Autocourse Grand Prix Archive


Anderson, Bob

This tough ex-motor cycle racer had tasted success before a damaged back ended his two-wheel career and he switched to four-wheel competition at the relatively late age of 29 in 1961. A season was spent learning the ropes in Formula Junior for Lotus before he bought the ex-Bowmaker Lola to have a crack at Formula 1 in 1963, competing in the many non-title races that abounded at the time. After a third place at Imola and a fourth at Syracuse, he won the Rome GP against fairly thin local opposition, quickly garnering the experience to compete full-time in the World Championship in 1964.

Making the absolute most of a minute budget, he frequently outdrove more vaunted competitors with his Brabham and was deservedly awarded the Wolfgang von Trips Trophy for the best private entrant. The days of the independent were already numbered but Bob � loyally supported by his French wife Marie-Edm�e � ploughed on. His 1965 season was cut short after he wrote off his car in a practice accident at the N�rburgring, but this setback merely strengthened Anderson�s resolve and he equipped his Brabham with an old Climax four-cylinder engine for the new 1966 3-litre formula.

Once again heroic performances gained placings which reflected the driver�s skill and tenacity but as the Cosworth era dawned even Bob was facing the stark reality that time was up for the impecunious privateer. Testing his ancient Brabham on a wet track at Silverstone in preparation for the 1967 Canadian GP, he aquaplaned into a marshals� post, receiving severe throat and chest injuries. Poor Anderson had no chance of survival, and eventually succumbed four hours later in Northampton hospital.

Seen as a lone wolf, Anderson would have loved to be considered for a works drive but, while the Grand Prix circus wined and dined at the plushest of hotels on their travels, Bob was to be found resting his head in less expensive establishments � if there was time for sleep at all, given his other duties as team manager, mechanic and public relations man.

Today, the sometimes abrasive Anderson is a forgotten figure, but those who knew him remember a man of remarkable integrity and indomitable spirit who lived � and died � for his passion.

Personal Statistics

Born 19/05/1931
Place of Birth Hendon, London
Died 14/08/1967
Place of Death Northampton
Nationality GB

Career Statistics

Years in Competition 5
Championships Won 0
Race Presences 29
Race Starts  (86.2%)  25
Did Not Start  (10.3%)  3
Did Not Qualify  (3.4%)  1
Not Classified  (6.9%)  2
Retired  (37.9%)  11
Race Wins 0
Podium Finishes  (3.4%)  1
Fastest Laps 0
Pole Positions 0
Front Row Starts 0
Total Driver Points 8
Last Race British GP (15/07/1967)

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