Bruce Halford

Bruce Halford

18/5/1931 - 4/12/2001

Halford bought the ex-Bira Maserati 250F and raced mainly on the non-championship European F1 circuit. Later he drove an F2 Lotus before retiring in the early 1960s. He returned to the circuits in the 1970s racing a Lotus 16 in historic events.

Born in Hampton-in-Arden, nr Birmingham, Warwickshire, Bruce Halford's family owned a hotel in Torquay. He started racing with a Cooper-Bristol but then purchased the ex-Bira Maserati 250F in 1956 from Horace Gould and proceeded to live a similarly enterprising, semi-nomadic life mainly on the non-Championship European Formula 1 circuit.

Halford crashed it later in 1956 and returned it to the factory for a rebuild. A new chassis was built using the old number, 2504, although it was actually chassis 2509.

Over three years his best finish was third at Caen in both 1957 and 1958 and third in the Aintree 100.

By then, however, the car was showing its age and he turned to a Lister-Jaguar and a year of national sports car racing - which must certainly have sharpened up his driving, for he was a much improved performer when he returned to single-seaters in 1959 with a new Lotus 16, though his best result was as a guest driver for BRM in teh BRM P25/R9 finishing third in the Silver City Trophy race at Snetterton.

He raced at Le Mans six times between 1957 and 1961 but only saw the finish line once when coming 15th overall driving a Lister Jaguar with Brian Naylor in 1958.

In 1960 Halford handled a Cooper with moderate success and later drove a Formula 2 Lotus before retiring to the family hotel and to yachting, his other great love.

In the mid 1970s with the new-found popularity of historic racing, Bruce returned to drive an immaculate Lotus 16 with great gusto. He died in 2001 at his home in Devon after a short illness.

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