Derek Gardner — Tyrrell’s highly respected Formula 1 designer from 1970-77 — died on January 7, aged 79.
Forty years before, Ken Tyrrell offered him the job of designing a racing car fit for World Champion Jackie Stewart. Bentley-driving Derek, reserved and precise, had never designed a car before.
Born at Leamington Spa in 1931 and brought up in nearby Warwick he showed an early passion for aviation, joining Constant Speed Airscrews at only 17, while studying aerodynamics at Coventry Tech.
In 1949 he swopped to mechanical engineering, joining a firm of consultant engineers with whom he designed the folding hood for the Healey Silverstone. At 23 he began National Service in the RAE although high-tone deafness foiled his ambition to become a pilot.
After being demobbed at 25 he became a gearbox engineer, first with Hobbs Transmissions, then Ferguson Research, working on the 1964 Novi-Ferguson Indycar and the 4WD BRM F1 hack. In 1968 he joined STP-Lotus at Indy. Rooming with chief mechanic Dick Scammell he told me, “I realised this was what I wanted to do I had to get into racing full-time”.
Through 1969 he worked on Ferguson’s 4WD system for the Tyrrell-run Matra MS84, and got to know Ken. He was regarded as pernickety, but ‘very sound’. Early in 1970 Tyrrell realised he had to build his own car to become independent of an outside manufacturer…”. Derek had decided to leave Ferguson and freelance when Ken asked if he could design an F1 car. When I decided I could, I began to wonder whether I should!”
He built the Tyrrell 001 mock-up in his garage in Leamington Spa, where Stewart visited for a fitting.
Derek’s Tyrrell designs carried Stewart to World Championship victory in 1971 and ’73. His long-wheelbase 007s followed for new boys Jody Scheckter and Patrick Depailler in 1974-75, coming close to another title. For 1976-77 the six-wheeled P34 completed his F1 career. Frustrated more politically than practically by F1, Derek rejoined formal industry, becoming divisional director of engineering and research for Borg-Warner. An engineer’s engineer and a great man, sadly afflicted in recent years by failing health. Doug Nye
Grand Prix driver and team owner Jacques Swaters died in December aged 84 after a long career promoting Belgian racing interests.
In WWII Swaters was arrested by the Germans for resistance activities and was lucky to be rescued from a prison train. Of a wealthy family, he contested GPs in the early ’50s in a Talbot and raced a Ferrari 500, but became synonymous with sports car racing as principal of Ecurie Francorchamps and Ecurie National Beige, aiming to promote Belgian drivers. Between the two outfits Swaters oversaw overall victory in the 1965 Spa 500Kms, plus several impressive seconds and thirds at Le Mans to add to his personal third and two fourths in Cand D-type Jaguars there.
As Belgium’s Ferrari concessionaire he entered many Maranello machines in Belgium’s yellow livery, and Francorchamps became at its height one of the most respected privateer Ferrari teams. Latterly Swaters built an archive housing drawings, artefacts and memorabilia of his beloved marque.
One of the legendary names from the great days of Team Lotus has died, aged 83. Jim Endruweit was chief mechanic when Jim Clark won both his World Championships, but more than that was Colin Chapman’s righthand man while Lotus turned from a back-street organisation into Grand Prix winners.
He had already done 12 years in the Fleet Air Arm when he joined Lotus in 1958, and reckoned that this experience gave him the organisational abilities which led to him progressing from mechanic to racing manager, with responsibility not only for overseeing race car assembly but also for getting Team Lotus to each GP on schedule. Jim also looked after the Cortina, F2 and sports car operations, and led the forays to Indianapolis culminating in the 1965 victory.
After the deaths in 1968 of Clark and Mike Spence, when it looked as though Chapman might give up racing, Endruweit switched to the road car department, though in 1973 he ran the factory F2 team with Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson. Jim later went on to work in the aircraft industry, but his great recall of the early days made him a popular attendee at historic events and a valued asset to Classic Team Lotus.
Known to all as ‘Ando’, this popular team manager passed away in Indianapolis a week before Christmas. Anderson, 65, suffered a heart attack while playing racquetball and died shortly after.
An Australian who moved to the US more than 30 years ago, ‘Ando’ was an old school master mechanic and fabricator. He was also a very funny man and a hilarious storyteller, one of motor racing’s truly good guys.
Anderson worked in Formula 5000, Can-Am, Indycars and the ALMS, and became one of the finest team managers in the business. He ran Dario Franchitti’s Indycar at Andretti-Green in 2007 when the Scot won his first Indy 500 and IndyCar championship, and Dario says ‘Ando’ was the most fun guy he ever worked with. In 2008 and ’09 Anderson ran Gil de Ferran’s ALMS team. Anderson was a tireless worker who could motivate people like few others with his superb skills and bottomless pit of humour.
Malcolm ‘Mac’ Daghorn, who has died aged 79, was a racer, engineer and engine builder who came to prominence in the 1960s after teaming up with hillclimber Peter Westbury.
Coming from hillclimbs in his native Jersey, Daghorn fitted easily with Westbury’s Felday firm, and drove the 4WD Felday 4 to a maiden victory at Brands. He had success in sports cars, notably Ford GT40 and Lola T70, and competed in F3, F5000, Formula Vee and SuperVee. He went on to become a top VW engine builder, and was a consultant to BL and Williams F1.