Ralph Broad



Ralph Broad, who has died after a long illness, made his name in the 1960s and ’70s through his Broadspeed race team and tuning firm. Broadspeed Mini Coopers were regular class winners, often with Ralph driving, while John Fitzpatrick took the 1966 saloon championship in a Broadspeed Anglia. The firm also sold the ‘chop-top’ Broadspeed GT. More success came when employee Andy Rouse blossomed into a top saloon driver, with wins in Broadspeed Escorts, Dolomites and Capris, and taking the British saloon car title in 1975.

Broad was most famously associated with the fast but fragile XJC which so nearly made Jaguar winners in 1977, but when that project was axed the firm folded. Broad then developed racing BMWs before becoming “fed up with Britain” and retiring to Portugal. Frank and outspoken, he never found a publisher for the memoirs in which he vowed to reveal many racing home truths.