PETER SANKEY (1942-2015)
I was saddened to learn that Peter had suddenly passed away at a relatively early age and my thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.
Back in 1979, the Silver Jubilee year of F1 stock car racing, I first tried my hand at building models of the cars from scratch. It was not easy and the initial results were disappointing but I persevered and they gradually got better.
Eventually they were good enough to sell and I began taking commissions. Peter Sankey, or 'Badges' as he was affectionately known, was one of my first customers. He wanted a replica of the Stu Smith Snr 'Bread Tray Special' that followed the 'Do-Do' car, complete with the Hertz sponsorship signage that he had arranged for 'The Maestro'. He must have been pleased with the model as many more orders followed in quick succession. In fact at one time he was keeping me fully occupied single-handedly! He probably didn't realise that his encouragement has led to me building models for over 35 years now.
As time went by I stopped making models to order and concentrated adding to my personal collection. But I often saw Peter at stadiums up and down the country, always in his trademark blue coat covered in sew-ons and the hat held together with all those Perspex badges. A character through and through with an in depth knowledge and love for the sport that was always evident in any conversation with him.
Many fans may not have known him personally but they all will almost certainly have seen him around the tracks. He stood out from the crowd - a walking visual reminder of past eras of the sport, so often spoken and written about in glowing terms.
RIP Peter Sankey
The terraces will feel emptier but you will never be forgotten.