Berwyn Baxter

Berwyn Baxter

20/7/1920 - 16/7/2005

Baxter began his racing career after the Second World War and competed in numerous club events in the early 1950's. He started driving in trials with his supercharged Dellow and later a Vanguard special.

He graduated to club racing when he purchased the ex Bond Williams Aston Martin Speed Model. He won the AMOC St John Horsfall Trophy at Silverstone in 1952 and went on to compete regularly on all the UK circuits.

Between 1952 and 1954 he was a regular competitor in Formula Libre events, Formula 2 and in non-Championship Formula 1 races in Britain.

In 1953 he raced the LMC-Ron Willis Bristol/BMW Special and this was followed by an ex-Ecurie Ecosse 'C' Type Jaguar (XKC0046) with which he won a number of club events and competed in the final of the British Empire Trophy in 1954.

In 1954 Berwyn raced a new Kieft sportscar with a 1500cc Turner engine. Competing in the Paris 24 hr race at Montlhery, club events nationally and the Le Mans 24 hours with John Deeley. However these races proved too much for the Turner engine, only lasting six laps at Le Mans, and it was later replaced with an MG engine for the Goodwood Nine Hours race and success at the Dundrod TT, partnered with Max Trimble.

For the 1956/7 seasons Berwyn successfully drove the ex-Ken Wharton Aston Martin DB3S in many events. Late in the year Berwyn bought Kieft Cars from fellow Welshman Cyril Kieft.

Baxter carried on racing until 1956, mostly, again in club events, with a few big British races to boot, but lack of reliability left Berwyn rather disenchanted and he retired at the season's end.

Kieft Cars Ltd ceased to make cars in Derry Street, Wolverhampton during 1956 and Baxter transferred the company to Nixon’s Garage, Soho Road, Birmingham, and shortly afterwards transferred to new premises in Bordesley Road Birmingham. The company undertook the preparation of competition cars in addition to Baxter’s own Aston Martin DB3S and Max Trimble’s Jaguars. There were ambitious plans for marketing a production version of the Kieft 1100ccc sports car but they came to nothing. The company quietly faded away until the spring of 1960 when John Turvey and Lionel Mayman bought the company and called it Burmans, which, in 1961, made a few Formula Junior cars under the Kieft name; but they were not successful.

Berwyn met his wife while making the film Checkpoint with his DB3S in 1956. Following a career as a successful Midlands industrialist, he retired to live in Jersey. Berwyn Baxter died on the 16th July 2005.

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