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It is with great sadness that the MSMT records the passing on 5th August 2021 of its former trustee and sometime secretary, Graham Robson. He was a prolific author with over 170 motoring titles to his credit by his own calculations. He read Engineering at Lincoln College, Oxford and initially worked for Jaguar as a graduate trainee in the Engineering Design Office, literally leaving his mark on chassis drawings for the E-type and Mark-X. At this stage Graham enjoyed rallying, co-driving in the local Godiva Motor Club and through meeting club member Lewis Garrard, son of the Rootes Works Team Manager, he became a Works co-driver with Sunbeam. In 1962, he transferred to Standard-Triumph as head of the Motor Sport department, which at that time prepared Spitfires for Le Mans, and rallyed TR4s and Triumph 2000s. In 1965 he moved to Autocar from where he was head-hunted by Chrysler UK to run their Road Proving/Road Test department. His next move was in 1971 as Technical Director at Kangol, by which time his first book, co-authored by Richard Hudson-Evans and about the 1970 World Cup Rally had been published.
Rallying accounted for many of the titles he authored and quantity was not sacrificed for quality and that required a professional attitude. In a 2005 interview with Michael Ware, he described how he would devote about four months and certainly no more than six months continuous effort to each book. He wrote and edited himself to a word count, and delivered ontime, in short, a publishers' dream author. Right up to the time of his passing he was working, with a 70,000 word book underway with a major publishing house. He was much in demand as a speaker and commentator on all manner of motoring subjects at all kinds of events. One of his regular appearances in recent years was as co-commentator, with MSMT Chairman Peter Card, at the Kop Hill Climb recreation of this sporting event where his easy manner with the drivers was appreciated by participants and spectators alike. He was president of the TR Register, vice president of Club Triumph and honorary life member of several other clubs, a fact of which he was justifiably proud, as he maintained his links with grass-roots motoring organisations.
In 1984 Graham was appointed first secretary of the Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust, although this did not last long possibly due to differences of opinion, as Graham was always forthright in expressing his. In 2004 Graham joined the trustees, and his pithy contributions were evident at most meetings until 2020 when he decided that travel to Beaulieu for meetings was no longer practicable. The MSMT has a wish list of gaps in motoring history that it would like to see filled. Graham took up one of these challenges and in 2011 produced The Book of the Standard Motor Company, a comprehensive yet concise history of one of our significant but not trendy motor manufacturers.
The world of motoring has lost a knowledgeable and memorable figure who will be sorely missed by many involved with motoring and motor sport in particular.
Graham's Picture by Classic and Sportscar, others - random selection of Graham's books