Trakbytes 2002 Update Archive

Latest News 1/12/02

With the change to infrequent updates, and the sad news about Sammy, it completely passed me by that this site had its fourth birthday in October. I have not had time to prepare anything special to celebrate this so maybe next year.............five is a nice round number!

I have recently been contacted by Norm Wilcox's widow Jo. She had found my profile of the Mr Revell fueler and wrote to point out that the car had been built and owned entirely by Norm, and not by Bill Simpson as had been previously thought. The car which Bill and Norm ran jointly was the Simpson Skyjacker (Norm owned the engine and Bill owned the chassis ), a different machine to the one that our Dennis purchased. As thanks for her help I was able to scan and e mail an article about Norm from a 1973 edition of National Drag Racer that Jo had not seen.

Your help is needed now in helping me compile a complete list of all the Drag Race meetings that took place over twenty years at Blackbushe from the first Dragfest in 1964 until the final meeting in 1984. Steve Purchase, an aviation historian has asked for my help with this task and I have managed to come up witht he most complete list that I could. However it is possible that some dates are not listed yet so if you can point them out, or correct any mistakes, or add any details of meeting names or sponsors, please let me know as soon as possible. There are some questions with the list also. To see the list so far click here.

Since I have reached a hiatus with the collection of information on the Dos Palmos Dragster I have decided to go ahead and post it in the hope that reading it will jog some memories into completing the story. If Bill Weichelt is out there anywhere it would be great if he would get in touch. If he is worried about any repercussions regarding his departure from the UK with the car I can assure him that our interest is purely in completing the profile of the car and nobody is going to issue a lawsuit against him.

The Hall of Fame vote is proving popular I'm pleased to say. The race for the next inductee is currently between The Stones and Nobby Hills although it's not too late for anyone else to come fom behind . Register your vote now! (I see some of you have figured out how to vote for your favourites more than once!)

The Latest Updates

  • The Historic Vehicle Files have been updated with a profile of the Dos Palmos Gas Dragster. This car was the first US Dragster to be imported into the UK and it carried its drivers to some impressive milestones over the years.
  • The Photo Archive has another selection of pictures from Tim Heath, this time from Avon Park in 1988. Once again there are some gaps in the captions (as there still are in the previous gallery from Tim) so if you can help fill them let me know.
  • There are some minor details added in various places, Andy Craddocks clutch explosion at Easter in 1982, a new magazine in June of the same year and the addition of some more dates where there were meetings that I have no details for yet. Also in '82 there are details from the 'Secret Nationals' (!) in August, the August Bank Holiday meeting at Long Marston, the Brits at LeMans in Septemeber, the NDRCs September meeting where Andy Craddock secured theTop Fuel Championship & on the same weekend there are details and full results from York raceways final meeting of the year.
  • Finally there is a new entry in the Hall of Fame file for Dennis Priddle.

Latest News 3/11/02

Sammy Miller

I was not planning to post another update for a couple of weeks at least when the sad news came in of the death of Sammy Miller. I had been away at work for a few days and, with no internet access, was unaware of what had happened. When I got home on Friday evening I logged on to Eurodragster as usual to catch up on the latest news from the week and the first thing I read was "Sammy Millers Funeral". Like so many others my heart sank at the news and my sincere condolences go to his family and friends in such a difficult time.

Sammy made a huge impression on me when he first appeared over here in 1978. Nobody had ever seen anything like that before or since. Since then he has been a hero of mine and I always had a desire to see him out on a track again. When the news came that he would be at the Speedfreaks ball this year I was thrilled. I had no idea it would be the last time we would see him.

I had included Sammy in the vote for the next Hall Of Fame entry on my last update. Although he was not British his greatest achievements took place in this country and his status as a crowd favourite remained as high as ever. This was soon confirmed when he took an immediate lead in the voting. After the announcement of his death virtually every vote that came in was for him and so I have put together Sammys Hall Of Fame page by way of my own small tribute to an exceptional man.

Bye Sammy. We will miss you.

Latest News 25/10/02

Welcome to the first of the new infrequent Trakbytes updates. Hopefully now that I have longer to prepare each update, and the pressure to produce something new every two weeks has gone, the updates will be bigger and more varied than before. Those of you who like the stuff I turn out here might like to add your e mail address to the mailing list if you haven't done so already.  You will then be the first to know when the site is updated next. The where are they now feature has returned so scroll down and see if you can help with any info on an old race car. I may devote a new page on the site to these requests if there is demand for it. There is a new 'interactive' part to the site also. Scroll down to the updates section for details.

