Pedro Rodriguez 1970, composition of portrait, Yardley BRM P 153 and original autograph

Composition of portrait, Yardley-BRM P153 and original autograph

Early painting
watercolour 30 x 21 cm

mexican flag

Pedro Rodriguez portrait photo Pedro Rodriguez was born in Mexico City on 18 January 1940, and his brother Ricardo was born two years later. The Rodriguez brothers became national heroes, benefiting from the financial input of their father, the head of Mexico's police motor cycle patrol. The brothers both raced motor cycles in their early teens, with Pedro becoming Mexican champion in 1953 and 1954. A year before this first success he had tried four wheel racing, then became a full-time racing driver in 1955. However, later that year Pedro's career suffered setback when his father sent him to a US military academy to 'build him up' after a bout of malaria. Don Pedro entered them in a variety of car races, including the 1958 Le Mans 24hours, although Ricardo was thought too young to drive. A year later they were able to compete together, and in 1960 they shocked the establishment when they led at Le Mans, only to retire with just two hours to go. The race impressed Enzo Ferrari who invited them to drive for his F1 team. Ricardo accepted, but Pedro turned down the offer, deciding to concentrate on running a motor business in Mexico City. In 1962 Mexico held their first Grand Prix, a non-championship race fitted in between the US and South African Grand Prix. Ricardo died in a horrific accident whilst practising, and Pedro considered retiring from racing. However, in 1963 he won at Daytona and took part in his first Grand Prix for Lotus in the USA and Mexico. Good performances in sports car racing and the occasional Grand Prix led to a drive for the Cooper F1 team in 1967 and he won his debut race for them, earning a full contract for the rest of the year. He finally won at Le Mans then joined BRM in 1970, winning at Spa. A year later, Rodriguez drove a Ferrari 512M at the Norisring in West Germany. On the twelfth lap, however, he lost control, went into the barrier and was killed when his car caught fire. Motor racing lost a spectacular driver and a great character. He loved racing, yet also enjoyed music, parties, and good food - always carrying a jar of Tabasco sauce with him to enliven his food. (Champion press: The 50 greatest Grand Prix Winners)

(Source: Champion press-The 50 greatest Grand Prix Winners)