BRIAN Griffin, son of BMC engineer Charles Griffin, and long-time Rover engineer himself has recently died following a short battle with Cancer. To MG enthusiasts, he will be primarily remembered for his work on the MGF project, turning into the fine-handling car that it was – but his involvement with the company is much more far reaching than that.
Rob Oldaker told AROnline, ‘I have known Brian since the early 1970s, but only worked very closely with him in the MG Rover era, where he worked for me as Motorsport Manager when I was asked to set up MG Sport & Racing Ltd alongside my day job of Product Development Director — Brian became my real right hand man, and very good he was at it too! Of course I knew Brian’s career throughout the period from 1970 to 2005 (apart from when I left to join Cosworth in 1993 and subsequently Bentley before returning in 2000).
‘Brian’s greatest contribution being the MGF mainly developed at a time when I was not at Longbridge.
‘Brian approached every project with the brain of an entrepreneur and delivery was always accomplished with great enthusiasm once he was happy with the concept. He was one of those guys who often supplied the answer to a question before the question was asked — a wonderful attribute, highly valued by myself. He was one of those quite rare people who looked at every angle to try to find solutions to solve issues in the most efficient way and often went just outside the rules to do so — in his roguish way!
‘When Sport & Racing was begun, he was perfect for the job since, as everyone knows, motorsport success can only be accomplished in a single minded way where nothing must be allowed to get in the way — and large company rules sometimes don’t fit well with the motorsport approach to life — Brian, always with humour, played the game extraordinarily well and delivered so many worthwhile programmes and ideas. To Brian, thinking outside the box was very normal — in fact, he was never in the box!
‘He was highly popular with those who worked around him and had that great attribute of getting on equally well with those above and below him in the organisation — what you saw was what you got. A good team leader and a great team player who loved nothing more than to ‘bring on’ the new or younger members of the team, by giving them appropriate responsibility — there will be many who can thank Brian for their individual steps up the ladder.”
We send our condolences to Brian’s family and friends.