Sandy Skinner, who has died in his 82nd year, was a polymath who made a lasting and important impact on historic motoring. He edited the Vintage Sports Car Club’s Bulletin for a relatively short time, from 1970 to 1973, but did so with great insight and humour, and continued to contribute to it succeeding years.
Sandy loved to build Specials. His Phoenix Special was based on a GN, and was followed by an Austin Seven with lightweight body and dubious reliability (a loud bang caused an unplanned coast into a pub car park, fortunately around opening time). His Riley Special was deliberately designed to offend as many purists as possible, with a Ford Model B engine with an overhead valve conversion, in an Imp chassis.
Sandy also had his serious side. He was possibly one of the last people to have known Fred Lanchester. His library was extensive, and reflected his enthusiasm for the engines of early cars and aeroplanes – including a copy of the rare December 1915 publication The First Aero Engines made by Rolls-Royce, marked “Confidential, not to be shown to anyone without the authority of the Directors.”
After service in the British army, and a degree from Cambridge, Sandy worked in Public Relations. His infectious humour brought joy into many lives, not least to his devoted wife Charmian, who very kindly provided us with the images we reproduce here. We in the SAHB extend our deepest condolences to her.
Sandy at a VSCC meeting at Silverstone ca. 1979, seated in a borrowed Prince Henry, during scrutineering. Can anyone recognise the scrutineers?
Sandy at a 1970s VMCC trial in Hampshire, talking to ‘Jenks’, who is riding Sandy’s Gold Star