Don Parker began racing with the Parker Special (nee CFS) then progressed to a JBS for 1951. When the new Kieft CK51 made its debut in the International Trophy at Goodwood on the 14th May 1951, in the hands of Stirling Moss, Don was allowed to try the car and matched Stirling's time. He ordered a car in kit form and applied his experience to a meticulous build incorporating many small modifications of his own. Don used this car to great effect winning the Formula 3 championship in 1952 and '53.

Towards the end of 1953 and now Kieft's agent, he acquired the penultimate Kieft from the factory as a rolling chassis and modified it to his own specification, lightening and lowering the car and fitting a close fitting body suited to his own slight frame. He further modified the front of the car (possibly after his shunt at Castle Combe) to give a distinctive pointed nose as apposed to bulbous nose of the standard car.

1954 was one of the most competitive seasons of racing ever, Don had to contend with the works Cooper Mk VIIIs of Les Leston and Stuart Lewis-Evans, plus the up and coming Jim Russell and Ivor Bueb in private Coopers Mk VIIIs as well as Moss in the Beart Cooper. He was still able to carry the contest to the very end, an extra race for Boxing  Day at Brands Hatch. Bueb won the Christmas Trophy from Stuart Lewis-Evans, Les Leston was third, debuting the new Cooper Mk IX and Don, fourth missing the title by half a point!

Some results for Don in the Parker-Kieft:

Kirkistown 20th March 1954, 1st

Castle Combe 3rd April 1954, 2nd in heat, DNF in final

Brough 17th April 1954, 1st in handicap final

Goodwood 19th April 1954 Earl of March Trophy, 3rd

Snetterton 24th April 1954 AMOC, 3rd

Brands Hatch 1st May 1954, 2nd in senior, DSQ in Whitsun invitation

Ibsley 8th May 1954, 2nd

Silverstone 15th May 1954 Daily Express Meeting, 9th

Aintree 29th May 1954 Opening Meeting, 2nd

Snetterton 5th June 1954, 1st

Brands Hatch 7th June 1954 Whit-Monday Meeting, 1st in open challenge heat, 1st in final, 1st in senior race

Oulton Park 12th June 1954, DNF

Crystal Palace 18th June 1954, 5th in race 1

Brands Hatch 4th July 1954, 1st in open challenge heat, 4th in open challenge final, 1st in senior race

Oulton Park 10th July 1954 Francis Beart Trophy, 2nd in heat, 1st in final

Silverstone 17th July 1954 British Grand Prix, 7th

Fairwood 24th July 1954 Championship of Wales, 3rd in heat, 1st in final

Brands Hatch 2nd August 1954 Daily Telegraph Meeting, 3rd in open challenge, 1st in open challenge final, 1st in international challenge heat, DNF in international final

Oulton Park 7th August 1954 Gold Cup, 3rd in 75 mile race

Silverstone 21st August 1954 Commander Yorke Trophy, DNF

Castle Combe 28th August 1954, 1st in senior race 1, 1st in senior race 2

Shelsley Walsh August 1954, 1st

Brighton Speed Trials 4th September 1954, 2nd

Brands Hatch 5th September 1954, 2nd in open challenge heat, DNF in senior race

Crystal Palace 18th September 1954 Redex Trophy, 3rd in heat, 5th in final

Prescott 18th September 1954, =2nd (with Ivor Bueb)

Goodwood 25th September 1954, 1st in race 1

Aintree 2nd October 1954 Daily Telegraph, 4th

Brough 3rd October 1954, 1st

Snetterton 9th October 1954, 1st

Cadwell Park 10th October 1954, 2nd in heat, 2nd in final, DNF in handicap race

Brands Hatch 27th December 1954, 4th in Christmas trophy

Don got it wrong at Castle Combe in April

1955 proved more difficult, Don was up against the definitive Mk IX Cooper with Russell, Bueb and Lewis-Evans firmly established as the establishment. Perhaps sensing this, he seem so have taken in rather more hills, sprints and travelled further a field than previous years. He still took 10 wins including his 100th:.

Kirkistown 19th March 1955 Championship of Ireland, 2nd

Snetterton 26th March 1955, 2nd

Castle Combe 9th April 1955, 1st in race 1, 1st in race 2

Goodwood 11th April 1955 Earl of March Trophy, 2nd

Charterhall 16th April 1955, 2nd

Ibsley 30th April 1955, 4th

Brands Hatch 1st May 1955, 3rd in heat, 3rd in first final

Silverstone 7th May 1955 Daily Express International 50 Mile Race, 5th

Prescott 14th May 1955, 1st

Brands Hatch 29th May 1955 Sporting Record Trophy, 1st in heat, 2nd in final

Crystal Palace 30th May 1955 Redex Trophy, 2nd in heat, 4th in final

Snetterton 30th May 1955, 4th

Brands Hatch 12th June 1955, 3rd in senior heat, 2nd in senior final

Shelsley Walsh 19th June 1955, 1st

Rest and be Thankful 2nd July 1955, 1st

Brands Hatch 10th July 1955 Sporting Record Trophy, DNF in heat, 1st in consolation final

Aintree 16th July 1955 British Grand Prix, 6th

Ramsgate 17th July 1955, 1st

Bouley Bay 21st July 1955, 2nd

Crystal Palace 30th July 1955, 6th in senior race

Brands Hatch 1st August 1955 Daily Telegraph Trophy, 2nd in heat, 8th in final

Charterhall 6th August 1955, 1st in race 1, DNF in race 2

Shelsley Walsh 28th August 1955 Golden Jubilee, 1st

Aintree 3rd September 1955, 5th

Brands Hatch 4th September 1955 Francis Beart Trophy, 1st in heat, 3rd in first final

Prescott 11th September 1955, 3rd

Silverstone 17th September 1955 Commander Yorke Trophy, DNF in heat

Oulton Park 24th September 1955 Gold Cup, 4th

Castle Combe 1st October 1955 Avon Trophy, DNF in race 1, 6th in race 2

Cadwell Park 2nd October 1955, 1st in all-comers heat. 4th in final, 1st in handicap heat, 3rd in final

Brands Hatch 9th October 1955 Sporting Record Trophy, 3rd in heat, 5th in first final

Brands Hatch 26th December 1955 Yuletide Trophy, 1st in heat, 1st in first final


Don at Brands Hatch in 1955



Unsurprisingly, Don didn't feature in the national Formula 3 Championship but he did take the Light Car Trophy ahead of David Boshier-Jones. He continued with the car for the early races of 1956:

Kirkistown 17th March 1956, 3rd

Brough 25th March 1956, 1st in heat, 1st in final

Aintree 21st April 1956, 4th

Brands Hatch 29th April 1956, 1st in heat, 4th in first final

Then bowed to the inevitable and purchased a Cooper.