Lance Reventlow
British-born, American racing driver and entrepreneur
Lance Reventlow
Lance Reventlow, born Lawrence Graf von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow was a wealthy playboy, entrepreneur, and racing driver. Reventlow was the only child of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton and her second husband Count Court von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow and also the stepson of actor Cary Grant and Prince Igor Troubetzkoy.
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  • 1972
    Age 35
    On July 24, 1972, the Cessna 206 Reventlow was in, helmed by an inexperienced 27-year-old student pilot, flew into a blind canyon and the pilot stalled the aircraft while trying to turn around.
    More Details Hide Details The plane plunged to the ground, killing all aboard, including Reventlow. Reventlow was initially buried, but his remains were later exhumed and cremated. His ashes are interred in the Woolworth mausoleum at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. key) † At the 1960 British Grand Prix, Reventlow drove the Cooper in practice only. The car was driven in the race by Chuck Daigh.
    In 1972, Reventlow was seeking real-estate developers as partners to build a ski resort in Aspen, Colorado, where he had a home.
    More Details Hide Details He was an experienced pilot, with thousands of hours, rated fully for IFR on multi-engine planes, but when scouting locations for real estate he was only a passenger.
  • 1964
    Age 27
    On November 6, 1964, Reventlow married ex-Mouseketeer Cheryl Holdridge in a lavish ceremony in Hollywood before 600 guests.
    More Details Hide Details Reventlow's mother, Barbara Hutton, could not attend the wedding because of illness but gifted the couple with a $500,000, five-bedroom home set on 21 acres in Benedict Canyon.
  • 1963
    Age 26
    St. John filed for divorce on October 2, 1963, citing extreme cruelty; she stated that Reventlow called her "stupid and incompetent" in front of others and bullied her into taking part in dangerous sports. Their divorce was granted on October 30, 1963.
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  • 1960
    Age 23
    On March 24, 1960, Reventlow married actress Jill St. John in San Francisco.
    More Details Hide Details They separated in October 1962.
  • 1956
    Age 19
    Reventlow began his racing career in America in the mid-1950s, initially with a Mercedes before moving to an 1100cc Cooper in 1956.
    More Details Hide Details The next year he went to Europe to buy a Maserati, which he crashed heavily at Snetterton, escaping unhurt. He also briefly drove a Cooper Formula 2 car, before returning to the United States. He then set up his own company in Venice, California, to construct Chevrolet-powered race cars he named Scarab with Phil Remington as chief engineer. Along with hired driver Chuck Daigh, the two were initially successful in racing. They won the majority of major sportscar events they entered, often in competition with the Cunningham team of Lister Jaguars. Daigh drove a Scarab to victory in the 1958 Riverside International Grand Prix in California, beating a field of international race car teams, including the world-famous race car driver Phil Hill and the Ferrari Team. Carroll Shelby drove a Scarab to first place at Continental Divide Raceways in Castle Rock in Douglas County, Colorado, where he broke a course record.
  • 1955
    Age 18
    In Hollywood, Reventlow became friends with fellow auto enthusiast James Dean and competed in club events around California. On September 30, 1955, he was one of the last people to speak to Dean when they met on their way to an auto race in Salinas, California.
    More Details Hide Details Reventlow said he had coffee with Dean at a restaurant approximately thirty minutes before Dean was killed in an automobile accident while driving his Porsche 550 Spyder in Cholame, California.
  • 1948
    Age 11
    In 1948, at age 12, Reventlow was introduced to the world of Grand Prix motor racing when his mother married Prince Igor Troubetzkoy, who won the Targa Florio that year.
    More Details Hide Details In his teenage years, Reventlow's money afforded him the latest in exotic cars, which led to his involvement in motor racing.
  • 1945
    Age 8
    Hutton regained custody of Reventlow in 1945.
    More Details Hide Details Reventlow was largely estranged from his father until the Count's death in 1969.
  • 1944
    Age 7
    In 1944, Reventlow's father was awarded custody until he reached school age, after which his mother would gain custody.
    More Details Hide Details Before his father was to relinquish custody, he sent Reventlow to Canada.
  • 1938
    Age 1
    Reventlow's parents' marriage, Hutton's second of seven, was tumultuous and did not last; after the couple divorced in 1938, Reventlow became the subject of a bitter custody battle.
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  • 1936
    Born on February 24, 1936.
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