Giving it Pentti
Sir, I read with interest John Davenport's article about the Welsh Rally in the July…
The way in which John Tojeiro became a constructor is typical of the Fifties — he built a special intending to race it himself then first one, then another, customer arrived on his doorstep and suddenly he was no longer a special builder but a small scale constructor. Ironically, he never did get round to racing one of his own cars. Although little more than 30 Tojeiros were ever built, and although they achieved only spasmodic success, and then largely in British club racing, John himself is assured of a place in motoring history — as the father of the AC Ace and, consequently, the AC Cobra. As both cars have become centres of motoring cults, so Tojeiro’s stock has risen. Recently some Americans asked him to verify that the remains of a car they owned was a genuine Tojeiro. After some thought, John decided that the chassis, which had been hacked around a lot over the years, was not one of his. “But it’s going to be, John,” they said, “it’s going to be.” John Tojeiro was born in 1923 in Estoril, but 18 months later his Portuguese father died and his English mother brought him and his sister back to England, settling in Swanage. After several wasted years in a school in Somerset which neglected to teach him very much, he transferred to the Perse School in Cambridge but was hopelessly behind. Still, while at the Perse School, he first came across his younger contemporary, Brian Lister, who was destined to become his second customer and, eventually, rival constructor. In time, John’s mother had him transferred to Hitchin Grammar School, in a final act of desperation but he left there, with no qualifications, to start an apprenticeship with Messrs Shelvoke and Drury, manufacturers of refuse collection vehicles. Interesting vehicles they were too, with the main controls being two levers, the left-hand one for changing gear (the wagon had four clutches) and the right-hand lever for steering.
As soon as he was able to, John began to buy five bob motorcycles from scrapyards on which he worked and which, initially, he rode on private ground. He’d already an interest in motor racing but it was through reading MOTOR SPORT for, as a youngster, he had no father to take him to races. In 1942, he left his apprenticeship temporarily to become a fitter in the Fleet Air Arm and his close association with aircraft construction became a later influence. Even though devices like the Fairey Swordfish on which he worked were old hat in aircraft terms, he examined their frames carefully. He says now, “I felt I had a natural eye, I’ll put it no higher than that, for stressing a frame.”
It’s a modest remark and typical of the man. Before I visited him recently in his home in Cambridgeshire, I had been told that he was a thoroughly nice chap and the reports were not wrong. He is a compact, charming, man looking considerably younger than his years, a man without side and one to whom I instantly warmed. It came as a surprise when later in the day he confessed himself to be a “loner”.
These days he runs a small but successful plastics subcontracting firm but is working, in his spare time, on a new Tojeiro car, a mid-engined coupe using a transversely mounted Rover engine. He has already achieved the most difficult part of the project, fitting the gearbox under the engine, and was talking about perhaps contacting Brian Lister with a view to making some of the rest. Perhaps he could get Don Moore to tune the engine and someone called Sears to drive the car, a reunion of the names which, in the Fifties, made Cambridge a minor motor racing Mecca. In 1945 Tojeiro was demobbed and went back to Shelvoke and Drury, though did not complete his apprenticeship. While in the Fleet Air Arm he’d learned some of the rudiments of simple engineering and so set up business in a shed in the village of Arrington, behind the small garage owned by Vin Davidson, a pal of Eric Winterbottom whose Cooper-JAP he looked after. A visit to the first Gransden Lodge race meeting in 1947 convinced him that he wanted to be involved in motor racing and so he set about making a suitable car.
John had come to know Harry Lester who had started to make his Lester-MGs in Knebworth and so bought a burned out MG TA, stripped and re-assembled the chassis, and made a simple aluminium body in the style of one of Lester’s cars. Virtually nothing was done to the engine or chassis, the main performance boost being the lightweight body. “I managed a few meetings with it,” he says, “and managed to frighten myself. After three or four outings I decided to rethink the suspension and chassis.”
At this time, Brian Lister had a Cooper’ MG and Tojeiro had a good hard look at it and decided to build something on similar lines. It has subsequently been claimed that the first Tojeiro was nothing more than a “Cooper copy” and while therein some truth in the statement, one must look at it in context. Charles and John Cooper were, at the time, little more than successful special builders and Tojeiro was intent on building a special for his own use. He naturally looked at the way other special builders were doing things and, in the manner of special builders the world over, borrowed some good ideas. It was not like some instances of direct plagiarism in motor racing I could name. If the name of the game in motor racing was not to borrow successful ideas, the only team to run ground effects would have been Lotus and Renault would still be the only team on the grid using a turbocharged engine.
