KEEPING THE SPIRIT ALIVE SINCE 1999

Peter Monkhouse
29/7/1912 - 23/4/1950

A popular driver with an ever present sense of humour, he was a forceful, yet restrained driver. An extrovert with a contempt for the conventional which was illustrated by his taste in shirts and disregard of ties which were de rigueur at that time! He was killed when navigating for Phillip Wood in the 1950 Mille Miglia

Peter Monkhouse died 70 years ago, he was 38

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Peter Richard Monkhouse (no relation to George Monkhouse or Bob for that matter!) was born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. His love of motor racing started while he was still at University in Cambridge

He started the Monaco Motor and Engineering Co. Ltd. in Watford with Ian Connell in 1935 partly as a way of supporting their own racing activities.

He co-drove with Connell in ERA R6B in the 1938 Donington GP finishing 8th. He also drove in the XVII RAC International Tourist Trophy finishing 19th with J. R. 'Hamish' Weir in his MG Magnette K3.

During WWII, they built aircraft engines under sub-contracts to the major engine manufacturers. After the war, Monkhouse then left Monaco to apply himself to the development of a light aeroplane engine. Monaco Engines Ltd. took over engine design from the Monaco Motor company around 1948 and the engine was then, in turn sold to Associated Equipment Co. Ltd. in 1949.

Racing was beginning to get back underway in 1947 and at the I Coupe des Petites Cylindrées on 6 July 1947 at Reims he came 6th in Hamish Weir's venerable MG K3 Magnette '021'. He also set the fastest lap at 3m15.8.

He then entered the MG the Ballyclare Formula Libre race in August but failed to finish though at the Coupe de Lyon on the 29th September he finished 5th again in the MG K3 Magnette.

In 1949 he raced a Frazer Nash in the Mille Miglia with Ten Bosch but posted a DNF and in the first running of Le Mans 24 hour race post WWII that year he drove with Ernest Stapleton in the 2.0L Aston Martin Speed Model but retired with cooling issues after 7 hours.

He enter the XXVII Mille Miglia again in 1950 in a Healey Silverstone (D 37). Phillip Wood was driving at the time when he crashed at the same spot as Prince Raimondo Lanzia's Cisitalia. The car somersaulted into a field and Monkhouse sustained severe head injuries. He died in hospital later that afternoon. Wood suffered a broken leg.


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