Alan Tarn funeral 05.01.22

See pictures and video as banger cars line streets of Luton to give racing legend Alan Tarn a send off to be proud of

Around 300 people attended the funeral

Friday, 7th January 2022, 10:50 am
Updated Friday, 7th January 2022, 11:32 am

The streets of Luton were lined with classic bangers on Wednesday to mark the passing of a racing legend.

Alan Tarn, known as 'Tarny' was a former banger racing champion and one of the longest-serving drivers in the history of the sport.

The former captain of Luton Bangers Club died on December 2, he was 68.

Around 300 people attended the funeral at Luton's Vale Crematorium on January 5, many in their own banger cars. Spedeworth Motors turned up with a pace car with its lights flashing, as part of the parade.

The cortege travelled at midday from Alan's Lewsey Farm home in Leghorn Crescent to Luton's Vale Crematorium, led by 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. The vehicle will take pride of place at a memorial meet being planned later in the year in Brafield.

See a video of the day by Barry Eaton here.

"All in all it was a good day," said Drew. "He would have loved it, I think we did him proud."

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."

And the passion for racing has stayed in the family. Drew, his sister Sarah, and his son Mason, aged 17, are passionate about the sport, travelling all over the UK for meets.

"I'm more of an entertainer than my dad," said Drew. "He liked to win but I'm more about putting on a show. Mason is more about the winning like his grandad."

What are your memories of Alan? Email [email protected].

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