20/9/1921 - 4/11/1968
Larger than life Bristol Motor Trader whose build and driving style led to him being dubbed "the Gonzalez of the West Country". He participated in 16 Grand Prix, debuting on July 17, 1954. He scored 2 championship points. Horace Gould died 54 years ago, he was 47
Born Horace Harry Twigg in Southmead, Bristol, England, Horace was a larger than life Bristol Motor Trader whose build and driving style led to him being dubbed 'the Gonzalez of the West Country'. He actually changed his name to Gould after acquiring Gould's Garage in Bristol and getting fed up with people asking him if he was Mr. Gould.
He stared racing with an MG TA in August 1952, finishing 3rd in the 6 Hour relay race at Silverstone. He was in the same team as Denis Jenkinson (of Mille Miglia fame with Moss) who was driving a Bugatti T37A. he had another outing in the MG in September picking up a 3rd and a win in the second heat of the all comers race.
For 1953 Lionel Leonard sold Horace his Cooper T21 MG (KOY 500) which he campaigned extensively through the year taking a number of podiums and a win at the Queensferry sprint in June and at Silverstone in the Libre race in August. He finished 4th in the United States Air Force Trophy at Snetterton in July and was second behind Tony Rolt in the Bristol MC and LCC Formula 2 race at Thruxton in early August. He finished 3rd on aggregate at Crystal Palace in the London trophy in September behind Moss and Rolt, and in October he was second to Bob Gerard at Castle Combe in the Joe Fry Memorial Trophy.
At the end of the year the Monkey Stable temporarily pulled out of racing and Horace Gould acquired one of their Bristol-powered Kiefts to replace his Cooper-MG which he sold to Brian Naylor. However he found little success with the Kieft in 1954 but also acquired an F2 Cooper Bristol.
At the end of 1953 he travelled to new Zealand stopping off en route in Australia where he had a match race with Jack Brabham at Mount Druitt. Brabham had just taken delivery of a similar Cooper-Bristol and had fitted a lightened flywheel and a Harley Davidson clutch. This apparently permitted him to get to 6500 rpm against 5800 rpm of Horace. The result was that Braham got the better of Gould in a fairly comprehensive way. Gould then continued to New Zealand for the first New Zealand International Grand Prix at Ardmore. The race was full of spectacle and no small amount of controversy. F1 World Champion Alan Jones' father Stan was entered in the 1946 Maybach Special which had been patched up on the eve of the race in readiness also in attendance were Ken Wharton with a BRM, Peter Whitehead (Ferrari) and Horace with the Cooper Bristol. The field was bolstered by a pair of 1934 P3 Alfa-Romeos an 8CM Maserati, a number of home built specials including the Gipsy aero-engined Stanton Special and three Cooper 500cc F3 cars!
Everything went smoothly with the order being Wharton, Whitehead, Jones, Gould, Gaze with his HWM Alta, and Ron Roycroft in one of the P3 Alfa-Romeos. Then on lap 13 Whitehead spun. He restarted but it was later claimed that a number of cars passed him including Gould in the Cooper Bristol. Later on the lap the clutch of the Ferrari exploded and Peter was lucky to escape with just a cut above his eye. Further confusion came when Gould pitted on lap 27. The official scorers put him a lap down though local observers sad he only lost a place to Tony Gaze. Wharton pitted on lap 45 and Jones took the lead until he was passed again by Wharton. A few miles further on his brakes went but after a pit stop to disconnect the front brakes he returned to the fray. At the finish the order was Jones, Wharton, Gaze, Gould, Roycroft, Jack Brabham and Ross Jensen. Then the problems started: Gould and his crew maintained that they had completed 101 laps and were thus the winners. A protest was entered and upheld and Gould was re-classified in second. Gould was not sure how that could work and said that either he had won or he was fourth, he could not have been second! Wharton and Gaze also protested and there followed a lengthy enquiry that lasted several weeks. In the end the placings were reverted to the original finishing order. Thus Gould was relegated back to fourth though he might well have been the winner.
At Davidstow in Cornwall, on June 7th Gould had entered his Cooper Bristol for both the Formula 1 and Formula 2 races. Unfortunately he retired from the F2 race after setting the fastest lap so the car was not able to start the F1 race. However rather than miss it, he brought out the Kieft Bristol Sports Car. He started from second on the grid (where he had qualified the Cooper) but, heavily outclassed, he retired the car early. Horace used a converted Bristol bus as a transporter and with his racing over for the day he loaded up and left the track only he didn't! He actually made a wrong turn and found himself travelling down the main straight towards the footbridge. The good news was that no racing was taking place, the bad news was the bridge too low and both the bus and the bridge came to grief. No-one was injured but the final two races of the day had to be cancelled.
