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Peter Bryant


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#1 Red Socks

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:06

I understand that Peter died yesterday
RIP

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#2 Jerry Entin

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 13:01

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Peter and Lois Bryant at Legends of Riverside.

This is very sad. Peter suffered a heart attack. He leaves his loving wife Lois. And children and grandchildren. Peter and Lois were just at the Legends of Riverside and Peter was having a great time joking with Dan Gurney and all his friends.

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Peter Bryant with his long time friend Ike Smith
Also in the picture are Linda Peterson and Dan Lipetz. Ike and Peter both worked with Linda's dad, Chuck Parsons. This was last summer at Elkhart Lake.


This is the Racing communities loss. He was a great guy and lots of fun to be with.

RIP Peter


Top photo - Albert Wong

#3 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 14:00

:(

R.I.P

#4 llmaurice

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 14:04

What a shock !
I've been in regular contact with Pete since we re-found each other on the Keith Duckworth memorial topic .
We worked at Lotus in the '50s , then for Mike Taylor in 1960 .
Readers of his book Can Am Challenger will certainly agree that Peter acheived a heck of a lot in his lifetime.
Deepest sympathy to his family from an old mate !

#5 Henri Greuter

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 14:10

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
This is very sad. Peter suffered a heart attack. He leaves his loving wife Lois. And children and grandchildren. Peter and Lois were just at the Legends of Riverside and Peter was having a great time joking with Dan Gurney and all his friends.

This is the Racing communities loss. He was a great guy and lots of fun to be with.

RIP Peter




What a sad loss. very painful for some people I've got to learn a bit better over the past weeks.
Rest in peace Peter.

Henri

#6 Neuz

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 15:55

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This is truely sad. I had the pleasure of meeting Peter at Elkhart Lake last year and corresponded thru email with him. What a true gentleman and he will be missed. A sad day in motorsports.

#7 ReWind

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 16:53

Just to avoid any confusion: Is he same man who was Ari Vatanen's co-driver in rallying in the second half of the 1970s?

#8 malcolm6

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 17:01

"Just to avoid any confusion: Is he same man who was Ari Vatanen's co-driver in rallying in the second half of the 1970s?"


No

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 18:27

Very sad news. Godspeed...

DCN

#10 David M. Kane

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 18:35

He was a joy to talk to at Road America in July. He was a very talented guy. We'll miss you Peter.

#11 Stephen Miller

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 20:32

Very sad indeed. I started talking to a gentleman at Watkins Glen last September. After awhile much to my surprise it turned out to be Peter. It was a real treat to meet him and we had a very pleasant conversation about Can Am and F5000.

RIP Peter

#12 Michael Oliver

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 21:58

What a shame. His book, Can-Am Challenger, is a fantastic read, a real roller-coaster ride. He was a great example of someone who stuck to his principles and followed his dream but who probably could have made a lot more money if he'd kept his head down and his mouth shut. But he would've had a whole lot less fun in the process... His description in the book of how a fellow mechanic explained the difference between "chaps" and "blokes" is priceless and spot on, too. And the sheer array of people and teams that he worked with is quite amazing, working his way up from mechanic to chief designer through sheer hard graft.

Without great thinkers and innovators like Peter, our sport would've been a great deal less interesting and exciting.

My condolences to his wife and family.

Michael

#13 JacnGille

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:06

aaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww :(

#14 fer312t

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:46

Ugh, really sad news :(

...literally just finished his book..and just today bought the new issue of Motorsport and was happy to see there was an article on Peter.

#15 cabianca

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 04:41

I want you all to know that Peter spent his last weekend at the Riverside Reunion where he signed his books for an adoring crowd. During the big dinner evening on Saturday (28 March), there was a charity auction, and Peter sold a set of original blueprints for the Ti22, his brilliant Can-Am design, to Dan Gurney. During an interview that evening, Dan joked, "If anyone wants a replica Ti22, I've got the prints."

Peter was among his peers and fans and reveled in it all. He was a wonderful man, a fabulous raconteur and a racer to the core. I was lucky enough to know him in the Can Am days and reconnected in recent years. I have a party during Pebble Beach week and Peter was always one of the stars with his stories and general good cheer. He and Lois were as charming a couple as you would wish to meet.

I think Peter finally felt his contributions were appreciated, and that somewhat softens the loss. Here are some comments from David Bull, his publisher.


