Le Mans 1958
Other historic racing
Having your cars involved in motor racing has long been a known marketing tool. Peerless, and Later, Warwick used this too. The owners were into racing themselves. Bernie had raced, he also worked for Cooper. Jimmy Byrnes raced; this was what prompted him to push for the development of the first prototype. Simon Hill, the sales manager, was a racer too, and Ron Ham raced an Elva before Peerless.
From my research and a brilliant spreadsheet from Will Ingleton, put together from his own extensive research into racing of Peerless and Warwicks in the period, the number of races entered is prolific in the short lifespan of the cars, also there were many big-name races entered in the UK and overseas.
The highlight of international racing was the two-car works entry to Le Mans in 1958, coming 16th overall. In the US, they were all private entries: Sebring’s famous 12-hour race in 1960, with a Warwick GT 350, and 1962 with a 2ltr Warwick; Watkins Glen twice in 1961 and once in 1962, all with a Warwick GT350; Road America with a Peerless; plus other US race tracks. In France, Alfred Barker raced at Montherly in 1963 and 1964 with a Warwick. In the Bahamas, Nassau 5th Annual International Speed Week 1958, a Peerless was entered.
In the UK, all the major circuits were raced at, including Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Mallory Park, Snetterton, Oulton Park and Goodwood. Hill climbs including Prescott and Brighton Speed Trials.
Some notable results from the company are Simon Hill came 1st at Mallory, Silverstone and Goodwood. Bernie Rodgers had a class win at Brands and Ron Ham a 1st at Snetterton. It seems Ron Ham in a Peerless held the BRDC Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit lap record in 1960 for Grand Touring cars 2000c to 2600cc at a time of 2.222 minutes, at an average speed of 74.10mph. There was a factory Warwick team entered in the 11th National Six Hours Handicap Relay race in August 1961. Two 2ltr cars and a GT350, Bernie was team manager with Ron Ham, Simon Hill and I. Bains as drivers.
Then there were around 24 independent drivers we have found. Both male and female, including a husband and wife team. Some raced regularly and others just one race. There were some good wins and quite a few DNF and DNS. M.M. Gates competed in 14 races from 1962 to 1964. Albert Gay had his own team; Ecurie Gay Yimkin with a Peerless, Lotus Climax, TR2 and 3. He won at Goodwood in his Peerless and crashed it at Brands. That accident is a story in itself. John Todd, an American, raced eight times in the UK and nine times in the US from 1959 to 1962, racing Peerless, Warwicks and a Warwick GT350.
For more information on recent racing history, please take a look at our News page, or click here for Race Reports.
Below are a number of videos of cars that have raced in recent years, this is just a selection, but if you have videos of your own that you would like to share please get in touch!