MEMORIAL PLANS FOR ‘FORGOTTEN’ BRITISH MOTOR RACING GREAT
A campaign has been launched to raise funds to create a permanent memorial to Kidderminster’s own British Formula 1 driver, Peter Collins.
Peter, along with Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, and many others, was at the vanguard of British motor racing in what many still consider to be its greatest period in the 1950s, yet he remains one of the few without a permanent memorial.
Mark Andrews, managing director of European Driving Tours, is hoping to change this as he leads a campaign to fund, produce and erect a memorial.
A life-size bronze bust of Collins will be created by sculptor Stephen Charnock of Bronzecast, and will be located at Shelsley Walsh, Peter's ‘home’ circuit. In addition, the clay model of the bust is to be sited at the Wolfgang von Trips exhibition at the Nürburgring in Germany, where Collins sadly lost his life.
But before any of that can happen Mark needs to raise £15,000 to fund the project.
Peter Collins, who was born in Mustow Green near Kidderminster in 1931, could have been Britain's first Formula 1 world champion in 1956 but, in the days when drivers could change cars during a race, Peter stopped in the last race of the season and gave his car to Fangio, when the Argentinian's car suffered mechanical problems. This gesture prevented Peter from winning the world title and allowed Fangio to claim his fourth title. Peter later explained the reason for his action saying; "I am only 25 years old and have plenty of time to win the championship on my own."
Sadly, he died less than two years later following a fatal crash during the 1958 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, without fulfilling his dream and leaving his great friend Mike Hawthorn to become Britain's first world champion in 1958.
Mark added that he wanted those who donate to the fund to have the opportunity to receive something in return. He has enlisted the help Jo Klausmann, a noted German motorsports artist, who has donated a painting of Peter to the campaign. Mark added, “The original painting of Peter will be given to the highest donation to the fund or to the first donation of £1200 or more. We’ll also print 100 limited edition copies of the painting and these, along with invitations to the unveilings of the memorial in the UK and Germany, will be given to the first 100 donations of £100 or more.”