From driving the local bus in his home town Brough to Formula 1, that’s Cliff Allison’s career. Colin Chapman offered him to join Graham Hill when Team Lotus entered Formula 1 in 1958. He had seen him beating the Cooper works-drivers in his privateer machine in F3 hiring Cliff to race the Lotus 11 sports cars before that, so he was the obvious choice. Finishing 6th twice and 4th in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in his first three races caught Enzo Ferrari’s attention who hired him for 1959. Winning the Buenos Aires 1000 km race 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 Belgium 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. Cliff Allison remained a popular visitor to historic festivals until his death in 2005.
Born: 8th of February 1932 in Brough, UK;
Died: 7th of April 2005 in Brough, UK, aged 73.