Trakbytes Year 2000 Update Archive
Late with the latest again, it's now been nearly a month since the last update. Sorry about that but you know how it is!! This will now be the last update for this year so my resolution for 2001 will be to try and stick to the correct update dates. Don't hold your breath though! I still have much more info to add and new stuff is coming in all the time, including some great anecdotes and a superb vehicle profile from one of our regular contributors. There are also more photos arriving and in the new year I will try and figure out the best way of using these to their maximum effect with the limited amount of webspace I have. The line has finally been drawn under the 2000 section with the addition of details of BJ and the boys at the AMA/Prostar Finals in Florida. It's a real shame that after such fantastic qualifying and first round results BJ was stopped in his tracks by a broken drivebelt, but the good news is that he will be back on board the bike in 2001. His decision to retire at the end of this year (which he confirmed to me when I spoke with him at the BMF Show this year) has been reversed and BJ has every intention of running a five in the UK next year. Good news and well done to all the guys who flew the flag for the UK at Gainesville in November.
Where are they now?
We have had a certain amount of success on this site with reuniting people so here goes for another try. Mark Ringer has contacted me and is trying to trace Bob Glassup who used to race 'Bubble Gum'. An old mate of his who now lives in the States would like to get in touch again with him, his name is Coopster. If you can help in any way please could you either mail me at Trakbytes or Mark directly at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks .
All the new material for this update comes from the material kindly supplied by Chris Dawson and all takes place in the eighties sections. 1980 Some details from SPRs World Finals where no less than 20 Funny Cars were entered, details from the 1986 Cannonball plus details and elimination ladders for Funny Car and Top Fuel at the World Finals, details of the 1987 Cannonball and the Funny Car eliminations at the World Finals, details of Top Fuel and Funny Car from the 1988 World Finals, details from the infamous 1989 Cannonball and finally the 1989 World Finals Funny Car & Top Fuel elimination ladders.
A very happy Christmas to all of you, see you next year.
I'm still working my way through the material that Steve Collins has found for the site, the latest additions are results from Santa Pod in July (2 meetings) and August 1969, & May 1970 and one from Elvington in June 1971. There's also details from Long Marstons NDRC Nationals (including Super Comp elimination ladder) and SPRs Super Nationals (including Pro Comp elimination ladder), both held on August Bank Holiday weekend 1984.
Another contributor whose material I'm slowly working my way through is Jerry Cookson, he of APIRA fame. The latest from Jerrys stuff is in the 1990 section, details from the Inaugural Meeting at Avon Park in April, a meeting that saw the demise of Geoff Hausers Sierra and the debut of a new Fuel Bike that would become a world beater, there's also full results from the European Records Weekend in June.
I've finally finished adding the 68/69 season records, sent to me by Brother Bill, there are a total of 44 new record performances entered in April, May, June, August, October & December 1968 , and April, June & August 1969
There's more elimination ladders from the notebook of Chris Dawson, I have added the details of the Funny Car eliminations to the1981, 1982 & 1983 World Finals. Chris has also provided scans of some programme covers that I didn't yet have. There are a total of 13 new covers, 1 in the 1974 section, 3 in the 75-79 section, 6 in the 90-94 section and 3 in the 95-99 section. Thanks Chris.
More details from York in 1988, Darren West has supplied details of the first International meet to be held at the track in May, and details from SPRs 'Fosters Lager' meeting three weeks later. Darren has also supplied details of the Top UK Nitro Trios visits to Sweden in June 1980, which includes a new European speed record for Owen Hayward, and the Priddle/BBC Tomorrows World experiment at the 1983 Cannonball. Was Maggie Philbin really going to drive Priddles fueler!! There's also some detail from the Summer Nationals in August that year and the return of one of Bootsies cars in the hands of Wild Bill in July 1984.
Top trackside snapper Tog (www.togssdragracing.com) has provided a few additional details to the profile of Houndog 9 in the Historic Vehicle Files. Trevor Young is added to the list of drivers while it seems that my original comments about Owen Hayward being unhurt in the Houndog 7 crash were far from correct. Tog also points out that the paintjob on Houndog 9 was strikingly similar to that being used by a well known Stateside FC pilot.
Will Sherratt spotted his entry in the 1993 section (June) from the 8/10/00 update and has provided the date for the event and points out that he was the youngest ever winner of the event at 18.
1984; details of some big names including Frank Hawley, Austin Coil & Tom Hoover at SPRs World Finals in September, 1989 details of Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Mod from SPRs World Finals in September, the death of Jim Read in November, and plenty of bike details, including some noteable debuts, and details of the Super Gas and Pro Mod class at SPRs November meeting including the Pro Mod elimination ladder. (Date for this anyone?).
