It was with profound sadness that I learned of the death of Ken Tyrrell this week. No doubt many good things will be written, but I wanted to share a personal experience that I hope will contribute to how he is remembered.
In 1979, a friend and I journeyed from Bristol to Surrey to see the Brabham fan car, which was being exhibited in a garage showroom. There was no Goodwood, TGP or Autosport International then, so any opportunity to see such cars had to be taken.
Upon arrival, the car had been recalled to the factory and so we faced a wasted trip. In conversation with the garage staff, he mentioned that we were in close proximity to the Tyrrell premises at Ockham. I had always been an ardent fan of Tyrrell and Stewart since first taking an interest in the sport in the late ’60s.
It was a Saturday, but having driven that far (pre-M25) we decided to chance our arm. Imagine our surprise when the door was opened by none other than Ken Tyrrell himself. He invited us in, made the coffee and in his office spent over two hours chatting to us about his team and F1 generally. He then gave us a personally guided tour of the workshops before leaving us to wander, chat to all his staff and take as many photographs as we wished.
There were no airs and graces, no pretensions. The whole experience left me in no doubt as to his values, commitment and enthusiasm for the sport. He was a true giant in an era of accountants and ‘corporate communicators’. He will be missed.
I am,Yours etc,
Richard Read, Charfield, Gloucestershire
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