Alan Putt 1936 - 2010
The MRC board is saddened to have to record the death of our Vice President Alan Putt after a short and determined battle with cancer.David Cox writes:
Alan first came to my attention in 1981 when I joined the MRC. He was a committee member, having been secretary and was at the time centrally involved in the re-launch of Historic Formula Junior. This was being nurtured in MRC at the time and subsequently gained sufficient strength to launch out on its own, becoming what is today possibly the strongest historic motor racing formula in the world. Later Alan put his energy into the promotion of Historic Formula 3, also originally nurtured in MRC, whilst continuing to be a mine of information and experience that acted as a strong stabilising influence in the MRC committee. Alan continued as a committee member for many years under my chairmanship before accepting the honour of being a Vice President of the Club. He remained a Vice President and life member until his death and as late as last season he was a championship steward for the Club, a position where experience and sound common sense can be so important.
Alan’s involvement in historic motorsport went way beyond MRC and he was well known and widely respected in the international circles of the FIA where he was a technical guru responsible for eligibility issues. He was an amazing resource for information on specifications and regulations and kept MRC up to date on international matters in respect of our occasional overseas race meetings. During his time on the MRC committee he also found time to be Competition Secretary of the Aston Martin Owners Club for a while.
On a personal level, I knew Alan for some 29 years and always found him to be measured, mild mannered, witty, generous and self effacing. He was a man of passion and principle and I, like so many others, had the highest regard for him.
We in the MRC mourn his passing and will miss him.
Old friend of Mono Duncan Rabagliatti wrote the following for the Formula Junior Historic Racing Association:
Alan Putt died peacefully last Friday night, 12th February 2010, aged 73, after a six month battle with cancer.
Alan was a cockney, although you might not have known it, born in Plumstead on 16th August 1936. From age 16 or so he was frequenting Brands Hatch and was soon a ‘Motorist’, first with motorcycles, usually odd ones such as the Mini motor, which you fixed to the back wheel of a cycle, which led to a succession of tyre replacements !! - and then to cars, either on their last legs, such as the Alvis, and Talbot, which self conflagrated in the garage, or oddities such as the Rodley (from West Yokshire - which also had a fiery reputation!), Unicar, and an Isetta which still stands to this day as a flower pot in the purchaser’s garden!!
Leaving school in 1952, he started an engineering apprenticeship, interrupted for two years of National service spent at RAF Biggin Hill as a radar technician, before going back to the GPO Engineering Dept, subsequently BT, for a lifelong career, becoming a chartered engineer and M.I.I.E, and becoming part of the team involved in the creation of the Mainframe Computer, and keeping abreast with computer technology for the rest of his very happy life with wife Beryl, the ‘girl next door’!
In the early 1970’s Alan became involved with the Monoposto Club, and it was his inspiration that brought about his most important legacy, establishing ‘Historic Formula Junior’, as a separate Championship in 1976, the first Formula to become Historic, and which opened the gate to the Historic Racing that we know today. One detects his love of the obscure, again!! Alan was a committee man, not a racer, even winning a silver salver ”Committee Trophy” on one occasion. He served on the Monoposto Committee for nearly two decades, and was “Startline” editor in the early Historic FJ days.
In 1989 he took early retirement from BT, and set up the "Fairby Consultancy" and became involved with many different aspects of Historic motorsport. He was briefly Comps Sec for AMOC, Secretary of HGPCA, helped Philip Young with the 95 Classic Monte, and worked on computer installation for Mike Williams of Beaufort Restorations.
Alan was long involved in FIA matters, until a major falling out in 2000, including drafting Appendix K revisions, sitting on the Technical working Group, drafting the original FIA HVIF forms, and instructions, and the original TGP (now HFO) regulations.
From 1999-2002, Alan worked with the MSA on HVIF forms and for many years was an MSA Steward, including the British GP, and was much involved with HSCC race meetings over many years , as steward and CRC eligibility delegate, and also as contributor to many magazines , not least Carol Spagg’s " Historic Motor Racing News" and " Victory Lane" in the USA. More recently he was also responsible for FIVA passports and the new HTPs as an MSA Inspector.
Sadly, Beryl had developed Alzheimers and this increasingly took its toll, with Alan acting as devoted carer at home, for many years,also becoming closely involved with the Charitable Society itself. Beryl died last summer, only for Alan to be diagnosed with incurable cancer. He bore this with fortitude, attending both the FJHRA lunch, to present the Alan Putt Trophy, created by Bob Egginton, to Jon Milicevic, but also a few weeks later, to award another Alan Putt Trophy at the HGPCA lunch to George Fowles.
Alan's death came on the eve of the FIA Historic Conference meeting in London, and this opened on Saturday morning with a heartfelt tribute to Alan from John Symes of the MSA, and a minutes silence from all the delegates.
Alan's passing will be widely felt, especially as the father of Formula Junior, but his memory will live on in the Alan Putt Memorial Library, his collection of books having been bequeathed as a research facility to MSA at Colnbrook.