With a car in mind, Tojeiro taught himself how to weld and his first effort was a disaster, the frame bent like a banana as soon as it was removed from the jig. The follow-up, which had been endlessly discussed with Vin Davidson, was a simple “H” frame constructed of large diameter steel tubing with, at both ends, a fabricated castle (imagine a hollow triangle with a flat top) which supplied most of the rigidity and created a base for the transverse leaf independent suspension which was used at both ends.
While the frame was under construction, in 1951/2, it was brought to the attention of Chris Threlfall (brother of Tom, the VSCC President) who was up at Cambridge. He made John a good offer and took away the can with its simple, not particularly attractive, aluminium body and hybrid Wolseley / MG engine. Threlfall had some success with the car, as did Jim Fiander later when it was given an all-enveloping body which, aesthetically, was little improvement on the original. Since Tojeiro had only a very basic workshop, with no machining facilities, he took some work to Geo Lister & Sons in Cambridge and so came to know Brian Lister who, at the time, was racing his Cooper-MG in club events. Lister commissioned a second car which, like the first, had a simple aluminium body with cycle mudguards, Morris Minor rack and pinion steering, Tamer alloy wheels with detachable rims, and independent all round suspension by transverse springs and unequal wishbones. Into this frame was fitted a Robin Jackson-tuned 1,100 cc V-min JAP engine mated to a Jowett gearbox. When the engine stayed on song, it was a fearsomely quick little beast and soon earned the nickname “Asteroid”. It was certainly too quick for Brian Lister who quickly decided that he was not going to be a racing driver and an he handed over the driving of the car to Archie Scott-Brown and so was formed what was to become a wonderful partnership (see “The Other Cars Of Brian Lister”, MOTOR SPORT, August 1984).
Now we come to the tricky part, the evolution of the ACE Ace. In 1951 Lionel Leonard had raced a Cooper-MG (JOY 500) whkh was fitted with an attractive body executed by Gray and Rich Panelcraft of Hammersmith which was a direct copy of the Ferrari 166 barchetta. This car passed into the hands of Cliff Davis (normally described as “flamboyant, moustachioed, check-shined, Cadillac-driving, motor dealer, Cliff Davis”) who raced it during the 1952 season. For 1953, he wanted more power and, having been impressed by the handling of Threlfall’s car, commissioned Tojeiro to build a chassis to take a Bristol engine. Larger Girling brakes were fitted and there was a general uprating to take the larger, heavier, engine. This car was fitted with a Gray and Rich barchetta body and was the famous LOY 500.
Cliff’s initial problem was to get hold of a Bristol engine and the people at Bristol told him he couldn’t have one on the grounds that he was not a bona fide constructor. He says, “Sid Greene said I could borrow the engine from his Frazer Nash and so I arrived at AFN with a van and a mechanic only to be told there was a large bill still waiting to be paid on it. Well, the engine happened to be parked close to the door outside which was our van . . . I’m sure Sid settled up later. “I took the car to Goodwood for the Easter meeting and won my race and a chap from Bristol came up and asked if the company could use my success in advertising. `No you bloody well can’t,’ I said. So the guy hurried away and it turned out there had been a terrible `mistake’ and of course they would do me a special deal on a racing engine. I know one thing, Bristol couldn’t build a racing engine at the time, nothing was balanced and I had to strip it down and do it myself.”
Cliff had a wonderful season with LOY 500. Looking through the MOTOR SPORT photograph files I quickly came to the conclusion that it must have been the most photographed car of 1953.
A friend of John Tojeiro, Ernie Bailey, for whom John also did some work, was making the Buckland touring cars, a convertible version of the AC 2-litre saloon. Bailey knew that interest in the car was waning and the AC was looking for a replacement and so introduced Tojeiro to the Hurlock family who owned the company.
John Tojeiro: “Charles Hurlock looked at the car and thought that to build it would require a comprehensive machine shop, at the time the AC works was a very simple affair, the bodies being aluminium and ash and components being bought in. Ernie retorted that the car had been built in a building smaller than AC’s toilets”!
