A terminally ill man says he is “overwhelmed” with the kindness of strangers after he sold his Harley Davidson to pay for his own funeral.

John Lawson, 58, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2021 before being given a terminal diagnosis earlier this year. After the devastating news, John sold his prized motorbike to pay for his funeral, spending the leftover money on a Mazda MX-5 sportscar.

After using the car to make memories with his wife, John put a call out on social media asking for recommendations to help do it up. However, he was blown away when people from across the country offered to help renovate his car for free.

The Argus: John and wife CarolynJohn and wife Carolyn (Image: John Lawson)

John, who lives with his wife Carolyn in Seaford, said: “I’m totally overwhelmed by the love and support, everyone has been so gracious.

“With the car we have been able to get out for a picnic and we like to visit castles and places like that. We can just put the top down and get away.

“We have embraced every day and embraced life and building memories. I know the car will mean a lot to her when I’m gone.”


John bought the car, affectionately named “Caz the Maz” after his wife, after selling his Harley Davidson and posted on a Mazda driver’s Facebook page asking for recommendations for a mechanic.

After sharing his cancer journey, mechanics, painters and car transporters all came together to help do up the Mazda for him.

Currently, the car has been transported to Leicester where it is being renovated by Adam Harlow and Tim Proctor.

The Argus: John and his Harley DavidsonJohn and his Harley Davidson (Image: John Lawson)

Adam, who is working on the car currently, added: “We just thought it's something that we could do and get involved with.

“It’s good when people come together like this and it’s a nice thing to do. I knew once we offered that people would come on board too.”

John added that he plans to continue making memories with Caz the Maz after the car has been renovated.

He said that the project reminded him of a “People’s Car SOS” after the popular Channel 4 TV show.