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Author Topic: Mike Matthews  (Read 9173 times)
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Posts: 78

The Illusionist

« on: 24 November, 2011, 01:02:43 PM »

Mike Matthews died of Pancreatic cancer last weekend, an immense loss to the LMC and to his many friends.

He served in many roles for the club, including several terms on the committee. Big, stylish and always well dressed he was quiet and effective, he never had a bad word for anyone, and looked for positives wherever he could. He had a number of magnificent Lancias, among them an ex- Agnelli integrale and a lovely light blue Aurelia B20. He used them regularly, attending events like the Great Northern Weekend where he was a regular and often the Sliding Pillar Rallies.

His attitude to life naturally applied also to his family and I know he did much for his parents looking after them until they had to go into care, to the extent that it affected his plans for a large garage (he did much of his own work on his cars), compounded with a seismic shift in his job. It meant that he never quite got that run that he so deserved, years when he should have enjoyed his cars; perhaps that time should have been now - it has been cruelly cut short.

Ill for some time, he never let on, quietly sold his cars, arranged his affairs and passed away. This was a true gentleman of the old school, his contribution to the LMC will only be understood with hindsight.

Funeral to be held at Amersham Crematorium Friday 2nd December at 12.30.

Jack Romano
« Last Edit: 24 November, 2011, 06:08:05 PM by Julia » Logged
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Rebel Poster
Posts: 832

« Reply #1 on: 24 November, 2011, 01:45:46 PM »

I really cannot believe this sad news.  I feel numb reading it. 

When I was posted to RAF Benson, I spent several months living at RAF Halton which is about 2 miles from Mikes house.  I spent quite a lot of time at Mikes and he was always welcoming whenever I arrived unannounced, usually on a Saturday evening when I was sat in a barrack block on my own.  It was through Mike that I became more active in the LMC, joining the committee after I mentioned to him my interest in doing more for the club. 

Mike was a true friend who will be sadly missed by us all.

Stuart Wilson 11175
1973 Fulvia Coupe 1.3
2000 Lybra SW 2.4JTd
2009 Delta 1.9 Twin Turbo
Martin D
Posts: 275

« Reply #2 on: 24 November, 2011, 02:20:36 PM »

What a huge shock this morning.

Those of us at the Essex xmas meal last night learned of the seriousness of Mike's illness but of course didn't realise he'd already died.

I only knew Mike for a few years and then not particularly well, but he was always very helpful with advice about my Fulvia. I remember him looking under the car, rolling around in the mud getting filthy just so he could make sure his advice was thorough; the mark of the man.

He will be very much missed and I regret I'll be away on 2nd so won't be able to say goodbye personally. Perhaps given the missed opportunities Jack referred to, and Mike's very generous nature, he would truly want life to go on, so we shall raise a glass to him in Rome on Friday.


ps. I'm sure someone will provide full details but I understand it's not Aylesbury but Amersham Crematorium on Friday 2nd.
« Last Edit: 24 November, 2011, 02:45:30 PM by Martin D » Logged

1972 Fulvia Coupe 1.6 HF
1984 Montecarlo
« Reply #3 on: 24 November, 2011, 03:20:50 PM »

Very sad news, as has been said, a true gentleman.
nothing more to be said.

Farewell my friend.
Rebel Poster
Posts: 980

« Reply #4 on: 24 November, 2011, 03:28:10 PM »

I sat next to Mike at an Aurelia lunch a couple of years ago and also spent time with him at a couple of NEC shows. A great laugh, with a mixture of good stories and sound advice. Very sad news for his family and the LMC.


1969 Fanalone, Mazda RX-8, Fiat Multipla
Posts: 294

« Reply #5 on: 24 November, 2011, 03:32:11 PM »

Mike was a real genuine and good natured bloke, always in good humour and I have many memories of us travelling together to committee meetings, always with fun even though the meetings could drag, it was better for him being there, always with positive contributions. Very much enjoyed drinks after too..
We also shared cars on events like the GNW and he was involved in the surprise of re-aquaiting Marcello Minerbi with his Volpini at Whitney.
I remember trips to Turin with him, where he never forgave me for introducing him to his special Martini 6 integrale which he bought and really enjoyed driving it down the col di Limone on the way home.
And AGMs and NEC stands where we were together on numerous occasions.
I had not seen him for much of the time in the last 5 years only at Silverstone in July, and before that the GNW at Guisborough.
He was also instumental in helping to organise the Covent Garden meetings.
I feel so helpless not knowing his condition and would have liked an opportunity to have helped, I can't help but feel angry and disappointed for him as in latter years his devotion to his Mother and work commitments stopped him living his normal life, and enjoying his cars. I think there may be a lesson there for all of us..
RIP Mike you can relax now.Glad to have known you, a true gent.
Paul Baker
Permanent resident
Posts: 6063

« Reply #6 on: 24 November, 2011, 03:46:15 PM »

I was shocked and saddened to hear of Mikes Death, I had heard that he was ill but it still doesn't help, Such a lovely man, helped me out with parts for my 2c when I was putting her back on the road, then gave me a couple of big boxes of hard to get hold of trim and mouldings, as well as 3 complete instrument clusters and much more, but wouldn't take anything for them, although a few bottles of wine for him made me feel better about it.
Great time with Mike at the NEC when his Martini was on the stand with my 2c, but none of us were able to help with our suggestions when after disconnecting the battery for the weekend, the immobiliser wouldn't play ball when reconnected, all was to no avail, and eventually it went home on the back of a breakdown wagon after we'd pushed it outside.
I shall miss him, as will many others.
Can someone please confirm when & where as I'd like to go if possible.

