Former Grand Prix racer and team owner Tim Parnell is today celebrating his 80th birthday!
The bulky and extremely friendly Englishman was one of Formula 1’s first second-generation drivers, following in the footsteps of his father Reg, who would also forge a successful career in team ownership after hanging up his helmet.
Sadly, Tim never quite matched his father’s achievements behind the wheel, although he nonetheless had an enjoyable career in the cockpit in the 1950s and 1960s.
After failing to qualify his Formula 2 class Cooper T45 at the 1959 British Grand Prix at Aintree, Tim headed to Formula Junior and enjoyed a solid year, before buying himself a Lotus 18, which he towed to all corner of Europe in search of success.
His F1 debut came in 1961 – again at Aintree – where he retired with a clutch failure, and later finished tenth at the Italian Grand Prix later in the year.
Sidelined for much of 1962 due to illness, he returned to competition the next year, only for the sudden death of his father to thrust him into the role of running the eponymous Parnell Formula 1 team.
He remained as its team manager for the remainder of the decade, and in the latter stages it became a BRM works team. He also ran his own F1 team, signing such drivers as Mike Spence and Pedro Rodriguez.
[Image via ESPN and Laberezina]