Many of you will remember Keith Parnell becoming the first man into the eights on a motorcycle in this country (June 8th 1975, 8.93/151 at Santa Pod). Well at the recent Classic Bike International Speed Weekend at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk the 65 year-old took his Kawasaki ZX12 to a 199.45mph run on the two mile straight. The UKs fastest pensioner? He also put in a 10.46/146 standing quarter. Shortly afterwards Keiths son Lorcan took the bike out and clocked 201.8mph. Keith wasn't the only name from the days of Dragbike past to be seen at the weekend. Mick Butler was also present as was Ray Law with his double-engined Triumph. Still on the bike news front you may remember that in July I reported to you that John Hobbs was back out on the Hobbit at North Weald and promised you some details. John, now 55 wheeled out the immaculate looking 1700cc double Weslake powered bike at the third round of the Classic Bike Magazine sponsored Sprint Championship and promptly ran his fastest ever time at North Weald. He had been experimenting with the gear ratios on the bike as the Essex airfield strip has little in the way of traction. It paid off as he clocked an 8.9 second run, just short of the course record of 8.84. There are full meeting reports and results plus photos in the October issue of Classic Bike magazine.

Good news on the nostalgia website front. It looks as if Jon Spoard is back on the case and in the process of planning a new photo update to the excellent UKDRN site. Welcome back mate!

The profile of the Dos Palmos gas dragster that came over for the 1964 Drag Festival has reached a hiatus and I will probably publish it as it stands unless I can locate any more information. I have had a lot of help from people who were involved with this car at various stages (the beauty of the internet!) but would still like to know what ever became of the car after it returned to the States. Rumours are that it is still in the Phoenix area somewhere. If anyone can help with information, or knows the whereabouts of Bill Weichelt, who was the last owner that we aware of, please contact me here at Trakbytes.

The Latest Updates

There are new Hall Of Fame entries for Allan Herridge, Tony Densham John Hobbs and The Allards. While considering who should be the next entry in the Trakbytes Hall Of Fame it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to let you decide for me. On the Hall Of Fame page now you will find a drop down menu with a number of likely contenders. Simply choose the name you think deserves to be included next and the one with the most votes will be the next inductee. Get voting!

I recently discovered an e mail that Kevin Fulcher sent me some time ago that contained some details of the construction of the 'George's Draggin' Austin Ruby Altered. The car went on to become 'Wild Honey' and you can see the updated file in the Historic Vehicle Files.

The Photo Archive has been updated with some photos taken by Tim Heath at Avon Parks International Records Weekend in June 1990. There is a lot more to come from Tims collection. There are some missing captions from some of these photos, perhaps someone out there can help? I think the Pro Stock Bike is Jack Valentines and the Funny Car is an ex-Houndog I believe?

There is a small section of news from a 1960 'Car Mechanics' magazine that Jon Crawford spotted in the 1960 section showing some of the interest in Hot Rods and Drag Racing in the UK in those early days. Maybe 'The Sprinters' was one of the clubs that amalgamated into the BHRA, anyone know if this is the case? The 1966 section has the addition of details of some demo appearances by the UKs leading lights in the Dragster ranks at the Jaguar Drivers Club Sprint at SPR in May and details from the Big Go, also at Santa Pod, which saw the debuts of some new machines and the introduction of the Competition Altered class. Later in June SPR hosted its first meeting to feature foreign drivers as the US Commandos team paid a visit, there were two Commandos meetings on consecutive weekends in June and I am unable to find details from the second as yet. Can anyone out there help with this? The relatively sparse early eighties section recieves some attention too with an update to the NDRCs meeting at Long Marston in May 1982 and details and results from York Raceways Northern Nationals in July of the same year.

Where Are They Now?

I haven't done one of these for a while but they seem to have worked in the past. The following mail arrived recently asking for help in tracing an old race car, can anybody help with info?

