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The Club Office has just learned of the death on 5th October of Peter Jackson after a long illness and shortly after his 90th birthday. He had been an Associate Member of the BRDC since 1978 in recognition of the exceptional contribution which his company, Specialised Mouldings Ltd, had made over many years to the manufacture of racing cars in the UK.

From the late 1950s Specialised Mouldings was responsible for producing some of the most attractive, high quality glassfibre bodywork ever to grace the racetracks of the world. The Lola T70, Chevron B8 and B16 GTs and single seaters such as the early Brabhams including the MRD, Lotus 41, Palliser, Merlyn and the Ferrari 158 with which John Surtees won the 1964 World Drivers’ Championship were just some of the superb-looking cars to emerge from Specialised’s Huntingdon factory in the years when the shape of a racing car could be appreciated for what it was without the disfigurement of wings, fins and sponsors’ liveries.

An upholsterer by trade, Peter was introduced to the potential of glassfibre (GRP) when asked to trim some seats for Adventurer motor-cycle sidecars. He then came up with the idea of producing a miniature Vanwall pedal car for children which caught the eye of Eric Broadley, who had started to build replicas of his Lola-Climax Mk 1 sports-racing car with aluminium bodywork. By switching to glassfibre, it proved possible to refine the shape of the little Lola into something even better-looking than the prototype and Specialised Mouldings was in business with a £50 loan from Eric matched by an equivalent loan from Peter’s bank manager.

Typical for the time, Specialised’s first premises were a basement under a secondhand shop, with a small adjoining yard, in Thornton Heath from which the business moved to more spacious premises at Crystal Palace before following Eric to Huntingdon. By 1969, with Peter as Managing Director and his brother David as Technical Director, and stylist Jim Clark, who became a director of an associated company Specialised Design Associates to undertake industrial consultancy work, the business had become an intrinsic part of the UK motor racing industry. In later years Specialised undertook many other projects involving the use of GRP in various spheres and gradually moved away from motor racing for its main sources of work although as recently as 1991 it was responsible for the bodywork of what has come to regarded as one of the iconic Formula 1 shapes of the last 30 years, the Jordan 191.

Aside from his motor racing interests, Peter had a passion for Tiger Moth biplanes, two of which he rebuilt and flew with the Diamond Nine display team.

The BRDC offers its sincerest condolences to Peter’s partner Annie Colbert and to his family with whom he very much enjoyed visiting the BRDC Clubhouse whenever possible. Peter’s funeral took place on 29 October. Donations in Peter’s memory may be made to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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 Alan Minshaw, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1984
The Club regrets to report on the death of Ray Thackwell who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1957
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