Funeral cortege of classic bangers will travel through Luton today to honour a racing legend
Vehicles will make their way from Lewsey Farm to The Vale in memory of Alan Tarn
A funeral cortege of classic banger cars is set to travel through Luton today (Wednesday) in honour of a legend from the racing world.
Alan Tarn, known as 'Tarny', who died on December 2, was a former banger racing champion and one of the longest-serving drivers in the history of the sport.
He was captain of the Luton Bangers Club for many years after making his debut in 1969, racing on the dirt tracks of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.
And his family and friends are honouring him with a cortege from his home in Leghorn Crescent to Luton's Vale Crematorium, with a Mark II specially designed by his son Drew in the Luton Bangers Club red and blue colours and Alan's face airbrushed on the car. Many banger cars are expected to follow the hearse through Luton's streets.
Alan was born in 1953 in Newcastle, where he ran farms with his parents.
"Banger racing and farming was his life. He went with a friend to watch and act as a mechanic and he just got the bug," said Drew. "He retired several times but would go back to it. He finally retired in 2013."
Eventually he settled in Luton where he worked in salvage yards and as a window fitter. Married four times, he has three children and two step daughters and seven grandchildren.
He survived a serious accident in 1987 when his XJ7 V12's throttle jammed open on the Brafield site in Northampton and he crashed into another car and a fence post, shattering his leg and suffering head injuries. But within a few months he was back behind the wheel. In 1998 he led the Luton Bangers to victory at the Swaffham Icebreakers meet, and the following year won the BBA European Championship at Brafield.
His farewell meeting at Brafield saw many of his former teammates and rivals present, forming a guard of honour at the start of the event.
"He was one in a million." said Drew. "He still went to the Brafield racetrack after he retired and would drive the tractors, helping move cars around the track."
Drew will be leading the cortege with the specially designed Mark II, which will then take pride of place at a memorial meet being planned later in the year in Brafield.
The cortege will be setting off from Leghorn Crescent in Lewsey Farm at around 12noon for a service at Luton's Vale Crematorium at 1pm.
What are your memories of Alan? Email [email protected]READ THIS: Luton man shares MBE for strengthening community cohesion with those who have supported his work over two decades