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NOTICE OF DEATH - ALAN MINSHAW (1935 - 2024)

With great sadness we have to inform Members that Alan Minshaw died last Tuesday night. He had been in declining health with heart problems for several years. Alan was first elected to Full Membership of the BRDC in 1984 and in due course became a Life Member.

Born in Liverpool, Alan started racing at Aintree (where else for a Scouser?) in a Morris Minor 1000 Convertible in 1958. At the time he was working in the motor trade as a salesman. The ‘Moggie’ was replaced by a Downton-tuned, pre-Cooper Mini, the versatility of which allowed Alan to compete successfully in all manner of events – autocross, sprints, autotests and races- at venues mainly in the North West . A Turner-Climax replaced the Mini before in 1964 Alan became ‘works’ driver of a Reliant Sabre entered by the local Reliant dealer from Birkenhead. Red Rose Motors of Chester then sponsored Alan in a Lotus 23 with which he enjoyed considerable success in the 1150 cc sports-racing car class, again largely in the North and Midlands.

The late Ted Worswick was another of the Oulton and Aintree aces of the ‘60s and had a habit of accumulating ex-works Austin-Healey 3000s. Ted thought it would be a good idea to compete in the Targa Florio, at the time a round of the World Sports Car Championship, and invited Alan to go along for the ride. The intrepid pair squeezed as much in the way of tools and spare parts as was possible into the two-seater Big Healey, drove across Europe to Naples, caught the ferry to Sicily, practised for and started the race only to retire with gearbox problems, repaired the gearbox and drove all the way back across Europe.

Back in England, Alan thought it was about time he tried single-seater racing and acquired the ex-Rodney Bloor, Eddie Fletcher Formula 3 Brabham BT9 by which time current F3 Brabhams were BT21s so Alan converted his obsolescent F3 into the legendary Black Jack Special as an early Formula Ford car in 1968. Until now Alan had been employed as a salesman by  Fram Filters but, as a regular competitor at race meetings, he saw an opportunity to establish a business which would source and supply the types of parts which competitors were often in need of and looking for whether on race days or during mid-week fettling. And thus was born Demon Tweeks in 1971, an inspired choice of name which Autosport magazine devotees would claim was taken from the scruffy, long-haired mechanic of the same name in the Catchpole strip cartoon published every week in Britain’s motor sporting weekly.

With his flair as a salesman, Alan built up Demon Tweeks into a flourishing business which for many years now has been run by Alan’s oldest son Jon.

After a brief period with a Mod Sports Jaguar E-type which provided Alan with one race win and one accident, whereupon he sold it, he acquired a Porsche 911E for production sports car racing but found himself up against the rather quicker Carreras so it was replaced with a Lotus Europa before a move to production saloon cars where Alan enjoyed his greatest success on the national stage. In 1974 he won the Triplex Production Saloon Car Championship driving a Hillman/Chrysler/Sunbeam (delete as appropriate) Avenger. With the support of Manchester Liners, he ran the DAF-Oldsmobile in Super Saloon events. There was an Opel Commodore in Prod Saloons, a Ginetta G4 and between 1979 and 1989 various saloons – VW Golfs and a Scirocco, Toyota Corolla GT and BMW M3 – in the British Saloon Car Championship. In 1983 Alan won his class and was overall runner up in the BSCC with a Golf GTi.

In his latter years Alan moved away from modern saloon cars to the world of historics, acquiring some fine machinery including a very red Maserati T61 ‘Birdcage’, C-type and D-type Jaguars, at least two Chevron B8s and the ex-Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax BT4. With the C-type Alan finished a fine third in the ‘50s sports car race at the 2006 Monaco Historique and he gave the Brabham a worthy victory at Oulton Park when well past his 70th birthday. In 1984/85 he he shared a Chevron B19 in several Thundersports races with Tony Hill whilst an enduring memory will be of the ‘mighty’ red Chevrolet Malibu as it rumbled and broadsided its way around Oulton Park.

It seems not all that long ago that Alan was sharing one of the Chevrons with Jason and Guy in historic GT events but in recent years he had to slow down because of his heart problems. Alan was very much involved in the social side of the BRDC, attending many lunches and dinners over the years, and taking a keen interest in the directions in which the Club was heading. He leaves his wife Annette and seven children Sarah, Emma, Natalie, Daisy, Jon, Jason and Guy to all of whom the BRDC extends its deepest sympathy. 

Alan's funeral will take place at 1.30pm on Thursday 9 May at St Albans Church, Tattenhall, Nr Chester, CH3 9QE followed by a private burial.  Refreshments after the funeral will be held at the Cholmondeley Arms, Wrenbury Rd, Malpas SY14 8HN.  Friends of Alan are welcome to attend and are requested to wear a hint of red.

The family have asked for no flowers but donations are welcome to the British Heart Foundation. 

 

The Club regrets to report on the death of Neville Hay, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1993
The Club regrets to report on the death of Ray Thackwell who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1957
The Club regrets to report on the death of Ron Bennett, who was elected as a BRDC Associate Member in 1963
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Notice of Death - Alan Minshaw (1935 - 2024) | 19-Apr-2024
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