Obituaries

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Leo Villa

One of the most famous of all the racing mechanics of the old school has died in hospital, Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Leo Villa. Villa worked before the First World War for Guilio Foresti, having as a youth gained experience of cars from ownership of a Bedelia cyclecar. He served with the RFC during the war and then rejoined Foresti at his garage in Bryanston Square, London. Villa got into racing by riding with Foresti in his big pre-war Austro- Daimler at Brooklands in 1920. He continued as riding-mechanic with Foresti, in the 1921 Targa Florio in an Itala, for which Foresti was the English agent, and in a 2-litre Ballot in the 1922 Targa Florio, with which Foresti finished third, behind Count Masetti’s Mercedes and Jules Goux’s Ballot. This led to a job at Ballot’s Paris factory but in 1922 Villa was engaged by Capt. (later Sir) Malcolm Campbell as his mechanic, for 70/- a week, at his private workshop at his house at Povey Cross near Horley in Surrey. He began on Campbell’s Brooklands cars, such as the pre-war GP Peugeot and different Italas, etc., riding as Campbell’s passenger, but was soon put in charge of the 350 h.p. V12 Sunbeam single-seater which Campbell had purchased from Louis Coatalen with the express intention of capturing the World’s Land Speed Record.

Villa saw this aged car through all its vicissitudes, until it had set the record at over 150 m.p.h. on Nadine Sands in 1925 and he stayed with Campbell ever after, and, indeed, was the engineer in charge of all Campbell’s many onslaughts on the LSR, until he had it at over 300 m.p.h. by 1935. Villa also worked on Campbell’s record-breaking boats, Campbell’s knighthood stemming from these high-speed activities. Villa refused to age and when Donald Campbell decided after the Second World War to continue his famous father’s pursuit, Villa looked after the car, called “Bluebird” like the others, and the boat which eventually killed Donald Campbell. He became nearly as well known as the Campbells and was responsible for seeing Campbell-the-son through a difficult period of despair and at first indecision. The last time I saw Villa was at the Castrol Olympia racing-car exhibition, where he was searching for “my old Sunbeam”. Few men have had such an intimate association with very fast cars and boats as Leo Villa and few can have held as much responsibility as he did, when races and record bids were under way. We shall not see his like again. – W. B.

Mr. Dalby

The death has occurred of Mr. Dalby, the well-known supplier of spares for pre-war Austin 7s, of Kirby Wiske in Yorkshire. From Mr. David Bayliss of Singapore we have received the following appreciation: –

There are probably more pre-war Austin 7s surviving than any other single make. This is due in no small part to the unequalled spares service provided over the years by Austin Seven Spares Service of Kirby Wiske, Yorkshire. For over 30 years Mr. Dalby ran this business, mailing the most obscure odds and ends all over the world, even to places as remote as Singapore. Speaking from experience I can say his was almost a “Chinese business” and everyone who has tracked down that collection of ancient cottages around the post office in Kirby Wiske will know what I mean. On a visit two years ago, a tour of the buildings revealed room after room stacked to the roof with gearboxes (“I like to keep at least 30 of your early 3-speed type in stock at any one time”, he said), doors, radiators, cylinder blocks, etc. No doubt every building in Kirby Wiske contained something Austin 7. In the midst of all this confusion, in a space in which you couldn’t swing a cat, the direct mailing service was carried out. At least finding a willing post office was no problem, because Mrs. Dalby ran one in one of those cottages. Then recently whilst in England for a short business trip I ‘phoned Kirby Wiske to order a 1926 timing case and cover for “Jane”, Ted Baillie-Reynold’s everyday and only-Singapore transport, and learned to my deep regret that the Austin 7’s best friend had suddenly passed away, only the week before. With his passing goes a great slice of Austin 7 folklore and we are all the poorer.

My 1926 bits duly arrived a week later, however, thanks to Dalby Junior, on whose young shoulders now falls the responsibility for maintaining a 30-year tradition.

Related articles

Related products