Alta-related information from a onetime friend of a Fleet Air Arm officer named Nigel Grier-Rees, which appears in a thread concerning the Supermarine Scimitar aircraft on an aviation forum.
This gentleman recalls:
"I knew Nigel G-R in 1961-62 at Lee when he was Flag Leutenant to FOAH and used to drive the Admiral's barge around, a four engined version of the Dove (Devon?).
"Porohman's mention of the Buckler 90 almost certainly referred to Nigel. When I knew him he owned a Lotus 11 sports racing car which he used to compete in club races with me as his mechanic. Although outclassed by the later Lolas he usually gave a good account of himself.but this finally ended at Goodwood when he broke a stub axle going into Madgewick and did a 180 into the boondocks.
"I concur with the previous opinions, he was a gentleman and a smashing chap to boot.
"We sent the bits to the lab at RNARY Fleetlands for analysis and they reported back that it was a fatigue failure, so that spelled the end of the Lotus.
"Nigel then bought a 1952 Formula 2 Alta from a brewery owner who lived about 10 miles north of Fareham. Marvellous piece of machinery; rubber suspension that pre-dated the mini by ten years, sit-up-and-beg leather armchair and a dope engined four cylinder two litre engine machined out of a solid block of aluminium. My lasting impression is that the owner (very civil, drew us a pint apiece from his own cellars) introduced Nigel to his wife as "Lt Rear-Grease"!!! Collapse of stout party!
"We towed the Alta back to Lee behind my 105E Anglia. On starting off I checked the rear view mirror to see Nigel waving furiously, I of course stopped to see what was wrong, so did Nigel as he ran into the back of my car. No brakes.
"I could ramble on but there seems to be no point, I was so sad to read of his death. Strange that someone who lived life to the full should have met such a mundane end..."
(I believe he was fatally injured by falling from an apple tree in his home orchard - DCN).
Edited by Doug Nye, 28 December 2011 - 20:47.