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Competitor Profile: E G Pantlin

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Eric Erving Pantlin

My brother Eric was born on April 21st 1920 in London.

When a boy he spent all his holidays cycling around the country with his friends, staying at youth hostels or camping.

At seventeen, he developed a craving for speed and fell in love with motorbikes His first taste of racing was on grass tracks where, starting at the bottom he worked his way through hundreds of novices to finally compete against the aces During the war he joined the army and became a corporal in an anti-aircraft battalion where he spent some time at Gibraltar till being posted in Italy

Home from the war, he took up his old love of racing spending all his spare time and money on his hobby, he also started a small furniture business, and had a shop in Ruislip.

In his racing career, he was now competing against such men as John Surtees and Geoff Duke, and had many successes. However in 1957, and against the advice of his friends he decided to take up sports car racing, starting at the bottom again, he became very successful. He brought a Lotus in kit form and with the aid of his mechanic Mac Mc Donald they built the car in three weeks. This car was capable of 120mph.

After three races, Eric decided to try his hand at a big race in Denmark. The 7cwt car was shipped to the track at Copenhagen in his furniture van.

Eric raced against 20 high-class continental and English drivers, and then roared home in first place to win the 1960 Copenhagen Cup.

He was s proud of his win and said it was a huge thrill doing the "Lap of Honour" and receiving the be-ribboned laurel garland & cup.

Weeks later he was tragically killed in a collision with an army lorry at Knapp Hill Woking. He only wore a helmet when racing.

His many friends who came to his funeral all said he was the finest gentleman they had known on and off the track- and I have to agree- he was in every meaning of the word.

Told by Vera Gallantry

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