“There was a Polish engineer there who had been working on a flat six engine for some years and I took him for a ride up the Kingston by-pass. When we returned the Hurlocks asked him what it was like and he simply said ‘It’s an experience!’ ” It was the clincher. At the time, Cliff Davis was anxious to go into production with the car and sell them from his garage. Tojeiro, a man who will admit to having been commercially naive at the time, signed instead a contract to turn over the design to AC, who would fit the 2-litre six-cylinder, AC engine, and pay a royalty of £5 per car, limited to 100 cars.
The AC Ace was one of the stars of the 1953 Motor Show. AC had taken over the chassis destined for Vin Davidson (it was to have had a 2 1/2-litre Lea Francis engine for John already had the Jaguar unit in the back of his mind and wanted to see how the car would behave with a heavy engine). He built up another chassis for use as a display unit. AC converted both to wire wheels and the whole effect, with a first class paint job and so on, was stunning. Later Vin Davidson joined AC and Alan Turner productionised the car, in particular he altered the body giving it an altogether stronger line and it became, of course, the production car whose styling was perhaps the most admired of any built in the Fifties.
“The deal I accepted from AC summed up my attitude to life at the time,” says John, “money was secondary, the main thing was to enjoy myself and perhaps it was not fair on my family. I felt immensely proud at having a car at Earls Court, especially one which was attracting so much favourable attention. I remember a chap coming up to me and asking if I was able to do this sort of thing full time and I said I was. He looked very thoughtful. His name was Colin Chapman.” Tojeiro produced a number of ladder frame chassis and most are still with us. I’ve already mentioned the Threlfall car (KVE 304), the Asteroid (KER 964), LOY 500 (alive and well and currently living near Cheltenham), then there was TPL 371, the AC show car and the Show chassis was also built up into a complete car. In addition, a frame was sold to Lionel Leonard and, fitted with a barchetta body, became a Leonard-MG. A spare frame bought from Cliff Davis is in the West Country and is to be built up with a barchetta body. There is another barchetta last heard of in Norfolk recently which has a lower bonnet line than the others and was originally fitted with an MG XPAG engine which was later swapped for a Bristol unit. A car was built for a Hampshire man, Michael Parkes, who fitted it to an Aston Martin DB3, or DB3S, body and running gear. I’ve heard of one fitted to a Lagonda body, of the style of the V12 sports-racing cars of the Fifties, but can get no closer than that. Certainly both the Lagonda team cars are intact but my information came from a man who knows his Tojeiros. LOY 500 was kept by Davis until the end of 1954 when he sold it to the Rolls brothers of Newbury. While Davis switched to a Lotus 8, and regretted the move, one of the Rolls brothers damaged it in a road accident but Tojeiro supplied the replacement parts so the car remains pukka. The Sears brothers also had a Tojeiro which was fitted with an ex-Frazer Nash 11/2-litre Lea Francis engine and was bodied by Dellow and had a family resemblance to the Dellow trials cars. Another car was made up from a kit of parts bought from a garage in Totnes, and this was given an MG engine and wire wheels, while I have heard unsubstantiated rumours of “Tojeiros” being made somewhere in the South of England. . . . As I often am, Ian indebted to Duncan Rabagliati of the Formula One Register for access to his files in helping to track down all the cars.
The chassis were built jointly by John and an employee who became a close friend, Bernard Pitt. John also set up a two-man fabricating company called King and Tojeiro which supplied some parts for the cars and undertook subcontracting work for, among others, Lotus but this business really only managed to pay the wages of Mr King and John pays tribute to his long suffering wife who managed to keep things going through some lean times. At the back of his mind all the time was the idea that he should build a Jaguar engined car but did not like to trust the power of that engine to a twin-tube ladder frame and so set about his first space-framed car. Tojeiro says that he was extremely conscious of his responsibility to build safe, well-made, cars and it clearly still hurts him to think that two drivers lost their lives at his cars, even though in neither case was bit design or construction to blame. Ironically, the most successful of all the Jaguar-engined specials, the Lister, retained a ladder frame. John says, “In hindsight the shapes of our Jaguar-engined cars were totally wrong. I think Brian got it right, though his cars never looked as good. I’m not sure if he realised why it got it right.”
With the change of chassis design, came a change of suspension, and from TAD (Tojeiro Automotive Developments Ltd) came a Bristol-engined car for Percy Crabb which featured coil springs and unequal wishbones at the front and de Dion rear axle. Crabb began racing this car in 1955 and the car, with its Gray and Rich body, is currently in Cambridgeshire. Another car with a similar frame was built for Tojeiro’s own benefit and given the big Lea Francis engine. Later it was sold to Ernie Bailey who put in a Jaguar unit.
