Charles Headland

Charles Headland


One of the best 500cc F3 drivers.

Charlie started racing cars late in 1949 with a Marwyn. He replaced it the following year with the ex-Spike Rhiando Cooper Mk II. He quickly became one of the leading racers in 500cc F3.

In 1951 he bought a new Cooper MKV/9/51 and took wins at Ards, Croft, Castle Combe, Silverstone and Prescott but at the end of the year replaced the Cooper with a Kieft

He raced the Keift in 1952 winning at Ibsley, Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Ards, and he continued with it into the early part of 1953. He then raced his own car which was a much modified Ray Martin Special and is often referred to as the Martin-Headland.

On the 8th of August 1953 he took part in the first race meeting at Oulton Park organised by the  Mid-Cheshire Motor Club. He drove in the second heat of the F3 event winning by just a fifth of a second from Les Leston, nearly a dead-heat in only the second motor race ever at the circuit. Third was the Honourable Edward Greenall in a Cooper.

Headland had a slight weight problem, not ideal for 500cc F3. As a consequence mch of the Martin-Headland was drilled to reduce weight. One of the lightened component broke in a race. This unfortunately was the brake pedal on a downhill section of track.

In the ensuing accident the car took off, coming to rest temporarily in a tree. Charlie fell out and the car came down on top of him, putting him in hospital for six months. After he recovered he deceided to hang up his helmet.

Peter Collins once refered to a race with him as 'one of the greatest Formula 3 races I ever had'.

His wife, Ivy, was a keen supporter of business and racing interests but sadly died in 1964. After Ivy's death, Charlie sold off most of his business interests. He later remarried and moved to Jersey.


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