Anthony Bird

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It is with great sorrow that we learnt of the death last month of Anthony Bird, whose erudite letters have appeared frequently in Motor Sport ; indeed there is one in this issue. He was a profound historian, with a pungent sense of wit. He had an antique business, loved old clocks, lived in a charming Hampshire cottage, and had written many books which are regarded as standard works of reference. These include those on horology and antiques, as well as motoring. His notable works were the Lanchester and Rolls-Royce histories, the latter with Ian Hallows, the book on Steam-Cars, and his study of motor-car mechanicals from 1765 to 1914. He also wrote articles and letters innumerable, all of them reflecting his wide-ranging knowledge of early machinery or making sound current argument. Just before his death, from a heart attack, he had revised the Rolls-Royce book and completed a biography of the Duke of Cumberland.

For a time Tony Bird ran a car-hire business, which gave him an insight into the complexities of Double-Six Daimlers and the like. Just after the war he had an Edwardian Charron and he was fully conversant with all ages of Lanchester cars. Although crippled with arthritis he maintained his garden, attended Advisory Board meetings at Beaulieu, and had recently restored, and ran, a vintage Rover 8. His unexpected death removes writer and historian whose style and knowledge no-one else can approach. To Mrs. Bird and his daughters, Mrs. Tubbs and Mrs. Hassall, go our heartfelt sympathy.—W.B

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