He will not be familiar to many, but to those he was close to we will miss him a lot. Grahame was 76 and succumbed to a rapidly spreading lung disease caused by a fibrosis. He began his working life as a schoolteacher, but after discovering the joy of competing in motor sports he gave his life to cars.
|John Crawford, Matthew Brabham, Grahame Ward|
Grahame was a lifelong lover of the Lancia marque and did much in Australia to foster its status and growth among aficionados. He worked in the car industry for Lancia and Volvo, making huge contributions to the success of each marque - especially when it involved participation in motor sport.
He competed himself, with some very respectable results on a miniscule budget. He was befriended by Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Bernie Ecclestone; and though he moved in the circles of motor racing royalty, he remained a common man, with a personality filled with passion and warmth for his friends.
Recently, his passions included tireless support and promotion for the racing career of Sir Jack's grandson, Matthew Brabham.
Just an ordinary guy, with a big heart and lots of friends. Grahame was an inveterate 'collector' (aka Hoarder) of automotive memorabilia. So much littered his house, it was often difficult for him to locate 'treasures' amongst his collection.
He was also the complete Italophile, so it's only fitting we say 'Arrivederci Grahame'.
I composed a short poem for his wake today, and humbly present it here as a tribute to my mate:
Grahame loved life. Revelled in the camaraderie of friendsHis passion for things Italian coursed through his veins
Carried by the breath of life, he glowed with love
His friends are many, his collections vast
We’ll mourn his spirit, our memories undaunted by loss
For Grahame remains within us
Now, just where did I put that damn ignition key?
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