Henry Clifford Allison was approached by Colin Chapman after he had seen him beating the Cooper works-drivers in his privateer machine in F3 in the mid-1950s. Cliff became the first real Lotus works driver and after continuing success in sports cars with Team Lotus was offered to front the constructors venture into Formula 1 in 1958. Finishing 6th twice and 4th at Spa in his first three races caught Enzo Ferrari’s attention who hired him for 1959. Winning the Buenos Aires 1000 with Phil Hill in a Testarossa sports car and coming 2nd in the Argentine GP was a promissing start with the Scuderia. A bad crash in practice for the Monaco GP sidelined him though for the rest of the season which cost him his job. A comeback with the UDT/Laystall BRP in the Belgiu GP at Spa didn’t fare any better, he pushed the Lotus 18 too hard, rolled it and suffered severe leg injuries that ended his career. He then returned to the family business in Brough which he ran until his retirement.
Born: 8th of February 1932 in Brough, UK.
Died: 7th of April 2005 in Brough, UK, aged 73.