Ken McAlpine

Ken McAlpine

Ken McAlpine was born in September 1920 in Cobham, Surrey to the McAlpine civil engineering family.

He acquired a Maserati 8CM from Whitney Straight, which he took to Mike Oliver and Rodney Clark, Bugatti specialists trading as Continental Cars. Impressed with their work, he agreed to fund the construction of a sports car in 1950, and so founded the Connaught Engineering team.

Ken made a few appearances in his JBS Norton in 1951, first in the International Trophy at Goodwood in may where he as a respectable third in his heat but unplaced in the final. Then at Boreham on 26th May where he achieved a third place in the final.

He also raced for Connaught in Formula 2 in 1951 and took second place in the Daily Mail Trophy at Boreham. This led to an expansion in 1952 and the formation of  a works team with McAlpine and Clark being joined by Ken Downing, Reg Parnell and Mike Hawthorn.

When the Formula 2 regulations were adopted for the World Championship in 1953, the Connaughts became Grand Prix cars although they were rarely a match for the top machinery. Ken continued to race for the team until retiring from driving in 1955 to concentrate on the family business.

Ken driving the Connaught at Aintree in 1955.


The Connaught team took on Ron Flockhart and Stuart Lewis-Evans to front their attack but by 1957, they had run out of funding, and much of the assets were sold off to Lewis-Evans’ manager, Bernard Ecclestone.

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