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max nightingale RIP

Engineer Max Nightingale of Alpha Automotive Productions has died, aged 59. Although he had been receiving treatment for Crohn’s diease, his sudden passing on 7 June came as a shock to his friends, customers and staff.

Max took over running the company, generally known as Alpha Bearings, from his father Harry Nightingale who had been a founder in 1947. Best known for the manufacture and assembly of roller and bush crankshaft bearings, Alpha also covers a range of engine products and services.

Max was known worldwide for enthusiastically taking on elaborate work with historic motorcycle and car grand-prix engines, as well as providing a vital service for restorers of less exotic classics.

When Alpha’s factory at Netherton in Dudley, West Midlands, hit difficulties in 2010, Chris Williams of the neighbouring Autocycle classic parts store bought out the premises and machinery.

“Max was hugely fond of the place,” Williams says. “The company was re-formed with him in control earlier this year, as I intend to retire. The future looked bright, so we are all shocked. Unfortunately some work will have to be sent back to customers. I am streamlining the business; some pre-war machinery has already gone in a skip and now we can only take on simple jobs that pay.” 



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