Classic Sports Car


The usual suspects, and then some, who turned their hands to motorsport away from the safety of the silver screen


Thespians who could act the part on track

There have been countless films rooted in motorsport, most of which comprise one big credibilit­y chasm. Invariably, a driver will go faster by shifting down a gear while suddenly discoverin­g an extra inch or two of throttle movement. Either that or they will make eye contact with, and gesticulat­e wildly to, another driver while travelling at north of 200mph. Oh, and at some point they will probably have to drive through fire in a bid to locate their misplaced mettle, and… well, you get the idea. Such celluloid ‘gems’ require rather a high tolerance for suffering on the part of the viewer, not to mention the jettisonin­g of reason.

However, while few racing flicks can be traced back to anything like reality, a handful of stars made the leap from thespian to driver in real life. Some were a bit rubbish, others conspicuou­sly less so. Gathered here are 10 of those who clearly loved driving a racing car, and not merely as filmic artifice.

Some, such as driver/team owner Paul Newman, achieved a lot, while others competed only for a short time but made an impression for all the right reasons. Conversely, another built his own car long before he ventured into showbusine­ss. It’s far from definitive, but these were rather more convincing as racing drivers than the racers who have had a go at acting…

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