Vic Elford passed away yesterday at age 86. An Englishman by birth but a Florida resident since the mid-80s. There is a Nord Stern connection in that we had Vic as a dinner speaker in January 2002 (there is typo in the above image). I volunteered to pick him up at the airport and was fortunate to spend some time with him that day. We crossed paths a number of times over the years. Vic was a great story teller, huge smile, and very fun to be around. A great dinner speaker and did not disappoint Nord Stern.
If you are not familiar Vic’s bio, Porsche released today a one minute video here and a press release here. You can find a huge amount of material online.
Vic raced at Brainerd twice in Can-Am. 1970 in a McLaren M6B and DNF’d with a variety of engine leaks after 22 laps. Denny Hulme won. He returned in 1971 in a much better McLaren M6E and finished 4th, just ahead of Jo Siffert’s 917/10. Peter Revson won that race with Hulme 2nd. Other Formula 1 drivers in the race included Jackie Stewart and Jackie Oliver.
One of his favorite stories involved exceeding 380 kph (236 mph) in 1971 on the Mulsanne straight in the ill-handling 917LH. He won Sebring that year in a 917. Steve McQueen used him as a 917 driver in the movie Le Mans.
Below is a photo I took of Vic at the 2007 Rennsport Reunion III at Daytona. Vic had great success in the 908 including a LeMans win in 1967, though most of us think of him as a 917 driver.
In his later years, Vic was a regular speaker at PCA events. Nord Stern was on the cutting edge when we had him 20 years ago. I last saw Vic at RRVI at Laguna Seca in September 2018. I was sitting with David Murry when Vic stopped to greet him.
Rest in peace, my friend.
I think I missed the talk but have never gotten over that period of Porsche racing.
I appreciate your sharing and, especially, hanging on to those images. Maybe I’m a fellow “packrat”. I think it’s so cool to hang on to something for decades and finally see a good reason to pull it out of the file case or your old slide box and be able to share it and think “I’m glad I kept this and glad I could still find it”.
I never got to ride with you but fondly remember the “Dream Trip” to Long Beach you put together for Don Erickson and me.
The description “a life well lived” applies to Vic Elford. I had two encounters, the first was when he stopped by the Skip Barber Race School in Sebring where i was a student. He stayed for the entire day. The second was at the Soggy Dollar in the Virgin Island. We both had chartered boats, his a motor craft mine a sailing craft. When i reminded him of our first meeting, he expressed interest in my progress, that is the memory I hold . . . having a rum punch with Vic Elford.