Bristol Cars a hit at RREC

RR Concours

Bristol Cars were the featured marque at the RREC Burghley House Concours on Sunday 21st June. 24 cars graced the scene including 3 ex-Tony Crook cars. 404 MPH100D, 406S 406CHU and old number one JHY 261


Spencer Lane Jones

Spencer Lane-Jones Ltd will be holding an Open Day at the Workshop in Warminster on Sunday 19th July 2015 between 1030 am and 3 pm.   As well as a mouth-watering selection of thoroughbred and classic cars in attendance, the Workshops will be open for inspection.  Engineers will be on hand to illustrate restoration work in progress and to discuss projects.  All owners of pre and post war thoroughbred motor cars are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments will be provided.  Members from organisations and clubs currently planning to attend include:  Beaulieu Motor Museum, Bristol Owners’ Club, Bristol Owners’ and Drivers’  Association, AC Owners’ Club, Historic BMW Club, Vintage Sports Car Club, Frazer-Nash Club, Aston Martin Owners’ Club, and others.

If you are planning to attend, a short email response would be appreciated.

BODA invitation to the Rolls Royce Concours at Burghley House

BODA have been invited to attend the RREC Concours at Burghley House in June. A number of Bristol owners have already registered for this fantastic event.  This is a really exciting opportunity for the Association and it should be a really enjoyable weekend. Those wishing to attend should submit the attached form and payment to the RREC direct.  Can those attending also  let Norman Shirlaw know so that he can track numbers.  The closing date for entry is 29th May.

If you wish to visit the show rather than take part in it, entry is free of charge.

Burghley House Link


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Heritage Trust’s event at Bicester on 26/4/15

Bicester Heritage

The Bristol Owners’ Heritage Trust is organising another of its popular annual seminars at the Bicester Heritage, an astonishingly well-preserved pre-war bomber station, formerly known as RAF Bicester. The event will follow a similar pattern to previous seminars with 3 speakers and plenty of opportunity for questions and dialogue. The event is open to all Bristol owners and their guests. This year our presenters are:

Warwick Banks – Personal Racing and Rallying Experiences
Jill Taylor – Bristol Aero Heritage Collection, Filton
Spencer Lane-Jones – Bristol Car Maintenance and Technical Issues

Be aware this is “Drive it Day” and a hoard of vintage and historic vehicles (and aircraft) will also be descending on the Centre in the morning. You are very welcome to join in and gates open from 9am for “historics” (includes Bristols) but not until 1030am for “moderns”. Bicester Heritage will charge £5.00 per historic car and £10 per modern for entry to the site. Food is available on site all day or you can bring a picnic. There will be masses to see as the site itself is fascinating and the various motor/aviation businesses already in residence will be open for inspection. Our talk will start promptly at 2pm in the Scramble Café. Only those in possession of a Heritage pass will be allowed access to the talk so please ensure you return the form below promptly. Your Seminar pass/es will be posted to you. Directions: Bicester Heritage, Buckingham Road, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 5AL. If you are using a SATNAV, head for OX26 5HA. Once inside, park anywhere. Note dogs are not allowed on site.

Detach and return to SL-J Ltd


Owner’s Name:
Address for tickets:

Number of tickets (£15.00 per head) requested:

I enclose a cheque, payable to BOC Heritage Trust for: £

Please return this form with your cheque to: Spencer Lane-Jones Ltd, 4 Newopaul Way, Warminster Business Park, Warminster, BA12 8RY



Following on from the success of last year’s Dinner we have organised a Saturday evening meal with a guest speaker at Hellidon Lakes & Spa, Daventry, Northants NN11 6GG on Saturday 28th February 2015.

Some accommodation is available, at the prices given below – which are cheaper than last year – for members wishing to stay overnight.

Len Huff is The Secretary of The Register of Automobiles with Coach built Bodies by Abbotts of Farnham, and his presentation is titled ‘Edward D. Abbott: The Man; His Company (1929 – 1972) and His Cars.’
Therefore, members can take their pick: join us for an evening meal with speaker, or choose to stay over and enjoy a weekend.
This is what you have to do to join us, and it is a 2 Part process if you are staying over:-


This is priced at £35 per head – wine & drinks are extra. 7pm for 7.30pm in the Fawsley Room. Menu – Choices of:-
Courgette & Aubergine Bake, black olive tapenade dressing, rocket (v)
Seafood Chowder, toasted sweetcorn and parsley (g)
Slow roast Shoulder of Lamb, rosemary suet dumplings, fine beans, carrots
Warm Asian salad & tempura tofu, pak choi, shiitake, cashew nut, sesame/soy dressing (v)
Apple Tart Tatin, caramel ice-cream, vanilla syrup
Coffee & Chocolate Tiramisu, chocolate sauce, Chantilly cream
Please send your cheque for the dinner only, made payable to Mrs G. S. Barton, together with number and names of people attending and their choices from menu above, to:-
Mrs G. S. Barton, Ladycroft, Quernmore, Lancaster LA2 9EF BY THE 30th JANUARY 2015.


