back races in Riverside and Laguna Seca on the first and second weekends of May, and such Californian tour right before the peak of the European racing season fitted well into Hegbourne's schedule. Tony drove a Ford Cortina Lotus in both events, which was no match for the much faster Cobras, Corvettes and Porsche 904s that composed the forefront of the USRRC races, but nevertheless he delivered a good show. In Riverside he finished twelfth out of sixteen cars on the road by the end of the race, and put a lap on no one else than Jackie Stewart; in Laguna Seca Hegbourne received the chequered flag in fourteenth place - just a tad behind the Flying Scott. Things were surely looking great to Tony then.

Hegbourne traveled back to England and in the meantime the Walker-Day Racing team transported the TZ1s to Continental Europe for the upcoming 500 km of Spa on 16 May and on the famous 1000 km of Nürburgring the following Sunday. Whilst both vehicles were to race in Belgium, Hegbourne and Pittard would share a single car in Germany due to the length of that race.

The field for the Spa event was rather limited, as only twenty-six cars showed up for the race; the class for grand touring cars with engines of up to 1600 cm3 had only five entries - Hegbourne, Pittard, two other sister TZ1s for Nicolas Koob and Gustave Gosselin and a lonely and somewhat slower Lotus Elan driven by Mark Konig. Hegbourne was the fastest of them in qualyfing, with a best lap of 4min36.49s, good enough for the fifteenth slot on the grid. Pittard was the next in class, a full 1.11 second behind Tony.

The start was given under overcast but dry skies - a relief of sorts, considering how often Spa was assailed by rains that rendered the terminally fast track even more dangerous than usual - but Hegbourne got delayed and saw himself relegated to third place in class. On lap twenty-six Hagbourne was dueling with team mate Pittard when, for reasons yet unclear, his TZ1 somersaulted at maximum speed down the Masta straight and landed in a field. Gravely injured, Tony was transported to England, where he died of his injuries six weeks later, on 01 July 1965.


Sources:
Book "Cooper Cars", by Doug Nye, published by Motorbooks International, St. Paul, MN, United States, 2003, ISBN 0-7603-1709-7, pages 277 through 282.
Book "Hawkeye", by Ivan McLeod, published by MRP Publishing, Croydon, England, 1993, ISBN 1-899870-67-9, pages 53, 54 and 170.
Website Atlas F1, bulletin boards, "The Nostalgia Forum", thread "Speed's Ultimate Price: The Toll", page 26, posting by "ReWind", message http://forums.atlasf...685#post1471685.
Website Atlas F1, column Rear View Mirror, by Don Capps, article "Three of Three: A Tale of the Life and Times of the Grand Prix World, 1966 to 1968 - Part 3: Be Careful What You Ask For, Lessons 1,963, 1,964, and 1,965...", page http://www.atlasf1.c...iew/mirror.html.
Website Lotus 30 - Pink Stamps Racing, by Kirk D. Keyes, pages http://www.lotus30.c...y/Register.html and http://www.lotus30.c...er_30_L_01.html.
Website page Sports Car Market, article "1965 TZ1 Zagato - Chassis #: AR750073 - Engine #: 00121 00652", page http://www.sportscar.....er/Alfa Romeo.
Website World Sports Racing Prototypes, by Martin Krejci, pages http://www.teamdan.c...1965/65spa.html, http://www.teamdan.c...965/65nurb.html, http://www.wsrp.wz.cz/intgb.html (1965) and http://wspr-racing.c...srrcgt1965.html.
Website Racing is MAD, page http://racing.is-mad...ssic_elise.html
Website Paul Matty SportCars, thread "FRX 176C - An Elan to remember", posting by "Twiz", page http://www.paulmatty...B.pl?board=Cars;action=display;num=1054818634.
Website The Race Cars Resource, page http://digilander.li...cecars/1964.htm.
E-mail by Hélio Rodrigues, dated 29 January 2005.
E-mail by Hans Hugo Boecker, dated 01 March 2005, citing book "Sieg im Grand Prix", by H.Nußbaumer, citing also book "Time And Two Seats", by János L. Wimpffen, ISBN 0-9672252-0-5.
E-mail by "kjj", dated 01 March 2005, citing newspaper The Times, obituary, issue of 02 July 1965.
E-mail by Richard Page, dated 01 March 2005, citing book "Motor Racing Register 1964", citing book "Formula 1 Register", citing also Alfa Museum.
E-mail by Gianni Dietrich, dated 01 March 2005.
E-mail by Richard Page, dated 02 March 2005.

