Following a bout of ill health, Alastair Naylor, co-founder of Naylor Brothers Restorations Limited and former Sales Director of Naylor Cars Limited, has peacefully passed away aged 80.
Alastair and his brother David were famous for their association with classic MG racing and restoration. They were also the first British restoration business to gain full approval by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust (the BMIHT).
In 1984, Alastair negotiated a deal with Austin Rover boss Harold Musgrove to buy up old stocks of 1.7-litre Morris Ital drivelines and the all-new Naylor TF 1700 was born. He developed the car from scratch alongside Engineer Alan Staniforth into a modern, fully type-approved, yet authentic re-birth of the classic MG TF sports car.
He was also a shrewd negotiator as he even persuaded Austin Rover to supply a 12-month warranty and back up from all their dealerships. Alastair closed the restoration business in 2016 and officially retired in time for his 75th birthday. A keen club racer and regular attendee of the NEC Classic Car Show, he is a man who will be sorely missed.
On a personal level, I got to know Al and his ‘kid’ brother David very well over the years. Alastair wasn’t a person who really enjoyed giving interviews and I was one of the last writers to do one with him. Something between us clicked and we became friends and stayed in touch – he even used to twinkle and charm my other half, Jacky – a man for all occasions you might say.
I first met Al at the 1984 Motor Show where Naylors had one of the pre-production cars on display – I was only twelve at the time, but managed to bag a sit inside and leave with a pamphlet brochure which I kept and got him to sign for me – some 31 years later. Naylor built 100 cars before, as Alastair put it; ‘the company ran out steam and ran out of money. The Naylor Car Company sadly fell into bankruptcy in 1986, but the restoration business carried on until his retirement just short of his 75th birthday.
1985 was one of the wettest summers on record, not the ideal situation for selling a bespoke hand-built two-seater sportscar. The Naylor TF 1700 rights and designs were then sold in 1986 to the Co. Durham-based Mahcon Group which went on to build a further 62 cars under the Hutson brand.
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