The Era of Gentlemen Drivers

Peter Collins was the personification of suave.

He was a good-looking, charming and witty man.

Peter’s racing career in 1949, driving a 1936 MG.

His debut Formula 1 race was the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix, driving for the HWM-Alta team.

He is best known for racing with Ferrari, Formula 1 and 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he was victorious with best friend and teammate Mike Hawthorn.

Peter and Mike referred to the other as ‘Mon Ami Mate.’

Driving a Ferrari, Peter was tragically killed at the 1958 German Grand Prix at Nürburgring.

Peter was known for his camaraderie and friendship with other F1 drivers.

He famously gave Fangio his Ferrari despite being in the lead and most likely to win the 1956 Italian Grand Prix at Monaco.

He respected Fangio immensely and felt it more fitting that Fangio should win his fourth Formula 1 World Championship title.

Peter was also good friends with Dino Ferrari, Enzo’s son, who sadly died at age 24 of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Peter was a kind and compassionate man who supported Enzo during that difficult time.

Enzo was not a man to show his feelings; he was a very private man who became very fond of Peter.

Peter was known for his ability, sportsmanship and fair play on the F1 circuit and was highly regarded by everyone who knew him.

Peter Collins exemplified the qualities of a true gentleman in his racing endeavours and interactions with others.

Following Peter’s death, Enzo Ferrari said of Peter that he was ‘the last of the gentlemen drivers.’