Bob Gerard

Bob Gerard in Cooper.jpg (12102 bytes)

Bob Gerard

Bob Gerard was born in January 1914 in Leicester. After a period of trials driving in a Riley, during the 30s, he moved to circuit racing at Brooklands and Donington. He worked in the family haulage business, Parrs Ltd and acquired his first ERA, from Reg Parnell, which he managed to get running for the 1945 Cockfosters demonstration event. He and his wife Joan campaigned this car regularly in hill climbs, both achieving a number of class wins.

After the war, he bought another ERA which he raced regularly. Gerard's meticulous preparation and driving skill helped to ensure results far better than could be expected from a pre war car. He also raced a Fraser Nash Le Mans Replica which brought more wins.

Bob Gerard raced regularly in Formula 3, winning the Junior Race at Brands Hatch in 1951, the International Trophy at Goodwood in June '52, at Charterhall in May and Snetterton in October '53 with good placings through 1952 and '53. As Parrs Ltd, Bob became Midlands agents for Cooper Cars and raced a succession of cars.

Bob at the wheel of his Cooper Mk VIII

He used a Cooper Mk VIII for 1954 which brought him a sixth at the Aintree opening meeting in May, a third at Oulton Park in June, fifth at the Grand Prix Meeting then fourth in the Seniors at Castle Combe on 28th August after which he sold the car to Henry Taylor. He also raced the new Cooper Bristol until 1956 before switching to a Cooper T43 with the Bristol engine. This proved to be no match for the new generation of Climax engined Formula 2 cars and Bob retired from single seater racing. Bob continued to race Turner cars in sports car categories and later ran his own team of Merlyn Formula 2 cars. Bob's achievements were honoured by the naming of a bend at his local circuit Mallory Park. Bob Gerard died in 1990 at the age of 76.

Bob on his way to victory in the International Trophy Race at Goodwood, Whitsun 1952.

Bob's portrait by A.T.M. Acket appeared in Autosport March 1951

Moss gets a ride on the back of Bob Gerard's Cooper Mk VII after his carburettor fell off, London Trophy meeting, Crystal Palace 1953. Photo by George Eatwell.

Gerard and Moss at Crystal Palace 53.jpg (43644 bytes)

Interviewed for Iota, October 1952

Bob in his Mk VIII at the inaugural Aintree meeting, 29th May 1954.

The same car at Cadwell Park in June 2004, in the hands of James Holland.

James Holland Cooper Mk VIII Cadwell