There are also small updates to the Hall Of Fame entries for Clive Skilton, Allan Herridge and Dennis Priddle with material from recent updates and the Snippets page has a few new additions too including Ian Highfields memories of the big '80s Doorslammer meets at the Pod.
The next update will be more of the old stuff as the 2000 season is all but over.
Well wha-d'ya-know, I managed to get this update posted on time! I haven't had time to update the year 2000 archive as yet but hopefully this should be sorted by the next update. In the meantime this weeks new additions span thirty years and include some important landmarks. I have reloaded all the History Archive pages as some contain dates of events with no details as yet and these had not been uploaded for a while. Also the programme covers in the '70s sections should be working again now. It's a big one this time, here goes....
1967 a small update to SPRs Easter meeting with the debut of the Hustler and a new entry in May-the Big Go, ever wondered who the first ever Continental racer was to run in the UK? the answers here, (No dates for either of these yet, any ideas out there?) 1968 details and results from SPRs Trophy/Night meeting in August, this was the scene of the UKs first eight second run, also, on the same weekend, a couple of our top racers were out of the country and showing the Swedes what they could do, there's also an update to the SPR meeting on July 21st and all the results as well, all from material supplied by Jerry Cookson,
There's some more qualifying and elimination ladders from Chris Dawson for the Cannonball in1985, Top Fuel from the 1983 World Finals (Don't have the date for this one, can anyone help?), Top Fuel from the World Finals in 1982 (again no date as yet) and on the subject of the 1982 World Finals Dennis Priddle recently gave me the details of the first five second run in the UK (after Easter 1976) which he made at this meeting. Cheers Dennis.
Ian Highfield has provided some details on the 1986 Garys Shack Doorslammer Nationals in October,
One of the first contributors to the site, Mark Coles, has returned providing many of the dates there were outstanding on the Questions page and adding the date of Barry Sheavills first outing in Top Alcohol in 1988, Gary and Phil Cottingham have also helped out with some of the missing dates, you can check out their excellent website at www.dragracing.atfreeweb.com, This means that the table of questions on the Questions page has been reduced to a mere ten important dates left to find. For now, I'll be adding some more soon.
1971 sees SPRs second International meeting with a record breaking debut for 'Shutdown' and a visitor from South Africa, the mighty John Hobbs set a new 500cc motorcycle record at SPR in August, and four weeks later Dennis Priddle set a new European E.T. record while Alan Wigmore wrecks Itzaviva, 1973 has the following; details from the UK Drag Bikes visit to Amsterdam in April, details and results from the NDRC meeting at Fulbeck in May and a week later Mr Six puts in some demos at Goodwood, 1976, a small update to the Blackbushe meet on June 13th, 1987 sees Fueler Vs Funny Car at the World Finals in September with explosive results, 1992 sees the addition of details from SPRs Cannonball in July, 1993 it's the battle of the Sherratts at York in June, Avon Parks Goodguys UK Shootout #1 in May, a new European best for Harlan Thompson at the World Finals in September and regular contributor Darren West supplies a load of details from the Avon Park round of the FIM European championships in June (including the return to the strip of John Hobbs). A large amount of details from the 1996 Cannonball meeting in July have also been added.
23/9/00 The mountain of new material continues to grow and, as usual, I have not had much time to sort it and enter it into the archives. This update contains a small amount of new archive material and some updates to the other features of the site. Incidentally I am aware that some of the questions on the Questions page are already contained in the History Files, I will get around to sorting it out soon. I met Dennis Priddle recently at SPRs European Finals meeting. I was introduced to him by Tom Hoover. (Yes I'm name dropping!) Unfortunately I didn't have very much time to talk to him but he did answer a couple of questions I had about his achievements for the site. These will hopefully be included on the next update. With the end of the season in sight, and the nights drawing in, and the cold weather on its way, I might have some more time on my hands to start working through the new material as the prospect of riding around aimlessly on my bike becomes less appealing.
Als Gasser Crash Photo Appeal
I'm gradually discovering what other items I lost when my computer crashed. One of these was a photo of Al O'Connors crash in the original Als Gasser. The picture appeared in Drag Racing News and the photographer who sent it to me also sent a picture of Stripteaser at Snetterton. If you're reading this Sir could you please send me another copy? I promise to back it up this time! If anyone else out there knows who it was that took that picture could you give him a ring and let him know that I'm looking for it. Thanks.