He made his World Championship debut that year in the British Grand Prix. Having qualified a reasonably respectable 20th (out of 32), in the race a front wheel bearing seized and, without a spare Fred Tuck and Peter Weston, his pit crew, commandeered a Ford Consul from the car park, as you do. They removed the hub and bearing and fitted it to the Cooper and sent Horace on his way 46 minutes later. Horace was the last finisher running in 15 but was unclassified as he was 44 laps down on the real González!
He did have a number of good results during the year including wining the Joe Fry Memorial Trophy at Castle Combe in late August. At some point Horace experimented with nitro-methane. He had heard of beneficial results being obtained so he tried it in the Cooper and found it went quicker. Working on the principal that if a little is good, allot must be better. He upped the dose and set off round Goodwood only discover that it was not the case and blew the engine up.
In 1955 he acquired the ex-Prince Bira Maserati 250F and went international! Basing himself for much of the season in Modena where he stood the best chance of scrounging parts from the factory, he lived a hand-to-mouth existence. He frequently entered non-championship races where the chances of earning starting money were good and the possibility of a decent finish was also better.
At the Grand Prix d'Albi at the end of May he was third behind the similar Maserati of André Simon and Louis Rosier. He crashed out of the Dutch Grand prix at Zandvoort in June and retired with brake problems from the British Grand Prix in July. He was third in the first heat of the London Trophy at Crystal Palace at the end of July but retired in the final with transmission problems. Second in the final of the Daily Record Trophy at Charterhall in Scotland followed in August before a retirement in the RedeX Trophy.
He then bought the ex-works 1954 250F (2514) and finished fine third in the Daily Telegraph Trophy behind Roy Salvadori and Bob Gerard on September 3rd at Aintree. He retired in the Italian Grand Prix and the International Gold Cup at Oulton Park but then came 2nd in the Avon Trophy at Castle Combe behind Harry Schell's Vanwall. He rounded out his season with fourth at Syracuse behind Brooks, Musso and Luigi Villoresi.
He continued in the same vein in 1956 with his season highlighted by a 2nd in the Grand Prix di Napoli at Posillipo and the Vanwall Trophy at Snetterton, and a win in the Aintree 100. He also finished 8th in Monaco and finished 5th in the British Grand Prix, scoring his 2 Championship points.
1957 saw much the same program again though he competed in more Championship rounds than before. he started the year with a full program in New Zealand and back in Europe his best result came in the non-championship Grand Prix di Napoli. He had warned Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn, who were on the front row of the grid directly in front of him, that he intended to lead the race at the start and that he had fitted a very low first gear to help him achieve this. This was a typically Gould tactic to help increase his value in negotiations for starting money. As the flag dropped Collins and Hawthorne left a gap between them for Horace to nip through which he duly did. Then, during the lap, he let them pass but kept Musso behind him for a few more laps before he managed to overtake.
The Modena Grand Prix in September saw another typical example of Horace and his hand to mouth existence. He rented his own 250F to Colin Davis, son of S.C.H. Davis. Horace then went off in search of Guglielmo Dei, team manager of Scuderia Centro Sud and did a deal to rent one of their school 250Fs (2522) at a much lower price than he had charged Colin. In the race Colin retired on lap 7 with engine problems and Horace finished 9th.
In May he drove a Maserati 300S in the Nürburgring 1000 Kilometre race with Godia-Sales, Moss and Fangio, finishing 5th overall.
When Maserati withdrew from racing, Gould was no longer able to scrounge the parts he needed to help keep the Maserati running on a budget. He did travel to Buenos Aires at the start of 1958 for the Grand Prix de la Republica where he finished 9th and he also took fourth at Syracuse. He hired the Scuderia Centro Sud school 250F again for Monaco that year but failed to qualify. He entered the Maserati for Bruce Halford at Oulton Park in 1959 for the Gold Cup but the car didn't start due to mechanical problems and Gould himself was tempted back to race in the boycotted 1960 Italian GP, but again the car failed to take the start, this time due to crossed fuel-lines.
He died from a sudden heart attack in 1968 in Southmead.