Tuesday 5 November 2019

Ian Shearer passes away at 71

It is with great sadness that I learned about the sudden death of Ian Shearer today. Ian was the designer of the Mini powered Nimbus Coupe and Boxer Sprint cars and was an enormous enthusiast of anything Maximum Mini. His wife Hilary wrote:

"Dear Jeroen, Ian sadly died very suddenly and unexpectedly last Monday 28 October. This has absolutely devastated us. We have decided on a personal committal with just us and then we are going to have a celebration of his life early next year on or around his 72nd birthday, we feel if we did anything now we would not do him justice he achieved so much and we want to share that at a happier time and we know that’s what he would have wanted."

A good decision no doubt as Ian was a rather special man. His life was filled with cars and I remember very well that I tried to track him down for years - with no success- when all of a sudden he found me and contacted me from France, where he'd moved to many years earlier. That was a great surprise and ever since that day Ian was an enthusiast of everything I wrote. He often dropped a line after having read my latest scribblings, giving his unique point of view on them - always very optimistic and helpful. 

He also kept me updated on his projects. Ian had managed to buy back his Boxer prototype two and a half years ago after a long process of finding it (which almost even included a helicopter search) and difficult negotiations (full story here). He was very eager to get that car back on the road. In order to restore it, he had just sold another of his projects through this website a week before his passing (here). Days before his death he wrote: "Now I have made the decision to let the Nimbus Sprint go, I feel more relaxed about the work I am doing on the Boxer, I'm sure you are finding the same as me about the cost of rebuilding a powerful 'A' series, wow!"
May you rest in peace Ian. It was a privilege to know you.

Ian Shearer was positive and kind. Here at Blyton Park in 2015 with Wil Ker's Nimbus Coupe
Picture Jeroen Booij

Ian with the prototype Nimbus Coupe in 1983. Very proud indeed!
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

A rare picture taken during the official launch of the Nimbus Coupe in 1984
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Production of Nimbus Coupe body shells in 1984. Note the remarkably flat floor
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

Ian's Boxer Sprint prototype was found back almost three years ago on a farm in Kent
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

The search was painstaking and Ian almost booked a helicopter flight to find it. Picking it up here
Picture Jeroen Booij archive

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