Vic Elford's Porsches for courses
Extraordinary tales from the Motor Sport digital archive
F1 Retro October 1999
With January tending to be more about off-road antics than Formula 1, now is an appropriate time to look back on an expert all-rounder who appeared to have grand prix racing covered on his brief appearances in the sport – as he recalled to Motor Sport in 1999.
Vic Elford, above, the son of a Peckham shopkeeper, persuaded Porsche in 1966 that its 911 would be quite handy as a rally machine.
That ultimately led to a scarcely believable season: in 1968 he won the Monte-Carlo Rally in a 911, then one week later claimed the Daytona 24 Hours in a 907 on his debut.
In May he conquered the Targa Florio and the Nürburgring 1000Kms, before making his first F1 start in the unwieldy Cooper-BRM at Rouen. Elford would ace the wet conditions to finish fourth.
A man who was always happiest on the ragged edge, Elford would win several more major endurance races before calling it a day in the mid ’70s.
“Whatever I did in a car I could always do it, whether it was driving downhill on ice or snow, or driving down the Mulsanne straight at night at 250mph in a 917,” he said. “It was the one thing I could do well.”