Obituaries: Patrick Lindsay, Jean Rondeau, Prince Bira

The Hon Patrick Lindsay

Patrick Lindsay died on January 9th at the age of 57 after an illness of several months. Known to the public most of all in his capacity as Chnsties Fine Art consultant and auctioneer, and keen pilot of his own Spitfire aircraft, he will be remembered in the motoring world for, amongst much else, his enthusiastic and successful racing of the ex-Bira ERA R5B, and one of two Maserati 250Fs he acquired.

Having learned to fly while at Oxford, Lindsay began racing in the early ’50s in an HWM.Alta, before buying “Remus” in 1959. A keen traveller and skier, he loved fine machinery and collected a number of very desirable cars, including the 24-litre Napier-Railton, and several aircraft, which he flew from an air strip at his house. Adventurous in all things he competed in the London to Sydney Marathon in Keith Schellenburg’s 8-litre Bentley, and in 1984 flew the Channel in a replica of Bleriot’s monoplane.

His activities in diverse fields were extensive, and his irreplaceable brand of gentlemanly bravado will be widely missed. Motor Sport extends its sympathies to his wife. Lady Annabel and their four children.

Jean Rondeau

We regret to report the death of French racing driver-cum-constructor, Jean Rondeau, who lost his life in a road accident shortly after Christmas. Rondeau was killed instantly when his Porsche was struck by a train after he became stuck on a level crossing.

Rondeau who was 39 and single, was best known for his 1980 success at Le Mans, when he shared the victory spoils in the 24 Hours with Jean-Pierre Jaussaud. It was the first and only, time that the classic race had been won by a driver using a car of his own construction.

Recently, his sportscar successes had been limited, although his Le Mans factory produced competitive Formula Ford 1600 chassis, which carried off the first two French FF1600 Championship titles.

Motor Sport extends its sympathies to his family and friends on then sad loss.

Prince Bira

“B. Bira”, the racing synonym for Prince Birabongse Bhanuban of Siam (now Thailand), educated at Eton and Cambridge, made a very great impression on the motor racing scene before the war, driving for his cousin Prince Chula until he came of age. Starting at Brooklands with Riley and MG cars, “Bira” was given the ERA 828 “Romulus” for his 21st birthday. This was the start of a very successful career as an amateur, racing in Britain and on the continent for Chula s White Mouse Stable, using three ERAs and a 2.9-litre Maserati. “Bira” also drove various sports cars.

He took the BRDC Gold Star in 1936, ’37 and ’38 and continued racing after the war with Maserati and Simca-Gordini cars etc, as well as with the ERA “Hanuman’. His successes continued to mount up, now as a professional racing driver. He drove a new 250F Maserati in 1954 winning at Chirnay, but after finishing first in the New Zealand Ardmore Grand Prix of 1955 he retired.

“Bira” was a skilled pilot, flying with his Gemini home to Bangkok in 1952/’53 about which he wrote a book and another hobby was sculpturing, his work being shown at the Royal Academy. In recent times he turned to yacht racing in the Mediterranean, in spite of somewhat poor eyesight Born in 1914. “Bira” died in London this winter of a heart attack — W B