There's some photos from the 1977 Crystal Palace
show taken by Brother Bill. 1968 details and
results from SPRs Summer match Race meeting in July and a lucky escape for
Ken Obee at the rained out August 4th meeting also at Santa Pod, both these
come from material supplied by Jerry Cookson. If anyone knows the re-run
date of this meeting I would be very grateful if you could let me know. There's
a new addition to the Historic Vehicle Files, the
memorable Austin Ruby Altered of the Ison Brothers, 'Wild Honey'. Some time
ago one of you out there wrote to me about this car when it was George Gillets
'George's Draggin'. Unfortunately the details you sent were lost in my computer
crash. If you're reading this please send them again. If anyone else out
there has any information on the car please send it especially if you know
what became of it or where it may be now. The
Anecdotes page was well overdue for a new addition
so if you take a look you will find a tale sent to me by Chris Dawson that
includes Dennis Priddles brush with the Brighton constabulary in 1973. There's
also a couple of new additions to the Snippets
page. Finally there's some new links on the
Draglinks page related to the Wild Bunch
5/9/00 As you all will know by now Dave Grady sadly lost his life recently in a motorcycle accident. Our deepest sypathies go out to his family and friends. Regular contributor to this site Darren West wrote to me as soon as he heard the news with some of his memories of Dave. After speaking to Darren at Super Series Four he told me that he would write a tribute to Dave that I could publish on this site. The following arrived in my mailbox two days later. I think it says it all.
It is with deep sadness and fond memories I write this short tribute to one of the real fathers of UK drag racing.
Dave brought to Drag Racing a tireless enthusiasm and spirit, and the drive and talent to encourage new interest and sponsors, not to mention new classes into the drag racing arena. The many who met and raced with Dave over the years, will of been touched by his approachable and friendly way.
When I first started to go to the drags at York Raceway (Melbourne)in 1978 as a nine year old, it was Dave's black 57 Ford 'High Spirits' that was immediately my favourite car. The highlight of those early halcyon days was one of the summer79 meets at York when I gave Dave a picture I had drawn of the car, it sat in the rear window of High Spirits for the next couple of meetings, in return Dave said hey do you want a ride in the car!....... an unforgettable blast around the back pit roads in High Spirits followed,.....it was an absolute dream come true!!.......From then on I loved all of Dave's cars, the rebuilt 472ci 'High Spirits', his 'Low Spirits' Galaxie wagon, the 'Wild Spirits' falcon run by Andy Judge, his black De Tomaso and of course the Thunder Truck!
Another highlight being a visit to Dave's Super Power USA shop in Swillington around early 83, to my surprise there was the original ex-Reg Hazleton Thunderbird Pro Comp Topolino altered sitting at the front of the shop, complete with flowers sprouting from the Crower injectors!......Dave and the guys were there playing pool and generally having a good time,......as always!
I spent many great nights and Sunday lunchtimes at the Damn Yankee restaurant in Chapeltown, inspired by the "Eat at the Damn Yankee" legend on the boot lid of High Spirits. (The Damn Yankee a mecca for all Yorkshire rod /draggin and American car fans).
I saw Dave again for the first time for a few years in Feb 96, on the Drag Racing stand at an auto show at Sheffield Arena. Again giving his time and energy to Spread the word about the world of Drag Racing, with his usual limitless enthusiasm!
The last time I saw Dave was at last years European Finals at Santa Pod, in the pits taking pics of Tommy Mollers Pro Mod and the other wild doorslammers, and then again on the Sunday in the stand. When 'Fast Freddie Fagerstrom in his blown and flamed truck' came to the line, Graham Beckwith announced,- this one's for you Dave Grady,........the Thunder Truck was never like this!! Dave was loving it!
Dave will be remembered for the great times spent building the northern Drag Racing and street scene in the 70's, for his achievements on the track, and for the pleasure he gave by running such wicked cars. Not to mention his Sterling efforts to build and develop the drag racing scene nationally, and for the time and effort spent at the many shows and displays promoting Super Gas under the famed 'G force' banner! Without which the Super Gas class may not of been the success it has been over the last dozen years or so! Not forgetting all of the people of have benefited from the supply of American parts over the years through his businesses.
Those great early memories are one of the reasons why to this day I am still completely obsessed with Drag Racing, past and present!
Over the European Finals weekend when the quick doorslammers hit the strip,.............somewhere up above is gonna be a grin a mile wide!!!!!
To Dave Grady,.....we'll miss you man!
Late again. Sorry.
