Many Standard Motor Club members, especially those in the West Midlands Area, will remember ex-Standard employee David Gleed, who sadly, passed away very recently.
He presented the prizes at the Standard International Rally at Charlecote House in 2008.
Wayne Scott of the TR Register pays the following tribute to him.
A tribute to Dave Gleed, works mechanic for Standard Triumph.
The TR Register was sad to learn of the passing of Dave Gleed, former works service mechanic for Standard Triumph, a long–time supporter and member of the club and much respected member of the specialist trade community.
Dave Gleed died suddenly Wednesday 2nd February 2022 at the age of 86, with wife Margaret by his side. He will be much missed by all who knew him. Dave’s stories and experiences of working at Standard Triumph have enthralled enthusiasts for years and indeed, our next issue of TR Action Magazine was to carry his latest memoirs from the golden era of Standard Triumph motor cars.
Dave started his working career as an apprentice engineer at the Daimler plant in Coventry. During this time, he worked on rectification and road-testing on the Daimler Conquest and later the Conquest Century. Dave would cite overcoming the engineering issues with that model as a major learning experience that he would carry with him throughout his subsequent time at Standard Triumph.
Soon after, Dave Gleed arrived at the Standard Triumph Works Competition Department, in Allesley, Coventry under Ken Richardson. Here he would work on development and testing of the Le Mans TRS cars and would serve as a team mechanic at Le Mans when Triumph returned with the Michelotti styled TRS in 1960. This was a time when a mechanic’s ingenuity, stamina and dedication were essential traits for works team mechanic at Le Mans and Dave shared his stories of this heroism with us in the TR Action series “the Dave Gleed tapes” which spanned several issues during 2007-2008.
Dave Gleed then continued working for Standard Triumph in road testing and rectification, solving many of the issues relating to Triumph models, many regarding unwanted vibrations and rattles, where again his ingenuity as an engineer shone through.
Dave recollected that during the late 60s and early 70s life was good at Standard Triumph. They were well-paid, well looked after and he even toured the country, road-testing customer's cars as a PR exercise to have "your Triumph tested by a factory mechanic" at a main dealer.
Following retirement from Standard Triumph, Dave was a common feature at the many classic car shows across the midlands as a trader. Dave was a font of knowledge on all Triumph vehicles. If you were restoring a Triumph and you were missing that factory correct screw or grommet, Dave either had it, or would find it for you.
Dave, along with his wife Margaret were also pivotal members of the local group scene in Coventry, starting TR Register activities in the city of Triumph’s heritage by founding the Coventry Group in 1980. Dave Gleed was group leader until 1994 but remained active at a local group level and nationally ever-since.
His famous TR2, with its distinctive number plate NEW 393, was a regular at Triumph TR Register events around the country. It was a very early TR2, a long-door model with the commission number 2905 and was restored by Dave himself when he found it in a pub garden, during his first date with wife to be, Margaret.
More recently, Dave favoured a TR7 as it was far more comfortable and warmer for him and Margaret to attend shows and local group meets in.
The NEC Classic Motor Show was one of the highlights in the year for TR Register members, not least because Dave and Margaret Gleed were on the club stand, dishing out not only free tea and coffee to members, but also regaling them with stories of what it was like at Standard Triumph and what sort of person Ken Richardson was!
Dave Lewis says, “Maria and myself first met Dave and Margaret in 1980 after meeting them at the Lakes weekend, where we chatted over a few drinks, and we have remained friends with them ever since. He was a mine of information and a good friend to have. He will be sadly missed.”
Mike Ellis recalls, “I first met Dave when he very kindly invited us with caravan to be part of his group's stand at the Town and Country Festival in I think about 1981 rather than let us remain out in the field. Since then I have bumped into him at countless meetings and always had a good chat about TRs and Coventry. A top bloke who will be much missed.”
Stuart Edwards says, “Dave was always a great man to talk to, I bought a fair few of his old factory tools too. He and Margaret always loved to see my old Springer, Albert, whenever we met up at the shows.”
John Sykes of TR Bitz says, “Great friend, always loved catching up with Dave at the TR International Weekends and at Stoneleigh.”
Mick Richards recalls, “Dave always had a word on how Triumph works mechanics had to “work the oracle” in the days of aspirations and no money to back it up. I once asked him about the torque figures in the Triumph manuals on whether they were “dry” or lubricated…that got a withering look! “Nope, dry as a Vicar’s toast” he said.”
Kevin Fielder wrote, “On one occasion, the subject of the overheating Triumph Stag came up, and he said emphatically with his signature roll-up in the corner of his mouth, ‘d’you know what - that was nothing to do with the head or head gasket and all to do with the workers on the production line not being patient enough to fill the coolant fully and leaving air in the system!’”
Steve Roberts says, “I was very fortunate to meet with David at Malvern last year. He sauntered up to Sabrina (TRS) and exclaimed “I built this car!” with a huge smile on his face. We spent a long-time sharing stories and he had a book full of photos and memorabilia. He even had the hammer he used to change the wheels during the race. It was the first time David had seen 927HP since Le Mans in 1960. Meeting him last year was one of the absolute highlights of owning Sabrina! “
Phil Daniels says, “Dave always supported me and the register. Some of the stories Dave told were priceless. I remember Dave taking my TR8 out for a drive at Malvern when he was looking for a TR7 for Maggie. Bloody frightened the life out of me, He could handle a V8 without any hesitation!”
The Standard Motor Club joins in extending sympathy to Dave's family and to his vast number of friends, with whom, he has left warm and lasting memories. His commitment to the Classic Car community was boundless and appreciated by all that knew him.
For those wishing to know: Dave's funeral is on Friday 25th February 1.30 pm at Canley Crematorium 180, Cannon Hill Rd, Coventry. CV4 7D.
There is a plan to meet the hearse with S-T/TR cars at the Windmill Hotel, Birmingham Rd, Allesley, Coventry CV5 9AL to provide a Guard of Honour.
Time here and planned route to be advised. Do check back for details.
Of course, if you wish to go straight to Canley Crematorium, that’s fine.
If you are planning to attend, please advise by email firstname.lastname@example.org
After the Crematorium all are invited to The Standard Triumph Club, Herald Ave, Coventry. CV5 6UB.