Archie Butterworth

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19 Jun 1912
Dungarvan, Co. Waterford


12 Feb 2005
Windsor, Berkshire




Butterworth (1952)

Inventor, who designed his own four wheel drive F1 car in 1948. A noted driver as well, he won the Brighton Speed Trials in 1949 and 1951, but in the same year as his latter win, he suffered injuries in a serious crash and retired. Ran an engineering company for decades, and specialised in engines, supplying a number of teams in the 1950's. He also designed the Butterball Special which Bill Milliken raced in the US. Kept links to the sport all his life, but was less involved after his friend, Archie Scott-Brown died. Although born in Ireland he moved over to England as a boy, but he served with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in the 1930's. He saw action at Dunkirk and his wartime experiences led to him working on the design of automatic small arms and tank fire control instruments as during the war, he was involved in processing captured artillery. His critiques of German artillery led to him getting a role in a weapons factory. He later enjoyed taking part in sailing, golf, and pistol-shooting. One of Archie's car inventions was a hillclimb special, using a German engine, an American jeep for a chassis, but forgot to include any brakes! He would simply rub his hands against the back wheel to slow the car down! A beatnik, outgoing character, he was always keen on alternate ideas and he created a revolutionary intake valve system.

Biography last updated 4 Aug 2020