Kenelm Lee Guinness

Kenelm Lee Guinness

Birth
Death 10 Apr 1937 (aged 49)
Burial Wimbledon, London Borough of Merton, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 20654708 · View Source
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Motor racing driver and founder of the KLG Spark Plug Company. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Kenelm Edward Lee Guinness MBE was the second son of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, and a member the famous brewing family; and later inventor of the K.L.G. spark plug. He experienced his first motor racing when rode as mechanic to his older brother Algernon who owned several fast Darracqs. He was one of the pre-Great War and early twenties set which counted amongst its members Count Louis Zborowski, Clive Gallop, Bertie Moir and Henry Segrave, all exponents of large and very large cars during that period. In 1914 he won the Isle of Man T.T. race for Sunbeam having been one of the official works drivers since 1913. Some time later at the 1921 Brooklands Easter meeting Guinness eventually got a big V-12 Sunbeam wound up and put in a lap of 120.01 mph earning himself a coveted Brooklands 120 mph badge. In the Autumn of 1921 Guinness was timed down the Railway Straight at 135 mph, entering the finishing straight at 140 mph. KLG was awarded a cup by the BARC for his achievement and for running a truly thrilling race against a very fast Vauxhall and that infamous old Lorraine Dietrich "Vieux Charles Trois" which Malcolm Campbell had managed to retrieve from France after the Great War. During practice on the 16 May 1922, KLG was timed by friends on the Railway Straight at 144 mph and on the following day in windy conditions he clocked an official 140.51 mph one way to take a new Brooklands lap record of 123.39 mph along with several other speed records over various distances. His official 137.15 mph flying kilometre record was to stand unbeaten for another seven years. In this car he went on to win the 1922 Duke of York race at 122.67 m.p.h. on his best laps. He was particularly known for his success in 1½ litre Talbot Darracqs in which he won three consecutive races, the Brooklands 200 Mile race, Le Mans and the Penya Rhin Grand Prix. During the 1924 San Sebastian Grand Prix in Spain, his Sunbeam skidded on the treacherous track and he crashed. He received serious head injuries from which he never fully recovered and his driving mechanic, Thomas Barrett was killed. Guinness finally took his own life in the bedroom of his house in Kingston Hill, London in 1937.


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  • Created by: Paul Narramore
  • Added: 27 Jul 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 20654708
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Kenelm Lee Guinness (14 Aug 1887–10 Apr 1937), Find a Grave Memorial no. 20654708, citing Putney Vale Cemetery and Crematorium, Wimbledon, London Borough of Merton, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Paul Narramore (contributor 46601741) .