1973 Details from SPRs Fireworks meeting in November, who remembers Owen Hayward driving Stardust? 1985 some details from SPRs Cannonball in July, 1990 details from Avon Parks 'European Records Weekend' an optimistic thing to call a meeting but it worked out well with new Fuel Altered, Top Fuel & Top Fuel Bike records. A good start to 1991 as the Drag Racing stand takes the honours at the 1st Autosports International show.
1985 SPRs World Finals in Septemebr now includes the first of a large quantity of elimination ladders sent to me by Chris Dawson, theres 17 of these in all spanning 1980 to 1989, taken from Chris' original notes from the meetings. Thanks very much Chris.
When was this?
When Monica Oberg set a new UK Top Fuel record at Avon Parks European Records weekend in 1990 she took the record away from Dennis Priddle who had set it at 5.87 in 1985. Does anyone out there know at which meeting this happened? I suspect it was SPRs Finals in September but I can't confirm this. Can you?
1968 details and results from SPRs first combined car/bike night meeting in June, including Clive Skilton getting oh-so-close to the eights, and details from the second combined meet in July (results to follow), including fun and games from the fuelers and some new personal bests, from material supplied by Jerry Cookson.
1969 results to go with the details from SPRs April meeting, supplied by Steve Collins.
There's also loads of detail and results from SPRs Easter 1973 meeting, including a match race between Drag-N-Fly and Mr Six! and a Pro Fuel win for the Commuter. The '85-'89 section has been short of new info for a while but since I came across a couple of Fire Up magazines from '89 I now have some stuff to put in there. To start with there are some details of Alan O'Connors trip to the States with Als Gasser at the end of 1988 and the beginning of 1989. I'll include more details of Als tour as soon as I can figure out what the dates were.
The Hall Of Fame entries for Dennis Priddle and Allan Herrdige have also been updated with material from the latest archive additions.
There's a fair bit of new stuff for this update, the nineties section finally gets moving with a wheeelbarrow full of detail from the 1990 season. There's also more results and details from 1968 & 1969, a new addition to the Hall Of Fame and the usual updates to the 2000 section.
1990 news of IHRA sanctioning for SPR, May sees Jim Wheelan run low E.T. of the meet at the SPR Springnationals, Phil Brachtvogel runs a new personal best at Julys Cannonball meet and Micke Kagered takes the final honours while Jim Wheelan gets into the fives for the first time, also in July a new Top Alcohol Funny Car record for Gary Page at Avon Park and some Top Fuel bike details including a new best terminal speed for Phil Brachtvogel, there's some details from SPRs Summer Nationals in August including the return of Norm Wilding and more sixes and 200s from Phil Brachtvogel, September sees a vast improvement for Brian Johnsons bike at Avon Parks British Finals and a similar performance at Santa Pods Finals a week later, Norm Wilding becomes Avon parks first five second Funny Car driver in October. 1994 Kev Moore wrecks Jumpin' Jack Flash at Avon in July,
1969 details and results from Santa Pods April, May & June meetings from Steve Collins.
1968 details and results from SPRs Big Go in June from material supplied by Jerry Cookson.
The Clive Skilton and Alf Hagon entries in the Hall Of Fame both have new entries and the latest person to be inducted is the late Allan Herridge. The entries in his section span an incredible 26 years.
Also the 2000 and beyond section has been updated with all the latest news from meetings in the UK and the Brits performances overseas.
Finally it seems we may have an answer at last to Mystery Photo #5 on the Questions page. Take a look and see if it jogs any memories, I'd like to verify the answer sent to me by Nick Cleveland from Canada.
15/7/00 Bit late but for those of you who have not already seen it, the June issue of Classic Bike magazine has an excellent five page feature on one of the most successful UK dragbikes of the seventies, Brian Chapmans Mighty Mouse. If you can still get a copy it's well worth it. On the subject of bikes I have just paid a visit to the National Motorcycle Museum and on display in the entrance hall is the 'Pegasus' twin Norton of Ian Messenger and Derek Chinn, looking as good as it ever did. Right alongside it is 'Super Nero' Georgre Browns legendary 1000cc Vincent that was a sprint star and took part in the first Drag Fests alongside Alf Hagons JAP. Both these bikes are on display in a free area as you enter the museum so if you're passing on the M42 pay them a visit.
1973, a couple of bike details from SPRs season opener in April & Wroughtons NDRC Championship opener the following week.
1978, some details from the Big Go in May, with the debut of one of my all time favourite cars, Reg Hazeltons 'Thunderbird' and DLTs first outing in Top Fuel. Observed runs at the start and a win in the final to finish!
