Masten Gregory (February 29, 1932 – November 8, 1985) was a
racing driver from the United States.
He raced in Formula
between and , participating in 43 World Championship races,
and numerous non-Championship races.
the "Kansas City Flash", Masten Gregory was born in Kansas
City, Missouri as the
youngest of three children (brother Riddelle L.
sister Nancy James) and heir to an insurance company fortune.
Gregory was well known for his youngish looks and thick eyeglasses
, due to his "terrible" eyesight.
he attended the Pembroke-Country Day School in Kansas City, he left school before completing
his senior year, and married Luella Hewitt at the age of 19.
died when he was 3 years old, and Gregory used his inheritance to
buy a Mercury-powered Allard, which he drove in his first race, the
SCCA race in Caddo Mills, Texas in November
He retired from that race due to head gasket failure,
but installed a new engine in his car to race at Sebring
in 1953, where he again retired, this time
due to a rear suspension
failure. Gregory's first win came in just his third
race, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
to a Jaguar, Gregory won several races
in America, including the Guardsmans
Trophy in Golden Gate
Francisco and a race
at Offutt Air
Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. At the end of 1953, Gregory was invited to
his first international sports car race - the 1000 km Buenos Aires in Argentina, which he finished in 14th due to water pump
1954 and 1955, Gregory competed in European
races, including the Tourist
Trophy at Dundrod and the
24 Hours of Le
Mans (although his co-driver Mike Sparken retired before Gregory got a
chance to drive).
Moving back to America in 1956, Gregory
entered several SCCA races, often winning. In 1957, he had another
attempt at the Argentine 1000 km race, this time winning.
performance got him a drive with Mimo Dei's
Scuderia Centro Sud, a privateer
Formula One team using the Maserati 250F.
His first race was the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix
, where he
scored an impressive 3rd place finish, the first podium for an
American in F1. He followed this with a string of good results,
coming 8th in the German Grand
, and 4th in both the Pescara
Grands Prix. Despite only
competing in half of the races, Gregory ended the 1957 season
in 6th place in the
only competed in four Grands Prix in the 1958 season, due to injuries
sustained through one of his trademark bailouts when his car was
set to crash, this time in a sports car race at Silverstone in England.
He did manage a 4th place at the Italian Grand Prix
, and a 6th in the
last race of the year, this Moroccan Grand Prix
. Moving to
for the 1959 season
alongside Jack Brabham
, he scored two podium finishes - a 3rd place at the
Dutch Grand Prix
, and a
career-best 2nd at the Portuguese Grand Prix
he missed the final two races of the season, again due to injuries
sustained jumping from a car moments before it crashed. He finished
8th in the Championship, and with teammate Brabham winning the
, Cooper won their first Constructor's
Championship. Gregory scored a pole position and set a course record at the
non-Championship race at Aintree, but his contract with Cooper was not renewed for
the following year.
Gregory continued in Formula One until 1965, but mainly with
uncompetitive independent teams. He was unable to reproduce the results he
obtained early in his career, his best being a 6th at the 1962 United States Grand Prix
Glen with the UDT Laystall
team, in a Lotus 24.
just behind eventual winner Dan Gurney
the French Grand Prix
Gregory retired with ignition problems, losing possibly his best
chance at a maiden Grand Prix victory. Gregory did manage a
win in the non-Championship Kannonloppet race at Karlskoga in Sweden, but this
race only featured six drivers (only four of whom finished), and no
After his release from Cooper, Gregory also went back to competing
in sports car races, setting the overall fastest lap at the
1960 24 Hours of Le Mans
He won the 1961 1000 km
, driving alongside Lloyd
in a Maserati Tipo
for the America
Racing Team. In the same year, Gregory finished 5th in
the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche RS61
. 1962 saw Gregory win the Canadian Grand Prix sports car race at Mosport Park in a Lotus 19-Climax.
In 1964, Gregory again
competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this time in a Ford GT40
. He retired from the race in the 5th
hour due to gearbox
following year, Gregory teamed up with 1970 Formula One World Champion,
Austrian Jochen Rindt, and the
pair won the race in a North
American Racing Team Ferrari 250
LM. 1965 was also the year in which Gregory
raced in the Indianapolis
500, starting from the back of the grid and working his
way up to 5th before being forced to retire due to an engine
then began to wind down his motor racing career, continuing to
compete in international sports car races with some good results
including a second-place finish at the 1966 1000 km race at
Monza alongside John Whitmore.
his good friend Jo Bonnier's death at the
1972 Le Mans race, Gregory
stopped racing, and retired to Amsterdam, where he worked as a diamond merchant before operating a glassware
business. On November 8, 1985, Gregory died in his
sleep of a heart attack at his
winter home in Porto
had four children, Masten Jr., Debbie, Scott and Michael. Gregory
was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Complete Formula One World Championship results
* Shared drive with Carroll
- no points awarded for shared drive in the 1958 Italian Grand