Improved, lighter, cars were made for Crabb and Bert Rogers for the 1956 season and they had rather sleek Maurice Gomm bodies. Tragically, Rogers lost control of the “Sun Pat Special”, as he had christened his car, on the first lap of the 1956 Easter Monday Goodwood sports car race and he was killed when it overturned at Lavant corner though the car later continued its competition history in other hands.
An 1100 cc FWA Climax car was also built in 1956 but proved far too heavy to be competitive against Chapman’s new Lotus XI while a similar frame was sold to RRC Palmer who inserted a Steyr-headed AJB flat four engine and who eventually completed it with a Microplas “Mistral” fibreglass body but who, according to both John Tojeiro and Archie Butterworth, never raced it, although that had been his original intention. Does anyone know the whereabouts of this car, for it would help tie up Ioose ends in both the Tojeiro and Butterworth stories? Also in 1956, came the approach from John Ogier, a well-to-do farmer from Essex who raced an XK120 and who was prepared to sponsor the building of a lightweight Jaguar-engined car. TAD built up a frame similar to the one used in the Rogers and (second) Crabb cars. Power was transmitted through a four-speed Moss gearbox anti a chassis mounted Salisbury ZF differential while disc brakes, but without the servo option, were fitted all round.
7 GNO was given a very attractive body, sketched out by Tojeiro and executed by Gray and Rich but it did not re-write the record books. The car had relatively short (7 ft 3 in) wheelbase and track (4 ft 2 in) and when he tested it for Autosport, John Bolster expressed himself wary about the handling and braking though commented favourably on the way the car put down its power. The aerodynamics of the car also possibly left something to be desired. It was pretty, true, but it needed an aerodynamicist.
I do not intend to deal at length with the story of the Jaguar-powered cars, for Doug Nye has already dime this in his splendid “Powered By Jaguar” (publ MRP’). Cavendish Morton, RA a painter and motor racing enthusiast from Ely enters the picture. From 1957 onwards, he styled the Tojeiros, producing a painting of each car which was then shown to Maurice Gomm and other body builders as the “blueprint” from which the bodies would be built. The cars became even prettier but, again, it seems probable that they were not aerodynamically clever.
In 1957 Tojeiro and Ogier formed the Tojeiro Car Company to enter and race the cars while Ogier became a shareholder in TAD. John says now, “I suppose we tried to do too much on our limited resources. John Ogler always told me that there was more money if it was needed, but I never liked to ask him for it.” A new Jaguar-engined car was built for 1957, with a wider track and longer wheelbase but that was the year of Archie Scott-Brown and the Lister-Jaguar. . . .
Meanwhile a lighter frame, still using roughly the same suspension lay-out, was produced for the popular 1100 cc class. Four FWA Climax-powered cars were built, for Chris Threfall, Richard Utley, the works and an American customer, but achieved only moderate success in a category dominated by the Lotus XI.
Towards the end of 1957, John Ogier took the Tojeiro-Jaguar to the Stapleford hillclimb and crashed heavily. Fortunately Ogier sustained relatively minor injuries after having been thrown out of the car, which was wrecked. 7 GNO, meanwhile, had been sold to New Zealand where it had a chequered, but not terribly successful career. Tojeiro believes it is still in New Zealand, Doug Nye says it is now back in this country having had a complete rebuild after almost being destroyed. A third Tojeiro-Jaguar to replace Ogier’s car was built for 1958 and, the same year, Toieiro built a prototype space-framed Bristol-engined car for AC. It was a rush job and Tojeiro was certainly not happy with the rear suspension but Bolton and Stoop brought the car home eighth, winning the two-litre class. The best results achieved by Tojeiro’s designs have never, with the exception of LOY 500, been by cars which have borne Tojeiro’s name. The 1958 Tojeiro-Jaguar was lent for Ecurie Ecosse but did not appear until mid-July. It raced infrequently and achieved no notable success.
Another car was built for Ecurie Ecosse the following year. At Le Mans it ran in fourth place after six hours but eventually its three-litre Jaguar engine succumbed to overheating, possibly due to too high a compression ratio, and the engine eventually expired in the biggest possible way. During the 1959 Tourist Trophy at Goodwood, when the “Toj” was lying a decent seventh overall, Masten Gregory come too fast into Woodcote. Gregory realised that he wasn’t going to make the bend and so levered himself up out of the cockpit. The result was a famous crash with the car being completely written off and Gregory sustaining “only” a broken leg and shoulder.
