Ken Gregory

Ken Gregory

Ken came into motorsport entirely by accident, after being demobbed at the end of the war, he accepted a job at the RAC in Pall Mall, without any knowledge of the sport. He worked alongside Dean Delamont who introduced Ken to racing and he quickly became acquainted with the Half-Litre Car Club and was made secretary in 1951. Ken made a very important contribution to the movement and to the development of racing at Brands Hatch, the Club's home.

Gregory is best know as Stirling Moss' manager, with whom he had a close relationship for several years but he began competing in 1950 when Cyril Kieft invited him to drive one of the original Kiefts at the inaugural Brands Hatch meeting in April and at Mons in May (where he failed to finish) and later managed a respectable seventh at Prescott in July. The car was not as quick as the Coopers but this outing led to Kieft tackling the 350cc and 500cc international records at Montlhéry in November 1950, the driving team consisted of Moss, Gregory and Jack Neill and they took 14 records. Cyril Kieft wanted Stirling to drive for the works but Moss knew that the original Kieft car was not a competitive proposition in racing.

Ken in an early Kieft

Ken was instrumental in the persuading Cyril Kieft to sponsor, what became, the CK 51 the prototype being built by Ray Martin specifically for Stirling to drive. Ken won the Junior Race at Brands on the 17th September, this time in a Cooper but was back in the Kieft for a DNF in the Open Challenge Final on 14th October.

His outings were always limited by his commitments to Moss, the Half-Litre Club and the RAC but Ken took a fine second, to Leston and ahead of Brandon in the Silverstone 100 in August '51, this time in a CK51 Kieft. In September he drove a Cooper Mk V to fourth in the Brands Hatch Championship. Much later, he took a JBS to second  at Great Auclum in August '53 and returned again in August 1955 for a third.

With laurels for wining the Junior Championship race at Brands Hatch on 17th September 1950.

Ken Gregory also managed Peter Collins, was a director of Brands Hatch, secretary of the British Racing & Sports Car Club as the Half-Litre Club became known, and co-founder of the British Racing Partnership with Alfred Moss, initially as a vehicle for Stirling to go racing in the absence of competitive British Grand Prix machinery. Ken negotiated the deal for Moss to drive a private Maserati 250F, which he and Alfred Moss purchased and later did the deal with Alfred Neubauer for Stirling to become a works Mercedes driver alongside Fangio for the '55 season.

The BRP team continued and ran Cooper-Borgwards, BRM (briefly), UDT-Laystall Lotus 24s and their own version of the Lotus 25. BRP then built a pair of unsuccessful Indianapolis cars for 1965 and eventually closed down in 1966 after a planned F1 project was scrapped, largely due to opposition from the existing manufacturers. During this time, BRP ran cars for Ivor Bueb, Harry Schell, Henry Taylor and Cliff Allison as well as Moss. In parallel, Ken also had a successful publishing career, inaugurating Cars & Car Conversions magazine , ran an airline and eventually retired to Spain.

Ken Gregory died in December 2013

Ken with Moss and Ray Martin after the CK 51's first outing at Goodwood, May 1951.

Ken with Alfred and Stirling Moss

An article by Ken Gregory from Iota March 1951