Alan Mann's Story


Alan Mann Racing won numerous major championships including the British Saloon Car Championship, the European Touring Car Challenge and the FIA World GT Championship for Manufacturers, all with a variety of specially prepared Ford cars. Many of the leading race and rally drivers of the time were employed by Alan Mann Racing, including Sir John Whitmore, Jacky Ickx, Bosse Ljungfeldt, Graham Hill, Frank Gardner , Sir Jackie Stewart and Bruce McLaren.

BEFORE '64SEEN HERE (ABOVE LEFT) IN HIS HWM-ALTA, MONACO, 1957, ALAN WAS An accomplished amateur racing driver in his own right in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

SEEN HERE (ABOVE) IN HIS HWM-ALTA, MONACO, 1957, ALAN WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED AMATEUR RACING DRIVER IN HIS OWN RIGHT IN THE LATE 1950S AND EARLY 1960S.The link with Ford began in 1962 when Alan joined a South Coast Ford dealership, Andrews of Southwick. He soon revitalised the sales side of things and then began an Andrews racing operation.

THE LINK WITH FORD BEGAN IN 1962 WHEN ALAN JOINED A SOUTH COAST FORD DEALERSHIP, ANDREWS OF SOUTHWICK. HE SOON REVITALISED THE SALES SIDE OF THINGS AND THEN BEGAN AN ANDREWS RACING OPERATION.Alan gained his apprenticeship in the motor trade in partnership with his friend and fellow racer, Roy Pierpoint. They ran the Wayside Garage at Rusper, near Gatwick, and would go racing at the weekends.

ALAN GAINED HIS APPRENTICESHIP IN THE MOTOR TRADE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH HIS FRIEND AND FELLOW RACER, ROY PIERPOINT. THEY RAN THE WAYSIDE GARAGE AT RUSPER, NEAR GATWICK, AND WOULD GO RACING AT THE WEEKENDS.The team’s success led to an invitation from Ford in the USA to take part in the Marlboro 12Hrs race in August 1963. The Ford of Britain Cortinas of the Willment and Andrews teams finished first and second outright in the race, beating the Ford factory entered Falcons and gaining the attention of the top brass.

THE TEAM’S SUCCESS LED TO AN INVITATION FROM FORD IN THE USA TO TAKE PART IN THE MARLBORO 12HRS RACE IN AUGUST 1963. THE FORD OF BRITAIN CORTINAS OF THE WILLMENT AND ANDREWS TEAMS FINISHED FIRST AND SECOND OUTRIGHT IN THE RACE, BEATING THE FORD FACTORY ENTERED FALCONS AND GAINING THE ATTENTION OF THE TOP BRASS.


1964THE SENSATIONAL RESULT AT THE MARLBORO 12HRS WAS ALAN’S FIRST BIG BREAK AND AT THE AGE OF 27 HE FELT DRIVEN TO GO IT ALONE AND SET UP ALAN MANN RACING, WHICH OPENED AT THE BEGINNING OF 1964.

THE SENSATIONAL RESULT AT THE MARLBORO 12HRS WAS ALAN’S FIRST BIG BREAK AND AT THE AGE OF 27 HE FELT DRIVEN TO GO IT ALONE AND SET UP ALAN MANN RACING, WHICH OPENED AT THE BEGINNING OF 1964.In Alan Mann Racing’s first major contract for Ford, Falcons were entered in the Monte Carlo Rally, first among which was the Bo Ljungfeldt/Fergus Sager car which set the fastest time on every stage.

IN ALAN MANN RACING’S FIRST MAJOR CONTRACT FOR FORD, FALCONS WERE ENTERED IN THE MONTE CARLO RALLY, FIRST AMONG WHICH WAS THE BO LJUNGFELDT/FERGUS SAGER CAR WHICH SET THE FASTEST TIME ON EVERY STAGE.Instead of operating as a team seeking sponsorship, Alan Mann Racing was contracted to Ford and operated as a business. The team was formed and took over premises in Byfleet, Surrey.

INSTEAD OF OPERATING AS A TEAM SEEKING SPONSORSHIP, ALAN MANN RACING WAS CONTRACTED TO FORD AND OPERATED AS A BUSINESS. THE TEAM WAS FORMED AND TOOK OVER PREMISES IN BYFLEET, SURREY.In the Tour de France Automobile, Alan Mann RACING prepared six Ford Mustangs to rally specification and won the event with Peter Procter (Above Right) at the wheel, marking the first competitive success of the brand new Mustang.