1984 some details from Santa Pods May Day meet including a Hitman/Houndog match race, and some details from the NDRC meet at Long Marston in July.
From Steve Collins comes results from the May meeting at Santa Pod in 1969, including that man Weichelt again.
From Jerry Cookson some details and all the results from SPRs second motorcycle meeting of the year in May 1968 and from the second car meet of the season in the same month.
Finally Tony Hodgson of the National Sprint Association has come up with the answer to the question of which world record was held by Tony Weedon on his Triumph dragbike, you can find the answer in the October entry of the 1974 section. Tonys response has reminded me of the existence of the Questions page, which I have now tidied up a bit. There are still some dates required here for the archives and there is still a mystery photo of a yellow Corvette which nobody has been able to identify yet.
R.I.P. Joey Dunlop OBE MBE 1952-2000 There will never be another like him
If you have seen the July edition of Custom Car magazine you will be aware that page six carries the sad news that Ed Shaver passed away on May 14th, after complications set in following open heart surgery.
Ed was one of many US servicemen who, having been posted to the UK in the late sixties/early seventies, discovered that drag racing was thriving on this side of the Atlantic at Santa Pod. It was not long before he was out on the strip, entering two cars in the Top Street eliminator class. The outcome of this was that he ended up racing against himself in the final! (Details in November entry of 1970 section) He went on to terrorize the Street classes with his AMX Javelin and received backing from Mattel, becoming part of the 'Hot Wheels' racing team. He had drives in the Reliant Whistler, the car that carried Dennis Priddle to 17 straight victories, and the Metronome Bond Bug, before taking the Whistler and rebuilding it from the ground up. The result was the 'Ecstasy' funny car, a beautifully engineered, show winning machine complete with nitro-burning Keith Black power. He will also be remembered for his rear engined Castrol sponsored Vauxhall funny car, (later driven by Pete Barnett) something the UK had never seen before. Or since for that matter.
It is a fitting tribute that during his racing years in the UK Ed was a firm favourite with both fans and racers alike. Magazine articles referred to him always as a cheerful, friendly character with a great deal of enthusiasm for the sport and a willingness to offer help and advice to other racers. He was one of the great characters of the sport.
He leaves a wife, Caroline, and two children, Michelle and Ed Jnr. Caroline would very much like to have any copies of photos of Ed when he was in the UK. If any of you can help her contact address can be found in the July edition of Custom Car.
29/6/00 This update had to be posted early as the weekend will be spent at SPR for the Cannonball meet. To find out whether we manage to take the title this year check the Showtime site next week. I managed to get down to Shakespeare County Raceway for the Saturday qualifying session last week (had to work on Sunday). A great day out, the weather was sunny, warm and dry all day (the pattern so far this year seems to be Avon Park=sunny, Santa Pod=rainy) and despite a little downtime there was plenty of great action on the track to keep the spectators happy. I spent some time in the pits with Dave Potters Pro ET team, who all come from my homeland of Suffolk. Here's a slightly interesting point. Dave put in three runs on the Saturday and despite the times getting gradually slower he recorded exactly identical speeds on each run. Okay so it's not that interesting. I managed to purchase myself a large quantity of old drag mags, National Drag Racers, Fire Ups etc from the early seventies right up to the nineties, so a big thanks to whoever donated them. They have been added to the ever increasing pile of material for this site. Make the effort to get along to Shakespeare County this season, you won't regret it. Don't forget that the 2000 & beyond section is regularly updated with the latest results after each meeting, you can find details of the new track records and results from Super Series Two there.
There are some new additions to the Pre 1960 section. Tony Hodgson, President of the National Sprint Association has very kindly answered some questions for me about the early days of sprinting. Although Sprinting and Drag Racing still exist today as separate sports there is some evidence that a form of Drag Racing existed in the UK long before the Americans started. Check out the 1931, 1932 and 1958 entries. Also new in this section is a new entry supplied by Alf Hagon, 1950 and Alf attended his first sprint meeting.
In the Snippets section you can find some brief memories of the 1964 Drag Fests from the likes of Nobby Hills, Alan Wigmore, Peter Billington, Don Garlits and Roy Phelps, taken from an article in November 1984s Custom Car magazine. The Hall Of Fame entries for Clive Skilton, Dennis Priddle and Alf Hagon have all been updated with new info from the following entries.
