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RIP - Eugene "Dick" Lane

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  • RIP - Eugene "Dick" Lane

    It is with a heavy heart that I tell you all that our buddy Gene "Dick" Lane passed away on Monday December 19th.

    Most of us didn’t know that he was hit by a car a couple of months ago. He was in the hospital for four days and spent a very long time in a rehab. Elise and I saw him on Thursday before the Seahawks game. He was looking great and his spirits were good. I gave him a ride home after he picked up some groceries.

    On Monday he died from heart failure.

    I’m going to miss him. I loved that whenever he was going to the grocery store he would check and see if any of us were working in the garage.

    It's been great hearing stories about him. Many of our members know him as the parts guy at the BMC dealership. Some have even said that they were introduced to SAMOA from Gene or "Dick" as most knew him. If you have a story to share or pictures please post them here or on the Facebook group page.


  • #2
    Very sorry to hear of Gene's passing.

    2016 certainly has been a terrible year in that regard. Four people that I knew directly (none family thankfully..) have passed since January. In that regard 2017 cannot come fast enough.

    Over the past year or so I had been working directly with Gene helping him sell some of his accumulated 'stuff' off as to provide some extra spending money. Doing so was quite enjoyable as given his wealth of life accumulated automotive knowledge, we always had a lot to talk about and I plenty to learn. In that regard he was almost like a walking encyclopedia, especially regarding the minutiae of old British 'tin' or anything VW related. His inherent wealth and shy, yet open and friendly demeanor made him a great 'resource' for a good conversation, one I know I will miss.

    RIP Gene.



    • #3
      It's sad to hear about Gene's passing. He and I had been working on getting his compressor powered and running over the last year, off and on, as we had time. I hadn't heard about the accident and it must have happened just after I last saw him.

      Thanks for letting us know.

      If you can afford the car, you can afford the manual...


      • #4
        Very sad to have heard this. Back in the day Dick was one of the go-to guys for all things Mini parts wise. If a part was available he could get it for you. He helped tremendously with my race car with all types of fabricating and was one of the SAMOA stalwarts when it came to working on cars.
        Absolute wizard with a gas welding torch in his hand but Chuck and I won't go into this. When he was out of touch with SAMOA for a few years he had a major heart problem but he was able to beat it until now. He was a friend to all of us "senior" members and he will be missed. And as Andrew stated he was always willing to pass on his knowledge to the "junior members". A slight correction to Brian's post is that he worked at Rowland Motors which was on Capitol Hill on Pine Street if I remember correctly.

        RIP Dick, you will be missed.

        Chris Miller


        • #5
          I first met Gene in the late 1970's at Rowland on Pike St. In High school, I had a 1959 Austin A-40 Farina as my first car and Rowland's was the only place I knew of that sold any parts to maintain it. By that time, the only parts available were the A- series parts that were used on cars which shared that engine. It was the only place in Seattle that I knew how to get to from Kenmore. The parts guys always directed Gene to help me, as he was the one who had the patience and knowledge to look for some obsolete part in an old Austin parts book, probably knowing that it would be unavailable anyway. I knew him better after his retirement, a humble soul with some stories to tell. There is a great story of him when he was helping Chuck weld the rear wheel arches on the Grape that I hope Chuck will tell, and a great photo of him with his blue Cooper S and a Castrol hat. (Photo courtesy of Chuck)
          Of course, he will be missed.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Ted; 12-29-2016, 09:25 AM.


          • #6
            Gene's blue Cooper S remains locally owned and looks pretty much exactly as-in the photo.

            Chuck, any idea when that shot was taken?


            • #7
              Close as I can get would be the early 70's. That'a my 1071 in the background by my rented garage in the U District. The 1071 is now owned by Chris Miller. Gene helped get The Grape ready to do some serious autocrossing in 1973. With The Grape off the road in late '72 and on, the 1071 was my daily driver for quite a while.
              The more I know about Minis, the more I know I don't know about Minis.


              • #8
                I'm truly sad to hear of his passing, as I too had enjoyed talking with and spending time with Dick. He had such an easy going way about him, and we enjoyed talking about the VW and British car hobby.
                Another very cool thing that he's done for our club is to donate many items over time, probably knowing the items would be far better utilized by the club members than sitting in his storage. A very generous attitude, from a gentleman we've all benefitted from knowing.
                Godspeed, Gene!
                All Together Now..... Everybody.......