Jump to content


Adrian Hamilton

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 10,615 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 22 August 2021 - 20:27

Last night our friend Adrian Hamilton - of Duncan Hamilton Ltd, son of the 1953 Le Mans-winning Jaguar driver - succumbed to a massive stroke suffered a few days previously.  


'Hammy' was a real character.  He played a leading role within the classic car market for over 40 years and was in many ways the archetypal 'gentleman' wheeler-dealer.  He also became what I used to rib him about as being the only known hereditary member of the BRDC. I think his only serious first-hand racing experience was competing with a Mercedes once at Thruxton or somesuch - and also with a GT40 in the Blackbushe Dragfest?  


But Hammy lived his life precisely the way he drove - absolutely FLAT OUT!  


He was a blazered Barney Bear of a man, hugely extrovert but he was genuinely so big-hearted, and if anyone within his world was in trouble or in need or hurting, Hammy would instinctively just wade right in and help.


He was the driving force behind his friend and client Roald Goethe first founding the remarkable Rofgo Collection of primarily Gulf-liveried racing cars.


He was a force of nature, and we will miss him.  My sincerest condolences to his children - including professional racing driver/instructor Archie - and to all his extended family and many, many other friends.


Above all else, I do remember learning from Hammy the foolishness of ever - as a passenger - exhorting him as the driver: "Go on, then - floor it!".  Once done - never repeated. God speed Hammy.




#2 arttidesco

  • Member

  • 6,554 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 22 August 2021 - 20:38

Condolences to Adrians family and friends.

#3 Roryswood

  • Member

  • 40 posts
  • Joined: August 20

Posted 22 August 2021 - 20:49

Yes Doug drove a Merc 600 at Thruxton until the brakes stopped working

#4 JacnGille

  • Member

  • 2,651 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 23 August 2021 - 01:36

Sad news

#5 Scuderia CC

Scuderia CC
  • Member

  • 111 posts
  • Joined: April 04

Posted 23 August 2021 - 04:27

Very sad news. Condolences to his family and friends.

#6 Pullman99

  • Member

  • 826 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 23 August 2021 - 08:29

.... I think his only serious first-hand racing experience was competing with a Mercedes once at Thruxton or somesuch - and also with a GT40 in the Blackbushe Dragfest? ... 





Very sad to hear this news.   I met Adrian on a couple of occasions, the first being at a Friends of the National Motor Museum evening at Beaulieu when we had Adrian's father Duncan and also Tony Rolt as guests 30 years after their Le Mans win in the C-Type in 1953.   Tony's son Stuart Rolt was there too and I enjoyed chatting with them all.   I also remember speaking with Adrian about his sale of the cars - including Lotus 72/4  - from Emerson Fittipaldi's collection.    


As an aside, didn't Adrian and Stuart share a Ford Capri a mid-1970s Tourist Trophy at Silverstone?  1976 perhaps?

#7 Graham Gauld

Graham Gauld
  • Member

  • 1,213 posts
  • Joined: September 04

Posted 23 August 2021 - 10:30

Yes, Adrian was someone special who enriched all our lives with his good humour which hid a sound business brain. He was highly respected within the historic community which is why many of the most interesting racing cars tended to pass through his hands. 

Hugh McCaig and I have, for the past twenty five years welcomed Hammy on our Ecurie Ecosse Tour.  When he offered his services as a collection point for cars that needed to be transported to Scotland for the Tour it was Hammy who operated successfully. When we first heard about his stroke last week we found that, typically Hammy, he had made arrangements with CARS as usual to ship cars for this years Tour in early October which again confirmed his organisational skills.


Our dinners on the Tour were often enlivened by Hammy such as the time in Italy when , in a boisterous mood, he lifted ex-racer Willie Tuckett high over the dinner table threatening to drop him if Willie did not sing to us ! 


We will miss him in a few weeks time in Inverness but he can be sure there will be no tears but unlimited fun and bonhommie !

#8 P.Dron

  • Member

  • 355 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 23 August 2021 - 16:19

R.I.P. Adrian. It is many years since we last met, but I shall never forget his engagingly abrasive humour.

#9 klemcoll

  • Member

  • 175 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 23 August 2021 - 17:44

Indeed this is a terrible loss to all of us who knew Adrian, as well as for the motoring world at large. He was always the most alive and amusing friend, a joy to be around. His passing leaves a big hole in all our lives.


I remember one typical "Hammy" follow-up which happened one year on his biennial tour when we had a dinner at Chateau Margaux hosted by the owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos. When Adrian rose to speak in thanks for the dinner he totally mispronounced Corinne's name. But never at a loss for a follow-up, he then said, "But Corinne you should marry me, then I would have this lovely house and you would have a  name that everyone can pronounce!"

#10 cooper997

  • Member

  • 3,203 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 24 August 2021 - 03:50

Seems like the right thing to do - honouring a Hamilton memory.



cooper997 collection


My condolences to Adrian's family and friends.





#11 Scuderia CC

Scuderia CC
  • Member

  • 111 posts
  • Joined: April 04

Posted 24 August 2021 - 08:22

Some videos with his son Archie on his youtube channel :







#12 Jack-the-Lad

  • Member

  • 2,357 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 26 August 2021 - 17:03

....another one of those people whom I wish I’d known.

Sincere condolences to his family and many friends.