1999 a few details of the UKs racers at Hockenheim, 1972 a new speed record for Dennis Priddle at Blackbushe and a PB speed for Dave Stone, not sure of the date for this one yet, 1976 some more details from Snettertons NDRC meet in July with personal bests for John Whitmore and Mike Hall, 1978 loads of details from the PDRC meet at Melbourn in June & details of the cancelled meeting at Radlett, also in June. The following comes from Steve Collins1969 results of the British Drag Racing Championships meeting at the beginning of September. The final two entries are the first in a ton of stuff supplied by Jerry Cookson1968 loads of details and all class winners from SPRs season opener in April, including, depending on your point of view, the debut of the UKs first "funny car", also details and class winners from the Season Opener for bikes in the same month, an interesting note in this entry, I'll bet you thought that Super Series 1 this year was the first time a drag race had been interrupted by an aircraft landing on the track! Finally the Draglinks page has the addition of all the latest links for Shakespeare County Raceway, including Quick Times, the online magazine of the APIRA and a link to the homepage of the National Sprinting Organisation.
1967 Alf Hagon becomes the first UK rider to go under ten seconds, There's a world record for Brian Chapman at Blackbushe in August 1971 along with some more details plus all class results. There's also details and all results from the NDRC meeting at Dunkeswell in July. The following new entries all come from Steve Collins; there's some more Avon Park dates from 1990 (no details or results yet) along with the date for the 1985 World Finals in September at last and the Garys Shack Doorslammer Nationals in the same month, there are also some new dates in 1986, again there are no results or details as yet. 1971 results from the NDRC meet at North Luffenham in September and details of world, British and European records at Elvington for Clive Skilton and Bill Weichelt (yes him again) in July. 1973 results from Blackbushe NDRC in August
The new material for this update consists solely of catching up with the news from this season so all new material can be found on the 2000 and beyond page. For the next update we will be back to the old stuff.
R.I.P. Chris Hampson You will be sadly missed
All we have for this week is the beginning of a new Hall Of Fame entry for Alf Hagon (more material to be added to this soon) and one new addition on the Snippets page. Pathetic eh. I'm sorry. I have no excuse. I'll try harder next time.
A new addition to the Anecdotes section, a fabulous account of the Dragfests from one of the US competitors, Gary Goodnight. Gary was part of the Goodnight Keith & Williamson team that brought the Dos Palmos Chevy Gas dragster to this country in 1964. His memories of those early days make fascinating, and often hilarious, reading and I'd like to thank Gary for allowing me to reproduce them on this site for us all to enjoy. There's a new addition in the Historic Vehicle Files section, the Houndog 9 funny car, thanks to Jez for his help with this profile and to Ash Wilkinson for the photo. The Hall Of Fame section has another entry, the Clive Skilton section opens with all the archive entries I have so far for him plus some extra biographical details that bring his story right up to the present day. Dennis Priddles entry has also been updated with a few new details and the addition of some more photos courtesy of Jon Spoard. In the archives there's more from Brother Bill with new additions in 1968 August, new records (see Can You Help? below) 1969 and a host of class records at SPRs Big Go in May, 1975 details from SPRs Easter meeting, a new speed record for Priddle at Blackbushe in April, more details from the April 20th meet at SPR including a new strip record for Houndog 7, details from Snettertons Mayday meet including a new personal best for Roz Prior and that Burn/Priddle crash, details of SPRs Big Go at the end of May, more results from Wroughton in June, 1976 the first Round of the Tor Line Funny Car Championship in June, a couple of details from Snettertons "Superdrag" meet in July, and Pro Comp details from SPRs European Grand Prix in July.
Can You Help?
The list I have of all the class records as they stood at the beginning of 1970 (supplied by brother Bill) lists five class records set on August 11th 1968. Four are in the dragster classes and one is in Super Stock Production. The problem is this. I'm not sure wether these records were set at Santa Pod or another venue. If it was Santa Pod it seems a bit odd as there was a combined car/bike meet the following week. If it was at another venue does anyone know where? It is possible that the source Bill got the info from is wrong and these car records should be listed as having happened at the combined meeting the week after. Does anyone have any details of 1968 race dates? Was there a meeting at Santa Pod or another venue on the 11th August? I have contacted Doug Harler who set one of the records in question but he has been unable to shed any light on this matter. Can anyone sort this one out?
26/3/00 I've had a mail from regular contributor Steve Collins concerning the whereabouts of Bill Weichelt and Asmodeus/Dos Palmos. Seems there may be a very good reason why nobody can find him. Check out the latest addition to the Snippets page to find out more. I managed to get the Priddle pictures up as promised but spare time has been rather short lately so the new Anecdote and Vehicle Profile will have to wait until next time.
