Old British drag racers, where are they now?
This subject came up on another thread so I thought I would post some old photos here and see if there is any interest. I hope I am not stretching the 'Classic & Sportscar' definition too far!
Dennis Priddle's front engined dragster, Blue Rose II a Falcon, Crescendo a Galaxie or Fairlane, the Money Hungry Camaro, which I remember had real dollar bills in the paint, Moon City Charger and Stripteaser were both Jaguar powered Minis, Shutdown a Hemi powered Altered with a Bantam shell, the famous Page's Panic T Altered and another T Altered and a pair of VX4/90 bodied funny cars, these were all snapped at Blackbushe in the mid seventies.
Wow, some interesting pics there GM, I was at that very meeting held at Blackbushe Airport in Surrey, most of the drag meets that took place at Blackbushe in the '70s were organised by the NDRC -National Drag Racing Club, their biggest sponsor at that time was good old 'Radio Luxembourg' and 'Hot Car' magazine, both of which neither exist now!
In your 7th pic- that appears to be Fred Whittle checking the Chrysler Hemi engine on the altered- 'Shutdown', wonder if the Jag V12 E type is pressed into service as a 'push car', now, that would look neat!
Some more memory-joggers from the mid-seventies, Santa Pod this time. The Capri funny-car, the Houndog funny and rail, and a couple of shots of Mike 'Champagne' Kason and his always well turned out Kerbdozer II with matching Oldsmobile push-car, and then another Jag' powered T Altered.
Fantastic! Correct GBt, and for those who didn't know: Sidney Allard's dragster played a pivotal role in the birth of British drag racing. On a trip to the United States in the early 1960s, Sidney Allard discovered the sport of drag racing, he returned to England vowing that he would bring an American team of drag racers over from the US complete with their machines to demonstrate the 'new' motor sport to eager British fans. In 1964 Allard had acheived his dream, he had brought over a top team from the US and the very first Drag Festival took place in the UK. The event was so successful it was a complete sell- out and the sport of drag racing gained instant recognition. This paved the way for a second Festival a year later, sadly, the '65 event was a total disaster, over that weekend in September continual rain flooded the strip at Blackbushe, hardly any runs were made and only a small handful of very brave racers -including a couple from the American team managed to put in a few demonstration runs- much to the delight of the crowds, cheering as drivers battled to steer their projectiles at speed through the lake -like conditions on the strip. In April 1966 Santa Pod Raceway opened in Bedfordshire, Britain would now have its very own permanent drag strip and the rest as they say, is history!
As a school boy of fourteen, with my brother and a mate we trecked to Camberley by train and managed to hitch a ride the rest of the way to Blackbushe in a van belonging to one of the Drag festival organisers. Undeterred by the rain, we were more than happy to get our first glimpse of real American dragsters!
Saturday September 25th. The 1965 Drag Festival at Blackbushe- this is the famous American Ansen Forgings dragster driven by Gary Cassidy, being wheeled out late afternoon, hoping to make a demo run on that very wet day
Some frantic pit action on the Nick Colbert Plymouth powered dragster, the 800HP monster will have great difficulty putting that power to the pavement in these conditions!
The American Nick Colbert braves the wet conditions and puts on a show for the British spectators.