"Hi Chris, Just looking through your web pages. I have been talking today to John Wright who used to race the Jag powered A40 pick up called Koolcams back in the 60's. I remember it was raced in the 70's I think under the name of Da Judge. It was black with flames. Do you know or have any information about what happened to the car. Is it still around or was it broken up? I used to be a marshall with the NDRC and can't remember seeing it after the mid 70's. Any information would be greatly received. Thanks"

Tony Stevenson

Latest News 17/8/02

With my busiest time of year at work approaching, and the ever decreasing amount of spare time I seem to have......well..decreasing.....I have decided that the regular two week update schedule to the site must come to an end. Many of you, who visit the site regularly, will be aware that at times my ability to stick to the two week schedule has been..well let's say......erratic(!) and so may not see that there is any change here! There will still be frequent updates to the site for all you retrophiles out there and you needn't miss out on the latest additions. Just add your name and e mail address to the Trakbytes mailing list and you will be notified immediately any new material is added to the website. Some of you will have already received an invitation to join (some of you had two, sorry!). This is for one of the following reasons: 1. You have either been a previous contributor or visitor to the site. 2 You are a member of the BHRA Pioneers group. 3 You are a website running person of high intelligence and with a generous nature who may give me some mentions on their news pages. 4 You are someone I know personally and wish to irritate with mailshots! For these reasons I have taken the liberty of adding your e mail address to the mailing list. If you went ahead and subscribed then thanks for your support. And if you didn't we'll say no more about it. The first mailshot will go out to announce the next update to the site.

I am currently working on a profile of the Dos Palmos gas dragster that came over for the 1964 Drag Festival. I have had a lot of help from people who were involved with this car at various stages (the beauty of the internet!) but once again I would like to know what ever became of the car after it returned to the States. Rumours are that it is still in the Phoenix area somewhere. If anyone can help with information, or knows the whereabouts of Bill Weichelt, who was the last owner that I am aware of, please contact me here at Trakbytes.

This Weeks Updates

Thanks to Alan Currans for corrections and additions to the galleries of Jeremy Cooksons photos from the last update. I think I corrected the mistakes before anyone else noticed! Just a few photos added this time but one of the advantages of the new update schedule should be that there will be more new material for you on each update.

More photos in the Gallery. This week Steve Young has sent in some shots from the '64 and '65 Drag Festivals. Thanks Steve.

New entries in the Draglinks section, both from the other side of the globe, first is Drag Racing Down Under which has a great report from New Zealands first ever drag race in 1966, and second is Tony Astells site Dragbikes Of New Zealand which has loads of info on the two-wheeled Kiwi racers.

Latest News 3/8/02

Welcome to the latest trakbytes update. The arrival of this one on the correct date means that I have managed to get two updates in a row done on time, which is quite a feat for me! I have made a couple of small changes to the layout of the main archive pages, the look is slightly different and, I think, looks a bit tidier. Also each mention of a Hall Of Fame racer is now linked to that persons file.

I am currently working on a profile of the Dos Palmos gas dragster that came over for the 1964 Drag Festival. I have had a lot of help from people who were involved with this car at various stages (the beauty of the internet!) but once again I would like to know what ever became of the car after it returned to the States. Rumours are that it is still in the Phoenix area somewhere. If anyone can help with information, or knows the whereabouts of Bill Weichelt, who was the last owner that I am aware of, please contact me here at Trakbytes.

This Weeks Updates

The 1965 section has details of a BDRA comittee trip to South Marston in May and a new personal best for Alf Hagon two days later. There's also details and all class results from the second 'Big Go' at Duxford in June where one Norman Hills won the most improved performance trophy. Later in June Alf Hagon ran under ten seconds at Debden, but then found out he hadn't! In July there was more high profile national press coverage for the sport. Jumping ahead to 1973 there are details and all class results from the opening NDRC National Championship round of the year in April where Clive Skilton debuted his new fueler.

There's a big update in the Photo Archive. As promised I have finally added the photos loaned to me by Jeremy Cookson, Shakespeare County Raceway press officer, commentator and ace junior dragster pilot! These pictures come from Jeremys collection and are from the lenses of some of the sports top photographers. unfortunately I have no record of who took what so if anyone recognises their work e mail me and I'll add the credits where applicable. Theres also another batch of my own photos from the Nostalgia Nationals bringing the total up to around 60!

