PETER COLLINS MEMORIAL FUND RAISER
European Driving Tours are proud to be raising funds to establish a memorial for British Formula 1 motor racing driver Peter Collins who died at the Nürburgring in 1958.
To help with the fund raising, prominent German motorsport artist Jo Klausmann has donated an original painting featuring Peter which has now been sold for £1200 with all proceeds going to the memorial fund. The painting shows Peter at Monaco watched by his wife Louise with their boat "Mipooka" in the background, in an Art Deco style.
In addition there will be a limited edition run of 100 prints of the painting. These prints, which have been signed by the artist, Deborah Jones (Peter's niece and Louise's God-daughter), Howden Ganley, who like Peter drove for the BRM team in Formula 1, David Piper Formula 1 & Ferrari sports car driver and Hans Herrmann who was driving with Peter at the Nurburgring in 1958, will be given to the first 100 donations of £100 or more along with invitations to the unveiling of the memorial at Shelsley Walsh which we expect to be in the spring of 2024. These limited edition prints have now all been allocated.
Despite reaching our £15,000 target for the memorial, the fund remains open so that we can upgrade the memorial and enhance the unveiling preparations. Please help us by making a donation if you can possibly do so. We are of course grateful for all donations however large or small.
To see more of Jo Klausmann's artwork CLICK HERE
Our memorial to Peter 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. The memorial will be sited at Shelsley Walsh, Peter's "home" venue. In addition, the clay model of the bust has now been sited at the Wolfgang von Trips exhibition at the Nürburgring. We feel that this is a fitting location due to Peter's great friendship with "Taffy" as von Trips was known by his fellow drivers.
CLICK HERE to see how the bronze Memorial will be made.
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 title.
"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. After that I finished second to Moss and that was enough."
Peter later explained the reason for his action. "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.
Peter, along with Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn and many others, was at the vanguard of British motor racing in what many still consider to be its greatest period, yet he remains one of the few without a permanent memorial which is why I am heading this campaign. Peter became a close friend of Dino Ferrari during his terminal illness and spent much time at his bedside prior to his death.
Peter came from Mustow Green near Kidderminster and through his passion and skill became one of the foremost drivers in the world. He met and married American actress Louise King within a week and together they became one of the world's most recognised celebrity couples, living for a time on a yacht in the harbour at Monaco.
An exhibition celebrating Peter’s life is taking place this summer at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum. Peter Collins F1 Hero: Mustow Green to Nürburgring opens on Saturday 10 June 2023 and runs through to early 2024.
CLICK HERE for more details.