Watch as TVR car owners turn out in convoy for the funeral of one of the Blackpool sports car firm's stalwarts
To the sound of V8 engines driven by TVR sports car enthusiasts, one of the long-serving workers at the former Blackpool factory was driven to his final rest.
The TVR family turned out in force to pay tribute to John Mleczek, who had worked at the Bristol Avenue factory for more than 30 years.
John, whose father Joe had also worked there, as had his son Stuart, before its closure in 2006, also played an active part in the TVR Car Club and organised regular reunions for staff and fans of the distinctive cars.
A convoy of TVRs escorted the funeral cortege from Bristol Avenue to the service at Lytham Crematorium, which was followed by a Wake at St Annes Cricket Club.
John joined the firm at its Bristol Avenue, Bispham, factory in 1974. His time with TVR commenced under the ownership of Martin Lilley and then overlapped when Peter Wheeler took over in the early 1980s.
Martin Lilley, who owned the TVR company from 1965 to 1982, said: "John was TVR through-and-through, a most loyal worker who genuinely loved everything about TVR, the cars and most importantly, the people.
"It was in recent years that I got to know him personally as a most caring, warm man who ensured that I remained part of the amazing TVR community.
He often called just to see how things were and it is the little things I remember, like the fact that he always took the trouble to deliver his Christmas card personally. I’ll miss him not just as an employee and real TVR enthusiast, but as a true, caring friend."
Andrew Gray, UK liaison for TVR Car Club North America, who travelled from Kent in his 1970s TVR Vixen to the service, said: "John was a very special part of TVR and a very special friend and support to the US TVR Car Club, always happy to sit for hours chatting to owners and sharing stories of his years at TVR.
"John's years at TVR were far more than an occupation but an extension of a passion that started with his father Joe and later his son Stuart who also worked alongside him there.
"My greatest memories of John will not only be his constant encouragement in the start of my new parts company for the early cars, but also his personal interest often just calling to ask how I was. The TVR world have lost a very special man."
Southampton-based Oliver Edwards, who attended in his TVR S3c, said: "I knew John for over 20 years and more than being one of the most knowledgeable and passionate people on TVR history he was a great friend.
"We could speak for hours about the cars but he would always ask after my family first, before imparting pieces of knowledge about TVR that only someone so entwined with the company would know. He leaves a gap in more lives than he could ever have imagined."
Jon Lowey, TVR owner and designer of award-winning TVR Car Club magazine, said: "I first met John around 30 years ago, and it was straight away from the offset you couldn’t have wished to meet a nicer man.
"A true gentle gent, with a TVR knowledge second to one, always helpful to all, whatever TVR you owned, and always welcoming whatever the occasion."
John is survived by wife Jenny, son Stuart and daughter Charlotte.