Last Sunday night, the speedway community lost loving father and long-time supporter and fan Brett Maclarn, who lost his short battle with cancer at age 71.

Having permanently moved to Australia from New Zealand in 1971, the expat was heavily involved with all forms of motorsport throughout his life, as a sponsor, a marshal and a fan. However, his passion for speedway was unparalleled, having previously raced solo speedway bikes, with his favourite pastime being to attend the speedway bikes at the Ekka in Queensland.

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A panel beater by trade, Maclarn owned and operated Powells Body Works for over 20 years, along with building orange steel body Ford Hot Rods for over 45 years and lovingly restoring a Jawa ESO solo bike that he obtained from Mike Farrell and Vaklev Verna, for which he won many awards.

“Since the 1980s, Brett supported my racing by building and painting numerous race cars, with the most recent one being the BMW Sports Sedan, built by Brett and Simon Harrex, that we still race today,” commented Danny Meneguzzo (father in law of Wingless Sprint racer Glenn Wright).

“Brett and Simon’s attention to detail was second to none and they produced a beautiful race car. I’ll never forget the look on Brett’s face when we won Best Presented Car at the National Sports Sedan Championship at Wakefield Park. Brett was a true friend and he will be missed by many.”

Making a lasting impression on everyone who had the honour of spending time with him, Maclarn was known for his cheery disposition and welcoming nature, which is something his friends and family will not soon forget.

“It was my privilege to have known Brett, who always had a positive influence on me and who taught me many things about life over the years, in his subtle, never overbearing way,” expressed Maclarn’s brother in law Ron Henderson, who previously raced solo speedway bikes for the Newcastle Diamonds.

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“Every morning when I wake up, I think of him. That’s the impact he has had on my life, I will remember a nice man who was always friendly, had the strongest handshake in the world, went out of his way to help people, enjoyed his life, loved his kids and his grandkids, loved his wife and didn’t waste a minute of his life while he was with us.”

Lovingly nicknamed ‘Grubby’ by his fellow speedway enthusiasts, Maclarn’s obsession with Sprintcars began when current Archerfield Speedway Track Champion Andrew Scheuerle took both Maclarn and his son, Dave, for a spin in a two-seater Sprintcar, which led to him regularly attending Archerfield Speedway, where he would sit on the hill with his coffee after hot laps to avoid getting covered in clay.

A huge supporter of Dave and his passion for custom helmet painting, Maclarn generously gifted $1,000 to his son two years ago in order to pursue his goal, which led to Dave sponsoring Queensland-based Sprintcar drivers Scheuerle and Mitchell Gee and further inheriting his father’s love for the sport.

“A true speedway devotee until the end, dad told me that he’d been diagnosed with cancer and in the same breath, he asked me how the boys had gone at speedway the night before,” recalled Dave fondly.

“I can’t thank dad enough for everything he did for me over the years and for allowing introducing me to motorsport at such an early age. My dad was my hero and I will miss him dearly.”

The funeral of Brett Maclarn will be held on Tuesday, June 13 at 1pm at the Hemmant Cemetery in Brisbane.

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