In memory of Peter Agg, one of the greats

| 28 Mar 2012

Peter Agg, one of the leading lights in small-production British car manufacture, F1 boss and noted classic car collector, has died.

Born in 1929 in Wandsworth, Agg passed away in Reigate earlier this month aged 82.

His career was varied and meteoric, and was important in both the world of scooters and cars.

Agg initially ran his family's wine business, but he then became the importer of Lambretta scooters, which provided the foundation for his business activities.

His next step – in 1959 – was to acquire the Trojan car company that, having been founded in Croydon in 1914 by Leslie Hounsfield, was then moribund.

Agg struck a deal with Heinkel to manufacture and sell its bubble cars in the UK under the Trojan brand and the Cabin Cruiser name.

The next acquisition came in 1964 when Agg also took over Elva and manufactured and developed the Courier.

The Elva purchase immediately brought with it another line-up, this time with McLaren, building 200-odd McLaren M1 sports cars initially at the Rye works and then continuing to work for McLaren and its customers at the Trojan factory in Croydon.

It also spawned the GT160 Coupé that C&SC tested in the February 2012 issue.

This brush with the F1 team had a lasting effect and, in 1974, Trojan entered eight F1 GPs itself, Tim Schenken driving the DFV-powered Trojan T103 without success, his highest place of just four finishes being 10th.

He also ran the Suzuki team for the best part of a generation and took on a young Barry Sheene.

If you have seen any other obituaries for Agg that is probably where they end. But there is so much more.

Having been given a Morris Oxford chassis at the age of 10 to learn to drive on, Agg was a lifelong motoring fanatic and a huge enthusiast for classic cars.

He so immersed himself in his hobby that at one point  his fleet numbered more than 100 cars.

And many of them were wonderful, Agg always being drawn to the leftield. As well as Jaguars, He owned the ex-Conan Doyle Mercedes SSK, Alfa Romeo 2.9 and the Ferrari Superfast 1.

When C&SC covered his collection in detail, he was most dedicated to Deco streamliners including Delahaye and Talbot Darracq.

Farewell a genuine enthusiast and a true gentleman.