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George Mason of Jaguar


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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 15:49

This rather unfortunately muddled press release just arrived from the VSCC:


"George Mason, the last surviving Jaguar works racing mechanic from the Briggs Cunningham era of lightweight E Types at Le Mans, has passed away aged 78.

Following his active involvement with the works racing team under the auspices of Ted Brookes as chief mechanic, he then pursued a development role on the Jaguar XJ 13 project, which was Jaguar’s stillborn reply to the Ferrari P4.

Julian Ghosh, a former President of the VSCC and, earlier, the last apprentice in Jaguar's Competition Department commented "George represented what everybody at Jaguar Cars stood for, in an era not confused by hype or bling. We achieved a lot and learned a bit, later producing amazing 12-cylinder road cars of which we are still justifiably proud"

The VSCC will be running races for Jaguars and suchlike from the classical era at it's SeeRed at 70 meeting on 5-6 September at Donington Park. Don't miss the last opportunity to see cars racing on the original circuit, prior to the Formula One reconfiguration.

George Mason’s funeral will be at Canley Crematorium at 1.45 pm on Tuesday 25 August, followed by a wake at the Jaguar Social Club at Browns Lane."

DCN



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#2 Stoatspeed

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 15:21

Thanks for posting this, Doug. This is sad news the older Jaguar-connected people out here in TNF land. George had been unwell for a while, but it is still hard to imagine that this "gentle giant" is no longer among us. Having been privileged to work with George in the Experimental Department during the 70s and 80s (the end of the "era not confused by hype or bling" so neatly summed by Julian) while he was the lord of the infamous "annex" and then later on succeeding Ted Brookes as Foreman for the shop, there are many memories of Big George.
During this era, he and (the also now departed) Peter Dodds revived XJ13 to operational duty following the MIRA filming crash, and George became one of the lucky few entrusted with driving duties when the car was demonstrated. This always seemed a very unlikely match, since the car was really more suited for drivers of Norman Dewis size, and George must have had a good 18 inches over ND - as can be seen in this shot taken on the streets of Coventry, the windscreen was not able to do too much screening for GM:

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Friday afternoons were frequently interrupted by the spine-tingling bark of the car being readied for another weekend demo outing, occasionally "requiring" a quick blast round the Browns Lane factory roads to make sure all was well.

Sadly, I will be unable to make it to the funeral on Tuesday, but I am sure the day will be filled by "tall tales" which will be (mostly) true, however unlikely they may sound! One thing is now sure - the man upstairs will find that his racing stable will now be cared for by one of the masters .... RIP, George.

Dave Hudson (the "real" one, for those who were there at the time!)