Peter D. C. Walker
Peter Douglas Conyers Walker (70) died on March 1st 1984. Formerly a farmer by profession, he was (in his day) one of the fastest and most skilful of British racing drivers, with the ERA, BRM, Jaguar, and Aston Martin works teams. His greatest victory was in 1951’s Le Mans 24-hour race, partnered by the late Peter Whitehead. That was the first race for Jaguar’s original competition car, the XK120C (or C-type) — and the first of five wins at Le Mans for the Coventry marque, export sales of which began to rocket from this point, to give Jaguar worldwide fame. He was also part of the greatest of all Jaguar’s Le Mans wins, in 1953, when Stirling Moss and Walker shared the second-placed car, behind their team-mates Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt.
Peter Walker joined Aston Martin for 1955, and scored a Jaguar-defeating win with Dennis Poore in the Goodwood 9-hour race, driving an Aston Martin DB3S. It was in an Aston Martin that he crashed at Le Mans in 1956, sustaining concussion and other injuries. This brought to an end a fine racing career.
THE death occurred in February of Wallace Marsh of Chipping Campden, who, besides being a well-known VCC member for many years, will also be remembered by regular readers of MOTOR SPORT, as detail of his experiences with the Star make featured in the January and February, 1980 editions. Wallace Marsh’s 1909 Star can now be seen in the British Motor Heritage Museum at Syon Park.
WE were saddened last month to hear of the sudden death of an old friend from Boreham, Norman Masters, a man whose long competition career had made him familiar in rallying circles all over the world. Norman was not just a mechanic; He was a cornerstone, one of the original Old Hands of the Ford Rally Team who had been there since the department was based not at Boreham, but at Lincoln Cars in West London.
Staunch and reliable both in the workshop and out in the mud and snow, he became responsible for building Roger Clark’s competition cars, and much of Clark’s success must have been due to various tweaks which they conjured up together. When the pressure was off he was always quick to join a prank and his tousled hair was invariably to be seen when some hilarity was being planned, whether at ,the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, the Tip-Top Bar in Monte-Carlo, or some remote farmyard service point in Scotland.
We consider it a privilege to have known Norman Masters, without whom the Ford Team and the entire sport will be that much less rich. Our sincere sympathy to his family and his countless friends.