The national racing world was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Major Arthur Mallock in the early hours of December 2. He was 75 years old and died peacefully after a short illness.
Arthur, born on March 1 1918, made high speed, low cost motor racing accessible to the ordinary man in the street. For more than 30 years his cars have been a mainstay of British motor racing. With a combination of engineering genius and design simplicity, his cars were winners from the first Mk1 built in 1958 through to the Mk30PR of 1993.
Even as a schoolboy, Arthur was experimenting with his own designs. After a varied and distinguished service in the war, he was amongst the first to compete in trials and then sprints and races in the late 1940s. His famous Austin 7 Special, WJ 1515, took him to many victories.
In the early '60s Arthur raced a Mk2 U2 in Formula Junior, before going on to win the 1172 Formula championship in 1962 and 63. When the Clubmans Formula was created, Mallocks were ideally suited and so began a run of success that is set to continue through the '90s. Over 300 cars have been built and most of them remain in active competition use today.
In the late '60s and early '70s his sons Richard and Ray raced the cars with enormous success, while Arthur continued to develop and update his designs. Over the years many pretenders to his crown have come and gone, but the Mallock marque has endured like no other. In recent seasons, drivers like Vernon Davies and Tony Bridge have kept on winning for Mallock in cars constructed in their simple workshops in the middle of Salcey Forest. For Arthur, it was not financial gain that motivated him, simply the pleasure of seeing his cars win.
When not designing and developing his racing cars, his second love was skiing, an activity at which he proved himself both skilful and brave.
Though he retired from full time work more than 10 years ago, Arthur was never going to abandon motor racing. His last race, fittingly, was at Laguna Seca in 1990, aboard the Mk2 Formula Junior which he had raced 30 years earlier.
In his later years. Arthur's fertile mind was as active as ever and he constantly sought out new ideas. Indeed, he was never happier than when grappling with an engineering problem and, in the final days of his life, his thoughts were of chassis rigidity and the new Mk31 design. Indeed, he was present at Mallory Park only eight days before his death, to oversee development of the new model.
Arthur will sorely be missed by so many people who have cause to be grateful to him, but his legacy will live on in British motor racing. To his wife Kay, sons Richard and Ray, daughters Sue and Carol, their families and his many, many close friends in the sport, Motor Sport offers its sincerest condolences. P L