Anything Nostalgia Related.

Moderators: timetravel, ukdrn

 #39858  by stevebradley
Picture ! is general paint job plus engine
Picture 2 is Long Marston (1976/7?)
Picture 3 is when I used Photoshop for fun (Long Marston photo modified)
3 pictures and now the story. Following an advertisement in Exchange and Mart(remember that?) a group of four drag racing enthusiasts purchased the car from Mike Lennon in September 1975 (£550).
With no garage or facilities we begged and borrowed (no stealing) and started to rebuild the car to debut at Easter 1976 at Santa Pod. Upgrading various features to suit new regulations included a new clutch can was fabricated from steel as the aluminium version was not safe for new rules. A new trailer , etc. We ran the car on the previously mentioned Revolution wheels and Dunlop slicks with fuel injection and 20% nitro mix with a Vertex magneto.
New paint and re engineered fuel pump, which was an oil pump mounted onto a drive off the end of the camshaft and bolted onto cover at front (see picture).From the first meeting until we gave up on it we had transmission problems. The gearbox was a Austin A40 manual transmission using gear ranges 3 and 4. We had many gearbox failures and also encountered problems with the clutch and flywheel shearing the drive screws from the end of the crank shaft.
The power was there but transmission was the weak link.
That being said we had a great time and achieved a small amount of respect from the drag racing community. The best it ran was 12.02 and top speed of about 110 mph.
At Long Marston over 1/8 mile it was surprisingly competitive and I once set a class national record for top speed but my glory was shattered twenty minutes later by Robin Read who took the honour back. It was good fun and we met a set of good friends along the way, regularly racing Ray Felltell (RIP), Robin Read, Gerry Cookson and numerous others along the way.
John Gibbons and Vince Shaw (Alkymist) became good friends but our closest friend and colleague was Sam Connell (Red Devil).We were employed at the same factory for years and a healthy (?) competitive spirit bought us together with a good group of friends which turned the drag racing weekends to be highly rewarding.
Regarding Sam, he was in a local group and to raise funds for our ventures we promoted his group plus various D.J's at local venues plus raffles plus any trick we could pull. (selling tickets to one such night introduced me to a female who has been my wife for 39 years.
The final time we ran this car was trying the car out at local airfield early in 1979. The gearbox broke again and the chassis seemed to becoming unstable and flexing. We decided to not pursue any expensive new ideas.(Plus Steve Johnson had arrived and was walking over the class with a Cosworth engine).and broke the car for parts which finished our experience.
Great memories, it was a time an amateur could enjoy the racing and proves that if you work hard enough you can be rewarded after hours of work.(and their were many hours).
Brian /lee Huxley have taken the name and I wish them well.(I have been an acquaintance of Brian's for many years.)
hope you enjoyed the history cheers Steve bradley
 #39860  by timetravel
great post Steve, and your Long Marston pic confirms my '74 pic from Blackbushe is the same car :D