The TR Register is 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!
TR Action Magazine issue 335 was to carry Dave’s memories of rectification on Triumph vehicles, written in his own words. We have now re-worked the issue in order to publish the same article, but instead as a tribute to one of the TR Register’s most colourful and knowledgeable characters. Please bear with us and any slight delays this may cause to production.
We pass our sincerest condolences and thoughts to Margaret Gleed and to Dave’s wider family and great many friends.