Two of the four Tojeiro-Jaguars were wiped out in crashes. A third, number one says Nye, three says Tojeiro, was all-but destroyed but has been resurrected. The fourth has survived.
John Tojeiro says, “the Lister was clearly the best of the Jaguar-engined specials, but I like to think my cars were the best of the rest, just ahead of the HWM and Cooper”. In fact, both the HWM and Cooper variants were earlier than the Tojeiros so comparison is not really fair. Most drivers who sampled both did not find the Tojeiro-Jaguar as forgiving as the Lister.
Tojeiro’s Jaguar-powered cars achieved very little in the way of results, the exception being Tony Maggs’ performances using the 1958 car in the 1959/60 Springbok series, but that was really against lesser opposition. Drivers of the calibre of Dick Protheroe, Masten Gregory, Jim Clark and Jack Brabham all drove Tojeiro-Jaguars and none of them achieved the sort of results which their talents deserved. One could say of the cars, “Pretty, yes, but is it state of the art?” In a recent article (MOTOR SPORT, August 1984) Brian Lister said that he felt he was one of the last of the artist-designers, some of whom flourished in the Fifties, as opposed to the scientist-designers such as Chapman and Broadley. The Fifties was a decade of transition, it allowed people like Lister and Tojeiro a place in the sun alongside the new generation of designers who eventually took over and who went into the Sixties and beyond. The “artist-designers” were really special builders who found themselves becoming constructors in a small way of business, they were the natural successors to an older, pre-war, tradition when things might be decided by instinct, when cars were evolved by received experience rather than calculation.
The design of the car with which Jack Brabham won the 1960 World Championship was decided in the Cooper workshops by Jack, Bruce McLaren, John Cooper and Owen Maddocks playing about with lengths of tube. Jack sat on the floor and said, more or less, “We’ll have some 16 gauge here, and 20 gauge there” while the others weighed in with their comments. By the end of 1960, that cosy way of going motor racing was doomed. It took a little time to die, but by 1960 you could no longer go racing solely on experience, you needed calculus and a harder approach. There was one other car, built in 1959, which seems to have been largely forgotten, this was a little 1,500 cc Climax-powered front-engined sports car which was lighter than to build a car which might not have the 1,100 cc cars. John Ogier’s idea was to build a car which might not have the ultimate in roadholding but which had in a good power / weight ratio that it made up speed by squirting down the straights.
This car, which was driven occasions by John Whitmore had a similar rear suspension layout to the contemporary Lola Mk 1, though was designed concurrently to that car and not subsequently. Most unusual, though, was the rear-mounted VW gearbox which was turned upside down and back to front. Because of lack of space at the rear, a single disc brake was mounted on the differential carrier and, apparently, worked well. There were two main reasons why the car did not fulfil its potential, one was that the gearbox proved unreliable, the other was lack of development. John reckons now that the car had some promise, the chassis was not very stiff yet it put down its power well but, needing to earn a crust, he became involved as a designer with two other projects: the Britannia range and the Berkeley Bandit.
Berkeley, a caravan producer, had been selling a range of small four and three wheeler sports cars, designed by Laurie Bond, which were powered by a variety of air-cooled motorcycle engines and featured rather attractive glassfibre bodies and fwd. Wishing to move up-market and into the same market niche as the Austin-Healey Sprite, Berkeley commissioned Tojeiro to design a small sports car around Ford Anglia 105E 997 cc running gear.
The Bandit had a sheet steel floor pan and a fibreglass body designed by Cavendish Morton. Independent rear suspension was by a modified Ford solid axle, even the driveshafts were by Ford. Front suspension was by MacPherson struts, similar to the layout on the Anglia but supplied by Armstrong. Tojeiro made his own stub axles so as to be able to fit Girling disc brakes at the front.
Two cars were completed for the 1960 Motor Show and attracted favourable comment but, before the model could be put into production, Berkeley ceased trading, probably as a result of the company overextending its resources and a slump in the caravan trade. The Bandit might have saved Berkeley but it arrived too late. Only the two cars were ever built and both. I believe, are in existence.
