Friday 22nd March 1974
Racer Peter Revson (35) was killed when his Shadow-Cosworth Formula 1 car crashed during a practice run at the Kyalami track in South Africa. The nephew of Revlon Cosmetics industry magnate Charles Revson, he was an heir to his father Martin’s fortune (reportedly worth over $1 billion). He was a young, handsome bachelor who was described as a “free spirit”. Revson began racing while at Cornell University. In 1968 he was part of the new Javelin racing program established by American Motors (AMC). At the first Trans-Am Series attempt, the 12 Hours of Sebring, Revson and Skip Scott drove to a 12th overall and took 5th in their class. In 1970 he teamed with Steve McQueen to place second in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Also in 1970, Revson was teammates with Mark Donohue in the Penske Racing AMC factory-team Javelins in the SCCA Trans Am. Revson joined McLaren in 1971 and became the first American to win the Can-Am Championship. That same season he finished second in the Indianapolis 500 after posting the fastest qualifying time. He competed in the Indy 500 each year from 1969-1973. In 1972, Revson was named to the McLaren Formula One team. He remained with the team for two years, winning the British Grand Prix and Canadian Grand Prix in 1973, before moving to Shadow in 1974. He is the last American born driver to win a Formula One race (Mario Andretti, who won in later years, is a naturalized American).