[ends]


Comments, suggestions, corrections - your participation is most welcome.

Thanking your attention,


Muzza

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#2 KJJ

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 17:29

Muzza

The message - it was not a letter by the way - on behalf of Tony Hegbourne can be found on page 595 of the July 1965 issue of Motor Sport, it reads as follows:

"Following his accident at Spa, when he suffered severe injuries included a fractured spine and leg. Tony Hegbourne wishes to thank all those who have written, for their letters of encouragement to him whilst he was in hospital at Verviers, Belgium."

Of course at the same time as that issue of Motor Sport was on sale, the Times was reporting that Hegbourne died at Stanmore hospital on 1st July 1965.

It seems to me that the Motor racing establishment ( and I include the motor racing press) had a real fear that the sport might be banned because of its safety record in the Fifties and Sixties. Perhaps this is the reason that the deaths of second line drivers like Hegbourne were passed over without much comment.

#3 Paul Parker

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 21:59

Regarding KJJ's comments about the muted response to the death of second string (i.e. non GP drivers), in this case Tony Hegbourne, by the contemporary racing establishment and motoring press.

Being old enough to accurately recall this era it might be true that such tragedies were understated at the time, but I believe this was due as much to the inherent fatalism and common acceptance that actions had consequences in those times. In stark contrast to the paranoia and near hysteria that so characterises latter day fatalities as if nobody should ever be held responsible or take responsibility for their actions. Not that I would want to return to the inevitable toll of human lives of the period.

Grief then was a private matter, not a public performance with all the accompanying legal complications.

#4 Muzza

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 22:58

Dear kjj and Paul,


Thanks for writing and contributing. We modified the end of the last paragraph on our (working) biography of Tony Hebgourne to read:

"...Tony was gravely wounded, suffering injuries that included a fractured spine and a broken leg. He was interned in a hospital in Verviers, Belgium; despite the seriousness of his condition there was hope of a recovery of sorts - as demonstrated by a note published on his behalf by the magazine Motor Sport, thanking those that had sent him letters of encouragement. Sadly, though, Hegbourne's condition deteriorated; after being transferred to England, he died in Stanmore on 01 July 1965."

In my opinion both of you are correct on your assessments of the reactions to a racing fatality now and then. Also, may I add that there has been a recent, significant shift on the social perception of death in most societies - particularly in developed countries, where most live comfortably, with all basic needs attended to and where the sense of loss, in the broadest meaning of this term, is not often experienced.

Anyway, I digress. Our goal is simply remembering Tony - and many other that, like him, lost their lives for the sport we love.

Kind regards,


Sal / Muzza

#5 LittleChris

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Posted 03 March 2005 - 23:52

It gave me an excuse to drag out some dusty Motor Sports from 1965. Apart from what kjj has provided, let me add an excerpt from June

Report on 500 km of Francorchamps by DSJ

The furious battle among the Alfa Romeos ended in disaster when Hegbournes car went off the road just after Malmedy , for some reason that would appear to be connected with mechanical failure or tyre failure and the driver was very badly injured.

For some reason, no reference seems to have been made within the magazine to his subsequent death.

#6 Muzza

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 18:51

Hello, Chris,


Thanks for that - we changed the mid-section of the last paragraph to read...

"On lap twenty-six Hagbourne was dueling with team mate Pittard when, possibly due to a mechanical or tyre failure, his TZ1 somersaulted at maximum speed just after Malmedy, going down the Masta straight. The car landed in a field; Tony was gravely wounded, suffering injuries that included a fractured spine and a broken leg."

Of course, we have included your posting above and a reference to Jenks' article in our source listing for Tony Hegbourne.

Your calling of the race as "500 km of Francorchamps" made me remember of the book "Les Grandes Heures de Francorchamps", by Raymond Arets and Eric Faure, Editions Gamma, Tournai, Belgium, 1983, ISBN 2-7130-0562-0. On its pages 88, 89 and 178 I found a few notes about the race - the official name of the meeting was 500 kilomètres de Francorchamps. We altered that in our database as well.

These changes will be online tonight at 23h00 PST (GMT - 08h00).

It would be most interesting if we could obtain some results of Hegbourne's outings in 1963 and 1964...

Best regards, and thanks again,


Muzza / Sal

#7 Simon Armer

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 17:42

Muzza.

