Who Was Lance Reventlow?

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He had several step-fathers. One was Cary Grant. One was a prince and another a baron. Another was Porfirio Rubirosa – famous for having an extremely large male appendage. When Lance was just a baby, his mother had an affair with Howard Hughes.

She was Barbara Hutton, the heir to the Woolworth fortune and Lance was the product of her three year marriage to (deep breath) Count Kurt Heinrich Eberhard Erdmann Georg von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow.

Needless to say, he was the subject of a pretty hairy custody battle and was shoved from pillar to post.

Several of his stepfathers – official or otherwise – were involved in motor racing and Lance grew up being bitten by the same bug. Although he had been born in England, teenager Lance was living in the USA when he became friendly with the actor James Dean. They competed in some of the same amateur races

In fact, on September 30th, 1955, the pair had a coffee together on their way to attend a race meeting. It was only thirty minutes later that Dean was involved in his fatal accident.

This didn’t dampen Lance’s love of the sport though and he moved to Europe (where, after all, are found the best cars, the best circuits and the best events). Eventually returning to the states, he formed a company constructing racing cars – the Scarab marque.

He found a certain amount of fame being the owner of the first American Formula One racing car.

He didn’t follow in his mother’s marital footsteps – she was married seven times but Lance only married twice – to actresses on both occasions. But sadly, his mother outlived him. Lance was only thirty six when he died in a plane crash.

He was an experienced pilot but he wasn’t at the controls of the private Cessna that crashed into a canyon. The pilot was an inexperienced 27-year-old.


Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

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Author: Jackie Jackson

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