Peter Collins – A memorial for one of Britain’s greatest drivers
By Mark Andrews
It was whilst visiting Peter Collins’s grave at Stone church and his family garage at Mustow Green, along with the Collins family home and a number of Peter’s favourite watering holes that I realised there was very little in the way of memorials to one of our greatest drivers in the image of the man himself. Having previously been involved in organising a number of memorials to Dambuster crews in Germany, I decided that it was time to remedy this situation.
Above: Peter Collins tries the P25 BRM watched by (from left), Peter Berthon, Raymond Mays and Sir Alfred Owen.
So here we are at the start of a journey to create a lasting memorial to Peter. Our memorial will be in the form of a life-sized bronze bust which will be situated on a pedestal. The bust will be cast by Bronzecast in Ormskirk, Lancashire and the model will be crafted by eminent sculptor Stephen Charnock. We will site the memorial at Shelsley Walsh, Peter's "home" track. A replica of the bust will be sited at the Nürburgring.
Full details can be found here; https://www.europeandrivingtours.co.uk/peter-collins/
I am keen that everyone donating to this project will have the opportunity to be personally involved. Jo Klausmann, a noted German motorsports artist, has donated a painting of Peter to the campaign. We will print 100 limited edition copies of the painting and these (along with invitations to the unveilings in the UK & Germany) will be given to the first 100 donations of £100 or more. These limited-edition prints will be a wonderful thank you for people donating to the fund and a long-lasting image of Peter that will hopefully be enjoyed by everyone owning one.
Readers will already probably be aware that Peter could have been Britain's first Formula 1 World Champion in 1956 but in the days when drivers could change cars during a race, Peter stopped in the last race of the season and gave his car to Fangio, when the Argentinian's car suffered mechanical problems. This gesture prevented Peter from winning the world title and allowed Fangio to claim his fourth Championship.
"When Collins came in," Fangio said, "he saw me stuck there and, without being asked, he got out of his car and offered it to me to finish in. That was a fantastic gesture. My anxiety and misery gave way to joy, so much so that I threw my arms around him and kissed him."
Peter later said, "I am only 25 years old and have plenty of time to win the Championship on my own". Sadly, he died two years later without fulfilling his dream and leaving his great friend Mike Hawthorn to become Britain's first World Champion in 1958.
I would be most grateful for any donations, however large or small, to help us get this project through to completion. You can donate directly through the Crowd Funding page https://gofund.me/a2bb2506 or contact me directly by email – email@example.com or mobile – 07885 274113.
Thank you all in anticipation of your help.