Vic Elford biography
Born in London, Vic Elford was one of the fastest drivers of the Sixties and Seventies… and a Porsche hero…
Nicknamed “Quick Vic” by his peers, legendary driver Vic Elford was arguably the most versatile all round driver of all time.
Consider Vic’s 1968 season. It began with his win in the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally followed by a win the next weekend in the Daytona 24 Hours. He was second at Sebring a month later, then in May scored an epic victory at the Targa Florio, which is considered the greatest win in Targa history. Two weeks later Vic won the Nürburgring 1000 Kilometers. Then in his first F1 race in July Vic took a badly out-classed Cooper T86B to a stunning fourth-place finish in the soaking-wet French Grand Prix.
Vic was EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPION in 1967. He then turned to SPORTSCAR RACING and F1.
Vic Elford was one of the world’s great SPORTS CAR drivers being one of only four drivers ever to record SIX MAJOR VICTORIES AT THE CLASSIC NURBURGRING (the other drivers being Rudolf Caracciolo in the 1920’s, John Surtees and Stirling Moss)…. but he is also a TARGA FLORIO, SEBRING & DAYTONA WINNER to mention only a few!
Vic excelled in International rallies being the last British driver to win the Monte Carlo rally (1968) and the European Rally Championship. His first drive in FORMULA 1 resulted in 4th place in the rain at the French GP driving the slowest car in the field! Vic also competed with outstanding results in Can Am, TransAm, Off-Road events in Africa, even Nascar.
Vic Elford was the only driver to race every version of the Porsche 917.
Although he raced 5 years for PORSCHE Vic also raced for Ford, Triumph, Lancia, Alfa-Romeo, Ferrari, Chaparral, Shadow, Cooper, Lola, Chevron, Subaru . He also drove MacLaren in F1 & CanAm and Chevrolet in TransAm.
Vic Elford lap records included: Targa Florio, Nurburgring, Daytona, Sebring, Norisring, Monza, Buenos Aires, Road Atlanta, Laguna Seca, Riverside… and Le Mans – where he was the first driver to lap at over 150mph in the Porsche long-tail 917 in 1970!
Vic was hired by Steve McQueen to do the high speed close-up action driving the 917 for Steve’s film “Le Mans“.
In 1972, while driving for Alfa Romeo, Vic branched out into another extra-curricular activity – that of principal narrator for producer Michael Keyser’s film “The Speed Merchants“.
During the 24 hours of Le Mans, when a Ferrari crashed in front of him, Vic stopped in mid-race to extricate the driver from his burning car… TV cameras caught the action and Vic was named Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite by French President Georges Pompidou for his act of courage and heroism.
Shortly after, Vic retired from racing…
After being a couple of years away Vic Elford came back to the racing world getting involved in the design and creation of the Inaltera in 1975 and managing the team in 1976 and 77 offering his first prototype drive to Al Holbert.
Later Vic also managed the ATS F1 team where he was the first F1 team manager to offer a drive to Alain Prost…
Vic Elford then moved to the United States to manage first Renault Jeep sport, then the Porsche Owners Driving School and the Porsche Driving Experience.
He then wrote 2 books:
The Porsche High Performance Driving Handbook published by Motorsports and Reflections on a Golden Era in Motorsport (Foreword by Ferdinand Piëch) published by David Bull.