PETER Giddings, one of the world’s most widely recognised vintage car racers, has passed away at his home in Northern California, Vintage Racecar reports.

He was 79.

In a vintage racing career that began over four decades ago, Peter owned and/or drove many of the greatest cars ever to turn a wheel on a track.

While he owned and enjoyed a number of post-war race cars, his passion was the great pre-war racers.

Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Talbot-Lago, Delage and Maserati are some of the marques he has owned and raced.

In addition, he had been invited to drive a number of priceless racers including several of the legendary pre-war Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix cars.

Giddings travelled the world in his business career but also as a racer, regularly competing at race tracks in England, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada, Bahamas, Mexico, South America and of course, all over the United States.

He was always willing to share his vast knowledge of his cars with anyone interested and his passion for racing was well known.

vintage - peter giddings 1926 Delage - Final flag fall for veteran racer Giddings
Peter Giddings with a 1926 Delage.

Giddings was a true gentleman racer and a wonderful ambassador for vintage racing, promoting the sport wherever he competed.

Besides racing, Peter wrote many fine articles for magazines, showed his cars at charity events, was a sought after speaker and race car historian.

He won many awards during his career including the prestigious title of “Grand Master” after winning the North American Ferrari/Maserati Historic Challenge several times.

Giddings and his wonderful collection of racing cars were icons of the sport and drew crowds of admirers wherever he raced around the world.

He was the epitome of a vintage racer, racing hard but always fair in his collection of historic race cars.

The last couple of years Peter raced two outstanding examples of historic Lancia racing cars – a 1954 D24 spider and a 1956 D50 Grand Prix car.

Peter is survived by his wife Judy, his daughter Karen and his Great Dane, Lord Havelock aka, Havoc.

To truly appreciate all the elements of Giddings life in racing, visit his website

vintage - peter giddings 1932 alfa romeo monza - Final flag fall for veteran racer Giddings
Behind the wheel of a 1932 Alfa Romeo Monza.

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Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.