Count Louis Zborowski (20 February 1895 – 19 October 1924) was a racing driver and automobile engineer of Polish-American descent.

He was born to an American mother, claimed his title of nobility from his Polish father, and lived at Higham Park, a country estate at Bridge near Canterbury in Kent.

His father, Count William Eliot Morris Zborowski (1858–1903) was also a racing driver, and died in La Turbie hillclimb at Nice. His mother was a wealthy heiress, born Margaret Laura Astor Carey (1853–1911), a granddaughter of William Backhouse Astor, Sr. of the prominent Astor family. She had been Baroness de Stuers before her divorce and marriage in 1880 to Count Eliot Zborowski.

Racing careerEdit

Louis Zborowski's career as an amateur racing driver encompassed a wide experience of marques and events.

He was an early patron of Aston Martin, and raced for them at Brooklands and in the 1923 French Grand Prix.

In the 1923 Indianapolis 500 he drove a Bugatti.

He drove in the 1923 Italian Grand Prix at Monza in a car designed by American engineer Harry Arminius Miller, the single seat "American Miller 122".

Louis Zborowski joined the Mercedes team in 1924 but died in one of their cars, after hitting a tree during the Italian Grand Prix. He was just 29 years old.

Car designsEdit

Zborowski designed and built four of his own racing cars in the stables at Higham Park, assisted by his engineer and co-driver Captain Clive Gallop (one of the "Bentley Boys").

Three of the cars were called "Chitty Bang Bang", and used ex-World War I aero engines, achieving some success at Brooklands. Another car, also built at Higham Park with a huge 27 litre aero engine, was called the "Higham Special" and later "Babs" and was used in J.G. Parry-Thomas's fatal attempt for the land speed record at Pendine Sands in 1927.


Zborowski was a railway enthusiast and the 15 inch (380 mm) gauge railway circuit which he built around his estate in Kent was later developed by his friend Captain J.E.P. Howey into the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.

The children's book by Ian Fleming, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and the subsequent musical film, were inspired by the romance of his exploits. Ian Fleming had known Higham Park as a guest of its later owner, Walter Wigham, chairman of Robert Fleming & Co.

External linksEdit

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Louis Zborowski. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Autopedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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