Just read your thread from a couple of years ago about Tony Hegbourne. I own an ex-Hegbourne Cooper T59 Formula Junior (or Mk3a as they were known in period) and am trying to research the car's history. It wasn't mentioned in the biography of Tony that you featured back in 2005.

Basically Hegbourne and his business partner (Godfrey Lambert) bought the car in late 1963 and uprated the 1100cc Formula Junior pushrod engine to 1500cc to use in Formula Libre racing. Hegbourne raced the car for the first time at the Boxing Day 1963 race meeting at Brands Hatch in the 'Silver City Trophy' race. He promptly won ! I think Hegbourne largely concentrated on his Nomad F2 drive in 1964 (in their Cooper T71) but may have also raced the Cooper T59/Mk3a in some events. His partner Godfrey Lambert definitely raced it in a number of Libre events.

I am basically trying to find out:

a) What events did Tony Hegbourne use the car for during 1963 and 1964 ?

b) Where did Hegbourne/Lambert buy the car i.e. who from ?

The car was subsequently sold to John Macdonald in 1965 and spent the rest of its active life racing out in the Far East e.g. Macau/Singapore GP.

Any info on either the car or contacts who might have known Tony Hegbourne and remembered the car would be very gratefully received.

#8 Angus Lamont

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 05:09

A slight correction. John Macdonald bought the car in January 1966 from Martin Redfern who had used it in the 1965 Macau Grand Prix.

#9 humphries

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 11:19

Having missed this thread first time round I can add some information that may be of interest.

Tony Hegbourne was entered for races at the N.Staffs Silverstone meeting on 5 October, 1957 in the ex-Bristow Cooper, with the race number 42. He was not placed in first six in the up to 1250cc Sports Car race or in the first eight in the Unlimited Sports Car Race. For a later handicap race he was marked as a non-starter in the copy of the programme I have. A week later (12/10/57) he was entered in races, #48, at the Lancs & Cheshire Oulton Park meeting with the T39 but my pristine programme copy does not show whether he was there or not. He did not appear in the results.

In 1958 his first race for that season was at Snetterton for the SMRC meeting on 30 March. He finished 12th in the up to 1500cc Sports Car Race in the red Cooper with the race number 6.

At the BRSCC Brands Hatch (20 April) Tony in the old Bobtail, entered now by Godfrey Lambert Automobiles, #98, was victorious beating Mike McKee in a works supported Elva Mk3. Although it was Tony's first win on his first visit to Brands I don't think the claim the he won his first ever car race is correct.

During the seasons of 1958 and 1959 (in a Tojeiro) Tony's quick and exuberant driving was much appreciated by spectators but on occasion the Race Stewards' view was less favourable.

When he returned to racing in a Lola in 1962 he had a better car and a point to prove. In the Normand 23Bs in 1963 he was the equal of his team mate Mike Beckwith although their abilities were put into perspective when Jim Clark drove for the team.

In the paddock at OP I witnessed a little spat between personnel from the Normand team and another team. Whereas some people were getting hot under the collar Tony simply shrugged his shoulders.

A nice bloke by all accounts and I was saddened by his death - a feeling I had for the umpteenth time throughout the Fifties and Sixties.

John

#10 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 22:10

I have a feeling of deja vue here because I feel sure I have posted this before on TNF, but Tony was the first proper racing driver I ever met, soon after starting work on 'Motor Racing' magazine at Brands Hatch in 1963. He was an absolute gem, really pleasant, friendly, engaging, natural bloke - very prepared to talk racing with a starry-eyed 18 year old straight out of school. His death taught me very early on that it can too often be the nice guys who run out of luck.

DCN

#11 racingreen

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 18:41

Dear Fellows,


My apologies for my silence during the last weeks, which was due to a complete failure in my personal computer.

The work at Motorsport Memorial continues as hectic as usual and we have just prepared another mini-biography, this time on the British driver Tony Hegbourne. Almost completely forgotten today, Hegbourne was considered in the early 1960s one of the most promising British drivers, making his name as a consistent and versatile racer and a nice fellow. He passed away six weeks after suffering a horrific accident at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo TZ-1 during the 1964 500 km de Spa. Since then his name has "slipped under the Carpet of History" - and now we are trying to remember his career and his life.

This biography was collectively prepared by a number of people in the Motorsport Memorial team and this forum, notably Hélio Rodrigues, Hans-Hugo Boecker, "kjj", Richard Page and Gianni Dietrich. It is a work in progress, and any contribution - pictures, racing results, racing reports, contacts with those that knew, worked with or raced against Hegbourne, literally anything - would be much appreciated. For example, we are looking for a letter Hegbourne sent to the magazine Motor Sport thanking its readers for their support and good wishes while he stayed at the hospital recovering from the accident at Spa - a convalescence that sadly would not be completed.