I've added some pictures and some new details (all the stuff I had missed)
to Dennis Priddles Hall Of Fame entry,
1964 a few more details for each of the Dragfest
meetings, 1968 and full results from the British
Drag Racing Championships in September supplied by Mick Tickner of
'Geronimo' fame, 1972
some details from SPRs Easter Meet, including a new E.T. record for Priddle
and debuts for Revolution 3 and Money Hungry,
1984 and a new European record for Priddle in
Sweden, some more info from Darren West, in 1988
results and details from the Easter International at SPR and the Street Racer
Championship at York in June.
11/3/00 This week sees the addition of yet another section of the site. The Hall Of Fame will feature all the archive entries relating to a particular driver or rider along with any additional biographical details and photos that I have. Of course you are invited to contribute material to this section as with all the other parts of this site. The first inductee is Mr Six himself, Yeovils quickest resident Dennis Priddle. I have some photos to add to Dennis' page. Expect them on the next update. If I get time there will also be a new entry in the Vechicle Profiles section and a new story on the Anecdotes page.
New stuff this week; 1964 another addition to
the Drag Fest entry, the debut of some bloke called Nobby who went on to
collect a "most improved performance" prize in 1965
at the Duxford Whitsun meet (date anybody?)
1968 and Movin' Mike takes the first victory
for Houndog 3 in May followed by another and a new personal best in July
and a third in December (at SPR??) in the same year
April saw the debut of Tudor Rose and
a new low E.T. and speed for Densham and Skilton respectively, and Commuter
is first into the eights in August. 1970 the
first SPR Fireworks meeting in November at which Ed Shaver made his UK debut
and enforced a rule change with a memorable Top Street Eliminator final,
and one of my favorite stories. 1973 rule changes
mean bigger engines for bikes, 1978 the
first Brighton Dragster and Custom Show in July. The following entries have
all been sent in by Darren West (thanks Darren)
1979 Yorks first meeting of the year in May
(date anyone?) some details of the Sugarbeet Nationals in September, and
Dave Tucker wrecks the Stripteaser in France towards the end of the year.
Also from Darren 1981 results and details from
SPRs First Open Nationals in March, including victories for Bill Sherratt,
Steve Green and Brian Johnson and a broken motor for the "Maiden Warrior".
There's a couple of new entries on the Snippets
26/2/00 The new additions for this update are filling in some of the gaps in the sixties sections, and there's a few Allan Herridge details from the seventies thrown in for good measure. Amongst the new stuff you will find the first use of an electric christmas tree in the UK, the first flame burnout in the UK, the UKs first Funny Car, or not, depending on your point of view, and some details I have just found about the return to the track of Dos Palmos (the car we haven't found yet) before Bill Weichelt (who we also haven't found yet) bought it. Where would you be without all this fascinating information eh? There's a couple of new links on the Draglinks page, one is Nitronic Research which I thought was already there but wasn't (sorry Cole) and the other is a new UK site run by brother Bill who has contributed vast amounts of material to Trakbytes, much of which is still to be added.
New stuff this week; 1960 a slight amendment to the creation of the BHRA, 1963 the formation of the BDRA, 1964 some BDRA meeting dates in June & August (results anybody?), a BHRA meeting at Duxford in May with the debut of a famous car and a familiar piece of equipment, some updates on the Blackbushe Drag Fests in September & October plus a few details on the other Drag Fest dates (more to come), 1965 two new drag mags for the UK, two BDRA meets in June & July with some details of the return of Dos Palmos and two guys buy all the UKs nitro after the Drag Fests, 1967 big entry list for SPRs Easter Meet, 1970 SPR debut a car that would still be causing arguments today, 1972 Tony Densham announces his retirement and Bootsie gets a new ride taking it to a new record in October along with a UK first. 1977 Bootsie writes off the second Alleygator and in 1979 debuts its replacement in March
Where are they now?
Looks like we may have a lead on the whereabouts of Bill Weichelt thanks to regular contributor Doug Harler. No positive results yet but it's a start.
