MotorsportMemorabilia 1950 Grand Prix commemorative cover signed Tony Rolt POW Colditz
This cover depicts Giuseppe Farina winning the inaugural Grand Prix at Silverstone, on the 13 May 1950, driving the unbeatable Alfa Romeo 158. His team mates Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell are also shown following coming second and third, giving Alfa Romeo all 3 places on the podium.
The extra special version is signed by TONY ROLT who, before World War II, was recognised as a very talented a m ateur driver winning the British Empire Trophy at Donnington, in an ERA, as a 19-year old. He joined the Army as an officer at the beginning of the War, reaching the rank of major; part of his wartime service as a prisoner of war in Colditz Castle and he w as awarded a Military Cross for gallantry. Rolt competed in Formula 1 World Championship races in 1950, 53 and 55 in the ERA and then Connaughts (all were British Grand Prix). Mostly, Tony Rolt confined himself to national events, achieving numerous Formula 2 wins with Peter Walker's dark blue Connaught. He also drove for the Jaguar sports car team with the extrovert Duncan Hamilton; this amazing duo won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1953 and took second place the following year.
Major Anthony Peter Roylance "Tony" Rolt, MC & Bar, (16 October 1918 – 6 February 2008) was a British racing driver, soldier and engineer. He won the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans and participated in three Formula One World Championship Grands Prix. He was the longest surviving participant of the first ever World Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950
Rolt was born in Bordon, Hampshire, the fourth child of Brigadier Stuart Rolt, and educated at Eton College. After a brief pre-war career as a racing driver, he entered the Sandhurst Military Academy and in 1939 received a commission in the Rifle Brigade.
During the Second World War, Rolt was a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade and in 1940 was awarded the Military Cross during the defence of Calais. He was then taken prisoner of war during the fall of France, and after persistent escape attempts was sent to Oflag IV-C in Colditz Castle, where he was involved in the audacious glider escape plan
For his determined escape attempts, Rolt was awarded a Bar to his Military Cross.
After the war Rolt resigned his commission with the rank of Major to develop advanced automotive technologies.
Tony Rolt competed in three Formula One World Championship races, the British Grands Prix of 1950, 53 & 55, but all three outings ended in retirement. At the 1950 British Grand Prix, the first-ever round of the F1 World Championship, he started 10th on the grid in an ERA that had been qualified by Peter Walker, but the gearbox failed after four laps. In the 1953 race, again starting 10th, a half shaft on his Connaught failed after 70 laps. He shared a drive with Peter Walker in 1955, the last F1 outing for both drivers: their Connaught started 14th and retired with transmission trouble after 18 laps.
Rolt competed in every 24 Hours of Le Mans race from 1949 to 1955, famously winning the 1953 event in a Jaguar C-Type shared with Duncan Hamilton.
He was the last surviving driver from the inaugural World Championship Grand Prix held at Silverstone; also the last pre-World War II member of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), having been elected in 1936.
He retired from racing in 1955 and concentrated on his work with Ferguson Research Ltd., the successor to the partnership he formed with racing driver and Riley tuner Freddie Dixon after the war. In 1971 he founded FF Developments.
He was instrumental in the development of early four wheel drive systems for racing cars; also for production cars such as the Jensen FF.