ROBIN Sturgess, who served as the third-generation chairman of the Leicester-based Sturgess Motor Group, has died at the age of 85.
He started his working life with a technical apprenticeship at the Rover Company’s Tyseley factory in 1951, and following demob from National Service in 1957, joined the family business as a service receptionist.
The year 1958 saw him get the motor-racing bug, starting with a Jaguar XK120 and progressing to a C-Type two years later. However, it was with E-Types that he became synonymous.
These cars bore the distinctive registration number 2 BBC, serving their weekday roles as company demonstrators and then acquitting themselves well on the circuits of Silverstone, Mallory Park and Snetterton at the weekends.
The 1962 season was undoubtedly his most successful with 12 first places out of 22 starts and no retirements.
Following the birth of his first son, Christopher, he gradually curtailed his racing activities with a final flourish in a Lotus 22.
Robin then threw all his energy into the family business, becoming sales director, managing director and finally chairman in 1982.
In addition, Robin turned his attentions to the motor trade ‘aftermarket’ and established Robin Sturgess Accessories during the 1960s, from a modest shop in Leicester, with his old friend Chris Mitchell.
RSA flourished during the 1960s and 70s representing brands like Cibie, Motolita and Les Leston amongst many others and continued to grow until it was eventually sold in the early 1980s.
Robin continued an active business life and saw the Sturgess Motor Group acquire a number of further franchises, all based in Leicester. Throughout his busy working life, he was a member of the City of Leicester Rotary Club, supporting the work of the organisation for over 40 years.
Robin finally retired from the family business in 2008 when his sons Chris and Barney became chairman and managing director respectively.
His final days were spent at home in Rutland, surrounded by his children Chris, Polly and Barney. Robin also leaves seven grandchildren.