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Old 28 Feb 2002, 19:17 (Ref:224696)   #1
redshoes
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redshoes has a real shot at the podium!redshoes has a real shot at the podium!redshoes has a real shot at the podium!redshoes has a real shot at the podium!
George Abecassis ?

This could be a bit of a long shot... I was taking to a friend today about a grave/memorial he had seen (not sure exactly what). Inscribed on it were the words:

George Abecassis DFC
1913-1991
Racing Driver

Any ideas who he was, what he drove, etc ?
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Old 28 Feb 2002, 20:56 (Ref:224754)   #2
Vitesse
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Vitesse should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridVitesse should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
George Abecassis was one of the more important figures in early post-War British racing. He first raced at Brooklands and Donington in 1935 in an Austin 7. By 1938 he had acquired an Alta Voiturette which he raced with some success at Brooklands and Crystal Palace and in hillclimbs at Prescott.

After war sevice in the RAF, Abecassis and John Heath founded HW Motors of Walton-on-Thames. They were car dealers and later also built sports and racing cars - first came the HW-Alta, then the HWM F2 cars, in which Stirling Moss scored some early international successes. Abecassis undertook a busy schedule in 1946-7, racing the Alta, a Bugatti T59 and an ERA. In 1947 he came second to Piero Taruffi in the Circuit of the Baths of Caracalla, driving a Cisitalia.

Abecassis drove occasionally for the HWM F2 team, confining his racing mainly to sports cars. He was a works Ason Martin driver, winning the 3-litre class at Le Mans in 1950 with Lance Macklin and coming second overall at Sebring in 1953 with Reg Parnell. He raced twice in the WDC, both times in Switzerland, and retiring each time.

Between 1954 and 1956 he drove the HWM-Jaguar in national events (I'm sure Aysedasi can help here!), scoring wins at Castle Combe, Snetterton, Oulton Park etc. He was 11th in the 1955 Mille Miglia in a near-standard Austin Healey 100S.

Abecassis' interest in racing was diminished after his partner Heath was killed in the HWM-Jaguar in 1956. That year he also married Angela, the daughter of Sir David Brown (owner of Aston Martin) and retired to run HW Motors full-time.

He died in Ibstone, near High Wycombe - presumably the location of the grave?
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Old 28 Feb 2002, 20:59 (Ref:224760)   #3
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Briefly:
One of the top British drivers from the mid '30s to the mid '50s. Raced Altas with great success before the war, and was later co-founder of the HWM make, and drove their cars in F2. Later drove HWM-Jaguars in sportscar races. Retired from racing when John Heath, the other half of HWM, was killed in the 1956 Mille Miglia
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Old 28 Feb 2002, 21:36 (Ref:224810)   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vitesse
He died in Ibstone, near High Wycombe - presumably the location of the grave?
Correct.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 1 Mar 2002, 08:32 (Ref:224995)   #5
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Vitesse and I were obviously responding at the same time, only he was more thorough
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Old 15 Mar 2007, 13:29 (Ref:1867304)   #6
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There is a story about George Abecassis racing at Chimay, the daunting tree-lined and narrow road circuit. After practice he was asked if he was frightened of the circuit, George replied "After flying in the last war, as far as I'm concerned if no one is shooting at me there's nothing to be frightened of."
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Old 20 Mar 2007, 07:49 (Ref:1872074)   #7
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George Abecassis also was involved with Coopers early on, HW motors supplied 1/2 of John Coopers original prototype car - the chassis and suspension from a wrecked fiat mouse. Abecassis was also one of Cooper Racing Cars 1st customers purchasing the 3rd V-twin car they built (probably from the 1st batch of 11 or 12 cars) supplied late in 1948.
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Old 2 Dec 2007, 16:45 (Ref:2079989)   #8
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terence should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridterence should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Had the absolute pleasure of twice driving the ex Abecassis Aston DB2 in 2005 at LeMans and 2007 at the Silverstone Classic,what a fantastic opportunity that will never be forgotten.The car is at auction on the 5th Dec at Coy's.
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Old 3 Dec 2007, 10:26 (Ref:2080535)   #9
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On the up!

George Abecassis drove a 3.3s Bugatti T59 in the 1947 British Hillclimb Championship. The following were his results:

17/05/47 – Bo’ness – 1st in 38.2secs
21/06/47 – Shelsley Walsh – 4th in 44.08secs
24/07/47 – Bouley Bay – 2nd in 61.3secs
30/08/47 – Craigantlet – 3rd in 89.6secs
14/09/47 – Prescott – 4th in 51.58secs

He finished second overall to Raymond Mays (ERA).

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Old 25 Feb 2008, 08:48 (Ref:2137329)   #10
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World War II Exploits

Abecassis was a member of the RAF's Moon Squadrons which flew Lysanders into France to drop off & pick up Intelligence Officers.
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Old 23 Jan 2012, 20:38 (Ref:3015899)   #11
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George's full story has been written up by his son, David, and published by PJ Skilliter. See www.georgeabecassis.com for detailed summary info and purchase links. His grandson, Jonathan (writing!) has in 2011 taken up motor racing, in a 1955 Austin Healey 100/4.
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