Roy Thomas, designer of the Titan formula cars for Charles Lucas Engineering and later co-owner of Titan Cars, passed away November 5 due to complications associated with lung cancer. Roy was involved in motor racing for over 40 years. His nickname was “Tom the Weld” because of his expertise in welding straight formula car chassis when the technology was not what it is today.
Roy got his start in racing with the Checkered Flag Racing Team, where he helped build the Gemini Formula Juniors during the late ’50s and early ’60s. He later left the Flag and started his own race engineering business building the AUSPER Formula Juniors and F1 Siroccos.
In 1965, Charles “Luke” Lucas started a three car F3 team and bought Roy’s business, while keeping him on as technical director. In 1966, Charles Lucas Engineering decided to build its own F3 car, and the resulting Titan Mk3 was completed in eight weeks and raced for the first time in July 1967. In 1968, the Mk3 was revised for Formula Ford (FF) and designated Mk4.
In 1970, CLE introduced the Titan Mk6 Formula Ford, which was very successful in the United States and United Kingdom. Approximately, 300 Mk6s were produced between 1970 and 1973. In 1971, Luke sold CLE to Roy and his wife, Diana Thomas, and the name of the company was changed to Titan Cars. During a nine-year period, CLE and Titan Cars built over 400 formula cars and hundreds of racing engines.
Roy’s impact on 1000 cc Formula 3 and Formula Ford racing was significant. His wisdom and great sense of humor will be sorely missed.