John Brise

John Brise

John Brise was a pig farmer who, at the age of 19 acquired a Jaguar SS100 and scored third places at Goodwood in May and June 1950 in 5 lap BARC Member's races. John's older brother Bob Brise raced a Cooper-JAP in 1951 and John made his debut in 1952 in a Kieft at Castle Combe finishing fourth in the third heat to Stirling Moss and Andre Loens.

Silverstone August 1951

In 1953, after buying John Cooper's Cooper Mk IV, he was consistently a frontrunner. He finished second in the second and final heats at Orleans on 31 May to Stuart Lewis-Evans and second in the second heat at Amiens on 9 June, to Eric Brandon but went on to win the final.

At Brands Hatch in a Martin, he finished sixth in the Easter Handicap race and in May, he finished second to Bernie Ecclestone in the Consolation Race in the Cooper. An impressed Daphne Arnott offered him a works drive alongside Ivor Bueb. The car was difficult to drive but Brise was able to achieve a fourth place in the production car race at the Commander Yorke meeting at the Silverstone in August. John drove the streamlined Arnott, to set a series of Class I records at Montlhéry in October. The 500 Km record of 108.13 mph still stands.

 Early in 1954, John sold his Cooper to George Dardenne.


When stock car racing arrived in Britain, John built a car based upon a Massey-Ferguson tractor gearbox, a Mercedes chassis, a Jeep rear-axle and Oldsmobile Rocket 88 V8 engine bored out to 7.5 litres. Described as a car that "changed the game" in stock-car racing, Brise won the 1956 World Stock Car Championship and the British Trophy the following year. He was double world champion in 1959 and 1960.

His engineering abilities would be used again in 1960 when karting came about. He drove for Getkart and developed his own machine, the Brisekart. In 1961, he was Class 1 champion and in 1967, he won the Bouley Bay hill-climb in Jersey in a 200 cc Montessa. As his sons Tony and Tim progressed through karting, John retired.

John Brise died of cancer on 29th November 1980, five years to the day after his son Tony and the core of the Hill Team died in the plane crash at Arkley golf course, near Barnett.

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