An Alfa in British Racing Green

Alfa Romeo, K. D. Evans, Brooklands

Some might think this photo was taken at Donington, but it is in fact at Brooklands during the Junior Car Club’s J.C.C. International Trophy on May 6, 1939. This is Kenneth Douglas Evans, who usually entered as K. D. Evans, driving his supercharged 3 liter Alfa Romeo P3 Grand Prix car, painted in British Racing Green, with which he was a regular competitor from 1937 until the War years. He finished fourth in this event which was won by Prince Bira in the old ex-Whitney Straight Maserati 8CM.

Kenneth Evans was a member of a well-known motor racing family which owned the Bellevue Garage at the corner of Bellevue and Althorp Roads in the Wandsworth section of London which is located south of the Thames opposite Fulham. A chartered surveyor, Evans began racing when 21 in MGs along with his brother Denis and sister Doreen who were both rally and trials specialists. The head mechanic for the Evans family was W. E. “Wilkie” Wilkinson who became well-known for his work with Ecurie Ecosse in the postwar years. Wilkie was no doubt a critical factor in the Evans family’s competition successes.

The Alfa P3 was designed by the great Vittorio Jano and was a very successful Grand Prix machine in the early 1930s. Kenneth Evans drove his Alfa P3 in Continental races as well as in England, including finishing ninth in the 1937 German Grand Prix on the Nürburgring, the scene of his P3’s greatest triumph when it was used by Tazio Nuvolari to win the German Grand Prix in 1935 for Scuderia Ferrari.

After the War, Evans sold the Alfa P3 to Roy Salvadori. He then raced a Maserati 6CM with his friend Ian Connell but finally retired and became the head flag marshall for the British Racing Drivers Club at Silverstone for a several years. He also was instrumental in preserving the postwar remains of Brooklands and creating the Brooklands Museum Trust.

Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com

 

 

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4 comments

  1. Jim Sitz · · Reply

    Kenneth Evans also had brother and Sister named Doreen. I understand she was
    regarded best driver in their family when using s/c M.G. Magnettes earlier.

    Doreen met fellow in England named David Phipps who driving Cord supercharged
    roadster, got married and moved to his native Denver. The British press ..”hope
    she will not indulge in dirt track racing in Colorado..!”

    Ken’s brother migrated to California ans worked at Cal Sales, the importer
    for Triumph cars in 1954.

    After war, i believe Salvadori ran the Alfa Romeo at very first race event–Grandsen Lodge
    as run by the VSCC group..quite early for post war racing then

    JimSitz

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  2. Quiet interesting, this Alfa P3 wearing BRG. Must have been a marvelous non-red sight, and that blower straight-8 sings an unforgettable song. Thank you for this delicious post and photograph.

    I have a belief that the real joy of doing motorsport journalism is what the author finds him/herself getting into once the story, in its writing, takes hold of mind and, consequently, not always being best for health, body. The hours are long and digging deep. One of my favorite of all experiences in this realm was writing of the P3, now owned by Jon Shirley, that Tazio Nuvolari won with at the 1935 German Grand Prix. I wish it could be read online, but anyone with a pile of FORZA magazines will find that 9-page feature in the publication’s November 2008 issue.

    Meanwhile, it’s always both surprise and pleasure to see what comes next from the Klemantaski Collection.

    William Edgar

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    1. Hello William,

      Actually Jon Shirley’s P3 is also the ex-Evans car, but now repainted in its original red.

      Peter

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  3. Thank you, Peter. I had not recalled that the Evans ownership in fact did have mention in my article, through Jon Shirley’s quote about what happen to the P3 after Nuvolari’s win: “It went to Austin Dobson in the UK, then to a man named Kenneth Evans. During the war it was kept by Reg Parnell in Scotland, and it was actually raced by Roy Salvadori.” The developing chain of pre-Shirley ownerships then continues through the article text to New Zealand and Japan, to when Jon eventually acquired the car.
    Much appreciated,
    William

    Like

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