Former F1 driver Vic Elford will be celebrating his 75th birthday today!
Born in London and now living in Florida, “Quick Vic” competed competed in 13 Grands Prix between 1968 and 1971, scoring a total of 8 championship points.
Very much a star performer in almost every motorsport discipline in which he tried his hand, it is perhaps a shame that his F1 results never did his talent full justice.
He shot to prominence as a Ford works driver in 1964 before switching to Porsche, with whom he had a long-standing association for many years thereafter. A winner of the 1967 Group 3 title and the 1968 Monte Carlo Rally, Vic enjoyed great success in sports cars, picking up a famous trio of victories comprising the Dayton 24 Hours, Targa Florio and Nurburgring 1000km event.
The Cooper team offered Vic a drive at the 1968 French Grand Prix at Rouen, and he promptly finished an impressive fourth on debut in the wet. He picked up a further two points in Canada en route to seeing out the season with the team, but it folded at the end of the year.
For 1969, Elford continued with the Porsche sports car team before joining the privateer Colin Crabbe F1 team for five rounds, picking up a 5th and 6th at the respective French and British Grands Prix. Disaster would strike at the next round at the Nurburgring, where he struck debris from Mario Andretti’s accident and broke his arm and collarbone after a heavy shunt.
His F1 career effectively finished, Elford recuperated and returned again to the Porsche sports car squad, winning the 1970 Nurburgring 1000km event alongside Kurt Ahrens. He made one further F1 outing with BRM in 1971.
Subsequent seasons until his 1974 retirement were spent in a host of cars and series, and he remained connected to motorsport when he managed the ATS F1 team in 1977.
[Original image via The Cahier Archive]