Austin Dobson

19/8/1912 - 13/3/1963

Austin Dobson
Austin Dobson was a racing driver competing in Maserati and Alfa Romeo. His brother Arthur also used to race. Austin Dobson died 59 years ago, he was 51

Austin Dobson was born in Lodsworth, Sussex, England. He was a racing driver competing in Maserati and Alfa Romeo. His brother Arthur also used to race.

In 1935 he bought the ex-Birkin Maserati Tipo 8C-3000 (3002). In the 1935 Pheonix Park race he came within 0.4mph of setting the first 100mph lap at the Dublin circuit, but a broken oil pump was his sole reward. He also raced in the Donington GP but crashed on the 67th lap. He also raced an Alfa Romeo Monza 2.6L finishing 5th in the III Mannin Moar on the Isle of Mann.

In 1936 he raced in the first Hungarian Grand Prix with an Alfa Romeo Tipo B 3.2L, finishing 6th. He then crashed out of the Deauville GP, posted a DNF at the Coppa Acerbo going out after 8 of the 16 lap race. He finished 6th in the Donington GP in October and 11th in the VI Mountain Championship at Brooklands. In the International Trophy he retired in the ex-Birkin Maserati Tipo 8C-3000, and it was all too obvious that the new generation ERAs with half the engine capacity were faster than the great old car.

Bought three Maserati 6CM Monoposto cars in 1937. That year he also raced a ex-Chiron Ferrari Alfa Romeo Bi-motore in national events at Donington and Brooklands. Ferrari had installed a pair of 2.9-litre engines for Dobson and replaced the Dubonnet front suspension with a more modern trailing-link set-up. However Dobson soon discovered that the big car was completely out of its element on the twisty road course at Donington. He took it to Brooklands where he broke the Class B lap record on the Mountain Circuit, raising it to 77.84mph. Driving with Fairey Aviation test pilot Chris Staniland in the BRDC's 500-Kilometres race, the car lapped the outer circuit at 132.8mph. They finished sixth on corrected handicap.

At the end of the season Dobson he sold it to the Hon. Peter Aitken who decided to modify it to be more suitable for English racing. He virtually cut the car in two, removed the rear engine along with the transmission and rear suspension and replaced it with an ENV pre-selector gearbox and a new back axle mounted on quarter-elliptic springs. This special was renamed the 'Alfa-Aitken' and appeared in the middle of 1939.

Died in Cuckfield, Sussex in 1963.


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