Ian Raby – racing driver

I had an email recently asking if I was related to Ian Raby, a racing driver from Brighton who was killed in the 1960s. Sadly, I’m not related to him but I did write about him once as part of a book on Grand Prix drivers. Here is what I found out about the man:

Ian Raby was born in Woolwich and became a car dealer in Brighton. He began racing in 500cc Formula 3 in the 1950s, initially with a self-built car he called ‘Puddle Jumper’ (because of its low ground-clearance), and later in Coopers.

He then switched to sportscars for a while and drove with Jack Brabham in the 1957 Le Mans 24 Hour race before returning to single-seater racing.

At the start of the 1960s, Raby bought a Gilby-BRM and raced in three World Championship events in 1963. At the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, he retired with gearbox failure after 59 laps, and failed to qualify for the German and Italian races.

The following year, Raby drove a Brabham-BRM in the British and Italian Grands Prix, but crashed out of the former and did not qualify for the latter.

Raby stuck with the same car for 1965 and managed to finish the British Grand Prix in 11th place, but did not qualify for the other event he entered that season: the German Grand Prix.

After that, Raby raced in Formula 2, but died in November 1967 as a result of injuries sustained during an accident at the Zandvoort circuit in Holland.

My correspondent was trying to find information on a Hume Cooper racing car (not the car pictured here) that Ian Raby once raced. If anyone can help, please get in touch and I’ll pass your details on.

Oh, and just to squeeze some much needed Porsche content into this post, neither am I related to US-based Porsche guru Jake Raby, although we do correspond from time to time! 😉

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Ron Wheeler

    In the mid 1960s, I purchased two formula junior cars from Ian Raby. In 1963 it was a Lotus mk 18 and in 1966 a Lotus mk 22. Great cars….wish I still had them.

  2. Harry Currell

    Hi there, this might be of interest, early 1964, I got a mechanics job at Endeavour Motor Company, (Tommy Sopwith), just over the road from Ian Rabys , Empire Cars, I got to help him part time, and was at the Easter Goodwood meeting with him, am sure the Collotti box packed up, more than once. One of my jobs at the circuits was to make sure the transporter (Commer, Hillman motor) was always filled up with petrol, it had big tanks either side, and, I think he could get to Southern Italy, without stopping for petrol.Another job was to take old race cars to the Royal Albert docks, where they were shipped to an agent he had, New York I think. He used to smoke big cigars, and could drink like a fish, He offered me a full time job £18 a week, and as much beer as I could drink! At the time we had a young child, and had just got a flat on the roof of the endeavour. Smashing guy, and very sad what happened.
    We are now in New Zealand. Cheers, Harry.

  3. Philip Raby

    Thank you, Harry. That’s really interesting!

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