14/8/1917 - 29/4/2002
Record updated 29-Apr-20
Rob Walker was a member of the Johnny Walker whisky family, best known for running a private F1 team (R.R.C.Walker Racing). They won 9 Grand Prix, including the first wins for Lotus and Cooper.
Robert Ramsay Campbell Walker was a member of the Walker whisky family.
At the age of seven he was taken to France to watch the 1924 Boulogne Grand Prix and was hooked. He learnt to fly, but had his license taken away when he lapped Cottenham horse race course at ground level in a Gypsy Moth, taking all of the jumps. He only regained it when he joined the RAF in World War II.
He made his competition debut in a Lea-Francis at the Lewes Speed Trials, before purchasing an ex-Bira Delahaye 135 which he ran at Brooklands and Le Mans, finishing 8th with Ian Connell. He married Betty Duncan in 1940, and promised never to race cars again, limiting himself to speed trials and hillclimbs until 1957. After the war he started a small private team for Delahaye and Delage sports cars at his Pippbrook Garage in Dorking and found that his talent lay in managing rather than driving.
He entered a private team in F1 between 1957 and 1968 starting out with Stirling Moss as his driver.
His team had a total of nine Grand Prix wins.
Moss secured an historic victory in Argentina in a Walker-entered Cooper in 1958.
It was the first victory for a rear-engined car and, two years later, the British driver took another famous win at Monaco, driving a Lotus.
Walker's most successful period came to an end when Moss was forced to retire after a crash at Goodwood in 1962.
However, he celebrated one of his greatest wins when Jo Siffert drove a Lotus 49 to victory in the 1968 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch.
In 1971 the team, sponsored by British tea brand Brooke Bond Oxo, mergered with Team Surtees and though they were quite successful the partnership broke up at the end of 1973.
The last private car Rob Walker brought to the grid, was a Hesketh Ford 308 for Australian Alan Jones (together with Harry Stiller) for a few Grand Prix at the beginning of the 1975 season. Then the dark blue Scottish racing colours disappeared. Rob Walker died on 29th April 2002 in the age of 84 caused by a pneumonia.
In his passport under the heading "Profession", it simply read "Gentleman".