Bill Grose

Bill Grose

Bill Grose, a garage owner from Northampton in many ways epitomised the spirit of the early 500 enthusiasts, building his own cars and providing the garage tow truck for race meetings. The first Grose was praised for its high standard of construction but wasn't entirely reliable. Bill gave the car its debut at the British Grand Prix in October 1948 but failed to finish when a stone broke a brake line and again at Brough in April '49 but managed a respectable thirteenth at the Grand Prix on the 14th. He finally had some success at Silverstone in July finishing third to Jack Moor and Don Parker in the Non Production car race but failing in the 100 Mile race. 2nd October at Brough brought a sixth in his Scratch race heat and a fourth in the Handicap final to close the year.

Bill at Brough, April 1949

1950 started with a third in his heat at Brough, after which a JAP was substituted for the Norton, and a ninth in the heats for "Royal" Silverstone. Bill took a third in the Non-Production car race at the Commander Yorke meeting behind Don Parker and Don Truman and a fourth at Brands Hatch on 17th September followed by a second in the Junior race on 14th October.

British Grand Prix Silverstone 14th April 1949. Photo Courtesy Adam Ferrington.

1951 started badly with a DNF at Goodwood in May but improved with a fourth in the scratch race at Brough and a fourth in the non production car race at the Commander Yorke meeting in August plus a respectable ninth in the Silverstone 100. Bill fell soon after and missed the whole of 1952 but returned in 1953 with his second Grose Special. The new car finished sixteenth in the International Trophy in May and failed in the Grand Prix. On 17th April 1954, Bill took a second in his heat and fourth in the final at Brough but was seventeenth and last at Silverstone for the Daily Express meeting and fifteenth in the British Grand Prix in July. He persevered into 1955 taking a fourth at Silverstone in May and a second in August at the same circuit then a second in the handicap race at Brough in September. '56 brought a fifth in his heat at Brough in March and sixth at Silverstone in September.

Bill examines the rear of his second car at Silverstone in 1953 Photo courtesy John Pearson.

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