Les Leston

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Les Leston, which by the way was officially called Alfred Lazarus Fingleston, must be counted as one of the most flamboyant (inter) national drivers and entrepreneurs ever produced by the British Empire. On December 16 Born 1920 in the British town of Bulwell near Nottingham, he threw himself into the music world after a vague series of unfinished courses.

Before the war he was a drummer in a successful jazz band The Clay Pigeons with which the Belgian driver Johnny Claes also performed. In 1949 he drove his first race in a Jaguar SS100 before buying a Cooper Formula 3 - with 500 cc KAP engine. Not entirely satisfied, he constructed his own car in the following year, the Leston Special F3, a car that was actually a JBS according to its instructions modified by a certain Ray Martin. Remarkably, he raced the cart with tires with white side. Motorsport eventually led him to also throw himself into tuning parts and accessories, but also helmets. Jack Brabham was the first driver to wear a Les Leston helmet during his races, who also protected the ears. John Cooper noticed his driving skills, making him a factory rider for the season. That year he won the British championship. In 1956 and 1957 he competed in three Grand Prix. All three times with a different brand. Connaught, Cooper and BRM. He did not accumulate points in the World Championship of then, although he did win the Grand Prix of Luxembourg in 1952. No, not in a Grand Prix car, but with a Formula 3. He became best known for his performance in the (red) Lotus Elite with the British license plate DAD 10. Incidentally, a license plate that did not exist at all and was therefore not registered with the authorities. The stories about the origin of this 'number' are countless. Most likely it was related to his period in music or that his 'pet name' was given by his children. In addition to this Lotus, he was also active with an Aston Martin and drove rallies for Rootes and Volvo, among others. In the early 1970s he had had it all in Britain, emigrated to Hong Kong where he died on 13 in May 2012 at the age of 91.

In the photo: The Lotus Elite with which Les Leston became famous. Also thanks to the DAD 10 license plate

Automobilia 2022 (copy)

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