It’s a pretty familiar story in the world of racing, right? Son of operator/owner of large successful company is a talented race car driver and wants to compete at highest levels, company invests money into program, program not that successful, program goes away. Such was the nutshell explanation of David Purely and the LEC Refrigeration Formula One outfit that competed in 1973 and 1977. The car you are going to see here is the 1977 era machine that is powered by an absolutely symphonic sounding Cosworth DFV V8 engine. These cars are some of our favorites with the “big n’ little” tires and cool shovel nose pieces.
Purley’s relatively undecorated Formula One career is less known for podium finishes and more known for personal toughness. It was in 1973 at the Dutch Grand Prix that David Purley stopped and got out of his car to try and prevent fellow racer Roger Williamson from burning to death in his overturned car. The famous footage shows Purley trying to get track workers and fellow racers to help him, all to no avail. Williamson died in the car. In 1977 Purley and his team made their own F1 entry, the CRP1. This car was a good one but at the British Grand Prix Purley suffered a stuck throttle and piled into a wall at 108mph, coming to a stop 26 inches after impact and experiencing nearly 180 Gs of force. Shockingly he lived but was badly injured.
This car ripping up Goodwood and doing so in “low ET” fashion is just amazing. It may not have won much on the track but this baby is a ripper!