Geoffrey George White
Geoffrey White was the Sales Manager at the Winter Garden garage owned by Lance Prideaux-Brune.
Geoff was a loyal employee and stood by Prideaux-Brune selling which ever marque his boss decided to sell. However, he did have a marked preference for sports cars.
Geoff always took an active part in promoting the Winter Garden garage stock. At the 1933 Motor Show at Olympia for example, Geoff appeared on the Aston Martin stand to help promote their latest models.
When Prideaux-Brune temporarily ‘lost’ the Aston concession and turned to selling the rear engined Mercedes Type 130 saloon, Geoff White was filled with horror at having to sell these pre Volkswagon ‘Beetles’. His relief was manifest when the Winter Garden garage won back the Aston concession although it took some time to sell all the funny German cars.
When the Winter Garden garage moved to Tottenham Court Road, Geoff continued in his capacity as Sales Manager. A consistent problem for Geoff was securing examples of new models for sale. With the advent of the Aston Martin Mk II, Geoff was again left embarrassed without any stock despite the Mk II being launched at the Olympia Motor show. He still had his work cut out as the garage was full of the previous model.
Geoff had a good knowledge of the sports car market and his opinion was eagerly sort when new cars arrived at the show room. In 1936, on receipt of the new Aston Martin 15/98 saloon Geoff did not mince his words. To put it not too politely, the car was dreadful and Geoff let his boss know in no uncertain words.
There is little record of Geoffrey White’s competition career although it is quite conceivable that he accompanied Prideaux-Brune in his drop head coupes into the various rallies of the day.
In 1938, the Winter Garden garage took on the Morgan concession for London and Geoff was invited by Prudence Fawcett to be her co driver at Le Mans in a Morgan 4-4. This must have been a huge step for Geoff as there are no records of him competing in any of the major races of the day. Geoff readily accepted the offer and accompanied the Winter Garden garage party overland to Le Mans.
1938 Le Mans - Chambers & Clarke's HRG waits patiently with Fawcett & White's Morgan (Ref 11)
In the race, Geoff White acquitted himself very well. The car was driven steadily by Geoff and Prudence and was one of only 2 British cars to finish. The final position of 13th overall was well received and the marque qualified for the prestigious Biennial Cup.
Despite this success, Geoff’s work colleague Dick Anthony was considered a more suitable pilot to compete in a Morgan 4-4 at Brooklands in the MCC speed trials in September. Dick was partnered by Geoff Hunt one of Geoff White’s junior salesmen. The Morgan 4-4 achieved 74 miles in the hour to win a premier award.
In 1939, Geoff White was again asked to drive at Le Mans but this time partnered by Dick Anthony. The car was again prepared by the Winter Garden garage and was shaken down by Dick Anthony at the NW London Motor Club’s Lawrence Cup Trial where he won the class.
In the Le Mans race, Dick Anthony drove the first stint perhaps reflecting his greater racing experience. Geoff took up the challenge and maintained Dicks good work with both pilots driving fast and smooth. The pre determined schedule was maintained throughout the night but then lap times lengthened probably due to fuel problems.
1939 Le Mans - Geoffrey White & Dick Anthony staying cool before the race (Ref 11)
Nevertheless, the car finished the race 2nd in class and 15th overall narrowly missing out on the Biennial Cup.
During the war Prideaux-Brune sold the Winter Garden garage. Geoffrey White’s fate is not recorded.
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Information on this page has been gathered from historical journals and contemporary text books.
Please refer to the reference page.
© 2002 John Clarke