The accommodation prices we have obtained are as follows:-
B & B – Double occupancy £54.50 per person, per night
B & B – Single occupancy £99.00 per person, per night
Accommodation should be booked directly with the Central Reservations Team of Q Hotels on
0845 074 0060 and quote BODA, 28th February at Hellidon Lakes, to obtain the rates quoted above. Rooms available on a 1st come, 1st served basis.

THESE RATES ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TILL 30th JANUARY or until sold out – after that the rates are not guaranteed.
Any queries, please contact Gale on 01524-33476 or email

Thomas Anthony Donald Crook




Thomas Anthony Donald Crook (T.A.D.C. or ‘Tony’) was born on 16th February 1920 in Rusholme, Manchester, Lancashire as the second child and only son of a local coal merchant and mining family.

His early years were spent as part of a successful local family in and around Hoghton in Lancashire.  After the death of his father when he was six, Tony was brought up by his Mother and Aunts and an early treat was being taken to see motor racing at the nearby Southport Sands.  At that point Tony decided to become a racing driver.  Juvenile driving exploits whilst at school, Clifton in Bristol, with his first car (MG – Magnette) bought before he was old enough to drive only whetted his appetite.  From Clifton to Cambridge to study      and onto the RAF.

Tony’s racing driving hero of the time was Raymond Mays but other key cars and personalities from this early time included Robert Arbuthnot, racing driver and car dealer who sold him a 2.9 litre short chassis Alfa Romeo in 1943.  Tony had also bought a BMW 328 which he used extensively during and immediately after the War.

Tony did not want to join the family business and decided that some kind of garage business would pay for his racing, so after the War Tony decided to move South to Caterham in Surrey being near Kenley Airfield where he could keep his plane and his cars.  So he bought premises and turned them into a garage and workshop.  At this time he met and was associated the Aldington Brothers, owners of Frazer-Nash, and responsible for importing BMW’s into Britain before the War.  Their short-lived association with Bristol Aeroplane led to Tony becoming one of the first Bristol Dealers.

Tony’s life then entered its busiest phase, building a business and racing activities as well as being a family man.  Tony had married Diane straight after the War and their daughter Carole came along.

His racing highlights included the first Prescott Hill Climb with his BMW 328 (2nd place), the first post-War race at Great Gransden Lodge on 15th June 1946 organised by the Cambridge University, Automobile Club (1st place), participation in the first race at Silverstone in 1949, Alfa Romeo,1st place and the 1952 Prix De Monaco where Tony came 3rd overall in his Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica.  Tony credited his success to his faithful mechanic John Dennis who battled constantly with the factory preparation.

During the ten year period 1945 to 1955 Tony calculated that he had participated in over 400 races, sprints, hill climbs and long distance record attempts.  Although closely associated with Bristol cars at the time, Tony’s racing sponsorship from ESSO required him to drive in 1953 for Frazer Nash at Rheims rather than Bristol who were sponsored at that time by (Shell or BP?).

Tony had promised to give up racing after the 1954 season but was talked into entering the 1955 Goodwood 9 hours race in his famous Cooper Bristol.  Late in the race Ken Wharton (Ferrari) broke a con rod going into the chicane and spun.  Moss (Porsche) behind unavoidably hit the Cooper in the side, throwing Tony out of the car and cracking his head.  A two week hospital stay ended Tony’s racing career.


This allowed Tony to concentrate on business and having established ‘Anthony Crook Motors’ at Caterham the need for space prompted a move to Hersham in ( date    ).

At that time Tony carried Bristol, Simca, Fiat distributorships; was UK concessionaire for Zagato and Abarth; was agent for AC, Aston Martin and Lagonda, Piper Aircraft and Brantly Helicopters as well as running a multi-pump Esso Petrol Station on both sides of the road.  A turning point came again in late 1959/early 1960 when, George White (3rd Baronet), took the lead by acquiring Bristol Cars from the rapidly reorganising British Aircraft Corporation with Tony as the Junior Partner.  The relationship endured and Tony’s relationship with George produced the 407, 408, 409, 410 and 411 Cars.  Tony would reminisce about the ‘Golden Days’ and say that the two never had cross words and only two policy disagreements (the first about automatic gearboxes – George won and secondly about the need to continue producing and storing spares – Tony won).  Their relationship changed again after George’s terrible accident in 1969 and in 1973 Tony acquired George’s shares to become sole proprietor.  This step, together with the oil crisis, required Tony to sell the freeholds on his other businesses to concentrate on Bristol’s.

Tony’s busy life at that time was based at Headquarters in Kensington with Service Facilities at Chiswick and manufacturing at Bristol which Tony would visit 3 to 4 times a week.

Thanks to Tony’s enormous capacity for hard work and an enormously loyal workforce Bristol survived and thrived through the economical disruptions of the 1970’s 80’s and 90’s.  Production rates undoubtedly fell but Bristol’s loyal customers continue to support Tony and his staff with the 603, 412 and the named cars, Beaufighter, Britannia, Brigand and the last of the ‘Tony era’ cars the Blenheim.

In 1997 Tony took the advice of Brian Trubshaw, his friend and Concorde Test Pilot and made arrangements to sell Bristol Cars to Joe Lewis’s Tavistock Group with Toby Silverton at that time Joe’s son-in-law as his co-Director.

Tony never met Joe Lewis despite requests.  Tony had the security, he believed, of an employment contract until his 90th Birthday and that gave Tony the confidence to sell the final part of his share holding to Tavistock in 2004.  Business continued much as usual at first and Tony was confident that he had found a suitable successor.

Things were not be, and despite the interest shown in the Fighter little happened between 1997 and 2007 when Tony left the Company.  He told me that he had turned up for work one morning, only to find a security man on the door barring his way and the locks changed! Naturally he was devastated and at Christmas that year his card said:

  • He did not ‘voluntarily retire’
  • He is not ‘working from home’
  • He had not ‘been ill and having a rest’

Later in 2008 an announcement appeared ‘due to a disagreement on the future running of Bristol Cars, Tony Crook who had been with the Company for over sixty years, most of the time as the sole shareholder, was dismissed’.  These matters were settled at mediation on 7th April 2008.  Bristol Cars Limited went into administration in 2011.  Tony’s sadness and disappointments were tempered by the continued loyalty of his secretary of 46 years standing and his friends and he continued to make appearance at various historic car events, speaking for instance to the Frazer Nash Car Club in 2009 and he was at the Goodwood Revival in 2012, sixty years after competing in the Inaugural Meeting in September 1998.

In 2008 he reminisced “in 1948 the Duke of Richmond and Gordon – the present Earl of March’s Grandfather – opened the course in my Bristol 400 and the same car was used to open the course at the Inaugural Revival Meeting in 1988 so I have fond memories of the Sussex circuit despite ending my racing career there in 1955”.

An enduring and endearing aspect of Tony’s personality was his great sense of fun – almost schoolboy humour – might say some.  Tales of dressing up as an Arab and placing orders for cars on competitors stands.  Tales of paying tramps to visit the Bristol stand, having animated conversations as they apparently placed orders to watch them be pursued by the competition abound.  On many occasions people misdialed and rang the Showroom thinking they were onto Motorail and Tony would book their car onto the train, asking them what colour their car was and, irritated, they would ask what has that got to do with it, to be told that Motorail were not taking green cars on the day.  This amused him for years until mercifully Motorail moved to Euston.

Tony’s wife Diane died in May 2011 after prolonged illness and he is survived by his daughter Carole and his elder sister Margaret.

Michael W Barton

February 2014

Pegasus parts news


One of our members refurbishing his brakes on his 403 enquired whether Pegasus knows of a supplier of the banjo bolts that fit into the wheel cylinders and copper sealing washers to fit these bolts.

I gave him the following company:-

Stevson Motors
Unit 1, 2A Harrow Road
Selly Oak
B29 7DN

Contact: Derek

Tel: – 0121 472 1702

They can supply refurbished, lever arm shock absorbers, stainless braided flexible hoses of all kinds, brake fittings and thick wall rubber tubing as used on our 2 litre vacuum wiper systems.

Derek could not help with the banjo bolts but he recommended another company. They were able to supply them and he stated they stocked other Bristol bits.

John Lawley
Spares & Technical Support Officer

BODA stand at 2013 NEC

BODA are once again present at the NEC classic car motor show.

The stand looks amazing and is generating a great deal of interest.



This years AGM was held in Gloucester.  The weekend started with a trip to the Gloucester waterways museum.  The picture below shows six of the 10 cars on display outside the museum, drawing considerable interest from locals and tourists alike.BODA AGM 2013


Members were treated to a cruise down the Gloucester canal, followed by a tour of the museum.

The throng eventually moved on to the Cheltenham Chase Hotel where good company, good food and the odd tipple ensued.

On Sunday we held our second AGM after a good nights sleep and a full English.  Minutes of the meeting will be posted on this site shortly.  In the meantime is is suffice to say that the mood was very positive, sound progress having been made to grow the membership and expand the services of the club.

A big thank you must go out to Gale Barton for arranging this event so brilliantly.


BODA at Petwood 2013

The BODA get together at the Petwood classic Concours event was once again a great success.  A total of seven cars made the long journey to Lincolnshire to enjoy a sun filled day at the home of the dam buster pilots during the second world war.

Those attending included:

Warwick Banks           404

Stuart Risebrow          411

John Grindon              411

Richard Baines            411

Michael Barton           Beaufighter

Richard Levene           Blenheim