Alastair Caldwell 1943 – Mar 12:
The son of a veterinairy surgeon, Alastair Caldwell began as a race mechanic in New Zealand in the early sixties. He worked for various teams and drivers including Howden Gamley in his Lotus II. Also, he worked with his brother, William (Bill) racing a Lola MkI and then the ex-Denny Hulme Brabham BT6-Ford. Sadly Bill was killed in an accident at Teretonga Park in the Brabham in 1966 when the throttle jammed open at the entrance to the Esses. The car hit a ditch and was launched into the air, landing against a sheeptruck, killing Caldwell and two boys that were watching the race.
In 1967 Alastair moved to England and got a job with McLaren as a mechanic. His first F1 race was at Monza in the same year. He did every F1 race from the start of the 1968 season becoming mechanic on Bruce McLarens car and then Demmy Hulmes’. He was at Goodwood when Bruce had his terrible crash in testing – Alastair put out the fire and helped pull Bruce from the wreckage. Tragically Bruce died.
Alastair stayed at McLaren and became Chief Mechanic, then race and team manager for the 1972 season. Won two world Championships with McLaren, with Fittipaldi in 1974 and Hunt in 1976.
In 1980 he left McLaren to join the Brabham team, helping them to the Championship with Piquet in 1981.
For the 1982 season he left Brabham for the ATS F1 team. Then after one season, during which he spent a week with the Fittipladi Team, he left to start his own company, “Self Service Storage Company”.
Since then he has done a season of Porsche racing and now prepares and enters his own cars in Historic Rallying world wide. Recently he has purchased his brothers old MkI Lola and is hoping to racing with it upon completion of a rebuild.