Telling the story of Tadeusz Marek's life
Living on high revs
The life and career of Tadeusz Marek (1908-1982) is the story of a very special generation. We`re talking about young Poles, passionate about science and engineering. Raised and educated in the Poland that became independent in 1918, they did a fantastic job in helping build from scratch a new, modern country. Progress did not become visible until the late 1930s, but then just at that moment along came WWII and Poland was hit hard. For Marek and his colleagues, the feeling that all their efforts were in vain must have been devastating. Luckily for most of them, Great Britain appeared as a Promised Land. There, they used all their engineering skills to help the War effort. And with very good effect!
When the War finally came to an end it was a bitter-sweet moment! To Marek and the other Polish engineers, instead of happiness it brought probably the most difficult choice of their lives. Return to Poland or stay? The years of isolation from their families and their fervent patriotism put pressure on them to go home.
On the other hand they were perfectly aware, that going back could be dangerous, because Poland had turned into a communist monster. Stay or go, neither decision was the right one, and choosing a course was painful. Many of them returned to Poland and suffered years of misery with the status of “Western spies”. Other Polish engineers including Tadeusz Marek, opted to stay in England, knowing that probably this would be forever…
Marek found a way to live and work in Great Britain and eventually he achieved enormous success. Many of his colleagues went the same way, but being away from home they rarely enjoyed recognition.
Communist Poland put a ban on any information about Marek or other Polish engineer-immigrants. This ban was so effective that even today in Poland, the life and work of Tadeusz Marek remain almost unknown. Not to put too fine
a point on it, as a leading car engineer, he is famous everywhere except… Poland. The Foundation`s mission is to bring back to the collective memory all his achievements as well as his outstanding personality.
Motorsport – the key to development!
The Rajd Polski is the second oldest car rally in the world after the Monte Carlo Rally. Before WWII, it was also famous for its enormous difficulty. In 1939 Tadeusz Marek drove a Polish made Chevrolet to a class victory in this epic rally.
Tadeusz Marek finishing the 1939 Rallye Monte Carlo. The crew Marek/Pajewski were the first Poles to get a prize in the famous Monte Carlo Rally. In 1939 they finished 5th in their class.
Tadeusz Marek raced motorbikes in 1920s and 1930s which helped him apply his engineering knowledge.
Marek, Tadeusz Marek
In 1954 Marek started working for Aston Martin. He did a brilliant job designing from scratch a 6-cylinder engine for the ground-breaking Aston Martin DB4 launched in 1958. Later came the DB5 (made famous by James Bond), which also used the same engine.
The Aston Martin DBS was launched in 1968. It marked a new chapter for the British car maker, with fresh look and advanced V8 engine designed by Tadeusz Marek. This powerplant became so successful that Aston Martin produced it until 2000! It did well in competition too, even though it was never designed for that. Marek`s V8 was used in the Lola T70 Mk III racing car.