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Vic Elford RIP


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#1 GMiranda

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 18:15

It's with great sadness that I write you that Vic Elford died today, after a years-long battle with cancer.
I saw the news on his wife's Anita Facebook right now.

He was a great champion and one of my heroes from the past.

RIP

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#2 FLB

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 18:38

Godspeed, Quick Vic...  :cry:

 

Probably the most Francophile of all the British drivers, to the point he had a bio out in French (La victoire... ou rien!, Éditions Solar) before he had one in English.

 

 

CVT_La-victoire-ou-rien-_2377.jpeg



#3 cpbell

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 18:39

It's with great sadness that I write you that Vic Elford died today, after a years-long battle with cancer.
I saw the news on his wife's Anita Facebook right now.

He was a great champion and one of my heroes from the past.

RIP

Oh no, that is sad.  One of the great all-rounders.



#4 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 18:39

RIP Quick Vic.

One of the most versatile drivers of all time...



#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 18:56

Oh my.  Poor Quick Vic.

 

The Se7enoaks & District MC clubman navigator turned driver who became certainly one of the most versatile of all frontline competition drivers.  Sincerest condolences to his family (including son, racing photographer Martin Elford) and to his long-time lady, Anita, who was plainly devoted to him and to his well-being.  Vic had been battling his condition with typical tenacity for many years...

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 13 March 2022 - 18:57.


#6 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 19:05

Dreadful news. Vic was always one of my favourites. His amazing versatility has already been mentioned; winning the Monte Carlo Rally and the Targa Florio and finishing fourth in his first championship GP, all in the space of a few months, was an incredible achievement. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

#7 john winfield

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 19:17

Very sad. A real hero, and an incredible talent. RIP Vic.

#8 68targa

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 19:25

Oh this is really sad news. A wonderful driver leaving many great memories. He will be sadly missed.

 

R.I.P.



#9 davidbuckden

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 19:30

Very bad news, if not unexpected.  There's much to be said about Vic, but I think of him - as with Brian Redman - as especially brilliant and brave in taming the 917 in its early form. And my impression is that he (and Brian) never had a full measure of credit for this.  His skills and persistence as a competitor were complemented by genuine straightforwardness and notable modesty.



#10 P.Dron

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 19:45

I met him a few times. He was fun to be with. Intelligent, amusing and modest, a rare combination.



#11 jj2728

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 19:50

RIP Quick Vic



#12 SKL

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 19:54

Just heard this from a friend while watching the ninth episode of DTS.  

 

Sad, but all things considered,  he had a great run.    RIP quic Vic...



#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 20:01

GPL-70-Vic-Elford-read-paper-in-917-Cock

 

Vic never forgot his roots - browsing through the latest 'Motoring News' in his Salzburg team 917...Union flag and Se7enoaks & DMC badge on his crash helmet...

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 13 March 2022 - 20:02.


#14 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 20:29

Heartbreaking.

 

I got to know Vic and Anita when they retired nearby, and she was selling books and DVDs on the internet; then at Porsche events and at Amelia Island.  My only opportunity to see him race was spoiled by a warm-up engine failure on his Chaparral 2J at Laguna Seca in 1970.  
 

My sincere condolences to Anita and Martin. 



#15 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 20:45

Vic posted here for a while, as ‘Vican’. He told some great stories in this thread:

Vic Elford, TNF member

#16 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 20:51

One year at Goodwood when Vic drove Jim Hall’s 2J sucker car he was talking to us in the 'Cathedral' paddock explaining that they only had a set of slick tyres for the car and it wouldn’t be running again that day due to the incessant rain that had set in.  He was most emphatic about that.  

 

Just at that moment, Jim walked up and said “Vic - I feel we oughta keep faith with all the fans and do a run in the wet - just watch out, OK?”.  And seamlessly Vic said “Yes Jim - just what I was thinking.  Certainly I’ll do that…no problem”.

 
Of course with his rally skills he made it look simple.  Star player!
 
Meanwhile, mutual friend Howden Ganley has just pointed out to me that Vic's passing takes away another of the diminishing band of BRM drivers...
 
