It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Michael Worthington-Williams, our much-loved and respected founder and honorary member, chairman emeritus, and SAH Friend of Automotive History, after a short illness at the age of 82. Our sympathies are with Mike’s wife of 44 years, Pamela, and the family of eight children and five grandchildren. There will be a fuller tribute and obituary on this website in due course.
Mike was born in Sussex where his father was a chauffeur. He had an almost life long interest in automotive history, and began researching and writing when still in his teens. Although much of his working life was spent in the insurance business, he was also editor of Old Motor magazine and later founder of Classic Car Mart. He contributed regularly to many other journals including The Automobile. He wrote several books and was a consultant to Sotheby’s, Brooks, and Bonhams. He received many awards from fellow professionals, and in 2018 was made MBE in recognition of his services to the old car movement.
He will above all be remembered with gratitude by the many thousands of historic vehicle owners whom he helped recover original registration marks, or having age-related marks issued to their vehicles. He himself owned a variety of historic vehicles over the years, notably the Austin Twenty nicknamed “Arthur” in which he covered 250,000 miles from 1982 to 2007. He cut a striking figure, immediately recognisable in tweeds and a deerstalker, with a magnificent white beard. Over many years he built up a remarkable library and archive, and was always generous with help and assistance for fellow researchers.
We shall miss him and honour his memory.
Words by Anders Ditlev Clausager