Obituary : Alastair Naylor 1941 – 2021

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 back in 2015 with his brother’s modified five-speed Naylor TF 1700

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.

RIP Alastair

4 Comments

  1. I remember the Naylor TF’s well. They seemed a well engineered vehicle to me. One was at a classic meeting I attended recently and looked superb. RIP, a rest well earned by the the sound of things

  2. I never had any contact with the Naylor family , but I did have a lot to do with Hutsons, who were first class people to deal with in relation to Jaguars, so I think that despite the original sad tale, the TF fell into good hands

  3. Rather like the Naylor TF, at one time there was even consideration to having it badged as an MG and before its bankruptcy plans to switch over from the (soon to be discontinued) 1.7 O-Series to the 2.0 O-Series (anticipating by a few years the 2.0 M/T-Series engined 1988-2000 Morgan +4).

    The Naylor TF deserved to go on to further success then it ended up meriting (the Big Healey-inspired HMC Mk4 was another), yet nevertheless was a remarkable feat. RIP.

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