New stuff for this update, I have just aqquired two magazine articles from the 1970s relating the life and times of Allan Herrdige and I have begun to add details from these. As a result there is finally some new material in the Pre 1960 section (about time too I hear you cry) and a new entry in the 1962 section with the building of the first all British dragster. From material supplied from Brother Bill 1968 a host of new records at SPRs May June and July car meetings including records for Alan Allard, Gary Goggin and Mark Stratton and a new record at the first bike practice meeting in April, plus in 1969 some new records at SPRs Autum Match race in August. 1970 some more details and meeting results supplied by Steve Collins, the Hullavington meeting in August and the SPR International in July.Some of my own research in 1975 details & results from the Supernationals at the Pod in August including new personal bests for Owen Hayward, John Hobbs, John Whitmore and Brian Mondey. Also in '75 Bootsie and Co. attend Hollands first Drag Race in September. 1984 some details and results from the Cannonball in June. There's three new entries on the Snippets page, one of which is Togs excellent follow up to a previous entry about the UK vs Sweden Pro Comp needle races, and there is some info about Pete Atkins Slo-Mo-Shun altered from Doug Harler which has also helped to update the profile of the car in the Historic Vehicle Files. There's a couple of new links on the Draglinks page.
Where are they now?
Does anyone out there know the whereabouts of Bill Weichelt or Asmodeus (also known as Dos Palmos). The car was a part of UK Drag Racing history for 6 years having made its first appearance here at the 1965 Dragfests with driver Bob Keith. Bill and the car returned to the States in 1971 and regular visitor to this site Gary Goodnight, a member of that '65 team, would love to locate the car again. Some of Garys recollections of the Dragfests will be appearing on the Anecdotes page in the near future. One other where are they; does anyone know the current whereabouts of ex-Pro Stock driver Tony Dickson ? E mail me if you have any info.
I'm very pleased to announce that having come up with the idea for the Anecdotes page, and supplying the first story for it, the infamous Tog has finally found the photo to accompany it. Check out "Picardo Pandemonium" Other new stuff; 1971, the last appearance on these shores of Bill Weichelt and Asmodeus at Blackbushe in August. 1975 Crane and Picardo match race at SPR in June, details of the big Funny Car meet at Wroughton a week later including the elimination ladder and a scan of the programme cover, more Funny Car details and some other winners at SPR in July while John Hobbs proves that the strip needs resurfacing, even more Funny Facts at SPR in September with a new European record for Owen Hayward, a new entry, the Fireworks meet at SPR with details of the.....er....Funny Car eliminations. 1976 and some Top Fuel and, yes you've guessed it, Funny Car details at SPR in July 1979 and some details of the Top Fuel & Funny Car (for a change) eliminations at SPRs Supernationals in August. I've added sixteen more programme cover scans from 1973 through to 1979, there's two new tales on the Anecdotes page, supplied by Steve Collins, two new links on the Draglinks page and there's a new story on the Snippets page also.
16/1/00 A belated HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE. Well here we all are in the new millennium. My computer didn't crash (nor did anything else as it happens) so to celebrate I have given the whole site a bit of a facelift. All the pages are now being hosted on a different server with the exception of the main homepage, this is so I didn't have to change the site URL thus forcing everybody to change their bookmarks and links again. It will also make my job easier when it comes to uploading new material. Hopefully if it all works ok the menu to the left of the screen will remain there throughout your visit to make site navigation a bit easier. The history archives were getting rather large (especially the 1970s page) so now they are divided into five year sections to speed things up a bit. There is also a new addition to the site. I have received a lot of e. mails over the past months that contained interesting, informative or just plain silly or amusing quotes. They were neither things that were applicable to the archives, nor long enough to include on the Anecdotes page, so I have created a new page entitled 'Snippets' to house them all for your perusal. There are also some bits in there that I have collected from various magazines over the years which I liked. You may not like them however, and if that's the case I don't care :o)
New additions for this update. All the following entries come from the material researched by big brother Bill; 1969 A host of new records are set at SPRs Spring Nationals in June, 1971 more details added to the Easter meet at SPR including a new low E.T. and top speed record for Clive Skilton, Drag Racing in Gosport, Hampshire in April with the debut runs for the Firefly and the Saxon, also Skilton announces his plans for a trip to the States (I'm not sure if he made it or not does anybody out there know?), 1973 the first ever NDRC meeting at Long Marston including the last outing for "Mr Six", September, and at the European Grand Prix at SPR some new details including the first trips into the nines for the bikes of Hobbs and Butler, November and Skilton is in the States once again where he puts in the quickest run ever for a European driver. Finally some details about the drag bike hero of the sixties, Alf Hagon, sent to me by Mick Tickner (thanks Mick) 1968 a new speed record in November and the first Englishman to take a bike over 200mph at Honington Air Base despite a string of mechanical failures. (don't have a date for this one although it seems to have been around May, anyone know it?)
1999 Whats New Archive Click Here
1998 Whats New Archive Click Here