The Britannia project was instigated to 1957 by Acland Geddes, brother of the onetime chairman of Dunlop. The idea was to build a quality sports and/or GT car using a Raymond Mays-tuned Ford Zephyr engine, the same unit which eventually poured the AC Ace after Bristol stopped making its 2 litre engine. There were optimistic estimates of production reaching five cars a month with most going to America. In the event, only six cars were built. Tojeiro designed a chassis which had all independent suspension, unequal wishbones at the front and low, diagonal pivot swing axles at the rear. With a quoted 150 bhp on tap running through a modified Jaguar gearbox the car would accelerate to 60 mph in 9 sec and had a top speed of 125 mph. At £2,400, it would have fitted between the Jaguar XK150 and the Martin DB MkIll in the market place.
The trouble was that Geddes seemed to have no sense of urgency. It took nearly two years to complete the aluminium-bodied prototype which was styled by Geddes’ partner, Murray Beecroft, in conjunction with Cavendish Morton. Geddes had attracted quite a lot of investment and the headquarters of the company in Ashwell, Herts, though small, was well-equipped. There were delays and mismanagement. For one thing, the prototype never was tested properly. Then the first batch of chassis had to be scrapped due to the incompetence of the man who had welded them. Then the fibreglass bodies, which had been built from moulds taken from the prototype, were found not to fit. There was a general lack of’ cohesion about the project. While the GT car was lurching forward. Geddes had Tojeiro design a Formula Junior car, the idea being that exposure through racing would prepare the public for the road car.. Tojeiro designed an attractive, rear engined car, looking a little the the contemporary Cooper but with a higher tail. Most went to America and had limited success, nothing in 1960 could touch the Lotus 18, and by the end of the year. Britannia was in the hands of the receiver. Five of the six road cars built are known to survive. Tojeiro had plans later to revive the chassis, with revisions, and sell it with a Chevrolet Corvette engine. Dennis Adams, who styled the Marcos, was brought in to give the car a shape and got as far as making a full folded. scale clay model, but the project Tojeiro bought two or three of the FJ frames at the receiver’s sale. He built them up, lowered the rear bodywork and sold them as “Tojeiro” FJ cars, but they achieved little success. All the serious drivers were buying from Lotus, Cooper or Lola. The story of Tojeiro is nearly at an end. The last flourish came early in 1962 when David Murray commissioned John to design and build two mid-engined coupes for Le Mans. As so often in his career, John had to rush things, there was no time for development or testing. These two cars, which must have been among the very first mid-engined coupes, had space frame chassis, 2 1/2-litre Coventry Climax FPF engines driving through Cooper Jack Knight gearboxes, all independent suspension by unequal wishbones and a body styled by Cavendish Morton which the team subsequently hacked about a lot. Ecurie Ecosse’s newsletter, “News From The Mews” spoke of wind tunnel testing, but that was nonsense as the majority of such claims have been until quite recently. John says, “I thought they were rather ugly and they became progressively more ugly as things were chopped and changed to accommodate different engines. I was disappointed with them — I did have high hopes of them but they were built in such a rush we could change nothing.” Only one car was completed in time for Le Mans but it suffered gearbox problems which first hampered it and then caused its retirement after eight hours.
In 1963, the coupes were given, respectively, Ford 289 cu in and Buick engines and Jackie Stewart drove them in the year during which he became the young man to watch. Though successful in his hands, the successes were still only in club racing, and the cars had been conceived to win glory at Le Mans. The Ford car was converted to open top form, crashed heavily in 1964 but is now undergoing a rebuild. The other car survives.
John says: “By 1962, the writing was on the wall for the likes of me. If we had gone on, we would have needed a lot of capital, we couldn’t continue with just Bernard Pitt and myself doing everything. Had we been able to expand, it would have robbed me of a lot of the fun. I was anyway beginning to run out of steam and ideas and with cars like the Lola Mk 6 and the Lotus 25, we were entering a whole new era.
“I suppose I’ve always been a loner. I find it difficult to work with other people, mixing ideas, even with my son. Most of my involvement in motor racing was done on my own back and I hadn’t had to seek other people’s permission or discuss ideas with them.”
It’s difficult to say whether Tojeiro left racing or racing left Tojeiro. Racing had changed at a rapid rate and it was no longer for two men working in a shed to stay with it. John Tojeiro’s natural time was the Fifties and he and his cars will always have a place in the motor racing history of that period and, of course, as the father of the AC Ace and Cobra, he will always have a place in the wider history of motor cars. ML.
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