A PERMANENT memorial to a legendary British Formula 1 driver who tragically died following a crash is set to be unveiled.

A crowd-funding appeal was launched in March 2023 to raise £15,000 to create a bronze bust in memory of Kidderminster-born driver Peter Collins.

With the fundraising a success, the sculpture has been created and the unveiling event at Shelsley Walsh will be held on Monday, May 6, 2024.

The event is free to attend and will feature classic and modern cars, Peter Collins memorabilia and some special guests.

Collins, along with Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn and many others, was at the vanguard of British motor racing in what many still consider to be its greatest period in the 1950s.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Peter CollinsPeter Collins (Image: Mark Andrews)

Born in Mustow Green in 1931, Peter could have been Britain's first Formula 1 world champion in 1956 but sacrificed this opportunity to give his car to Fangio, when the Argentinian's car suffered mechanical problems, reasoning that at the age of 25 he had plenty more time to win the championship himself.

Sadly, he died less than two years later following a fatal crash during the 1958 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, without fulfilling his dream and leaving his great friend Mike Hawthorn to become Britain's first world champion in 1958.

Mark Andrews, managing director of European Driving Tours, led the campaign to fund, produce and erect a memorial after he was struck by the lack of a permanent memorial in Peter Collins’ likeness.

He says that he has been overwhelmed with the support that the project has received.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Mark Andrews visiting the crash site in Nurburgring Mark Andrews visiting the crash site in Nurburgring (Image: Mark Andrews)

Mr Andrews said: “I’ve been delighted to see the fantastic response that we have had to the campaign. When we began, we had no idea whether we’d reach the target but people from far and wide have become really engaged with what we were trying to achieve.

"As well as succeeding in creating the memorial, I think we can safely say that it has been a great year in terms of raising Peter's profile and making sure his name is not forgotten when people talk about the great motor racing drivers of the 1950s and 60s.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank every single person who has supported the project. The net result of everybody's efforts is that Peter is already more widely known, many amazing memories have been shared and his legacy to British motorsport and the people of Kidderminster and beyond can be celebrated by us all. I very much look forward to welcoming everyone to Shelsley Walsh in May for the unveiling.”

The bust will be officially unveiled by Howden Ganley, who participated in 41 World Championship Formula One Grands Prix between 1971 and 1974.

Members of Peter’s family will also be attending the event and additional guests will be announced nearer the time.

Shelsley Walsh was chosen as the home for the memorial as it was Peter's ‘home’ venue. An identical cold cast, life-size bust was created as part of the project and has been unveiled at the Ring Werk Museum at the Nurburgring in Germany where Collins sadly lost his life in 1958.

Kidderminster Shuttle: The unveiling of an identical bust at the Ring Werk Museum at the NurburgringThe unveiling of an identical bust at the Ring Werk Museum at the Nurburgring (Image: Mark Andrews)