Offending part modified, Scott Brown won at Aintree, ahead of Salvadori in DBR2, but would receive a shock at Silverstone’s International Trophy, restored to its usual May date. Though he led the early stages, he was powerless to resist the advances of Masten Gregory in Ecurie Ecosse’s Lister. The bespectacled young American sliced by and romped away. Archie was stunned – and determined to turn the tables.
The same pair was at it hammer and tongs at Spa a fortnight later – persuaded continental organisers were clamouring for him now – when Scott Brown lost control on an unanticipated wet patch. He died of his injuries the next day.
Brian, whose ‘deal’ with Archie had been sealed by a left-handed handshake, struggled on. He had commitments to meet – thanks to his friend’s brilliant successes. In conjunction with Frank Costin, the godfather of aerodynamics in motor racing, he produced a more slippery version for 1959 but, despite a victory on its UK debut for Ivor Bueb in a wet Sussex Trophy, it was not a success. Nimbler rear-engine cars were coming on stream. Plus Brian was running out of steam.
It came to a head on August 1st. Both his drivers – Bueb and Bruce Halford – having been hurt in a Formula 2 race at Clermont-Ferrand the weekend before, Lister had witnessed replacement Peter Blond crash heavily at Brands Hatch. On his return journey, he listened with heavy to radio reports of Jean Behra’s death at AVUS in Germany – he was a great admirer of the feisty Frenchman – and upon his arrival home was informed that poor Bueb had succumbed.
Brian pulled the plug.
The light, in truth, had gone out with Archie.
Uncaptioned images courtesy of LAT