It's with great sadness that I'm writing you to tell you of the death of friend and author, Peter Bryant. He died unexpectedly at his home in Las Vegas on March 31, just a few days from his 72nd birthday. Best known for his innovative Can-Am cars, the Autocoast Ti22 Mks 1 & 2 and UOP Shadows Mks 1 & 2, Peter had a rich, colorful (and often riotous) career in his native England working in sports car racing and Formula One before coming to America in the early sixties. His biography in brief follows below.
I can't quickly convey what a bright, boisterous, lively, and affectionate man Peter was (fortunately, his memoir, Can-Am Challenger, is a vivid expression of his character and an indelible account of a tremendous era in racing). We will all miss him terribly.

Best regards,

David

Peter Bryant, 1938-2009

Peter Bryant was born and educated in England. In 1957 he got his first job in motor racing at Lotus Cars as an engineering intern. He went on to prepare sports cars and F1 and F2 cars for several privately owned teams before landing a breakthrough job in 1960 with Reg Parnell's Bowmaker Credit F1 team. After visiting California in 1963 as chief mechanic for John Surtees's Ferrari 250 P, Peter emigrated in 1964. He first worked with Mickey Thompson's Indy cars during the fateful and tragic 1964 Indianapolis 500, then moved to Carroll Shelby's Cobra, GT40, and GT350 programs. In 1966 Peter became race engineer for the Dana Chevrolet Can-Am team, then moved to Carl Haas's Lola team the following year. In 1969 Peter designed and built the first of his own innovative Can-Am cars. The Autocoast Ti22 featured the extensive use of titanium components and construction. In 1970 the Ti22 became the first American-made car to lead a Can-Am race. Peter continued to fight the McLarens and Porsches that dominated the series with his famous UOP Shadow cars in 1971 and 1972, which made pioneering use of ground-effect aerodynamics and ran on unleaded gasoline. Recently Peter had been engineering historic race cars with great success and working on a recreation of the Ti22. He is survived by his wife, Lois. by 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren

#16 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 04:57

Portland, Oregon a few years ago...I found Peter and he signed my Hot Wheels Shadow for me. He then came over and chatted with people about Fred Cziska's Shadow. That's Fred with Peter in the second photo. A very friendly and obliging fellow:

Posted Image Posted Image

(Sorry about photo quality)

Vince H.

#17 WGD706

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 06:13

Peter Bryant, creator of Can-Am's 'Titanium Car,' dead at 71
By PETE LYONS
Peter Bryant, the Cockney racing mechanic who designed and built two of the stiffest challengers to the mighty McLaren Can-Am cars, died of an apparent heart attack at his Las Vegas home on March 31, four days short of his 72nd birthday.

As told in his recent autobiography, Can-Am Challenger, London-born Bryant caught the racing fever early in life, took a welding course to make himself more marketable, and landed jobs with such teams as Lola and Lotus in Formula One before moving to the United States to work in Indy and Can-Am racing.

In 1969, he pulled together the backing necessary to construct his own car. Driven by Jackie Oliver, the Ti 22 "Titanium Car" proved competitive with the all-conquering McLarens, leading one race, setting one joint fastest lap and finishing a close second twice during 1970.

Bryant and Oliver then moved to Don Nichols's Shadow team, where Bryant re-engineered the original "Tiny Tire" car into another contender, especially during the 1972 season. In later years, he was a consulting engineer outside of racing, including designing the Shelby Series 1. Recently, he was helping vintage racers get the best out of their restored cars, and he and Craig Pence were collaborating on a new Ti 22 built to original drawings.

A true bon vivant of racing's most boisterous kind, Bryant was a great storyteller and hugely enjoyed gatherings such as last weekend's inaugural Legends of Riverside film festival and party at the new Riverside International Automotive Museum. He and his wife, Lois, had just returned to their home when he died.

"It's like the sun went out," Lois Bryant said. "He was such a strong personality, a 'don't tell me I can't do something' kind of guy. He lived a good life. And he has a whole new audience for his stories now."

In addition to his wife, Bryant leaves a daughter and a son from a previous marriage, as well as 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


http://www.autoweek..../FREE/904019978

#18 Jerry Entin

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:35

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Peter Bryant with TI 22 plans at the Legends of Riverside
Peter's friends Oscar Koveleski and Doug Magnon also on the stage with Peter.

photo -Albert Wong

#19 Keir

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 14:36

One of the nice guys.

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#20 Gerald Swan

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 15:21

I was lucky enough to come into contact with Peter when he was preparing his "Can-Am Challenger" book and found him to be great fun to talk to with a love of racing that hadn't dimmed over the years. When the book was published, despite my contribution being only a couple of photos of his Lola days, I was surprised and delighted to receive a personally autographed copy, something I shall always be very proud of.

