14/12/1919 - 18/4/1990
Bob Drake was a privateer driver from Los Angeles who raced in the 1950s and early 1960s. Bob Drake died 31 years ago, he was 71
Born in San Francisco, California, Bob Drake was a privateer driver from Los Angeles who raced in the 1950s and early 1960s. After briefly running restaurant in Los Angeles he opened a garage specialising in restoration and preparing cars for the film industry. He also undertook stunt driving.
He raced mainly in West Coast SCCA events from 1953 and his Ferrari 375MM won at Palm Springs a year later.
In 1956 he drove Frank Arciero's Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta Lusso and also drove many of Joe Lubin's cars including his Aston Martin DB3S/8 and 1500cc Cooper sports car as well as his Type 61 Birdcage Maserati. However he was best known for his driving of Max Balchowsky's Ol' Yaller cars, finishing 2nd in the 1960 Riverside Grand Prix driving Ol' Yaller Mk.II.
Lubin and Drake entered an elderly Tec-Mec Maserati 250F in the United States Grand Prix at the end of the season. Having qualified all-but last at Riverside, Drake was still running at the finish – seven laps down in 13th position. That was his only GP and the final appearance of a front-engine car and the last appearance of a 250F in F1. Drake continued to race until 1966 in less important events.