The splendid ex-Woolf Barnato Gurney Nutting-bodied 1930 Bentley Speed Six coupé played a starring role at the sixth Zoute Grand Prix in Belgium from 8-11 October, scooping Most Elegant Pre-War Car and Best of Show. It was joined on the concours lawn by dozens of world-class cars, such as Jaguar XK120s, Aston Martin DB2s and 4s, plusCisitalias, Lance Aurelia’s and Porsche 356s. It was a brace of Bugattis, however, that drew the plaudits of the judging panel whichincludedfive-times Le Mans winner Derek Bell. A1939 Type 57C Cabriolet with Gangloff coachwork and tailormade Louis Vuitton luggage was reckoned to have the Most Special and UniqueBodywork, while a rare Letourneau et Marchland-bodied Type 57 Aravis from the same year received the jury’s Special Award.
Race Class honours, meanwhile, belonged to an ex-Georges Berger ’57Maserati 250S, which began life as a 200S and was upgraded by the factory to its currentspecification. A ’58 Ferrari 250GT LWB won the Post-War Open Class, while twoMercedes won theMostExciting Design and Prototype Awards: a 500K and a CIII. Jochen Mass delighted the crowd with a display ofsideways action in a 190SL. Legendary co-driver Wisdom (in dark top) – daughter of racer/journalist Tommy and Brooklands ace Elsie – died on 15 October.
Indoctrinated from an early age through her parents’ motoring exploits, Wisdom’s partnership with Pat Moss dated back to showjumping contests when Wisdom helped as a groom. But as soon as she obtained a driving licence in 1956, the two girls teamed up for a Sunday treasure hunt.The rallying bug had bitten and, by the end of the year, they had entered the RAC Rally with a works MGA.
There was no stopping the partnership, which chalked up more than 60 results on international events in the late ’50s. Their proudest moment came in 1960, when they won the Liège-Rome-Liège in the works AustinHealey 3000, URX 727 (C&SC, Jan 2006). Not only was this the firstWorld Championship Rally win for a female crew, but also the first victory on the gruelling Liège for a British duo. Wisdom shared the driving on occasions to give Moss a rest.
Married to BMC works driver Peter Riley, Wisdom was always modest about her achievements, but her stamina was inspiring right to the end. She towed a caravan to the south of France just months before her death.