The late Cyril Malem was one of those engineers, fabricators and designers, who was incredibly popular and always in demand for his skills but never got the credit he deserved, but those in the know, ‘knew’! Time to pay tribute I think.

Cyril hailed from North London and trained as a toolmaker. He was one of the first employees at Bob Robinson’s Arch Motor and Manufacturing Co Ltd in Tottenham, very close to Spurs’ White Hart Lane stadium.

He would have been involved with Colin Chapman who turned up one day enquiring about fabrication work. Arch started by making throttle pedals for the Lotus Seven, which, in turn, led to them producing lower wishbones for Lotus.

As Arch’s workshop manager, Cyril worked closely with the bosses of the various race car manufacturers that flocked to the company’s Huntingdon door, which included close liaisons with Bruce McLaren, Ron Tauranac (Brabham and later on, Ralt), Eric Broadley of Lola and Derek Bennett of Chevron, among many others.

Cyril left Arch in 1968 and discovered that his good friend Len Terry was about to start work with ex-Lotus engineer John Lambert producing Leda F5000 cars. Len offered Cyril a job, an offer he declined but he still decided to move to Dorset, with his wife Kathleen.

Malem started a company called CTG Racing in 1971 (CTG standing for Cyril, Tony and Gordon – the latter being his friends). Busy from the outset, back then Dorset was a hotbed for motorsport and specialist car activities and CTG worked for most of them including Penske and Kiwi Graham McRae as well as work for Terry and Lambert on an ad-hoc basis.

If it was racing or interesting sportscar-related and needed metal work, CTG could help, plus if a car needed building people in Dorset and beyond usually called Cyril Malem.

A seventies publicity shot of the third Doctor Who, Jon Pertwee aboard ‘Bessie’ his Neville Trickett-designed Siva Edwardian Roadster. Cyril Malem built that car.

An image of Cyril Malem working on one of his beloved Egli-Vincent replicas. This image originally appeared in Classic Bike magazine. Thanks to the excellent website

Between 1972-1978, CTG was a sub-contractor and chassis builder for Derek Bennett’s Chevron operation, while other work came from the likes of Ralt and David Hepworth’s BRM Can-Am team. In 1974, CTG (with Peter Farmer now onboard as co-director) built the monocoque for Copersucar Fittipaldi’s FD04 F1 racer.

Cyril was described as helpful and nice to work with and he usually got the job if the customer was too busy or just needed a reliable, safe pair of skilled hands. He was an ace sub-contractor.

When his best mate Len Terry, got the gig to design a silhouette Mini and later on about eight Viking F3 cars, for Norwegian businessman, Tore John Helle, CTG got the fabrication work as well building the cars. Incidentally, the Mini was said to be bonkers with Porsche 911 air-cooled power.

Len Terry later described the sophisticated Viking TH1 as being one of his favourite designs but admitted that it may have been over complicated.

CTG was a race team in their own right, too. In 1977 they began building their own FF2000 cars and when Viking failed they joined forces with Terry to run the car under the Technic banner in 1977 before revising it again for 1978 when it was entered under the CTG banner.

One of Cyril’s F3 cars, the CTG77 from 1977. Pic courtesy of

Later F1 entrant and the UK’s leading car transporter baron, Ted Toleman initially ran his team in junior formulae and CTG did his work.

Their first workshop was in Wimborne and was an old stable block before they later moved to a dedicated industrial unit in Ferndown. Other interesting cars included the Mariner for Phil Lowther (Mariner because Lowther said his team was ‘all at sea’).

Cyril probably had some input on the Special Saloon Hart Escort (complete with Brian Hart-built 271bhp Ford BDA) as well as Len Terry’s Leda chassis and other metal parts.

Of interest to kitcar enthusiasts is that when erstwhile customer, Neville Trickett was looking to move on from his Dorset-based Siva operation, in 1977, Cyril took over the Llama, Mule, Mehari, Minibuggy Parisienne, Raceabout, Roadster and San Remo projects.

Cyril built the Siva Edwardian used by actor Jon Pertwee in the Doctor Who series.

Malem had a lifelong fascination with motorcycles (he’d raced at the IOM TT over a fifteen-year period in the sixties) and bicycles.

In later years he’d built a replica of the Dursley-Pedersen bicycle, he was also the UK importer for the MV Agusta brand and was a builder and fan of designer Fritz Egli’s advanced motorcycles coming up with his own take on the theme in the shape of the Egli-Triumph and Egli-Vincent and it’s estimated that he may have built over 100 of them until his death in 2021.

When Cyril began to suffer ill health in the late seventies he closed the doors at CTG but retained a workshop where he kept himself occupied building Eglis for customers to order or he’d go off to do sporting trials in his Dellow.

I’ve heard it said that he never really got over the death of his friend Len Terry in 2014 and always spoke very fondly of him. He was a huge admirer of Terry’s work but like many, he felt that Len didn’t get the full recognition or monetary reward that his talents deserved. He’d regularly moan at Terry that he sold his skills too cheaply.

Cyril Malem of CTG acquired most Siva models in 1977. Here’s a Siva Llama

Sadly, Cyril died in mid-December 2021 finally succumbing to a brave fight against cancer, but he was building his Egli-style motorbikes for friends and helping others with technical advice right up until his death. I think he was 84 when he died.

A gifted man with metal often referred to as a guru, there was a reason why the affable Cyril was so much in demand and that’s because of his talent, great work and ability to turn stuff around fast. Customers could rely on him for the right solution.