Thomas D. (Tom) Lane, 77, a salesman and former auto racer and pilot, died Tuesday at his home in Bowie after a long illness.

He had been a regional salesman for the Superior Match Co. since 1972. Before that he had been a regional sales manager for the American Match Co. and the Universal Match Co. for many years.

In 1964, while with the American Match Co., Mr. Lane was elected president of the Sales and Marketing Executives of Washington Inc. He also had served on the group's board.

Born in London, England, of American parents, Mr. Lane lived most of his life in this country. He served with the U.S. Navy in World War I. After the war he was in advertising in Philadelphia.

During the 1920s and early 1930s, he drove in auto races on the East Coast and was a member of Early Wheels, composed of pioneer auto racers. Later he was associated with the American Automobile Association in connection with auto races.

Mr. Lane also operated and flew with the Four Devils Flying Circus at one time.

He came to Washington in 1936 and a year later established Lane Brothers, a marine, automotive and aircraft upholstering business. During World War II, he subcontracted for government work involving airplane equipment.

Mr. Lane had been a member of the Saints and Sinners Club, the Advertising Club of Washington and the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade.

He is survived by his wife, Lillian, of the home; three daughters, Sally Neal, of Bowie, Patricia K. Vaughn, of Camp Springs, and Mary Alice Baber, of Greenbelt; a brother, Frank Lane Jr., of Sarasota, Fla., and nine grandchildren.