Brian Gateson was born in Clapham in the 1960s into a motoring family. His father worked with Sydney Allard preparing the chassis for his race and rally cars. One of Brian’s first memories is waiting for his father at the end of the road to see him proudly round the corner in a black Austin A35 with a racy black roof “The little Bug”.
By the time of his 11th birthday, the family had moved to Hertfordshire where Brian prepared his own moped to race around the wide-open fields. When not racing, Brian could be found in the workshop helping his father with his cars. Brian’s mechanical aptitude was quickly recognised by his school and at 15 years old, was given special leave to follow an apprenticeship at the local Toyota dealership.
It was during his four year apprenticeship, that Brian purchased his first car and witnessed his first motor race. His mini 850 took him down to Brands Hatch to watch Niki Lauda compete in a non championship race Brian was spell bound. From hereon in, Brian had but one ambition to be involved with motor sport.
In 1981, Brian finished his apprenticeship and responded to an advertisement in AutoSport. Arriving at Libra Motive he was surprised to find the mews full of ‘vintage’ cars this was not quite the racing garage Brian had in mind. However, after being interviewed by Terry Foxon and Rob Wells, Brian was convinced these funny cars really could blow away a Porsche 911 and so Brian’s long association with Morgans began.
Working at Libra Motive was a revelation to Brian. He was amazed by the enthusiasm of both the staff and the customers and responded well to Rob and Terry’s trust in their staff. Soon Brian was preparing Rob’s famous modsports car and the famous MMC 11 the factory works car. In 1982, Brian and Rob prepared the modsports Morgan for racing in GT and modsports events throughout the country. He also was responsible for the preparation of MMC 11 for the Willhire 24 hour race which went on to outright victory at Snetterton only to be later excluded for a technical infringement. The following two years saw more modsports action for Rob and Brian and an unsuccessful bid to retain the Willhire trophy with the Morgan ‘Bulldog’ team. It was also while at Libra Motive that Brian started looking after the red Morgan +8 of John Clarke. Race car preparation continued each year up until April 1988 with Rob at Libra Motive.
1988 was a momentous year for Brian. In April, Brian stunned Rob Wells by handing in his notice and set up his own operation in Bricket Wood the Techniques name appearing for the first time. Brian also found time to marry Tracy and to visit Le Mans for the first time to watch the Jaguars take a famous victory.
Brian’s reputation for sorting out Morgans was by now well established and soon the trickle of Morgan customers turned into a flood. Within 12 months, Techniques had outgrown Bricket Wood and had taken on more suitable premises in Radlett. Brian’s reputation for making Morgans go quickly was enhanced when Colin Waring took his Techniques prepared Morgan +8 Class B car to outright victory in a round of the Morgan Motor Company Challenge (MMCC). The Morgan Motor Company also paid tribute to Brian’s work by appointing Techniques official Service Agents.
The early 1990’s saw Techniques reputation on the race track cemented when Matthew Wurr approached Brian to build a car capable of beating the Morgan +8 driven by Malcolm Paul. The result was total domination. In the ensuing seasons, Matthew took his red Morgan +8 (99OK) to 52 outright victories and 61 class wins in the MMC Challenge, 750 MC Roadsports and BRDC National Sports GTs.
In 1995 John Clarke brought his Morgan +4 Supersports to get the Techniques treatment then in 1996 Peter Horsman arrived with his moss box +8. Success quickly followed with John taking the MMC Challenge Class E title in 1996 before passing it onto Peter in 1997 and 1998. 1999 saw the MMC Challenge championship and the Peter Collins tray on its way to Peter and Techniques after Peter had won his class in all of the 7 races whilst setting 6 fastest laps.
Techniques were now at full stretch meeting the demand for race cars, rebuilds and servicing work. In September 2000, Brian purchased the main garage in Stotfold. It was soon after the move to Stotfold, that John Clarke commissioned Techniques to build a recreation of the 1939 Morgan 4-4 Le Mans car. This car has recently been completed and will be competing in the 2002 Le Mans Classic.
Now with a full complement of 5 staff, Techniques currently provides services to over one hundred customers, of which a dozen regularly compete in the MMC Challenge and other race series. On a visit to Techniques Brian and his staff might be seen working on every conceivable model of Morgan from a three wheeled Morgan Runabout, to a Morgan +4+ or a full race prepared Class A Morgan +8.
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© 2002 John Clarke