Header image  


Cliff Allison Grand Prix Driver




Image 1




Sports Fixtures
Read more >

Cliff Allison Grand Prix racing
Read more >

Spa Francorchamps 1958: Lotus 12

Article below from www.gpracing.net
Had the 1958 Belgian Grand Prix lasted another lap, this garage owner from Brough, Cumbria would have earned Team Lotus its first Grand Epreuve victory. Brooks' winning Vanwall finished with its gearbox on the point of seizing, Hawthorn's second place Ferrari blew its engine as it came down to take the chequered flag and Lewis-Evans's third place Vanwall broke a steering arm on the run down to the line. Allison finished fourth!
Allison was one of those workmanlike drivers who could was never going to set the world alight but could always be relied upon to bring the car home. He began his racing career with a Cooper-JAP in the British 500cc/F3 series with his best result coming in 1955 when he finished fourth in the championship.
That drew him to the attention of Colin Chapman who was looking for drivers for his Lotus Eleven sportscar programme.

Cliff Allison, at the British Automobile Racing Club, June 1956.

Cliff was signed up and in 1957 as Lotus moved into single seater racing – he scored a victory in the Le Mans Index of Peformance. 1958 was to be the year when Lotus conquered the F1 scene and Chapman was hoping that Allison and former mechanic Graham Hill would be the boys to do the business. The first race of the season was at Monaco and the assault got off to a decent start when Allison finished sixth. Hill was less fortunate having retired at two-thirds distance with a busted half-shaft the first of many such failures that would beset the lightweight Lotus machines.

Monte Carlo 1958: Lotus 12

In the second race, at Zandvoort, it was engine problems that ended Hill’s run while once again Allison came home in sixth place. Then came Spa, where Hill ran the new type 16 chassis and retired once again. Subsequent races saw both men retiring although by the end of the season Allison had done enough to earn a recommendation from Mike Hawthorn. Having clinched the title in the season finale at Ain Diab the champion had decided to quit the sport. He didn’t hesitate to suggest to Enzo Ferrari that the Italian squad could use a guy like Cliff. With that the boy from Brough became one of the Maranello men.

Buenos Aires 1960: Ferrari Dino 246

As a member of the Ferrari squad in 1959 and 1960 he enjoyed some mixed fortunes. The highlight came in the 1960 Buenos Aires race when he finished second to McLaren’s Cooper. Two weeks earlier he had helped Phil Hill to victory in the 1000km sportscar race. The next race was his last for the Scuderia. During practise for the Monaco Grand Prix he was flung from the car when it all went pear-shaped at the chicane and a shattered arm put him out of the rest of the season.
A year later he returned with the UDT-Laystall Racing Team – once again at the helm of a Lotus. He eased himself back slowly with a few runs in non-title races and a second place in the International Trophy suggested that he lost none of his form. A return to Monaco in 1961 – his fourth outing in the principality – netted only eighth place and then the circus arrived at Spa.
With both Cliff and Henry Taylor sharing a car the right to race would go to the quicker driver. While making a run Cliff lost control and crashed heavily. Once again he was thrown from the car only this time his injuries were much more serious. Both legs were shattered and Cliff’s career was over.

Cliff Allison interview click here