As you know, Motorsport Memorial is a non-profit, non-commercial initiative and the original copyright holders will retain full rights on any material submitted. Also, your participation will be properly credited in our pages.

This is what we already wrote on Hegbourne:


[begins]

Tony Hegbourne


Born on 24 July 1931, Anthony Victor Hegbourne’s first forays into motorsport were on two wheels, competing with 350 and 500 cm3 Norton motorcycles in 1955 and 1956. He debuted on car racing two years later and scored a victory first time out, winning a race at Brands Hatch with a Cooper T39 equipped with an 1100 cm3 Climax engine. Already universally known as Tony Hegbourne, he raced a Tojeiro - Climax 1100 cm3 in 1959 and then stayed off the tracks for two years, not taking part in competitions in 1960 and 1961.

Hegbourne’s return to the sport in 1962 would be crowned by the conquest of the Brooklands Memorial Trophy Championship, which was based on BARC members meetings at Goodwood, driving a Lola Mk1 powered by an 1100 cm3 Climax. Hegbourne’s success drew some attention, and in 1963 he raced a Lotus 23 for Normand Ltd., obtaining numerous wins and good finishes in races both in the United Kingdom and abroad. One of the most celebrated results was a second place overall in the Auvergne Trophy in Clermont Ferrand, in which Hegbrourne shared the Lotus 23 with his friend Mike Beckwith.

Enthused by such displays, Normand decided to take a step up into Formula 2 - a category that would allow the use of racing-designed one-liter engines for 1964 -, keeping the duo Hegbourne and Beckwith as drivers but with the latter also responding for running the team. Off the race track, Hegbourne was by 1964 a director at Godfrey Lambert Automobiles Ltd. and lived in Kenley, Surrey.

Leaving aside the fact that other teams were buying Formula 2 chassis from companies such as Brabham and Lotus, Normand valued its association with Cooper and acquired two new Cooper T71s with Cosworth SCA engines for Hegbourne and Beckwith. If the cars looked pretty in the team’s livery - white body with bright blue and red stripes -, their performance was quite ugly, as the Cooper chassis was plagued by poor handling and both Hegbourne and Beckwith had a tough season. Hegbourne demonstrated that the car was fast on straight lines by winning both heats of the X Grosser Preis von Berlin at Avus on 24 May, but the underbellies of both cars were badly scratching by bottoming. The win in Berlin did not bring much relief as Avus was a circuit with very specific characteristics - two four-kilometer long straights linked by a hairpin in one end and by the fearsomely banked Nordkehre in another -, thus the team struggled anywhere else. Indeed, Hegbourne’s first place at Avus would be the last Cooper win ever in a category the marque had once completely dominated.

Normand chief mechanic Colin Knight made extensive modifications to the suspensions of the T71s along the season and much improved the cars, but they remained uncompetitive and a handful to drive; to make things more complicated, Cooper only sold three T71s, so there was little information exchange possible with other users of the car. Despite all troubles, Hegbourne still managed to score a second place on aggregate in the Grande Premio di Roma at Vallelunga - where he was followed by Beckwith -, a fifth at Mallory Park and sixth places at Pau and Crystal Palace.

Hegbroune’s 1964 season may not have what he expected, but his efforts did not remain unnoticed. His results were showing a continuous progression and, despite not being a particularly young driver - he was already past thirty-two -, he was by then considered one of Britain’s most promising racing talents. One of those betting on Hegbroune’s potential was famous Lotus privateer Ian Walker, who had taken delivery of a Lotus 30, chassis 30/L/1. That was, in fact, the first Lotus 30 ever built, and Walker was racing it as a sort of semi-works team since Lotus itself was too busy handling a number of projects at the same time. The 30 had shown some teething problems, and Walker invited Hegbourne to drive the car in one of the supporting races for the 1964 British Grand Prix in Brands Hatch. This ride ended in a huge shunt during practice and the car broke in two at the bottom of the dip at Dingle Dell. Amazingly, Tony walked away from the accident with minor injuries only, whilst the Lotus was completely destroyed.

