Monday, April 23, 2007

Rex King-Clark

Robert "Rex" King-Clark is not a name that will ring many bells to followers of motor sport, indeed he is not even discussed on "The Nostalgia Forum" where even the most obscure racing topic gets an airing. A Scot, although born within a mile of the Brooklands track, he was educated, like his namesake Jim Clark, at Scotland's premier public school, Loretto.

A long and distinguished military career saw King-Clark winning an MC in pre-war Palestine where he commanded one of Orde Wingate's Special Night Squads and later commanding both the Manchester Regiment's 2nd Battalion and later the Army Air Corps. His motor racing career on the other hand was much shorter lasting only from the Brooklands Easter meeting in 1936 to that year's Autumn meeting. Driving a super-charged 747cc J4 MG the 22 year-old King-Clark managed a dead-heat with Welshman Roy Eccles at the 1936 Brooklands August meeting, a performance that earned him the coveted membership of the British Racing Drivers Club.

King-Clark's brief motor racing career soon took second place to more daring exploits, such as flying his Miles Whitney Straight monoplane to various postings in the Middle and Far East, flights that coincidently saw him taking aerial photographs of Italian military facilities in North Africa. I presume that King-Clark is still alive and if so he must be one of the BRDC's oldest members. You can read about his motoring exploits in his excellent book Free For a Blast.

No comments: