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Profitable tin-top racer and Demon Tweeks founder Alan Minshaw dies aged 88

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Solely by struggling a coronary heart assault at his beloved Oulton Park’s Gold Cup occasion, the place professional medical care was at hand, did he get pleasure from a number of bonus years.

A pure salesman, Liverpudlian Minshaw recognized a profitable area of interest marketplace for mail order go-faster gear and racewear.

Having based Demon Tweeks in 1971, he constructed a trusted model empire from a one-man band, pioneering an trade, and put extra again into grassroots motorsport than anyone else.

Minshaw first began competing at Aintree in 1958, in a Morris Minor convertible, earlier than transferring on to a Downton-tuned Mini, which enabled him to pattern a variety of sporting disciplines whereas offering street transport in his work promoting Fram Filters.

Sportscars adopted, together with a Turner-Climax, a factory-supported Reliant Sabre and an 1150cc Lotus 23 sponsored by Charles Bridges’ Purple Rose Motors of Chester.

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However his huge journey was accompanying Ted Worswick, driving one of many latter’s ex-works Austin-Healey 3000s (PJB 828) to the 1966 Targa Florio in Sicily, a world championship spherical, then competing.

Picture by: Motorsport Images

Minshaw’s first style of single-seater racing then got here when he transformed an out of date Components 3 Brabham BT9 for Components Ford in 1968, getting into it because the Black Jack Particular.

His straightforward appeal and work ethic was channelled into Demon Tweeks – a reputation probably impressed by the scruffy monosyllabic mechanics in Catchpole, Barry Foley’s Autosport cartoon strip – established in an {old} smithy at Tattenhall, close to Oulton, with a satellite tv for pc store within the circuit’s paddock.

As enterprise boomed, Minshaw owned and raced a outstanding vary of automobiles. As 1974 Triplex Manufacturing Saloon champion in a Chrysler Avenger, he turned the third proprietor of Tony Hazlewood’s furry DAF-Oldsmobile V8, through which (renamed Volvo 66, with BDX engine), he sponsored the late Tony Sugden.

With ongoing Manchester Liners backing, Minshaw continued to compete in an Opel Commodore, earlier than graduating to the British Saloon Automotive Championship in 1979.

A fixture for a decade, culminating in a BMW E30 M3, he received his class and completed second total in 1983 in a VW Golf GTI.

Historic racing then beckoned, and Minshaw was seen twirling the wheel of a Maserati T61 ‘Birdcage’, Jaguar C and D-types, Chevron B8s – having famously cancelled his order for one in 1968 – an ex-Jack Brabham Tasman Brabham BT4 and a monstrous Chevrolet Malibu with energetic aplomb, sharing his ardour with racer sons Jon, Jason and Man.

British Racing Drivers’ Membership life member Alan is survived by his spouse Annette and 7 youngsters, plus a 53-year enterprise legacy. Demon Tweeks prospers underneath Jon’s management, supplying 1000’s of product traces worldwide from its Wrexham HQ.

Picture by: Jeff Bloxham

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