Richard Salmon was born in the small village of Irnham, in Lincolnshire, where his parents kept the Post Office and village store. After attending the village school and Grantham Boys Central School, he served an apprenticeship in a local garage. He was conscripted into the Royal Engineers in 1944, serving in South Iraq, and was demobilized in 1947. He later applied successfully for a vacancy at British Racing Motors, where he worked in the racing team for 17 years. After being made redundant in 1967, he took a job at Lotus cars for three years. Another redundancy was followed by a job at Perkins diesel engines, and then, due to his wife’s illness, he went to work at the local factory of Fiat-Allis. This factory was eventually closed down by Fiat, coinciding with closure of BRM, and Richard was then recruited to rebuild BRM cars for sale by Christies at Earls Court in 1981. He subsequently went into partnership restoring historic cars until his retirement.