This renowned chassis designer died on Wednesday, March 16. He was 81.
Born in Estoril to a British mother and Portuguese father, he returned to the UK aged 18 months following the death of Tojeiro Snr. After an apprenticeship with a firm that made refuse wagons, it was on being seconded to the Fleet Air Arm that he became interested in the construction of air-frames.
A visit to the 1946 Gransden Lodge race meeting convinced him that his future lay in motor racing, after which he bought an MG TA and fitted it with a lightweight Harry Lester body. After a few outings. he realised that he was never going to cut it as a driver and turned to chassis construction instead. Here he excelled: Cliff Davis’s Bristol-powered LOY 500 proved particularly successful. This car, and more significantly a LeaF-powered chassis destined for Vin Davison, heralded the AC Ace for which John received a royalty of £5 per car up to a limit of 100.
Throughout the ’50s Tojeiro Automotive Developments continued to attract a successful band of customers and, towards the end of the decade, he became embroiled in the Berkeley Bandit and Accland Geddes’s Britannia road car projects. Tojeiro soon moved away from cars, spending time working at both Bristol and Birmingham Universities before setting up a light engineering company. In the late 1980s he acted as technical director of DJ Sportscars, maker of the Dax Cobra clones. — RH
David Seigle-Morris. who died shortly before Easter, is best remembered for running the Gulf London Rally between 1964 and 1967. This forestry event was a true marathon, eclipsing even the RAC Rally for speed and distance. It is hardly surprising then that, in his career as a works driver with BMC and Ford between 1960 and ’65, his best results were on the Liège (fifth and sixth in works Healey 3000s) and the Alpine (two coupes in Cortinas and an outright victory). — JDFD
On March 19 one of the greatest racing photographers of the 1960s passed away.
After national service the wonderfully irreverent Michael Cooper became a professional photographer with motor racing as a hobby. The racing rapidly expanded during the ’60s and he took some of the most iconic images of the decade, many of which can be found in his book Sixties Motor Racing.
Disenchanted by the sport in the early 70s, he returned to commercial work. — PP
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