Cliff Allison

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Not to be confused with NASCAR driver Clifford Allison, a part of the Alabama Gang.
Cliff Allison
FIA Super Licence Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1958 Formula One season - 1961 Formula One season
TeamsTeam Lotus, Scuderia Centro Sud, Ferrari, British Racing Partnership
Races18 (16 starts)
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions0
Career points11
Pole position0
Fastest lap0
First race1958 Monaco Grand Prix
Last race1961 Belgian Grand Prix

Henry Clifford Allison (8 February 1932, Brough, Cumbria, Westmorland – 7 April 2005, Brough, (now) Cumbria) was a Racing driver who participated in Formula One during seasons 1958 Formula One season to 1961 Formula One season for the Team Lotus, Scuderia Centro Sud, Ferrari and British Racing Partnership teams.


Formula 3 and Sports Cars

Cliff Allison started his racing career in a Formula 3 Cooper 500 in 1953 before being spotted by Colin Chapman. Allison won the performance prize driving a 744cc Lotus in the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans.[1] The Lotus of Allison and Colin Chapman placed 6th in the 1958 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race for sports cars.[2] Allison came in 4th with his Lotus in the 1958 Grand Prix of Europe at Spa-Francorchamps, more than 4 minutes behind victor Tony Brooks.[3]

Allison and Dan Gurney shared one of three team Ferrari cars that competed in the June 1959 1000 km Nürburgring race. 75 cars entered the 1000 kilometre race which was a world championship event for sports cars.[4]

Allison was paired with Jean Behra in a Ferrari which finished 2nd in the 1959 12 Hours of Sebring.[5] The drivers received $1,500 in prize money.[6] Allison was credited with the fastest lap of the Sebring race in the #9 Ferrari. He was clocked at 3 minutes 21.6 seconds on the 97th lap of the 5.2 mile course.[7]

In May 1960 Allison skidded off the road during practice for the Targa Florio in Palermo, Sicily. His Ferrari reached a speed of 100 miles per hour when a tyre burst, or so the driver believed. The car crashed into a scrub forest, destroying itself and most of what it touched. When the mishap occurred the Ferrari was nearing the end of a five mile straight by the sea. This was the only very fast stretch of road in the event. Allison escaped from the wreck without a scratch, but his face was ashen and his mouth hung open with an expression of fear.[8]

Formula One Lotus (1958, 1960), Ferrari (1959 - 1960)

Allison was forced to make numerous pit stops during the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix. His Lotus finished 6th, 12 laps behind race winner Maurice Trintignant.[9]

Ferrari's stable of drivers for 1959 were Olivier Gendebien, Phil Hill, Behra, Gurney, and Allison.[10]

For the 1959 Monaco Grand Prix the Ferrari factory team fielded truncated versions of the cars they ran in future grand prix races. At Monte Carlo the Ferraris' long sleek snouts (air scoops) were cut away to allow more air into the cooling systems.[11] Wolfgang von Trips lost control of his Porsche in motorsport in a bend where the street was steeply inclined to Casino. Allison's Ferrari crashed into him as he spun. The Lotus of Bruce Halford came next into the blind curve and became part of the wreck. Allison and his Ferrari suffered the least damage while von Trips sustained a gashed face, and Halford had a cut to his arm. Neither of the three cars could continue.[12]

He suffered a major crash behind the wheel of his Ferrari while practicing for the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix, and it took him almost the rest of the year to recover from his injuries. Allison was hurt when his Ferrari slammed into a straw barrier. He was unconscious when he was taken to a hospital. Allison sustained a broken left arm, rib fractures, facial cuts, and a concussion. He was listed in serious condition.[13]

The following year he suffered another crash at the wheel of his Lotus at the 1961 Belgian Grand Prix. He broke both his knees and fractured his pelvis when his car careened off the course and overturned in a field.[14]

Post Formula 1 career

This marked the end of his career in motor sport. He kept in touch with the sport through reunions and was always a popular visitor to the paddock.

Allison owned and managed Allison's Garage in Brough. The business had been started by his father and he returned to it after his racing career ended. Allisons also provided the village and school bus services, which Cliff Allison would drive.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(F1 driver results legend 2)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Points
1958 Formula One season Team Lotus Team Lotus Lotus 12 Coventry Climax
1958 Argentine Grand Prix
1958 Monaco Grand Prix
1958 Dutch Grand Prix
1958 Indianapolis 500
1958 Belgian Grand Prix
1958 French Grand Prix
1958 British Grand Prix
1958 Italian Grand Prix
1958 Morocco Grand Prix
18th 3
Team Lotus Lotus 16 Coventry Climax
1958 German Grand Prix
Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati
1958 Portuguese Grand Prix
1959 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari Dino 156 Ferrari V6 engine 1959 Monaco Grand Prix
17th 2
Ferrari Dino 246 Ferrari V6 engine 1959 Indianapolis 500
1959 Dutch Grand Prix
1959 French Grand Prix
1959 British Grand Prix
1959 German Grand Prix
1959 Portuguese Grand Prix
1959 Italian Grand Prix
1959 United States Grand Prix
1960 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Dino 246 Ferrari V6 1960 Argentine Grand Prix
1960 Monaco Grand Prix
1960 Indianapolis 500
1960 Dutch Grand Prix
1960 Belgian Grand Prix
1960 French Grand Prix
1960 British Grand Prix
1960 Portuguese Grand Prix
1960 Italian Grand Prix
1960 United States Grand Prix
12th 6
1961 Formula One season British Racing Partnership Team Lotus Lotus 18 Coventry Climax
1961 Monaco Grand Prix
1961 Dutch Grand Prix
1961 Belgian Grand Prix
1961 French Grand Prix
1961 British Grand Prix
1961 German Grand Prix
1961 Italian Grand Prix
1961 United States Grand Prix
NC 0


  1. Flockhart and Bueb Sweep Mark To Win 24-Hour Le Mans Auto Grind, New York Times, June 24, 1957, Page 40.
  2. Collins-Hill Ferrari Wins 12-Hour Race at Sebring, New York Times, March 23, 1958, Page S1.
  3. Brooks Vanwall Finishes First In Grand Prix Race In Belgium, New York Times, June 16, 1958, Page 30.
  4. 75 Cars To Start At Nürburgring, New York Times, June 7, 1959, Page S6.
  5. Ferraris Score In 12-Hour Race, New York Times, March 22, 1959, Page S1.
  6. Hill and Gendebien Split Sebring Prize of $3,000, New York Times, March 23, 1959, Page 40.
  7. It Was Allison, New York Times, April 1, 1959, Page 49.
  8. Crack-up Frightens Driver Out of Targa Florio in Sicily, New York Times, May 8, 1960, Page S6.
  9. Trintignant Drives Cooper Car to Victory in Monaco's Grand Prix, New York Times, May 19, 1958, Page 31.
  10. Ferrari To Pass Up Auto Races In Italy, New York Times, December 10, 1958, Page 59.
  11. Grand Prix Course In Monaco Is Too Slow, Drivers Complain, New York Times, May 10, 1959, Page S3.
  12. Brabham Wins Grand Prix de Monaco after Moss' Auto Drops Out, May 11, 1959, Page 36.
  13. British Driver Is Injured In Monte Carlo Crash, New York Times, May 28, 1960, Page 16.
  14. Sports Datelines, Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1961, Page A5.

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