IN THE TOUR DE FRANCE AUTOMOBILE, ALAN MANN RACING PREPARED SIX FORD MUSTANGS TO RALLY SPECIFICATION AND WON THE EVENT WITH PETER PROCTER (ABOVE RIGHT) AT THE WHEEL, MARKING THE FIRST COMPETITIVE SUCCESS OF THE BRAND NEW MUSTANG.


1965Alan Mann Racing ran the European rounds of the World GT Championship with Cobras for Carroll Shelby and Ford, with Sir John Whitmore, Jack Sears and Bob Bondurant among the drivers, resulting in the first World Championship win for an American manufacturer.

ALAN MANN RACING RAN THE EUROPEAN ROUNDS OF THE WORLD GT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH COBRAS FOR CARROLL SHELBY AND FORD, WITH SIR JOHN WHITMORE, JACK SEARS AND BOB BONDURANT AMONG THE DRIVERS, RESULTING IN THE FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WIN FOR AN AMERICAN MANUFACTURER.Sir John Whitmore won the European Touring Car Championship with the famous red and gold Cortina.

SIR JOHN WHITMORE WON THE EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP WITH THE FAMOUS RED AND GOLD CORTINA.


1966As part of Ford’s effort to win Le Mans, two lightweight GT40’s were built by Alan Mann Racing and were raced at Sebring by Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Sir John Whitmore and Frank Gardner.

AS PART OF FORD’S EFFORT TO WIN LE MANS, TWO LIGHTWEIGHT GT40’S WERE BUILT BY ALAN MANN RACING AND WERE RACED AT SEBRING BY JACKIE STEWART, GRAHAM HILL, SIR JOHN WHITMORE AND FRANK GARDNER.Lotus Cortinas were entered into the 100th Monte Carlo Rally along with campaigning for the European Touring Car Championship, winning four of the rounds and finishing second overall.

LOTUS CORTINAS WERE ENTERED INTO THE 100TH MONTE CARLO RALLY ALONG WITH CAMPAIGNING FOR THE EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, WINNING FOUR OF THE ROUNDS AND FINISHING SECOND OVERALL.The lightweight cars were then shelved in favour of the 7-litre MkII, which the team ran at Spa and Le Mans.

THE LIGHTWEIGHT CARS WERE THEN SHELVED IN FAVOUR OF THE 7-LITRE MKII, WHICH THE TEAM RAN AT SPA AND LE MANS.An Alan Mann Racing Ford Falcon set the first 100+ mph lap of the Silverstone GP circuit at the International Trophy meeting with Sir John Whitmore driving.

AN ALAN MANN RACING FORD FALCON SET THE FIRST 100+ MPH LAP OF THE SILVERSTONE GP CIRCUIT AT THE INTERNATIONAL TROPHY MEETING WITH SIR JOHN WHITMORE DRIVING.


1967Frank Gardner drove a Group 5 Ford Falcon to victory in the British Saloon Car Championship.

FRANK GARDNER DROVE A GROUP 5 FORD FALCON TO VICTORY IN THE BRITISH SALOON CAR CHAMPIONSHIP.Alan Mann Racing built the striking Honker II Can-Am car which was sent over to Holman Moody in America to be driven by the legendary Mario Andretti.

ALAN MANN RACING BUILT THE STRIKING HONKER II CAN-AM CAR WHICH WAS SENT OVER TO HOLMAN MOODY IN AMERICA TO BE DRIVEN BY THE LEGENDARY MARIO ANDRETTI.


1968A pivotal year for Alan Mann Racing. The brand new Ford Escort is launched and put to the test by Frank Gardner, who went on to win the British Saloon Car Championship.

A PIVOTAL YEAR FOR ALAN MANN RACING. THE BRAND NEW FORD ESCORT IS LAUNCHED AND PUT TO THE TEST BY FRANK GARDNER, WHO WENT ON TO WIN THE BRITISH SALOON CAR CHAMPIONSHIP.Despite it’s inherent speed, setting pole or fastest lap everywhere it went, the F3L failed to finish a race. Drivers included Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, Mike Spence, Richard Attwood and Frank Gardner.

DESPITE IT’S INHERENT SPEED, SETTING POLE OR FASTEST LAP EVERYWHERE IT WENT, THE F3L FAILED TO FINISH A RACE. DRIVERS INCLUDED BRUCE MCLAREN, DENNY HULME, MIKE SPENCE, RICHARD ATTWOOD AND FRANK GARDNER.A prototype sports car, the F3L-P68, was designed in house by Alan Mann Racing and Len Bailey to make use of the new Cosworth DFV engine.

