It is with great regret that we have to record the death, at 81 years of age, of Harry Weslake when he suffered a heart-attack at the World Speedway Finals at Wembley on September 3rd. Harry Weslake was a Cornishman and fiercely proud of the fact; he was a large bluff man who called a spade a spade and upset “wafflers” and “beautiful” people with his brusque manner and direct approach. From his school days he became involved with the internal combustion engine and throughout his life he was noted for engine tuning and development and assisted most of the British industry at some time or another. Jaguar, Vanwall, Coventry-Climax, Connaught, and HWM all benefitted from his research facilities at Rye in Sussex, especially as regards cylinder-head design. Turbo-charged diesel engines for powerboat racing were another of his activites, and he was responsible for the V12 Grand Prix engine in Dan Gurney’s Eagles, one of which won the Belgian GP at Spa in 1967.
In recent years his firm designed and built a 500 c.c. Speedway engine which proved highly successful and went into full production, most English riders using the Weslake today. Racing was always Harry Wesklake’s first love and he got more pleasure from watching his engines beat the all-conquering Czechoslovakian Jawa machines, than any thoughts of financial Success. the fact that he died at Wembley Stadium watching his riders fighting for Speedway supremacy was typical of Harry Weslake, who was active and enthusiastic about racing right up to the end. We have lost a very patriotic gentleman, an enthusiast and supporter of all that was best in the sporting world. a pioneer engine man. His firm of research engineers will carry on with the spirit that he instilled in them and keep the name of Weslake always to the forefront.