Barry Lee

Barry Lee

With an undeniable love of motorsport, Barry has many a tale to tell that will fascinate an after-dinner audience.

During his career he has been World Hot Rod Champion four times; Rally Cross Champion once; Autocross Champion three times; Truck Racing Champion once; EuroCar Champion twice; and won the Pre 65 Touring FIA Championship twice.                     

His love affair with motorsport spans the decades.


Born in 1944, he started driving at the age of seven. At 15 he began his apprenticeship in his father’s garage. At 16 he drove a three wheel Barkley car, on a motorcycle licence. He owned his first car (and failed his first driving test) when he was 17 and at 18 he started speedway racing, although this came to a premature end after a serious accident.

In 1964, at the age of 20, Barry started Autocross and building competition cars for other people, going on to win three championships.
This led to an approach from Ford’s competition manager resulting in Barry working on the J25 Project, later to become the first Mark I Escort. His task was to modify the Mark I into an Autocross/Rallycross car and he was the first person to race Mark I, II and III Escorts.

As a Team Ford Rally/Rally Cross works driver he not only built the cars but won the championship.

Hot rod racing was next on Barry’s agenda, winning the world championship in ’72, ’73, ’75 and ’76. Then more test-driving and development work for Ford on the four-wheel drive Capri and the London-to-Sydney rally cars.

The Dealer Opel Works Team employed him from 1979 – 1981 as a test and development driver on Opel Manta and Ascona Rally cross/autocross cars.

His career has also included making a film with Anneka Rice ‘Drive In Total Safety With Barry Lee’ used by ROSPA.

He has worked for the Toleman Group, marketing the Toleman Formula One team; he competed in three Paris to Dakar Raid Rallies; he organised an ‘Around Britain Boat Race’ and ‘The Blue Ribbon Transatlantic Challenge’and managed the Offshore Powerboat Team.

More recently Barry has worked as a TV motorsport commentator and as a rally driver instructor as well as maintaining a business development interest in motorsport.