Former F1 driver David Piper is celebrating his 80th birthday today.

David Piper The Middlesex-born driver came from a farming family who lost their land (but gained a sackful of quid) when the British government compulsorily acquired their land to build the M1 motorway.

Piper contested two Grands Prix – the 1959 and 1960 British events – at the wheel of a Lotus 16, retiring from the first and finishing twelfth in the latter.

Piper would achieve much more success in sports car racing, and was Ferrari’s most successful privateer driver.

Tragically, he lost part of one leg in an accident while filming the 1970 film Le Mans, but continued to compete in historic events for many years afterwards.

[Original image via MaggieMaggi]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.