One of the most influential shapers of modern motor sport has died at the age of 87. Ken Gregory was perhaps best known as the manager of both Stirling Moss and Peter Collins, but his dedication to racing went back to long before even meeting the aces.
After leaving the armed forces in 1949 his first job, aged just 23, was with the Royal Automobile Club. At that time he had little interest in motor sport, but he soon became immersed in it.
A useful racer himself, Gregory chose to focus on his career instead, vindicated when his flatmate and friend Stirling Moss asked him to manage his business affairs. It was Gregory who agreed the purchase of a Maserati 250F for Moss.
In 1957, Gregory formed British Racing Partnership with Alfred Moss and when that became Yeoman Credit Racing (later it was UDT Laystall), it was the first time a backer had taken title sponsorship.
His penchant for commercialising motor sport – it was Gregory who turned Stirling Moss into a limited company having seen the value of the 'brand' – was shunned by many, but Gregory was shown to be the visionary.
And his dedication to the sport he loved was evident. As a director of Brands Hatch he was credited with helping to turn the Kent circuit into a major international venue. He also launched Car & Car Conversions magazine, was secretary of the Half Litre Car Club (later the British Racing and Sports Car Club), director of Kieft Cars and Healey Team Manager.
To find out more about this fascinating character, read his book Behind the Scenes of Motor Racing.