Obituary

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Kenneth Wilfred Bear, whose ex-Abecassis “3.3” Grand Prix Bugatti (running un-supercharged) overturned during practice for the Jersey race, was 43 years of age and leaves a widow and two daughters, to whom the sympathy of the entire sporting world will be extended. No one was more steady or safer-looking in a racing car’s cockpit than Bear, and brake failure is thought to have caused the tragedy, which cost two others their lives. Essentially a Bugatti enthusiast, Bear was a Founder-Member of the now so well-established Bugatti Owners’ Club and a frequent winner of their most-prized awards, using a variety of Bugatti racing and sports cars, besides serving on their council for 19 years. Last year he made f.td. at the Val de Terres hill-climb and won the I.O.M. Castletown Trophy Race and in 1946 was fastest at Craigantlet. Bear, who was also a keen rugby player and a skilled tennis player, was amongst the more modest and retiring of drivers. His stable of cars was prepared for him by Stafford East, but he only drove them when all his ties in connection with his insurance business in the City had been met, sometimes using air transport to reach the venue. Only last season Bear told us he dare not attend a model-car race meeting or his daughters would insist on him competing, and he was already too fully committed with racing and business as it was! Any fatal accident leaves a dreadful sense of sadness and finality, but for an amateur driver to be taken from us during a practice run is particularly hard to accept.

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