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Bruce Halford

Full Name:
Bruce Henley Halford
18th May 1931
Hampton-in-Arden, Warwickshire
2nd December 2001 (Aged 70)
Churston Ferrers, Devon
Most recent race (in database):

Bruce Halford’s parents were hoteliers in Bournemouth who acquired Torquay’s Warberry Hotel in 1946. He was educated at Blundell’s public school in Devon before working in the family business.

Racing career

A few national outings in a Cooper-Bristol encouraged Halford to buy an ex-"Bira" Maserati 250F from "Horace Gould" in 1956. He began touring Europe with Stirling Moss’s former mechanic Tony Robinson preparing the car. Living off the start money, he made his world championship debut at Silverstone and started three Grands Prix that year as he did in 1957. Halford qualified 11th for the 1956 German GP and finished fourth on the road after a race of attrition. In a state of collapse due to fumes in the cockpit following broken exhausts, he was subsequently disqualified for ignoring black flags following a spin and a push start.

Formula 2 and final Grand Prix

Halford was third in a minor race at Caen in 1957 and 1958 but his Maserati was outdated by now. So he switched to national sports cars as Ivor Bueb’s Lister-Jaguar team-mate as well as driving John Fisher’s Formula 2 Lotus 16-Climax in 1959. He entered the Monaco GP with that latter car but was eliminated in a three-car pile-up after a lap. He was then injured after puncturing a tyre during the Trophée d’Auvergne at Clermont-Ferrand. But that paled in comparison with news that Bueb had been seriously injured during the race and his friend died six days later.

Third in the 1959 Silver City Trophy at Snetterton in a one-off with a works BRM P25, his Yeoman Credit Cooper T51-Climax was classified eighth in the 1960 French GP despite engine failure. That was his eighth and final world championship GP but Halford was running at the finish just once.

He raced at Le Mans for a fifth time in 1961 when he overturned his Ecurie Ecosse Cooper T57 Monaco-Climax approaching the Dunlop Bridge. Thrown out at over 120mph, he suffered severe lacerations to his back.

That was his last racing season before he was back behind the wheel of a Lotus 16-Climax in historic races over a decade later. At last he enjoyed success on the Continent by winning the 1982 Monaco GP support race with the car.