Bill Whitehouse

Bill Whitehouse

Bill Whitehouse portrait.jpg (29554 bytes)Bill Whitehouse was born in London in 1909. A car dealer from South London, "Big Bill" became one of the early competitors in the 500cc formula in mid 1949 in a Cooper Mk II which he acquired from Stan Coldham and made a creditable fifth in the All-comers and second in the Production Car race at Silverstone on the 9th July, though he retired from the 100 Mile race. This was followed by a third in September again at Silverstone.

Bill finished second in the Open Challenge Final and won the Production Car race and grand final at the Inaugural Brands Hatch meeting in April 1950 and second again, to Moss, in the June Open Challenge Race. He travelled to Rouen in July to beat John Cooper and Eric Brandon and in August, he won his heat and finished second in the final of the Daily Telegraph Trophy to George Wicken. In addition, there were numerous heat wins and placings to demonstrate Whitehouse's ability.

For 1951, he raced for the works team alongside Ken Carter in Cooper Mk Vs, notching up a second at Castle Combe on 31st March and a win in the Daily Telegraph Trophy on 6th August plus a second at Genoa in May and thirds at the Nürburgring in June and the German Grand Prix in July and string of good placings at home. However it would be a highly competitive year for the team, as well as new threats from Kieft and JBS, they had to contend with the Ecurie Richmond Coopers of Eric Brandon and Alan Brown and it would be Eric who would take the National Formula 3 Championship. Bill also tried his hand at Formula 2 in 1951 driving an Alta.

Demonstrating the preferred (and later banned) cornering technique, probably the Inaugural Brands Event in April 1950.

In his Mk III, goggles and flying helmet.

Whitehouse continued in Formula 3 through '52, now in a Mk VI, taking fourth at the Grand Prix in July and third in the Sprint Race at Brands in August but came a cropper at Zandvoort in August, wrecking the car which was eventually sold to Lex Beels.

Bill gets it all crossed up Silverstone International Trophy Race 10th May 1952.

For 1954, Bill raced for the Connaught team and in 1955, with Formula 2 being cancelled, he retired for a while but in 1957 he bought a Cooper-Climax F2 car and restarted his career at Syracuse before settling back into British events, racing with his son Brian. In July '57 they travelled to Reims to take part in the Formula 2 race there and after Bill's car failed in practice he was lent a Cooper Bobtail by Roy Salvadori. Early in the race, on the run down to the Thillois hairpin, the car somersaulted after a burst tyre and caught fire. Bill Whitehouse was killed in the crash. His death hit hard at the Cooper factory where he was a popular figure, helped by the fact that he often handed out sweets or ice cream to the troops.

Some of Bill's results:

Silverstone 9th July 1949, 5th in race 2, 2nd in production race, DNF in 100 mile race

Silverstone 3rd September 1949, 3rd


Brands Hatch 16th April 1950 Inaugural Event, 2nd in open challenge heat, 2nd in final, 1st in professionally built cars heat, 1st in final, 1st in 10 fastest final

Silverstone 13th May 1950 "Royal" Meeting Grand Prix d'Europe, 2nd in heat, 17th in final

Goodwood 27th May 1950 International Trophy, 2nd in heat, DNF in final

Oslo 11th June 1950, DNF

Brands Hatch 25th June 1950 Open Challenge Race, 1st in heat, 2nd in final

Reims 2nd July 1950, 10th

Brands Hatch 23rd July 1950, 1st in heat for race 1

Rouen les Essarts 30th July 1950, 1st

Brands Hatch 7th August 1950, 2nd in heat for race 1, 1st in international heat, 2nd in final

Ostend 14th August 1950 Coupe du Monde, 1st in heat, DNF in final

Brands Hatch 14th October 1950, 2nd in open heat, 3rd in final, 3rd in Brands Hatch championship heat, 3rd in final


Castle Combe 31st March 1951, 3rd in heat, 2nd in final

Brands Hatch 8th April 1951, 3rd in open heat, 3rd in Brands Hatch championship heat, 3rd in team prize

Brands Hatch 21st April 1951, 1st in open challenge heat, 4th in final, 3rd in Brands Hatch championship final

Luxembourg 3rd May 1951 Grand Prix, 3rd in heat, DNF in final

Silverstone 5th May 1951 Daily Express International Trophy, 6th

Monza 13th May 1951, 2nd in heat

Genoa 20th May 1951, 2nd

Nürburgring 3rd June 1951, 3rd

Brands Hatch 24th June 1951, DNF in open challenge heat, 2nd in international heat, 5th in final

Avus 1st July 1951, DNF in heat

Rouen 8th July1951, DNF

Nürburgring 29th July 1951 Grand Prix, 3rd

Ibsley 4th August 1951, 5th in heat, 6th in final

Brands Hatch 6th August 1951 Daily Telegraph Trophy, 1st in international heat, 1st in international final

Boreham 11th August 1951, DNF in heat

Silverstone 18th August 1951, DNF in Commander Yorke trophy

Brands Hatch 23rd September 1951, 1st in open challenge heat, 4th in Brands hatch championship heat


Brands Hatch 18th May 1952, 4th in senior heat, 6th in senior final, 4th in handicap race

Snetterton 31st May 1952, 1st in heat

Silverstone 19th July 1952 British Grand Prix, 4th

Brands Hatch 4th August 1952, 1st in sprint heat, 3rd in final, 4th in international heat

Zandvoort 17th August 1952 Dutch Grand Prix, DNF