Obituary – David Clewley

1 Mar

David Clewley
A great win at Silverstone in earlier days

This obituary, written by Erik Benson, was received just as the February issue of TTT 2 was going to press.

The funeral of the great MG stalwart and racing driver David Clewley took place on Thursday December 15 at his local Church in Leysters, Worcestershire.

In attendance were over 250 mourners representing the many different parts of his varied life; the majority were MG T racers from all over the country.

He and Rachel, his wife, had had the time to prepare for the occasion and wanted everyone to celebrate that we all had shared a fun filled life together.

In the mid 1960s a group of young men from the Midlands decided that racing old MGs was their way into motorsport, and so the MG Car Club ‘T’ Register went racing. There was so much enthusiasm that soon it built up to a hotly contested Championship, with circuit races, hill climbs and sprints all over Britain being visited.

Dave steadily became recognised as – ‘the King’, when pseudonyms were adopted by us all.

He was one of that lost breed…..builder/driver…… unlike today’s ways. As season followed season, so did the tales of ‘derring-do’ and thence into Europe, as part of the ‘Team Rosbif’ adventures.

David had always hankered after something in the single seater world, and eventually became the proud owner of the ex-Stirling Moss Cooper Alta, which he soon made a more formidable tool than when in the hands of Sir Stirling. Joining the ‘Historic Grand Prix Car Association’ with this car, he soon made an impact throughout Europe, making more friends as he went along.

He was a man with several great passions, such as a love for the English countryside and its wildlife, fly-fishing, lovely old houses, and on to fox hunting with large horses, and the inevitable spills to go with the thrills. He and Rachel delighted in all those country pursuits.

Earlier though, it was his love of mountain climbing and ski-ing, that showed the steely nerve which came through on the tracks.

He also had a successful career with breweries in the Midlands as a very skilled property surveyor, where his early retirement was much rued.

David Clewley's MG racer
An old friend at the Churchyard gate

Throughout all these years, he emerged as a thoroughly nice guy who just revelled in life and all it has to offer. When he met and married Rachel, it was like this was just the perfect completion for them both. Their house was always filled with great stories and laughter to go with the good food and wine. Rachel’s two children became David’s children whom he loved dearly, and they him.

It is often said, but never truer in this case, this man was a complete one-off, and loved by everyone whose life came into touch with his.

That afternoon in the aged Worcester churchyard he was united with his own family, and all his dearest friends from the MG T racers, the Huntsmen, and neighbours for one last time.

But, he will never be forgotten.

Erik Benson


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One Response to “Obituary – David Clewley”

  1. Peter Edney 17. Mar, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Warming to hear such lovely words about such a lovely man.
    Dave was one of the best drivers I ever had the pleasure to raced against. A true gentleman on the circuit as off.
    Don’t get me wrong… He wouldn’t give an inch but instead of having you off, he go around the corner with you, side by side and you always had complete faith in him and his abilities.
    I will always remember that sunny day in Dijon, flat out down the start finish straight, dicing for the lead with another T racer, thinking I had this one in the bag, only find Dave coming up my left side with two wheels on the grass. He made stick and went from third to first!

    I’ve know Dave since I was five and I have many happy memories of a wonderful man who seemed to always be smiling, laughthing or winding someone up.
    I like others will never forget the man that truly was a T Racer.

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