The family of former Grand Prix racer Anthony ‘Tony’ Crook has announced his death, aged 93.
While the record books will only show that Crook contested two World Championship Grands Prix, he was one of Britain’s most active racers in the post-War era, competing in a variety of single-seater and sports car disciplines.
Crook was actually the winner of the very first post-War race, winning at Gransden Lodge in a 328 Fraser Nash BMW – a car which he raced regularly (the other being a 2.9-litre Alfa Romeo) with much success in the late 1940s.
In 1950, Crook began what became a long association with the Bristol firm, and in partnership with Frazer Nash, he racked up countless wins and podium places over the next three years.
He finished runner-up to Mike Hawthorn in the 1951 Goodwood racing season, while another career highlight was a podium finish at the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix, which was held only for sports cars.
That same year, he made his Grand Prix debut, driving a privately-entered Frazer-Nash Bristol 6 at Silverstone. He finished 10 laps behind and wasn’t classified as a finisher.
Crook purchased a proper single-seat racer in 1953 – a Cooper Bristol Mk II – and took it to many a race against his great friend, Roy Salvadori. He entered that year’s British Grand Prix, but failed to get off the line with a fuel feed issue.
The accident put him in hospital, and he decided to retire, having racked up over 400 race starts in his racing career.
Crook acquired the Bristol Cars group, and remained at the helm of the bespoke luxury car firm for over fifty years, finally selling the company in 2001.
He remained on the board until 2007, finally retiring at the age of 87 – four years before the company went into administration.
News of his death – which occurred in late January – was only confirmed in the last few days following a private funeral service. He is survived by his daughter Carol, to whom we send our condolences.
Images via the British Racing Drivers Club and Tomter
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