A PROTOTYPE SPORTS CAR, THE F3L-P68, WAS DESIGNED IN HOUSE BY ALAN MANN RACING AND LEN BAILEY TO MAKE USE OF THE NEW COSWORTH DFV ENGINE.A curveball project for the Alan Mann Racing engineers and mechanics came in the form of the iconic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang designed and constructed for the movie of the same name. Inspired by vintage racers Chitty used the engine and gearbox from a Ford Zodiac along with custom made Goodyear tyres for its 34-inch wheels!

A CURVEBALL PROJECT FOR THE ALAN MANN RACING ENGINEERS AND MECHANICS CAME IN THE FORM OF THE ICONIC CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED FOR THE MOVIE OF THE SAME NAME. INSPIRED BY VINTAGE RACERS CHITTY USED THE ENGINE AND GEARBOX FROM A FORD ZODIAC ALONG WITH CUSTOM MADE GOODYEAR TYRES FOR ITS 34-INCH WHEELS!


1969The hugely exciting but ultimately flawed potential of the experimental F3L continued and an open version referred to as the F3L-P69 was produced. Sadly improvements to reliability couldn’t be found and the F3L project was cancelled. Although unsuccessful competitively, the F3L is still regarded as a pioneering vehicle.

THE HUGELY EXCITING BUT ULTIMATELY FLAWED POTENTIAL OF THE EXPERIMENTAL F3L CONTINUED AND AN OPEN VERSION REFERRED TO AS THE F3L-P69 WAS PRODUCED. SADLY IMPROVEMENTS TO RELIABILITY COULDN’T BE FOUND AND THE F3L PROJECT WAS CANCELLED. ALTHOUGH UNSUCCESSFUL COMPETITIVELY, THE F3L IS STILL REGARDED AS A PIONEERING VEHICLE.The Ford Open Sports was the last car Alan Mann Racing built in period and it’s final outing came at College Station, Texas, with the legendary Jack Brabham at the wheel.

THE FORD OPEN SPORTS WAS THE LAST CAR ALAN MANN RACING BUILT IN PERIOD AND IT’S FINAL OUTING CAME AT COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS, WITH THE LEGENDARY JACK BRABHAM AT THE WHEEL.Again working with Len Bailey, Alan Mann Racing produced a new Can-Am car named the Open Sports Ford.

AGAIN WORKING WITH LEN BAILEY, ALAN MANN RACING PRODUCED A NEW CAN-AM CAR NAMED THE OPEN SPORTS FORD.After the failure of the F3L project and Ford’s exit from European race operations Alan decided to wind-down Alan Mann Racing to focus on his passion for aviation. He would spend the rest of his career building a highly successful engineering business as well as running Fairoaks Airfield.

AFTER THE FAILURE OF THE F3L PROJECT AND FORD’S EXIT FROM EUROPEAN RACE OPERATIONS ALAN DECIDED TO WIND-DOWN ALAN MANN RACING TO FOCUS ON HIS PASSION FOR AVIATION. HE WOULD SPEND THE REST OF HIS CAREER BUILDING A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ENGINEERING BUSINESS AS WELL AS RUNNING FAIROAKS AIRFIELD.


2004 ONWARDS40 years after it was founded Alan Mann resurrected the team for historic racing. Regularly attending events such as Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed along with participation in the Masters Historic Series the team was back on the grid.

40 YEARS AFTER IT WAS FOUNDED ALAN MANN RESURRECTED THE TEAM FOR HISTORIC RACING. REGULARLY ATTENDING EVENTS SUCH AS GOODWOOD REVIVAL AND FESTIVAL OF SPEED ALONG WITH PARTICIPATION IN THE MASTERS HISTORIC SERIES THE TEAM WAS BACK ON THE GRID.Alan Mann passed away in 2012 but it wasn’t before he had firmly sown the seed for his sons to fully revive Alan Mann Racing. Working together Tom and Henry Mann are keeping the spirit of their father alive and steadily rebuilding AMR. Although the road ahead is somewhat unknown, it is guaranteed to be an exciting journey.

ALAN MANN PASSED AWAY IN 2012 BUT IT WASN’T BEFORE HE HAD FIRMLY SOWN THE SEED FOR HIS SONS TO FULLY REVIVE ALAN MANN RACING. WORKING TOGETHER TOM AND HENRY MANN ARE KEEPING THE SPIRIT OF THEIR FATHER ALIVE AND STEADILY REBUILDING AMR. ALTHOUGH THE ROAD AHEAD IS SOMEWHAT UNKNOWN, IT IS GUARANTEED TO BE AN EXCITING JOURNEY.


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