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F1 supremo and rich businessman Bernie Ecclestone once had a gun pulled on him by a disgruntled client before calming the situation and 'coming to an agreement'.
Eccleston, who is estimated to be worth £2.42million by Forbes, has revealed the dicey moment happened in the 1960s when he owned a car showroom and one customer threatened to shoot him.
The 92-year-old retired from F1 in 1958 following the death of a fellow driver – after racing in just two Grand Prix races. It was while he was building his business tycoon in the following years that the incident happened.
Eccleston re-lives the moment in an episode of Lucky!, a documentary series about him and Formula 1 on Discovery+.
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"I’d, um, bought a car from someone and then found out it was finance so the guy didn’t own the car," Ecclestone said. "So I stopped the cheque and the guy duly appeared to explain to me how he’d like the cheque cleared and produced a gun from under his sweater to show me.
"I explained to him I didn’t know what he was going to do with it, you know. It certainly wasn’t a pain to come to some agreement about something, and ‘if you shoot me, the cheque won’t be cleared. Let’s have a chat.’
"So we went to the office and discussed things and obviously, we sorted it out. I paid him…cleared off the finance or said I was going to and paid the difference. And then he became a very good customer from then on in."
By the mid 1970s, Ecclestone became a member of the Formula One Constructors Association and his influence soon grew, helped by his economic wealth. He became renowned as one of the most divisive figures in the sport's history.
The F1 mogul remained at the helm until 2017, when he was removed from his position as chief executive of Formula One Group following its takeover by Liberty Media. Despite now being 92 years old, Ecclestone had another eventful year in 2022 when he was charged with fraud after allegedly failing to declare £400m worth of overseas assets.
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