DCN


#17 FLB

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 21:26

Has the story of the night prior to the 1971 ADAC 1000km ever been completely told? I remember reading something in a Porsche 908 book? That he won the race (I'm paraphrasing) 'on coffee and cigarettes' because he'd barely slept?


Edited by FLB, 13 March 2022 - 21:28.


#18 LittleChris

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 21:36

So sorry to hear this.  :cry:



#19 sabrejet

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 22:01

RIP Vic: truly a legend in his own lifetime.



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#20 Macca

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 22:10

Very sorry to hear this, he was one of the most versatile drivers ever and could have achieved even more with better luck - RIP Quick Vic.

 

Here he is at Goodwood in 2007.

 

Vic-Elford2007.jpg

 

Paul M



#21 FLB

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 22:27

 

Meanwhile, mutual friend Howden Ganley has just pointed out to me that Vic's passing takes away another of the diminishing band of BRM drivers...
 
DCN

 

There can't be too many drivers who drove a Cooper in a World Drivers' Championship Grand Prix left as well, beside Brian Redman and Richard Attwood... :(


Edited by FLB, 13 March 2022 - 22:36.


#22 Collombin

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 22:54

There can't be too many drivers who drove a Cooper in a World Drivers' Championship Grand Prix left as well, beside Brian Redman and Richard Attwood... :(

You might be pleasantly surprised. I had to check a few of them but there's about 10 others.

Edited by Collombin, 13 March 2022 - 23:39.


#23 cooper997

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 23:41

From his early days in Minis. November 1960 RAC Rally with David Seigle Morris in the BMC Comps Dept 850. This whole combination drove together on a couple of other events, however the 6th place in the RAC was an achievement. Here they are in car 183

 

1960-RAC-Seigle-Morris-Elford-850.jpg

 

 

I don't know whether it was on purpose, but he's listed as Victor Elgood in the Saloon Car Race at September 1961 Oulton Park Gold Cup driving a Don Moore-prepared Mini. My programme has him listed as having picked up Class 2nd place to John Whitmore and Miss Carlisle 3rd. This being a BSCC round.

 

 

My condolences to the Elford family and friends.

 

 

Stephen



#24 d j fox

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 00:05

Very very sad news What a versatile driver ! From Porsche 911 to 917 via 908 F1 CanAm etc
Condolences to family and friends RIP

#25 ellrosso

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 02:08

RIP Quick Vic, one of the greatest all-rounders.



#26 10kDA

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 02:37

RIP Quick-in-anything-and-everything Vic, one of my favorite drivers. Sad news.

 

Tim, thanks for posting that link. I didn't know Vic had posted here & am looking forward to reading the thread.



#27 fuzzi

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 06:08

Sadly, we will not see his like again. RIP Mr Elford a true hero



#28 Gary Davies

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 07:53

A life well lived. His comment, "Real tracks like the Targa Florio and Nurburgring Nordschleife were the best" speaks volumes. And of course, he did get the better of the take-no-prisoners 917. 

 

I salute you, sir.



#29 Nick Planas

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 08:03

Very sad news. He was one of the more underrated drivers from my childhood (though not by those in the know). Whenever I hear his name I get an instant image of the 1968 Cooper in my head, from the British Grand Prix. I have read and re-read his autobiography and his achievements were quite astounding. RIP



#30 ensign14

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 08:10

Sadly, we will not see his like again.

We have his like right now.  Kimi Raikkonen, for instance; F1 World Champion, point-scorer in the world rally championship, occasional NASCAR driver, participant in snowmobile racing.  Of course they don't do it all inside the same season, as Vic did, but in part that's because they're getting paid a proper wage...



#31 messy

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 08:19

Surely one of the great 'drive anything, anywhere' generation - sorry but Kimi really doesn't compare at all. 

 

A fantastic career and a life well lived, RIP. 



#32 john aston

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 09:00

It's not Raikkonen that doesn't compare , but the eras in which he and Elford lived. 



#33 ArnageWRC

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 09:40

Such sad news, an absolute legend. His 1968 season is jaw dropping in it's breadth, versatility, and success......Even now, winning the Monte, then a week later winning at Daytona is just incredible. Add in Targa Florio, plus his GP debut.....

