Sadly, the early death of Mansour Ojjeh, on June 6, was not unexpected but he will be sorely missed. This strikingly handsome Franco-Saudi had really been brought into the motor racing world by two intensely persuasive and magnetic Brits – Frank Williams and, perhaps more so, by Frank’s friend, supporter and sponsor-hunter, Charles Crichton-Stuart.
Charlie was related to the Marquess of Bute. A young cousin would become the 7th Marquess, and a Le Mans winner – Johnny Dumfries. Charlie had joined the RAF, becoming a Vampire pilot, racing during leave. He was very much part of the Piers Courage, Charles Lucas, Frank Williams set of young London-based racers. In 1966 he won the Argentine Temporada F3 Championship in a Brabham.
Into the early 1970s he became Harrods owner Sir Hugh Fraser’s personal pilot. The young Lord Hesketh offered him a similar job, but the 1974 oil crisis intervened. Charlie, wings clipped, became a salesman for HR Owen, Kensington. One Ferrari customer was young Saudi Prince Sultan bin Salman. They kept in touch and after Charlie joined Frank Williams as team sponsor-hunter, that dynamic duo flew to Denver, USA, where Sultan was at university, to seek Saudi sponsorship.