1959 Le Mans Victor Roy Salvadori Passes at 90

Salvadori's winning DBR1 at Le Mans

[Editor’s Note: Motorsport News will be postponed.  We have elected to use this space to honor the passing of a motorsport legend.]

Having competed in 50 Grands Prix, numerous sports car events including a victory and a third at the 24 hours of Le Mans, and later managed the Cooper F1 team, Roy Salvadori has fulfilled a long and illustrious racing career.  While never accruing a grand prix victory, Salvadori was never in the best equipment, and was frequently overshadowed by an extraordinarily competitive field including the likes of Hawthorne, Moss, Hill, Clark, Surtees, McLaren, and Brabham.  Even still, Salvadori shone with his own special flavor and flare of driving style.  

Born in Essex to Italian parents, Salvadori entered racing events under the colors of the Union Jack.  Beginning his career in 1952 and retiring in 1962, Salvadori amassed 19 world championship points and a pair of podium placings.  He drove Ferraris, Vanwalls, BRMs, Connaughts, Maseratis, Aston Martins, and Coopers in that time, primarily for privateers.  After retiring from the Formula 1 circuit, Roy moved full time into racing sports cars, and promoting his dealerships.  The call of Formula 1 was too great, and in 1966-67, he moved into a managerial role with the Cooper-Maserati team.  Since that time, Salvadori has spent retirement living in his Monaco apartment above the start/finish line of the grand prix circuit. 

Salvadori is best known for his 1959 Le Mans 24 hour victory paired with Carroll Shelby, and a third place the next year alongside Jimmy Clark.

For a better idea of who Salvadori was, and why he is legendary, check out this video “Roy Salvadori – The Golden Age of Motorsport”


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