Dick Gibson was a Barnstable-based motor trader who began competing in 1953 with a Jaguar XK120. He switched to single-seaters and a Cooper T23-Bristol in 1954 and entered a number of hillclimbs and lesser Formula 1 events throughout England.
He finished fourth in an obscure race at Davidstow in Cornwall in 1955 before acquiring an ex-Johnny Claes Connaught A-type for the following season. Gibson was fifth in the 1956 BARC 200 at Aintree when sharing with Bob Berry.
Grand Prix debut
Gibson had a new Cooper T43-Climax for 1957 and his schedule included entry in the Formula 2 class of the German Grand Prix. He qualified last and retired after just three laps. Sixth in that year’s Reims F2 race, he returned to the Nürburgring for the 1958 GP and started from an improved 18th position but his Cooper again retired early on.
South African success
The greatest successes of his racing career came in South Africa. His first such foray was in early 1957 when Gibson won a non-championship race at Grand Central near Johannesburg. That was followed by national championship victories in the Van Riebeeck Trophy and at Grand Central once more in 1958.
He won the opening three races of 1959 (Pietermaritzburg and twice at Cape Town) but lost the 1820 Settlers’ Trophy after a spin. He finished seventh in the South African GP at the end of 1960 (there were two such races that year, both run to Formule Libre) but Gibson crashed during the False Bay 100 at Cape Town and broke his hip.
Gibson retired from racing but ran Equipe Prideaux for a short time with Vic Wilson driving his Cooper T43-Climax in the 1960 Italian GP.