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Tony Crook RIP

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#1 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 20:50

Not always the easiest man to get on with, but a remarkable one nonetheless in so many ways - http://www.classican...cars-tony-crook


Truly a gentleman of the old school, I once saw one of those beautifully written hand-written letters.


Died in January, but only announced yesterday.

Edited by Richard Jenkins, 04 February 2014 - 20:54.


#2 arttidesco

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:00

Sad news of a life well lived. RIP


Condolences to Tony's family and friends.

#3 P.Dron

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:22

RIP. An extraordinary fellow.

#4 johnthebridge

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:13

Great shame. A true officer and gentleman of the old school, albeit with a somewhat peremptory manner!

Sometime in the early '70s, we took a very nice 403 in part exchange. I suppose that then it wasn't really that ancient and I wanted to keep it and retail it, but ATF was adamant-"it's not our sort of thing dear boy", and it had to be traded. I seem to remember it was about the same sort of money as a new B GT, but all the usual suspects shied away from it, despite its condition.

So,down to Kensington after a 'phone call (I think ATF knew him quite well, and warned me he could be somewhat abrupt in business), where Tony met me, instructed me to make myself comfortable while he looked it over, then drove it off rather rapidly down the High Street, came back 15 minutes later, stuck it on the ramp and, "without further ado", ushered me very politely into his somewhat Spartan office. With few words, a cheque for the full asking price then changed hands, a coffee was offered and accepted, desultory trade talk was exchanged and after a suitably brief time, he went out onto the street, summoned a cab for me, shook hands and was gone.

Nice bloke. A brief encounter, but I liked him.

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 09:07

An extraordinary character indeed.  His perseverance with the Bristol marque was, I believe, unique within the motor industry and motor trade. His manner could certainly be 'peremptory' as above...but what a life...  Sincere condolences of course to his family and friends.



#6 john aston

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 08:02

Doubtless he and LJKS will now be discussing the more erudite nuances of the Bristol marque..

#7 Hse289

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:49

R.I.P. Mr Crook, i wrote to him last year to see if he could help with my project, he wrote back and i will treasure the letter.  A true Gent.

#8 Graham Gauld

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 19:49

Tony Crook was someone special and in the past three or four years I had the pleasure of helping him sort through his archives and swopping yarns about some of the people we dug up. He said he was writing his biography but as he did not use a computer and his secretary did not use e mails it was always going to be a tough job. 

His memory was unbelieveable right up to the end and last year he was made a member of the Grand Prix Drivers Club which thrilled him as his grand prix performances had not allowed him to become a member when the club was formed in 1962. As mentioned earlier he was a much quicker driver than many people realised and when I asked him to write a preface to my book on Bob Gerard (Mr Bob available from bobgerard.net  he not only agreed with enthusiasm but wrote a very touching tribute recalling his great battles with Gerard when they both drove Cooper-Bristols and Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replicas. What a fascinating book he could have written.

#9 RobertE

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 13:06

I liked him, rather a lot. I met him several times, the last at the launch of LJKS's book. I have always been interested in the marque, so when I asked him which one I should buy, he said:


"If you want a 'six', they're all OK. If you want an eight, don't bother with anything before the 411 - they all rust..."


I first met him about twenty years back, at the showroom in Kensington; I was researching 'Archie' and we went through the Lister-Bristol cars. He finished with: "Yes, he was brilliant.


But he never beat me..."


He was right, as I checked ...


So, RIP. The liklihood of someone that stubborn and that persistent (insistent, really) running a 'proper' car company these days is, shall we say, unlikely.



#10 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 17:21

One of the drivers to catch my keen schoolboys eye at the 1952 International Trophy Race was T.A.D Crook in an immaculate maroon Frazer-Nash minus mudguards for this Formula 2 race. I had the pleasure of seeing him race Frazer-Nash and Cooper-Bristol's many imes  in the following years. Always very fast and competetive. I always thought Tony Crook to be very underrated.  Interestingly, though, I once read that the great Giuseppe Farina thought highly of him.

Edited by Eric Dunsdon, 10 February 2014 - 17:22.

#11 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 16:31

They've just run a nice obit on BBC Radio 4's 'Last Word' programme - complete with Raymond Baxter commentary as Tony raced against Stirling Moss, words from Moss himself and some additional material from Steve Cropley 

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 17:15

Being repeated next Friday (21st)

#13 kayemod

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 17:22

They've just run a nice obit on BBC Radio 4's 'Last Word' programme - complete with Raymond Baxter commentary as Tony raced against Stirling Moss, words from Moss himself and some additional material from Steve Cropley 


Yes, and I thought it summed up Bristol Cars, though not so much Tony Crook, very well indeed, not much about the man himself. You can catch it on 'Listen Again' on the BBC4 website, but apparently this site was "improved and updated" a few days ago, and the current iteration is causing much confusion and gnashing of teeth to many who'd got used to the previous version, which always seemed perfectly OK to me. It was simple and more or less self-explanatory before, and now apparently it's anything but. Still, anyone who manages to use the "improved and updated" TNF forum we've been blessed with, shouldn't have too many problems...

#14 Tim Murray

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 17:42

The Friday editions of Last Word are always repeated on Sundays at 8-30 pm. The programme on Friday 21st will be a new edition.



Edited by Tim Murray, 14 February 2014 - 17:42.

#15 Charlieman

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 18:24

There's also a nice tribute at Octane who have republished a relatively recent interview:

Time with Tony Crook