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Tony Lanfranchi


Many of you will be aware and deeply saddened by the fact that Tony has passed away. A tragic loss for historic motor sport and of course his family and friends.

I had the privilege of meeting him on a number of occasions when we chatted about his ELVA days, his fond memories of Frank Nichols and his great success in various Elva built cars.

Those of you who have not read “Down the Hatch” should try very hard to obtain a copy as it is a great read, very funny and contains many references to his drives in the Courier, Mk.6 and the Elva Mk.7 Twin-Cam plus his Autosport Championship winning Elva-BMW Mk.7S. He also drove the GT160 at Le Mans 1965 although at first he could not remember and I had to remind him with a photo of him pushing a car with a broken gearbox! Elva Racing rebuilt his Ford powered Mk.7 with chassis 70/008 some years ago and he had wanted to get back into the seat of a Mk.7 but somehow it did not happen.

Tony will always be remembered as a wonderful character but most of all a fabulous driver who will be missed by many. He was the sort of character who would bring out the best in ‘Father’ Frank who would lean into the cockpit on the grid and whisper to Tony “Don’t want a dead-un … just the lap record and win the ****ing race!”
And he very often did.

Roger Dunbar


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