 

That circuits like the Nordschleife & Targa Florio were his favourites shouldn't be a surprise really; they're basically Special Stages......

 

Drove all kinds of cars, and was quick in all of them - just boggles the mind to be that good.

 

RIP



#34 charles r

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 09:45

RIP and much respect Mr Elford.



#35 absinthedude

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 10:12

RIP Quick Vic.....he'd retired by the time I started following motorsport but I became aware of him fast enough, people were still talking about him and when I started reading up on motorsport history as a child his name appeared almost everywhere due his almost unrivalled versatility. I can still remember reading about his exploits at le Mans and Daytona in the Porsche....then in another book seeing that same name associated with rallying...as well as noting he'd had some good F1 results with the fading Cooper team. His name stuck out because it appeared in several different publications about different driving disciplines....and I had him pegged as another Clark or Mario. Had the cards fallen differently he'd regularly be mentioned in the same breath. One does not win the Monte, Le Mans or Targa by accident.

 

The worst of it is, I imagine that most of the people who inhabit the RC area of these forums wouldn't know his name at all. 



#36 kayemod

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 10:39

Vic had I think four drives in Colin Crabbe's Antique Automobiles McLaren M7B, the version with monocoque extended into side tanks, he achieved a best fifth place finish in the 1969 French GP at Clermont Ferrand. The car came to Specialised Mouldings as a rush job to modify the seating area to make it drivable by Vic, and I was the just left university young person given that job. There was no separate removable seat as was the case with most F1 cars, but a bit of a mess of polyester filler, Isopon, applied directly to the inside of the monocoque, something I only ever saw that one time. Vic was tall, previous drivers clearly weren't, so a large amount of filler had to be ground away before he was comfortable in the car, we must have made the thing quite a bit lighter. I must confess that I barely remember Vic, though we must have met more than once, but I do remember that when he came for what we all hoped would be the final fitting, he tried the seat more than once, and kept asking for a little more to be ground away in the coccyx area. The finished job met with his approval, but it was the oddest-looking seat I ever worked on. MD Pete Jackson saw it and commented that it revealed the true size of some of Vic's attributes. It's sad that I remember very little about Vic the man, I wasn't a huge racing fan back then when I actually worked in The Business. I was never star-struck, and worked with a few real divas, often in inverse proportion to their talent, but Vic was one of the quiet, friendly and undemanding ones.



#37 cooper997

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 10:43

it's worth noting that Vic played team-mate to Steve McQueen. Both in Don Moore-entered Minis at the 1/10/61 Brands Hatch meeting. The McQueen entry was the Whitmore BSCC Championship-winning car.

 

Stephen



#38 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 10:44

And he won the 1st ever Rallycross, at Lydden in 1967.. :drunk: .



#39 mikeC

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 10:59

After two or three years as David Seigle-Morris' co-driver, he got his first Works rally drive in an early Triumph Vitesse on the 1962 RAC Rally. Several top ten stage times couldn't overcome the 90-minute delay changing gearboxes, but Quick Vic was on his way...

 

1962-RAC-Rally-Vic-Elford-Mike-Butler.jp



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#40 mikeC

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 11:15



#41 john winfield

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 11:41

Vic offers some tips on how to tackle the Targa Florio - brave man!

 



#42 FLB

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 11:48

This is a superb interview made of him by Autohebdo (en francais at Monsieur Elford's request, according to the journalist) at Goodwood in 2019:

 

https://www.autohebd...ur-la-lune.html



#43 ArnageWRC

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 13:16

And he won the 1st ever Rallycross, at Lydden in 1967.. :drunk: .

 

I love the story about that, which he tells in the film posted above. He borrowed it from a dealership - and handed it back slightly 'battered'. So they turned it into a Saloon car racer, as it had two 'seats' in the back.



