On this day in auto history - September 16th

Thu 16th Sep 2021

It was on this day in 1977 when news emerged that famous British glam rock icon Marc Bolan had been tragically killed in a car accident in South West London.

Only 29 at the time, The T-Rex frontman was riding in a purple Mini 1275GT driven by his American girlfriend Gloria Jones when the vehicle hit a sycamore tree at a notorious accident blackspot in Barnes at 4.00am.

Bolan - who wasn’t wearing a seat-belt - was killed instantly in the crash, but Jones escaped with a broken jaw and was treated in hospital for shock.

It emerged afterwards that the couple had been dining at a Mayfair restaurant earlier in the evening where Miss Jones was said to have been “drinking moderately” by witnesses. Controversially, Jones fled to Los Angeles on her release from hospital and never appeared in court to face charges that she was unfit to drive.

Though Bolan himself had never learned to drive – ironically fearing it be the cause of his premature death - he was known to own a fleet of vehicles, including a white Rolls-Royce which he reportedly loaned to the band Hawkwind on the night of his death.