Walker’s interest on Hegbourne would not be deterred by this accident though: Tony was by now considered a hot shoe, and actually managed to find two good engagements for the 1965 season: he would race for John Willment in Formula 2 and for the newly assembled Walker-Day Racing in sportscars as well. Both were amongst the best private team in the business: Willment counted on extensive support from Ford - John was the Blue Oval dealer in Twickenham, England - and Walker-Day was the result of an association between Ian Walker and backer Alan Day of London; also, Ian and John were close, having raced together and against each other for a decade.

Hegbourne’s season started on 03 April at Oulton Park, driving a Lola T55 for Willment, and he finished the race in a creditable sixth place. A few days earlier, on 26 March, Walker-Day received two new, beautiful Alfa Romeo TZ1 Zagato from Alfa Romeo Limited in London - one for Hegbourne, the other for fellow Brit Boley Pittard. The cars, chassis #AR750053 and #AR750073, were painted red with black interior and were astonishingly beautiful - two of the most evocative and exciting racing machines ever built. The TZ1s were then prepared in Bristol-Siddeley Engines Ltd. workshops in Hendon, London, and their first racing meeting was the legendary Goodwood Easter Monday meeting on 19 April.

Hegbourne went back to Willment for the Eifelrennen in the Nürburgring on 25 April; the Formula 2 race was held in the Sudschleife instead of the Nordschleife as usual, being surprisingly won by Paul Hawkins in the trouble-prone Alexis Mk6 - Cosworth, whist Hegbourne's fourth place meant another respectable result in his résumé.

John Willment’s association with Ford meant that Hegbourne would also have a chance of racing in North America, and he took part in two events of the fledging United States Road Racing Championship. The USRRC calendar included two back-to-back races in Riverside and Laguna Seca on the first and second weekends of May, and such Californian tour right before the peak of the European racing season fitted well into Hegbourne's schedule. Tony drove a Ford Cortina Lotus in both events, which was no match for the much faster Cobras, Corvettes and Porsche 904s that composed the forefront of the USRRC races, but nevertheless he delivered a good show. In Riverside he finished twelfth out of sixteen cars on the road by the end of the race, and put a lap on no one else than Jackie Stewart; in Laguna Seca Hegbourne received the chequered flag in fourteenth place - just a tad behind the Flying Scott. Things were surely looking great to Tony then.

Hegbourne traveled back to England and in the meantime the Walker-Day Racing team transported the TZ1s to Continental Europe for the upcoming 500 km of Spa on 16 May and on the famous 1000 km of Nürburgring the following Sunday. Whilst both vehicles were to race in Belgium, Hegbourne and Pittard would share a single car in Germany due to the length of that race.

The field for the Spa event was rather limited, as only twenty-six cars showed up for the race; the class for grand touring cars with engines of up to 1600 cm3 had only five entries - Hegbourne, Pittard, two other sister TZ1s for Nicolas Koob and Gustave Gosselin and a lonely and somewhat slower Lotus Elan driven by Mark Konig. Hegbourne was the fastest of them in qualyfing, with a best lap of 4min36.49s, good enough for the fifteenth slot on the grid. Pittard was the next in class, a full 1.11 second behind Tony.

The start was given under overcast but dry skies - a relief of sorts, considering how often Spa was assailed by rains that rendered the terminally fast track even more dangerous than usual - but Hegbourne got delayed and saw himself relegated to third place in class. On lap twenty-six Hagbourne was dueling with team mate Pittard when, for reasons yet unclear, his TZ1 somersaulted at maximum speed down the Masta straight and landed in a field. Gravely injured, Tony was transported to England, where he died of his injuries six weeks later, on 01 July 1965.


