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Ian M M Stewart 1929-2017

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#1 Kilted Wanderer

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 07:53

Sadly, I have to inform you that Ian M M Stewart (Dad) passed away peacefully yesterday after a short illness. He was surrounded by his family and will be missed greatly.


He made many friends here, and although he didn't post much recently he greatly enjoyed the camaraderie and shared love of a sport that he adored.


I'll post more in time, when things are a little less raw, but I hope he's somewhere up above with Mum, who he missed terribly over the past seven years.


If there are sheep sales in heaven, and for some reason he is forced to attend, I'd like to think he's currently somewhere on the old Oban road, flat out in a Ferrari Daytona, scaring the hell out of a fellow farmer. The sheep sale itself will of course matter little.


Or perhaps he's picking out a Grand Prix car more suited to his talents than the one he drove, or knowing him squeezing into the latest Mercedes to find out what all the fuss is about.


He was everything a son would want in a Father, loving, caring, indulgent, conspiratorial, stern and forgiving. God rest his soul.





Edited by Kilted Wanderer, 20 March 2017 - 07:55.


#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:27

Christian, I'm so very sorry to hear your news. Your Dad's posts here were always fascinating and informative. Sincere condolences to you and all the rest of his family and friends.

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:34

My condolences, Christian...

Such losses are indeed hard to deal with. For your dad, the loss of your mum would have been a terrible burden, trust me in this.

Becoming the vanguard generation of your family is something none of us want to do, but inevitably it creeps up on us. We look forward to your further contributions about your father.

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:38

Most sincere condolences Christian - your father was true gentleman of the sport and one of those rare racing drivers for whom nobody in the motor sporting world ever seemed to have a bad word. And, by the way, what a wonderfully evocative family photo...thank you for sharing it. Remember the good times.



#5 Graham Gauld

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 13:00

The passing of Ian Stewart is for me a truly sad moment. As Doug has mentioned he was a true gentleman. I had just started out as a trainee journalist back in 1952 when I first met up with him at a small club rally run by Lothian Car Club and from then on he was a trusted friend and we had many amusing adventures, particularly when I first joined Motor World magazine in Scotland as sports editor and later Editor. Whenever I had an interesting car to test I always drove to Ian's farmhouse where we would get into a discussion about the handling of the car and he gave me a much better insight. A good example was when Mercedes sent a 300SL for test. Ian had just bought one and so I drove it up to his farmhouse and I explained that I did not like it at high speed on corners and felt that it was perhaps too dangerous to  be let loose for sale to a public that might not be able to handle it. Needless to say Ian had the answer. We then went out in his Mercedes and on the Crieff road he was speeding along and as we approached a bend he said that it could be taken at 70 mph - which appeared impossible - bvut Ian arrived at 75 mph and right enough the tail broke away quite violently which Ian smothered smootly then turned and said, you see, it handles perfectly !!!!  

Christian is quite correct in that the Ecurie Ecosse Connaught, chassis A6, was a bit overweight and underpowered for his talents.

He was a factory driver for Jaguar at Le Mans in 1952 sharing one of the ultra streamlined Jaguar C types with Peter Whitehead but they all overheated and retired. Stirling Moss had already noted his talent in a Jaguar XK120 and had tipped off Lofty England. The following year, 1953 he finished 4th at Le Mans in a factory C type Jaguar.

He retired early from motor racing due to pressure from his father just when everything was opening up for him and there is little doubt he would have been driving for Jaguar in D types in 1954 had he not retired earlier that year.

Even then he was still involved and had many rollicking weekends at the farm and shooting with Innes Ireland. He was one of the first people in Scotland to truly get into slot car racing and had an entire room in his house given over to the ultimate slot car track. He build all his own slot cars and was adept at tuning them. As a result all his racing driver pals who came to visit him were roped in for mammoth Grands Prix round the slot car track with wives and mistresses posted round the room to immediatly put cars  back on the track when someone like Ireland would go off the road. 

Many happy memories that will never be forgotten 

#6 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 18:21

Christian, Thank you and deepest condolences to you, your family and all Ian's friends.
It was always a pleasure to read Ian's posts and I enjoyed the correspondence that we had a while back about numerous memories.
He was a gentleman, an enthusiast and although you mentioned that he enjoyed it here, TNF, without doubt, was enriched by his presence here and that's not something you can say about everyone.

#7 condor

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 20:35

Very sad to hear your news Christian.

Edited by condor, 20 March 2017 - 20:53.

#8 LittleChris

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 22:32

Very sorry to hear this. My condolences Christian.

#9 JacnGille

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:25

Sad news

#10 Catalina Park

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:07

My deepest condolences Christian.
I really enjoyed your fathers posts here. He was a great gentleman.

#11 dmj

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:52

My condolences. It was real honor to read his memories and opinions here.

#12 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 14:02

My sincere condolences to you and your family Christian.


Ian was a treasure. I enjoyed his contributions to TNF and our correspondence immensely. 

#13 Gabrci

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 17:32

Oh, I'm very sad to read this. I was corresponding with him a few years ago and he came across as an amazingly nice, charming, interesting, intelligent and funny person. He wrote long emails which were fascinating to the very last letter. Once he told me that he had never seen a good photo from the British GP so when I found one I sent it to him and he was so happy, and so was I that I could do something nice for him. 


It's a great privilege to have been in contact with him and please accept my deepest condolences. 

#14 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 20:25

A very well written tribute to Ian by Graham Gauld.



#15 Kilted Wanderer

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 16:11

Arrangements for Dad's funeral have been finalised. A Thanksgiving Service will take place at Crieff Parish Church, Strathearn Terrace, Crieff, on Friday 31st March at 12:00pm. Donations, if desired, to The Lady Haig Poppy Factory.


All of course welcome.


A heartfelt thank you for the kind thoughts and messages. 

#16 Kilted Wanderer

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 08:23

The Herald have published a lovely Obituary to Dad today.



Edited by Kilted Wanderer, 07 April 2017 - 12:32.

#17 Kilted Wanderer

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 10:42

A few small discoveries going through Dad's things.











Edited by Kilted Wanderer, 11 June 2018 - 10:45.

#18 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 16:14

Christian, thank you for posting those fascinating items. Your Dad became one of my schoolboy hero's after I saw him in his XK120 at the 1952 International Trophy meeting at Silverstone and I followed his career closely. His posts and memories in recent years were wonderful to read and he replied very kindly to  a couple of my e-mails.

Ian Stewart will always be a hero of mine.

#19 Cirrus

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 16:36

Fascinating! The £250 retainer is worth well under £5000 in today's money and the £75 start money about £1400 according to the inflation calculator I used.


#20 condor

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 19:15

Hope you'll post more of your Dad's memorabilia 

#21 David Birchall

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 00:42

Very sorry to hear this,  my condolences to you and the rest of the family and friends.


Am I right in believing that Ian Stewart is responsible for Ecurie Ecosse Blue?  My favourite car colour.

#22 Tim Murray

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 05:37

He was indeed. Here’s what he posted about it back in 2003:

The Ecurie Ecosse colour was sheer chance. The first EE Jaguar started its pre-EE life in silver, and then darkish red after being driven into a Jensen furniture van. Thoroughly into - not just a bump. It turned blue after a sleep-induced inversion in an old schoolmate's field. Good-hearted bloke. He sent me the repair bill for the fence a couple of months later.

When the time came to paint the replacement bodywork the coachbuilder's foreman handed me a colour card, and I pointed my grubby finger at the blue because it looked nice. That's all there was to it. Perhaps David Murray liked the blue because he was an ex- Merchiston rugby player.