Video: Racing a Formula 2 car in 1959 looks fun and terrifying

13th March 2020
Laura Thomson

This is classic racing at its finest – open wheel Formula 2 cars competing on perilous French mountain paths. And doesn’t it look dangerous?

It’s mid-July in 1959, and 35,000 fans have gathered at Clermont-Ferrand’s Circuit de Charade for a Formula 2 race with a grid packed of Formula 1 stars. The atmosphere is electric and the grid is nothing short of spectacular, with the British cohort including Tim Parnell, Tony Marsh and none other than the legendary Stirling Moss. Meanwhile, Masten Gregory and Bruce McLaren, then teammates for Cooper-Climax, race wheel-to-wheel through the foothills of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

The Circuit de Charade, also known as Circuit Louis Rosier and Circuit Clermont-Ferrand, was then only in its infancy, having been opened the year before. However, it soon became a firm favourite among the French, hosting countless sporting events.

This video, entitled ‘Roger Beneche presente le plus beau circuit du monde’ (Roger Beneche presents the most beautiful circuit in the world) shows the true spirit of motor racing in the mid-20th century, and the incredible access to the racers that were afforded to spectators back in the day. It leaves us wondering just what people would give to see that grid in action once more…

Warning: This video shows the aftermath of the crash of Ivor Bueb. Sadly, Bueb passed away from injuries sustained in the accident six days later in a local hospital. Watch with caution.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Watch Group B rally cars blast through Britain for the final time before they were banned

  • Formula 2

  • F2 1959

  • Stirling Moss

  • Charade

  • Video

  • Elevenses



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