Andre Simon

The son of a garage owner who owned a Mathis agency in La Varenne, Simon was brought up by his uncle after his father died when he was nine. He started working in the family garage at the age of 13. After the war he borrowed money to buy a Talbot Lago sportscar. He raced for the first time at Montlhery in April 1948 and won. A friend then lent him a Delahaye for the Comminges GP in August and the following year he was asked by Eugene Chaboud to drive with him in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

His performances drew him to the attention of Amedee Gordini and he was hired for 1950 and 1951, racing with great success in Formula 2. In 1952 he was taken on by Ferrari to be its racer in France but he had little success and at the end of the year he fell ill and was out of racing for over a year. He returned to action in May 1954 in a Gordini and was asked to drive for the Mercedes Formula 1 team at Monaco in 1955 after Hans Herrmann was injured in practice.

He later switched to Ferrari sportscars and enjoyed many victories between 1960 and 1964 in racing, rallying and touring cars. He retired at the end of 1965 but the following year had a serious road accident and spent 14 days in a coma. He recovered and continued to run his garage until his retirement in 1984.