8227 Cool

Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
Dedra Technical Adviser
chugga boom
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Permanent resident
Posts: 1754

« Reply #7 on: 24 November, 2011, 04:51:05 PM »

We met up with mike in 2006 for the turin trip, my father had previously gone in covoy with him on the lancia 90th, truly shocked by the news and he will be missed

1935 augusta lusso (chugga)
1935 belna saloon
1935 augusta lusso
1938 ardenne
1939 aprilia lusso
1958 appia s2
1963 appia s3 
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1972 fulvia 1600HF
1976 fulvia coupe
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Permanent resident
Posts: 1037

« Reply #8 on: 24 November, 2011, 04:58:39 PM »

That's very sad news inded. Mike was a great bloke and will be missed by all of us. I hope someone will let us know details of the funeral arrangements, as I'm sure lots of us would like to be there.
Posts: 233

« Reply #9 on: 24 November, 2011, 05:53:18 PM »

How very sad.

Mike was at the first Lancia Motor Club meeting I went to back in the early 80's and was really welcoming and friendly to a young newbie. I didn't know him well, but well enough to have shared a few drives and always to stop and have a chat and catch up at any event we were both at.

Polite and charming, he will most definately be missed and his contribution to the LMC remembered for a long time to come.


'73 Beta 1600 S1 Berlina
'79 Beta 2000 S2fl Automatic Berlina
'80 Beta 2000ES S2 Berlina
'83 Beta 1600 S3 Berlina
'79 Gamma 2500 S1 Berlina
'82 Gamma 2500 S1 Coupe
'85 Gamma 2500 S2 Berlina
'82 Delta 1500
Posts: 253

« Reply #10 on: 24 November, 2011, 07:54:15 PM »

Incredibly sad news, a real shock, we had no idea at all that Mike was ill.

Mike was a real stalwart of the NEC shows, always willing to help and yes I remember that show Brian when Mike's Delta
was on the stand, he had stepped into the breach very much last minute with the loan of the car. He was very apologetic that
the car needed a good T-Cut / polish but as has been mentioned he had very little spare time due to family and work commitments.

Emma set to work on it over the weekend and he was very pleased and grateful to see it shining. I think everybody had an idea /
opinion on the immobiliser not playing ball but as usual Mike took everything in his stride and with good humour even when the car had to be relayed home.

Pretty well sums up everything about him. A real loss.

Steve, Margaret and Emma.
Permanent resident
Posts: 1587

« Reply #11 on: 24 November, 2011, 08:04:38 PM »

Yes, what sad and unexpected news. I didnít know Mike that well, but I knew him well enough over many years to think he was a very special person and he will be missed. Somewhere I have a really good photo of his B20 Ė Iíll search it out and post it here.

Iíll try to be at the funeral on Friday 2 December, 12:30 at Amersham Crematorium.

Jai Sharma
Posts: 410

« Reply #12 on: 24 November, 2011, 08:08:43 PM »

Very sad news and a real surprise to me.

I remember when the Essex meet started in the early nineties how Mike would be a regular driving down from Cambridge (where he lived then) in his blue Aurelia. He also took the time to arrange a number of quizzes for our pub meetings

In my experience he was unfailingly kind, polite, enthusiastic and supportive. He relocated to the west of England for work so from that point I saw him less, but I still remember standing in the pub car park after the club meetings in summer evenings behind his Aurelia and feeling the pulses of exhaust gas from quite a distance away as Mike started it for his hour long journey home on a Wednesday night.

Actually, for that purpose summer was a very long season........

RIP Mike

Alan Temple
Senior Member
Posts: 131

« Reply #13 on: 24 November, 2011, 08:25:57 PM »

I was totally shocked and numbed to hear of Mikeís death from pancreatic cancer today, as my Mother too succumbed to this terrible disease at 49. I only heard this morning that Mike had the condition and feared the worst but to be told an hour later that he had passed away was devastating.

I have very fond memories of Mike at Committee meetings, AGMís and particularly at David Biedaís house during the organisational meetings for the Lancia in the Piazza event at Covent Garden. Mike was a stickler and great organiser and made sure nothing was left to chance and I sometimes wonder if people ever knew that these events ran so smoothly due to Mikeís dedication and hard work? Modest to a fault his reward was always to see these great events that he had pulled together behind the scenes running smoothly and without a hitch. If you knew him you could see the pride on his face when it all came together.

I only live a few miles away from him and knew that he was devoted to his parents and was travelling between Buckinghamshire and Hampshire on a regular basis looking after them, so although I asked after him I didnít like to intrude. If only I had known what the true situation was then maybe I could have helped, but that was Mikeís way; always helping others whilst not wanting to bother people with his own problems.

Jack put it perfectly, Mike really was a true Gentleman and natural organiser, so much so that I only found out what had happened after the event. True typical Mike style and I will be paying my respects to him next Friday.
Permanent resident
Posts: 1587

« Reply #14 on: 24 November, 2011, 08:40:40 PM »

Here's a scan extract from the photo I had in mind. Mike's B20 and mine at Syon Park in 1993 - taken by a professional who waited for the plane to be just in view.


* SyonPk 1993 a.jpg (463.56 KB, 2360x2244 - viewed 487 times.)
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