Hugh Gardner

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Hugh Gardner, Chairman of the famous Manchester-based diesel engine-makers L Gardner & Sons Ltd until his retirement in 1978, has died. He started work there in 1921, for fourteen shillings a week, testing engines in the No 10 test-shop, which still exists.

He raced Nortons at Southport Sands with his brother, and ran an Invicta converted to take a light-alloy 6LK Gardner oil-engine. A top speed of 100 mph was claimed but, said Hugh, “it used to shake like hell at over 70”. In 1933 an eight-year-old Bentley saloon with a Gardner 4LW diesel engine was driven to fifth place in the Monte Carlo Rally by Lord de Clifford; other cars so converted included a 1932 Lagonda tourer (XY 3032) powered by a 3.8-litre 4LK engine developing 83 bhp at 3000 rpm, which gave a top speed of 83 mph and an oil-thirst of over 48 mpg.