obituary-Tom Lush

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Tom Lush, my closest friend, with whom I shared many motoring adventures, especially with A7s before the war, has died aged 84, after a long illness. Born in Peterborough, he was apprenticed to Lines Bros, where he worked on racing cars, then went on to Papworth’s, the Bugatti specialists. With his A7 Special he took part in quite major trials, and by chance we met to go in this car to watch the 1938 Land’s End Trial. During the war Tom instructed Army recruits in motor mechanics at the Frazer Nash works before doing a secret defence job, involving much fast driving, then coming with me into the aircraft aspect of WW2.

He joined Allard in 1945, becoming Sydney’s right-hand man,going with him to Le Mans, the Targa Florio and as part of the Monte Carlo Rally-winning Allard crew in 1952. His main interest was in cars, which is why we got on so well.Tall, very strong, he could carry a half-dismantled A7 engine home in his arms, for night-time rebuilding. His A7s included a works orange IT Ulster, its resuscitation ended by the war after a try-out at Prescott.

He also saved a pre-war Unic taxi, and did motoring in all the Allard cars. In 1977 he wrote one of best one-make books, Allard: The Inside Story, and was interested in ships and canal boats. His interest in transport led to a self-imposed lone round-Britain journey using regular bus services, from London’s Victoria bus station and back

Writing this necessarily hasty appreciation is one of the saddest things I have ever done.To his daughter Jennifer by his first wife, to Pat and the family of four sons, my truly heart-felt sympathy.Tom was looking forward to seeing in the Millennium and meeting me again to supplement the ‘phone conversations we had after every F1 race. I can hardly bear to think it is not to be.