Don Parker

Don Parker, the most successful Formula Three driver in history, died peacefully in hospital on May 20th after a short illness. He was 88. Don's career statistics read: British F3 Champion in 1952, 1953 and 1959. He won 126 F3 races and in 1953 alone started in 44, had podiums in 42 and won 30. And that in a car he developed himself. Officially it was a Kieft, but since Don made everything except the chassis it was really a Parker Special. Stirling Moss may have been a star in 1953, but he still raced in F3 and Don beat him more times than any other driver did. The astonishing thing is that he had never even seen a motor race until he was 40, yet for most of the 1950s he was the driver against who all the young hotshots measured themselves. Don had offers from Lotus and Lister, but turned them down because, he said, he lacked confidence. In 1956 he began to make trailers. Long after he retired from racing (in 1959, when he was 51) Don Parker trailers were part of the racing scene. He was more proud of the fact that his trailers were bought by the likes of Lotus, McLaren and Rolls-Royce than he was of his driving career. He leaves a widow, Dory, and a daughter.