#44 D28

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 13:36

A fitting Autosport tribute can be viewed here:

 

https://www.autospor...966823/?nrt=102



#45 68targa

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 14:11

Vic had I think four drives in Colin Crabbe's Antique Automobiles McLaren M7B, the version with monocoque extended into side tanks, he achieved a best fifth place finish in the 1969 French GP at Clermont Ferrand. The car came to Specialised Mouldings as a rush job to modify the seating area to make it drivable by Vic, and I was the just left university young person given that job. There was no separate removable seat as was the case with most F1 cars, but a bit of a mess of polyester filler, Isopon, applied directly to the inside of the monocoque, something I only ever saw that one time. Vic was tall, previous drivers clearly weren't, so a large amount of filler had to be ground away before he was comfortable in the car, we must have made the thing quite a bit lighter. I must confess that I barely remember Vic, though we must have met more than once, but I do remember that when he came for what we all hoped would be the final fitting, he tried the seat more than once, and kept asking for a little more to be ground away in the coccyx area. The finished job met with his approval, but it was the oddest-looking seat I ever worked on. MD Pete Jackson saw it and commented that it revealed the true size of some of Vic's attributes. It's sad that I remember very little about Vic the man, I wasn't a huge racing fan back then when I actually worked in The Business. I was never star-struck, and worked with a few real divas, often in inverse proportion to their talent, but Vic was one of the quiet, friendly and undemanding ones.

1969-British-GP-2.jpg



#46 Roger Clark

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 14:23

The sad news caused me to read again the Motor Sport report of the 1968 Targa Florio. Apart from the usual pleasure of reading DSJ’s Targa reports, it brought home what a remarkable drive it was by Vic Elford. He lost 18 minutes on the first lap when a wheel nut came undone and he had to fit a spare wheel out in the mountains.  DSJ wrote “a lot of people would have given up then, but not Elford” he got back to the pits, repairs were done and he set off (Moss-like?) determined to break the lap record even if the race was lost. He took a minute off the lap record - I know it was a 36 minute lap, but that’s still a lot. Perhaps as remarkable as his speed was his consistency. When still chasing the leading Alfa he put in two consecutive laps within 2 seconds of each other. In all, he drove seven of the 10 laps. 



#47 Michael Ferner

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 14:56


One year at Goodwood when Vic drove Jim Hall’s 2J sucker car he was talking to us in the 'Cathedral' paddock explaining that they only had a set of slick tyres for the car and it wouldn’t be running again that day due to the incessant rain that had set in. He was most emphatic about that.

Just at that moment, Jim walked up and said “Vic - I feel we oughta keep faith with all the fans and do a run in the wet - just watch out, OK?”. And seamlessly Vic said “Yes Jim - just what I was thinking. Certainly I’ll do that…no problem”.

Of course with his rally skills he made it look simple. Star player!


Meanwhile, mutual friend Howden Ganley has just pointed out to me that Vic's passing takes away another of the diminishing band of BRM drivers...


DCN


Remarkable story! Can you imagine a team principal today saying that? :up:

#48 ensign14

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 15:00

49772931403_a6289dbb0a_b.jpg

 

I think that's the Howmet on the left.



#49 Dave Ware

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 15:02

One of my first motor racing books was Michael Keyser's "The Speed Merchants," which included, peppered throughout the book, paragraphs and paragraphs of narration by Vic Elford (as well as by Mario, Brian Redman, and perhaps Helmut Marko.)  Soon after that came the documentary of the same name, which had large chunks of narration by the aforementioned drivers.  In this manner, I felt that I got to know Vic Elford, as well as one can through such means, but much more so than just reading the occasional race report or article.  He quickly became one of my favorite drivers, though he had mostly retired by the time I started watching.  Like others, I admired his versatility.  He could and would drive anything with wheels, and do it well. 

 

I think that a lot of the mid- to upper-level F1 teams around '69 and '70 missed out by not hiring Vic Elford.  I think he was an excellent development driver who would have improved any car he spent time with.  In addition to being seriously competitive. 

 

When he drove the original Shadow Can-Am car in 1970, that tiny little go-kart thing with a huge Chevy engine, he told Nichols that he'd stay in the car as long as he felt that he wasn't a danger to the other cars.  No mention of his own safety.  See Kayemod's post above. 

 

My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and fans.  We lost a truly great one yesterday. 



#50 JacnGille

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Posted 14 March 2022 - 15:45

Sad news. My very first road race, after attending drags as a youngster, was the very first Can Am at Road Atlanta in '70. Watched Vic in the 2J. WOW!