Sources:
Book "Cooper Cars", by Doug Nye, published by Motorbooks International, St. Paul, MN, United States, 2003, ISBN 0-7603-1709-7, pages 277 through 282.
Book "Hawkeye", by Ivan McLeod, published by MRP Publishing, Croydon, England, 1993, ISBN 1-899870-67-9, pages 53, 54 and 170.
Website Atlas F1, bulletin boards, "The Nostalgia Forum", thread "Speed's Ultimate Price: The Toll", page 26, posting by "ReWind", message http://forums.atlasf...685#post1471685.
Website Atlas F1, column Rear View Mirror, by Don Capps, article "Three of Three: A Tale of the Life and Times of the Grand Prix World, 1966 to 1968 - Part 3: Be Careful What You Ask For, Lessons 1,963, 1,964, and 1,965...", page http://www.atlasf1.c...iew/mirror.html.
Website Lotus 30 - Pink Stamps Racing, by Kirk D. Keyes, pages http://www.lotus30.c...y/Register.html and http://www.lotus30.c...er_30_L_01.html.
Website page Sports Car Market, article "1965 TZ1 Zagato - Chassis #: AR750073 - Engine #: 00121 00652", page http://www.sportscar.....er/Alfa Romeo.
Website World Sports Racing Prototypes, by Martin Krejci, pages http://www.teamdan.c...1965/65spa.html, http://www.teamdan.c...965/65nurb.html, http://www.wsrp.wz.cz/intgb.html (1965) and http://wspr-racing.c...srrcgt1965.html.
Website Racing is MAD, page http://racing.is-mad...ssic_elise.html
Website Paul Matty SportCars, thread "FRX 176C - An Elan to remember", posting by "Twiz", page http://www.paulmatty...B.pl?board=Cars;action=display;num=1054818634.
Website The Race Cars Resource, page http://digilander.li...cecars/1964.htm.
E-mail by Hélio Rodrigues, dated 29 January 2005.
E-mail by Hans Hugo Boecker, dated 01 March 2005, citing book "Sieg im Grand Prix", by H.Nußbaumer, citing also book "Time And Two Seats", by János L. Wimpffen, ISBN 0-9672252-0-5.
E-mail by "kjj", dated 01 March 2005, citing newspaper The Times, obituary, issue of 02 July 1965.
E-mail by Richard Page, dated 01 March 2005, citing book "Motor Racing Register 1964", citing book "Formula 1 Register", citing also Alfa Museum.
E-mail by Gianni Dietrich, dated 01 March 2005.
E-mail by Richard Page, dated 02 March 2005.

[ends]


Comments, suggestions, corrections - your participation is most welcome.

Thanking your attention,


Muzza


Dear Muzza,

Nice to see Tony being written about.

I own Cooper F2/2/64, Tony's Berlin GP winning Normand Racing car. Discovered in an incredibly complete condition hanging fro Joe Cavalieri's garage ceiling a few years ago. It has its original front body, tanks, seat, steering wheel, gauges and switches, rear wheels, engine and box, oil tank, rad, etc etc.I have boxes of all original plumbing. Sadly, someone States side was modifying the car (late 60s ) to take a Lotus Twin cam, presumably for Formula B. We are now in the process of putting the rear of the car back to original.

F2/2/64 was driven by Stirling at Silverstone in '66 (I have pics) with movie cameras on board. Does anyone know why (perhaps "Day of the Champion" filming or for someone like BP ??

Also, would anyone know how to contact Tony Hegbourne's widow or daughter??

For those on FaceBook I have started a group dedicated to Tony Hegbourne. Just search for his name.

Best,

David Woodhouse (altacars@hotmail.com)

URL=http://img251.imageshack.us/i/dscn0393.jpg/]Posted Image[/URL]

Edited by racingreen, 16 October 2009 - 21:35.


#12 racingreen

racingreen
  • Member

  • 57 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 13 October 2009 - 18:49

Muzza.

Just read your thread from a couple of years ago about Tony Hegbourne. I own an ex-Hegbourne Cooper T59 Formula Junior (or Mk3a as they were known in period) and am trying to research the car's history. It wasn't mentioned in the biography of Tony that you featured back in 2005.

Basically Hegbourne and his business partner (Godfrey Lambert) bought the car in late 1963 and uprated the 1100cc Formula Junior pushrod engine to 1500cc to use in Formula Libre racing. Hegbourne raced the car for the first time at the Boxing Day 1963 race meeting at Brands Hatch in the 'Silver City Trophy' race. He promptly won ! I think Hegbourne largely concentrated on his Nomad F2 drive in 1964 (in their Cooper T71) but may have also raced the Cooper T59/Mk3a in some events. His partner Godfrey Lambert definitely raced it in a number of Libre events.

I am basically trying to find out:

a) What events did Tony Hegbourne use the car for during 1963 and 1964 ?

b) Where did Hegbourne/Lambert buy the car i.e. who from ?

The car was subsequently sold to John Macdonald in 1965 and spent the rest of its active life racing out in the Far East e.g. Macau/Singapore GP.

Any info on either the car or contacts who might have known Tony Hegbourne and remembered the car would be very gratefully received.


Hello Simon,

It is funny that we have both ended up with Hegbourne Coopers after being sat together by Duncan at FJ meal all those years ago ('98??).

I own F2/2/64. If you hear anything about that car during your research, lease do let me know.

Best,

David Woodhouse

Edited by racingreen, 14 October 2009 - 15:42.