2012 Walter Hayes Memorial Lecture

21 March 2012
Tony Brooks in a DB3S

This year’s event, in memory of the AMHT’s first Chairman, was held in the very pleasant surroundings of the RAC in London and attended by almost 140 guests, who were able to meet, dine and hear our special guest Tony Brooks, the motor racing driver who, in 1955, became the first British driver to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix in a British car (a Connaught) since 1923. He has a total of seven Grand Prix wins under his belt and has also competed in sports and saloon car events extensively.

After an excellent dinner, we were entertained to lively and informative banter between renowned journalist David Burgess-Wise and Tony Brooks.  Tony was happy to expand on stories of his motor racing career, including four successful years with the Aston Martin team. He informed us that he was driving the DB3S so generously loaned for display by Peter Livanos, on the day he first met his wife.  Brooks and Moss both drove in the British Grand Prix at Aintree in 1957, that time in a Vanwall VW5. Such was team spirit and sportsmanship at the time that Brooks handed over his own car to Moss when Moss’s car broke down and Stirling went on to win the race. Small wonder then that Moss has described Brooks as “the greatest unknown racing driver there has ever been”! After several seasons with different teams, Tony took a considered decision to put his family first and left motor racing at the end of 1961.

Although the formal discussion time soon ran out, Tony and his wife Pina graciously stayed behind to chat and to sign autographs for the many guests who wanted to meet them.

Photo credit: Tony and Pina Brooks in the car - David Wright.

We look forward to next year’s Walter Hayes Memorial lecture, to take place in the AML Centenary year.  The date is set for Tuesday January 15th 2013, 100 years to the day since Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin first registered their company as ‘Bamford & Martin’. Please book the date in your diary now.

TDF, Trustee.

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