Alan Stacey

Born into an Essex farming family in 1933, Stacey was always a daredevil and at the age of 17 he had a motorcycle accident which resulted in the lower part of his right leg being amputated. After that he was fitted with an artificial leg. Undeterred by this he started competing in cars in 1955, starting out at the wheel of a Lotus 11 sports car, which featured a hand throttle. After some success he was offered a drive with Team Lotus in 1958 and was soon winning races. His first Grand Prix was at Silverstone. He also tried his hand at Formula Junior.

After winning the Farningham Trophy at Brands Hatch, another victory at Crystal Palace and an impressive third place in a GT race at Rouen, Stacey was offered the chance by Colin Chapman to try his hand at Formula 1 in addition to his work as a sports car driver and in Formula 2. He competed at Aintree in 1959 and did a promising job for the rest of the year.

After the departure from the team of Graham Hill, Stacey was promoted to be number two to Innes Ireland. At the start of 1960, he retired exhausted from the Argentine Grand Prix but then finished fourth in the International Trophy. He retired at both Monaco and Zandvoort, but in the Dutch race he had run as high as third before being stopped by transmission trouble. The next race was a fortnight later at Spa. In a tragic race which featured a series of accidents, Stacey was hit in the face by a bird on the Masta Straight. He lost control of the car, hit an earth bank and was flung from the Lotus. He was 26 and had reached the top of the sport despite his handicap. It was a tragic day for the sport because in the same race another young British driver Chris Bristow was also killed.