Brian Naylor

Brian Naylor

Born in the Manchester suburb of Salford in 1923, Naylor was commissioned in the merchant navy during World War II and was decorated for his wartime service on the convoys which kept Britain supplied. After he left the navy he went into the car business in Manchester. He did not begin racing until 1954 by which time he was 31 years of age. He quickly became a semi-professional racing driver and was unusual amongst the British drivers of the era in that he regularly took off to race in Europe where he was able to attract more start money from race organisers.

Early in his career he enjoyed some success at local level with a sports car built by his mechanic Fred Wilkinson and dubbed the JBW. In 1957 he decided to try his hand with a Formula 2 Cooper and in 1959 Wilkinson built a Maserati-engined F1 car, based on the Cooper. The JBW-Maserati failed to qualify for the Oulton Park Gold Cup in September 1959 but reappeared at the start of the 1960 season. Naylor raced this in the International Trophy and then travelled down to Monaco although he failed to qualify the car for the Grand Prix.

He was not seen again until the British GP in July but then became a regular part of the F1 scene and even turned up for the United States GP in Riverside, California. It was never very competitive. In 1961 Naylor raced in occasional F1 and Intercontinental Formula races but then decided in the mid-season that they needed to switch from Maserati to Coventry Climax power. The result was a more competitive package and Naylor finished ninth in the Gold Cup, his best result in a Formula 1 race.

At the end of the year he retired from the sport and went back to the car business. He enjoyed considerable success and eventually retired to southern Spain where he died at the age of 66.