It came as a great shock that Clive Windsor-Richards had died, that dedicated vintage-car enthusiast who was driving his modern car at speed at the age of 90-plus, and who corresponded with me in no-nonsense letters, with his own brand of humour.
Born in Yorkshire, Clive had his first drive, aged 12, in an Arrol Johnston, and his taste for speed was met with Harley Davidson and TT Sunbeam motorcycles while at Manchester University. He studied engineering in Paris, so knew MontIhery, but his first sight of Brooklands was when he won a first-class award in a borrowed Vauxhall 30/98. The VSCC was made for him. He was its captain from 1938 to 1947 and won its covetted Lycett Trophy in 1937, ’38 and ’39. W-R had a number of 30/98s, including very quick dope-fueled ones driven to their limit on the road, and made the fastest race-lap of Brooklands for a standard-stroke 30/98, of 112.47mph.
He also raced a 4 1/2-litre Bentley at Donington and on Southport sands and drove the 1908 GP Italia and Delage II,which he owned for a time, making FTD at the I939 VSCC Lewes speed-trials.
Essentially a big-car man, Clive had the ex-Zborowski aero-engined white 16 1/2-litre Mercedes for a couple of years, used as a normal road car. But he was very versatile, driving with his partner GB Gush and others the 348cc Blackburne-engined Gush Special on record bids of up to 12 hours.
It was the big motors when possible, however, and as he knew Bunty Scott-Moncrieff and the Conan Doyles there were SSK 38/250hp Mercedes-Benz to compete with his very quick Vauxhalls. He also learned to fly at Brooklands. In later times Windsor-Richards drove Leslie Hawthorn’s Rileys at the Track. Although he found post-war Britain disillusioning, his sense of dry humour was well sustained and in VSCC circles we shall find it very hard to do without him.