Lance Macklin

Lance Macklin

2/9/1919 - 29/8/2002

A polished and extremely stylish driver. He spent the bulk of his career driving for John Heath's underfinanced HWM team. He was involved in the accident which killed Pierre Levegh and 80 spectators at Le Mans in 1955.

Son of the late Sir Noel Macklin, principal of the Cobham-based Invicta sports car company, Lance Macklin was a polished and extremely stylish driver. He spent the bulk of his career driving for John Heath's underfinanced HWM team, and his Grand Prix career suffered through the cars' lack of reliability. His best result was an eighth in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in 1952, staying with the team the following year only to post retirements in all six rounds of the World Championship.

He finished third in an Aston Martin at Le Mans in 1954 and then hit the headlines in 1955 he was caught up in the accident which killed Pierre Levegh and 80 spectators when he made a defensive move to avoid hitting Mike Hawthorn, and Levegh's car clipped his. Although Macklin's car crashed, he was uninjured but was deeply affected by the crash and was one of the drivers who gave evidence to the French government inquiry headed by the magistrate Zadock Kahn.

Macklin continued to race but, after a narrow escape in the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod, when he crashed to avoid a multiple accident in which two drivers were killed and another seriously injured, he decided to call it a day.

He emigrated to New Zealand with a NZ wife late 50;s or early 60's an ran a fish and chip shop in a North Island village of Otaki. The marrige failed given the wandering eye and in the late 70's or early 80's he returned to Europe.

Though it is reported that most of his time was spent in Spain, in reality a lot of that so called Spainish time was spent in New Zealand.

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