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Peter at the Kohler International Challenge with Brian Redman. Road America July 2008 with John Morton and Ed Swart. Photo: Glyn Jones.

Gerald.

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#21 RA Historian

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 15:51

I echo Gerald's experience. I contributed just a few photos and some miscellaneous info to Peter's book and was delighted to get an autographed copy and far too much credit in the Foreward. But what really struck me was at last July's KIC at Road America. Peter was there and I went up to him upon arriving in the paddock on Friday. I started to intro myself, believing that with all the people he knows that he would not remember me from the year before. I never finished the intro, as Peter grabbed me in a bear hug and shouted "hello, mate, good to see ya!"

We are fortunate that Peter gave us his wonderful autobiography. It surely is something with which to remember a fellow who was fortunate enough to be able to live his dream. Not all his adventures turned out the way he would have liked (it was a crime the way he got screwed over --twice-- in the Can Am) but you have to think that for Peter it was a hoot a good portion of the time.

If you have not already read his book, please treat yourself and do so. It is very enjoyable. Highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies, but it will rivet you. And I guarantee that you will laugh out loud many times at some of the high jinks in which Peter participated. The story of the truck catching fire on the way home and the efforts to put it out is an absolute hoot!

I only knew Peter peripherally but nonetheless feel that I knew him more than I did, just from the book and from a few brief meetings. The news of his passing shocks and saddens me. But our world, and especially our little corner of it in racing, is the better for his having passed our way.

Tom

#22 908/3

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 16:11

RIP

I'm reading his autobiography "Can Am Challenger", which is one of the best books ever written about motorsport; he obviously enjoyed his life and had many great stories to tell

#23 fines

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:07

Very sad to hear this! :(

#24 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 12:04

A sad loss for sure :(

#25 Pete Lyons

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:01

Someone who had only just met Peter at the Riverside Legends gathering was moved to send his thoughts to me, and I have his permission to share them with the Forum. Here, slightly trimmed, is what he wrote:

Mr. Lyons,

I was at the Legends of Riverside event... I was particularly struck by the section [of the DVD "Can-Am Thunder"] on the Ti-22 and the Shadows which I had watched at both Laguna Seca and Riverside (my home track). I was caught up with Mr. Bryant and when the DVD was done I found him and expressed my admiration. He took me by the arm to the next building and flew through his book like a school kid. He hardly slowed down at all and made me feel like we were friends. What could I do? I bought his book and he enthusiastically wrote in it for me.

I have never met a man with such joy, enthusiasm and as friendly. He had just completed some work on my Scarab replica which was delivered just a month ago and I felt like I had made a friend - or rather, I didn't have much to do with it once he got rolling. I personally felt badly for him when you could see that he had his heart and soul in his drawings [of the Ti22] that were up for auction and they didn't command the bids commensurate with his passion and enthusiasm.

It was with great sadness that I learned of his death shortly after we parted in Riverside. I felt that I had just made a great aquaintance, he brightened my life for a weekend and I was looking forward to hearing what he was going to do next. I don't believe that I have had so much given to me and then taken away in such a short period of time.

Bill Krueger
Orange, CA

#26 TrackDog

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:23

So sorry to hear of Peter's passing. His account of the events leading up to and including the tragic 1964 Indianapolis 500 accident that took the lives of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald was the most informative and unbiased account of the tragedy that I've ever read. It's obvious that Peter Bryant was a very warm and sensitive person as well as a very talented engineer. He certainly was protective of Dave MacDonald and deeply saddened by his death. Not every car builder is as sensitive and caring about the men who risk their lives to drive their creations. Peter was one of the Good Ones.


Dan

#27 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 14:17

Very nice interview of Peter at the Legends of Riverside explaining his great book. CanAm Challenger.



#28 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 20:23

Terrific piece on YouTube! Such a shame as PB seemed so full of life only hours before his untimely passing. TY for the link, Jerry.

#29 fbarrett

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 22:42

Friends:

David Bull just posted this obituary and remembrance on his web site with two excellent photographs:

http://www.bullpubli...eter_Bryant.asp

Definitely worth a look.

Frank

#30 Duc-Man

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 13:26

I just read a bit through Peters book 'Can-Am Challanger'
At the very end he writes:
'I am very happy to say that the two Ti22 cars I build,..., are been re-created from my original blueprints at the time of writing, and should be seen on the vintage racing scene some time soon.

