Scottish Flashback: Ecurie Ecosse, 1956

The team's cars are loaded onto Ecurie Ecosse's iconic transporter. Picture: TSPL
The team's cars are loaded onto Ecurie Ecosse's iconic transporter. Picture: TSPL
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ECURIE Ecosse was a motor racing team based in Edinburgh.

Translated from French as ‘Team Scotland’, it was founded in November 1951 by local businessman and racing driver David Murray, and mechanic Walter ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson.

Among their finest achievements were two wins in the 1956 and 1957 Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race.

Ninian Sanderson and Ron Flockhart were the successful duo in 1956 while Flockhart and Sanderson’s replacement Ivor Bueb tasted victory in ‘57.

In 1957, Sanderson and John Lawrence, racing in the team’s second D-Type finished second for a 1-2 finish.

Ecurie Ecosse also competed in three Formula One races, while Murray entered a fourth driving a Cooper T20 in the 1952 British Grand Prix - however, he retired early due to engine trouble.

The team’s success in Le Mans began to diminish, with mechanical faults and accidents hampering efforts in the late 1950s.

By the mid-1960s, the team’s competitive era ended, partly due to financial troubles and Murray’s self-imposed tax exile.

Twice the team has been revived - once in 1980, leading to a 1986 victory for Ecurie Ecosse in the C2 class of the World Sportscar Championship - and again in 2011, when plans were unveiled to enter the 24 Hours of Spa competition.

Drivers for Ecurie Ecosse during its first competitive stint included three-times winner of the Formula One championship Jackie Stewart; his brother Jimmy; Jim Clark, Innes Ireland, Roy Salvadori and Jack Fairman.

Our photo shows the team’s cars being loaded on to the transporter at the team’s garage in Merchiston, in 1956.