Alan Brown

One of the stars of the post-war 500cc Formula 3 scene, Alan Brown has died at the age of 84. He was the first man to score points for the Cooper Car Company in a Formula 1 World Championship event when he finished fifth in the Swiss Grand Prix of 1952.

Brown was a Yorkshireman who caught the racing bug while serving alongside pre-war rally driver Norman Garrad during World War II. After the war Brown got a job with the Dennis company, selling Dennis trucks in the Midlands. Eventually he and a local haulier Bob Hamblin agreed to buy a Cooper 500cc racer for Brown to race and he began racing in 1949. The following year he was leading at Monaco when he crashed and then helped to put together a team called Ecurie Richmond which ran Brown and Eric Brandon in 1951 and the pair enjoyed considerable success including victory in the Luxembourg GP.

The following year he went to Bremgarten with a Cooper-Bristol F2 car and finished fifth and later that year he joined Mike Hawthorn and Brandon in a 1-2-3 finish in the Lavant Cup at Goodwood.

Brown went on to form the Ecurie Anglaise in 1953 in league with Bob Chase, for whom he was by then working and after that he began racing a Cooper converted to sports car specification. Later he would be an early test driver for the Vanwall and debuted the first Vanwall at the International Trophy in 1954. After racing a Connaught in events in 1955 he switched to a Jaguar D-Type sportscar in 1956. That was followed by the establishment of Alan Brown Equipe in Formula 2 and in the years that followed he took on a series of young drivers, among them a young timber merchant called Ken Tyrrell and future F1 drivers Masten Gregory and Bruce McLaren. Tyrrell later went off to run his own team in competition to Brown while he bought Connaught Cars and began to run it as a garage business, building the Connaught C-Type. He later funded the establishment of Emeryson Cars, which built F1 machinery although the relationship was short-lived and Brown faded from the F1 scene.

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