19/5/1931 - 14/8/1967
One of the last true independant F1 drivers, Bob Anderson started out racing motorcyles. He switched to cars and the F1 World Championship and had a best finish of 3rd in the Austrian GP in 1964. Bob Anderson died 55 years ago, he was 36 , He would have been 91.
Bob Anderson was born in Hendon, North London, and grew up during WWII. He started racing on motorcycles in the 1950s riding 350cc World Championship. He came close to winning a Moto GP when he finished just inches behind Geoff Duke in the 1958 Swedish Grand Prix, but that was as close as he got.
He switched to cars in 1961 racing a Lola in Formula Junior before switching to Lotus in 1962 and winning in Montlhery and finishing second in the Monaco FJ race.
In 1963 he aquiring the ex-Bowmaker Lola and entered the many non-championship Formula 1 races that were popular at the time. He took a third at Imola and a fourth at Syracuse before winning the Rome GP though it was mostly against local competition.
He moved up to the World Championship full time in 1964 with a Brabham and though he never had sufficient budget to compete with the top teams, he did have enough to take part and frequently made up for lack of money with his spiritied driving. At the Austrian GP that year at Zeltweg he finished third behind Bandini and Ginther though high attrition did take out a number of the top drivers. At the end of the year he was deservedly awarded the Wolfgang von Trips Trophy for the best private entrant.
His 1965 season was cut short after he wrote off his car in practice at the Nurburgring, but he was back in 1966 with an old Climax four-cylinder engine in the Brabham for the new 3-litre formula.
Realising that the days of the independant were well and truly over he was considering retiring in 1967 when he was killed in an accident. He was testing in the wet at Silverstone in preparation for the Canadian Grand Prix when he aquaplaned into a marshals' post, receiving severe throat and chest injuries. He succumbed to his injuries four hours later in Northampton General Hospital.
Anderson was a loner and could be quite difficult to get along with, never the less he had an indomitable spirit and lived and died for his passion.