Does anybody have any details, status, pictures? I haven't found anything about it anywhere on the web.

The book came out 2007.

Edited by Duc-Man, 23 July 2010 - 13:29.


#31 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 13:44

Duc-Man: I know that Craig Pence has been working on the recreation TI-22. I believe it is done. Just needs an engine and gearbox to be complete.
I was riding out to Elkhart Lake last weekend with Ike Smith. I told him I sure miss seeing Peter at the event. He was really a great guy. Ike agreed.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 28 July 2010 - 01:29.


#32 1970Mk1

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:45

Duc Man requested I post the restoration of the Shadow MkII on this thread. So I will give it a try.

May need Jerry E. to help me with posting photos.

As normal with any car I obtain from Don Nichols, it begins with a bare tub and a few suspension parts hanging on.

Dennis

(If this photo link does not work, I will need assistance)



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#33 1970Mk1

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 14:14

As mentioned in Peter Bryants book, he used the company name of "Blivet Car Company" for all of the early drawings to maintain secret the 1971 Shadow Can Am car development. Later drawings during the MkIII timeframe, Peter used the Phoenix Racing Organization company label.

We were able to obtain a fairly complete set of drawings for the MkII to assist in the restoration. Attached is an example of Peter's work.


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#34 Duc-Man

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 12:22

Don Nichols used through the years different company names for the entries of his cars.
The Mk.II was entered by Advanced Vehicle Systems for the whole season apart from the race in Laguna Seca. The entrant there was Phoenix Racing Organization.
The Mk.III and DN2 cars were entred under Don Nichols or UOP in '72 & '73 and the entrant was Phoenix Racing Organization for the 1974 Can-Am season.
See the chassis record at www.racingsportscars.com

Thanks for those first pictures Dennis. BTW: what chassis number does your Mk.II tub have?

#35 1970Mk1

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 03:16

Don Nichols used through the years different company names for the entries of his cars.
The Mk.II was entered by Advanced Vehicle Systems for the whole season apart from the race in Laguna Seca. The entrant there was Phoenix Racing Organization.
The Mk.III and DN2 cars were entred under Don Nichols or UOP in '72 & '73 and the entrant was Phoenix Racing Organization for the 1974 Can-Am season.
See the chassis record at www.racingsportscars.com

Thanks for those first pictures Dennis. BTW: what chassis number does your Mk.II tub have?



Duc-Man

The chassis number is 71-3. But please be aware the chassis does have features found in the MkIII chassis, such as steering rack mounts aft of the front axle line versus MkII steering rack mouting forward of the front axle line. However it does not have the mid radiator mounts as found on the MkIII. When we decided to restore the car to MkII specs, the key decisions were to retain the front mounted radiator, the correct MkII steering rack location, the in-board front brakes, the MkII body, Weismann gearbox, and the low profile tires.

We are fortunate that Nichols had a body buck for the MkII, to which we are making molds from, and pulling a body. Don also had an original front radiator, original wheels and uprights, suspension components and a Weismann gearcase that we could start with. The key challenge is coming up with the missing parts.

Dennis

#36 1970Mk1

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 03:52


The attached image presents the boxes and boxes of parts we received from Don Nichols for the MkII. On top of the boxes are a pair of Titanium lower control arms and a front wing. There were sets of titanium suspension pieces as well as chrome moly (I assume if the Ti parts cracked!)

Dennis





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#37 1970Mk1

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 03:58

The attached photo is of the front rotor and mounting to the support structure. The 12 in dia by 1.25 rotor is an extremely tight fit in the front subframe (Peter got is sums right!). No mention in Peters book how close the aft mounted front brake caliper is to the drivers right ankle!!

Note below the chassis are the original 13 in dia monoque style front wheels mounted with 1971 Goodyear tires (still have the stickers!!) and still have the retaining screws Peter used to hold the beads on.





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#38 1970Mk1

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 04:02

The attached photo shows the front suspension mockup. Don still had the original Schroder front steering rack. Schroder was (and still is) known for sprint car steering boxes, but also made steering racks back in the 70's.

Peter used "bent" steering arms to clear the original design 12 in diameter front wheels. I will show a photo of the bent arms in future postings.






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#39 Frank S

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 19:36

As mentioned in Peter Bryants book, he used the company name of "Blivet Car Company" for all of the early drawings to maintain secret the 1971 Shadow Can Am car development.

...

Does anyone require a glossĀ² of "Blivet"?