MAY 18, 2009
Anthony Ernest "Tony" Marsh has died at the age of 77. He had the good fortune to be born into the family that controlled the Marsh & Baxter company, famous for its pork pies and sausages. He grew up in luxurious circumstances in Dunsley Hall, near Stourbridge, and he began competing in his early twenties, having acquired a Cooper-JAP, which has been raced by Peter Collins. He used the car to great effect and won the British Hillclimb Championship in 1955, 1956 and 1957, while also competing in sprints, trials and rallies. In 1957 he bought a Formula 2 Cooper-Climax and that year took part in the German GP. He repeated the experience the following season. He regularly raced in Formula Libre events in the years that followed, his biggest triumph being victory in the Lewis Evans Trophy Formula 2 race at Brands Hatch in 1960. That year he also competed at Le Mans, racing a Lotus Elite with John Wagstaff.
In 1961 he bought a Lotus 18 and won five of the six events he contested, including a secon win in the Lewis Evans Trophy. He also raced the car in the British and German GPs but then decided to switch to a BRM in 1962. He suffered from such problems that he ended up taking legal proceedings against the team. He then decided to build his own cars and constructed a Marsh-Oldsmobile which was developed and used such unusual ideas as four-wheel-drive uner acceleration but only rear-wheel-drive in corners. He won a second series of British Hillclimb Championships in 1965, 1966 and 1967 but then sold the car and drifted away from racing, concentrating on his businesses while getting his thrills from yachting, flying and ski-bobbing in the winter.
In 1986 - at the age of 55 - he returned to hillclimbing with a March Formula 2 chassis powered by a Rover SD1 engine, which was known as a Rovercraft. He continued to compete with this car until 1993 when Simon Law was killed driving the car at the Brighton Speed Trials. Despite that he remained a regular a Toleman-DFL. In 2007 he published an autobiography called: "Tony Marsh: the great all-rounder: in and out of motorsport".