Rolt made the early running, ahead of Moss, although Aston Martin’s gorgeous factory-run trio of straight-six DB3s, shared by Reg Parnell/Eric Thompson, George Abecassis/Dennis Poore and Peter Collins/Pat Griffith were soon a threat to their bigger-engined British rivals despite only qualifying 11th, 12th and 13th.
Grand Prix hero Parnell worked his 3-litre, short-tail DB3 up to the front but a pit fire just before one-third distance put paid to his hopes of glory.
It would be one of the 2.5-litre Astons, the #17 car of Collins/Griffith, that took advantage of Parnell’s retirement and two of the Jaguars stopping through early accident damage and a three-quarter-distance half-shaft failure.
Under cover of darkness, Aston Martin went on to secure a famous victory, with Collins, a future Grand Prix star, and Griffith finishing two laps ahead of the 2.7-litre V12 Ferrari 225 S of Tom Cole and Graham Whitehead. The sister car, pedalled by Bobbie Baird and Roy Salvadori, a man who’d become a serial winner at Goodwood, finished third, albeit a further three laps in arrears.
If you’re coming to the 20th Revival Meeting in a few weeks’ time, look out for the 1952 9 Hours-winning DB3 – it’ll be a front-runner in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy in the hands of owner Martin Melling and ace racer/preparer Rob Hall, yet again adding immeasurable patina to the annual Motor Circuit retrospective.
Photography courtesy of LAT Images