Stewart Tresilian

Great Britain

Date of birth: January 9 1904

Date of death: May 20 1962

After studying engineering at Cambridge University, during which time he raced cyclecars, Tresilian joined JA Prestwich's JAP engine company in 1925. He stayed only two years and then moved on to Rolls Royce in Derby where he worked in the experimental department in the late 1920s. After a stint working on aero-engines, notably with the Merlin engine, he returned to car design. At the same time he continued his racing career with Bugatti machinery.

In 1936, however, Tresilian was offered a job at Lagonda by W O Bentley and he designed the Lagonda V12 engine. Two years later he was put in charge of a Hawker Siddeley subsidiary Called Templewood Engineering with the brief to design an advanced light alloy automobile. This led to his appointment in 1939 as chief engineer of Armstrong Siddeley, working on the developmenet of aero-engines for the Royal Air Force and coordinating technical links with the United States Air Force. When the war ended he went back to Rolls Royce before becoming an independent design consultant in 1948. His work included development work on the postwar ERA racing cars and then for BRM, for whom he designed the P25. When BRM was taken over by Sir Alfred Owen, Tresilian was dropped. He returned later while also doing design work for Connaught and in 1953 joined Bristol Engines as assistant chief engineer. While working on aero-engines Tresilian designed an automobile engine but this was never built. He then did consultancy work for Coventry Climax on its racing engines before his early death in 1962.