Thank Frankel it's Friday: Henry Hope-Frost – how friends and fans helped

16th March 2018
andrew_frankel_headshot.jpg Andrew Frankel

I have so far burned two hours of this morning trying to think of anything to write about other than Henry and have now conceded this is entirely futile. As pit garages fill with entrants to the 76th Members’ Meeting, every time I think of Goodwood, I think of Mr Hope-Frost. Right now, the two seem indivisible.


But it’s also neither the time nor the place to pay another tribute to him here. Truth is Ed Foster has already done a far better job on this site than I ever could and compared to the ‘Minute of Fever’ that will blast out around Goodwood on Saturday, any words of mine would be entirely drowned out, and quite right too. Henry was a mate, though he had many far closer, and I’d known him for at least 25 years. He was a man I admired enormously and liked even more. I still can’t believe he’s gone and, like so many, I’ll miss him forever.

So perhaps these words will be a little more productive if I use them to talk a little about what has happened since the accident last Thursday afternoon. Within 24 hours, his closest friends had set up a crowd-funding page as a short-term measure to give his wife Charlotte one less thing to worry about as she tries to deal with the unimaginable loss to her and their three young sons. The aim was to raise £25,000 to help with the more immediate expenses that always follow tragedies. It seemed ambitious but, if you don’t ask…

Well, I was wrong about that. Within 24 hours the target was a distant memory so they made a new one of £38,000. The amount is related to the 38-degree body temperature at which you can officially say you have a fever. And, as anyone who ever followed Henry on Twitter knows, ‘fever’ was his catchword, his way of describing the incurable disease that was his love of fast and beautiful old racing machinery. That mark was also dispatched in a relative blink of an eye. In fact, and as I sit writing this in the early hours of Thursday morning, the fund has raised over £84,000 for Henry’s family. By the time you read this I hope, and believe, it will be substantially higher still. And with 76MM still to come, perhaps my hope the sum might reach fever in Fahrenheit – the equivalent of £100,400 – is perhaps not too distant a dream.


But beyond mere money, I hope his family derives strength and succour from the messages left by the over 1200 who have donated so far, the vast majority of whom I presume didn’t know Henry at all. We all wish to be remembered, but to be remembered so fondly by so many strangers who recognised in him, not just a man of extraordinary talent and boundless passion but above all, a kindred spirit, is something else again. Together theirs is the finest tribute any humble motoring hack could imagine. And despite his larger-than-life persona, Henry was a very humble man, unable to believe his luck in being able to earn a living from what he loved doing most. Indeed, I don’t believe he ever realised how good he was or how far he could have gone if he’d spent more time promoting himself and less time trying to perfect the sound of turbocharged Group C cars on the overrun. And for that, we love and miss him all the more.

Soon, even for those who knew him well, life will return to normal; but not for his family. Everyone who ever heard Henry on a loudspeaker or in their earphones lost something last week, but his family lost not just somebody, but one of the most wonderful people it has been my privilege to know in this business. So, if you have not already, could I ask you to consider clicking on the link below and showing your appreciation for not just the voice of Goodwood but a son, husband, father and friend of irreplaceable qualities. Thank you.

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