New entries in the Hall Of Fame for Alf Hagon, the Allards and Clive Skilton

Photo Of The Week

Wild Bill at Martlesham

Latest News 20/7/02

I was unable to attend the Goodwood festival last weekend which was a shame as the Drag Racing contingent was larger than ever and included some very interesting exhibits. Fortunately the guys at Eurodragster posted a report and pictures which include the first British Dragster into the eights 'Commuter', the Allard Dragster and an Allard Dragon amongst many others. Check out the report and pictures here; Goodwood Festival Of Speed.  By coincidence this weeks updates include a lot of info about the Allard cars. Also in action over the weekend was John Hobbs who had the legendary Hobbit fired up and running at North Weald. As yet I have been unable to find any reports on this event but I believe it was sponsored/organised by Classic Bike magazine so details may be in the next issue.

Next update should see more additions to the Photo Archive including another batch from the Nostalgia Nationals along with the usual stuff.

This Weeks Updates

1964 the introduction of the first Allard Dragon in April, and in June the car sets new national and international records at Chelveston, there are a few new snippets of information in some of the Drag Fest entries for '64, I haven't marked these as new entries but they are in the Kemble section. At the end of the Drag Festival entries there is now also a link to a detailed list of all the Festival trophy and prize winners. 1965 the Allard Dragon took a trip to Pomona in February, there's also details of the first practice day of the year in March with Hagon, Densham and Harrison in attendance plus many others, and Drag Racing coverage in the national press in April.

Alan Currans has kindly re-sent the pictures from the photo gallery that was incompetently deleted by former hosts AOL. The collection of Cuss & Ashley pictures can be found in the Photo Archive. If you have not checked out Alans own site yet you can find it at

New entries in the Hall Of Fame for Tony Densham, Alf Hagon and The Allards,

Photo Of The Week

Alleygator going up

Latest News 6/7/02

OK here we are at last. It seems that a lot of you, probably most of you, didn't get to see the last update as the front page of the site became inaccessible for reasons best known to the company hosting the pages. The assurances from them that all would be resolved 'soon' proved to be incorrect (although I suppose it depends on your definition of the word 'soon', but I thought two weeks should cover it!) and it seems that somehow my files that were hosted on that server have been deleted and lost forever. This is not too bad a problem to cope with as I have copies but for the moment the Alan Currans photo gallery of the Cuss & Ashley cars is the only thing missing.

Anyway, the past few days (ha) has been taken up with me moving everything to its new home here at Hopefully this should see an end to my problems and there is a lot more space to use. To celebrate this there has been a massive photo upload (see updates below).  As you can probably appreciate moving all this has been an arduous task and I have done my best to ensure that everything has survived the move. However if you should find any broken links or missing pages during your visit please let me know so that I can fix it. Oh, and don't forget to update your bookmarks/links and tell your friends.

So what we now have below is the updates from the last update (which you couldn't see), merged with the new updates from the new site (following this?). Some kind of normality may follow!

One more item of news that's worth mentioning again, my brother Bill is in the middle of building a '34 Ford Hot Rod with a 400ci Pontiac motor and has posted a progress report here www.stowupland82/

This Weeks Updates

First off I have uploaded a load of photos that I have taken at various events this season. You can find the three new galleries in the Photo Archive section. Of particular interest to drag racing retrophiles will be the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals pictures from Shakespeare County Raceway.  At last the long-promised profile of the Gladiator Funny Car makes it onto the site. I am indebted to Darren West for compiling and submitting it. You can find it in the Historic Vehicle Files section.

1963 an attempt to hold the first BHRA Drag Meeting was aborted, 1964 BHRA show at Hyde Park, there are a number of new dates added in the sixties sections but as yet there is no information to go with them.

The 2000 & Beyond section is now also up to date.

Photo Of The Week

"Vee Two Brutus"

Latest News 22/6/02

Back at last! My apologies for the lack of updates recently to all those of you who e mailed. As I stated on the last update I anticipated being quite busy in May and I was right! Since then I have not had time to catch up and the rougue laptop is still awaiting attention. I am however gradually getting a little more spare time so updates should become a little more regular again soon. There are some changes coming to the site as the space available for hosting these pages is running out rapidly. Over the next couple of weeks a lot of the pages of this site will be moved to a new server so stay tuned for the news!

Speaking of news my Brother Bill is in the middle of building a '34 Ford Hot Rod with a 400ci Pontiac motor. You can check out his progress report here www.stowupland82/

The next update should see the addition of photos from Shakespeare County Raceways MidSummer Nationals and the Nostalgia Nationals which take place next weekend.

This Weeks Updates

At last the long-promised profile of the Gladiator Funny Car makes it onto the site. I am indebted to Darren West for compiling and submitting it. You can find it in the Historic Vehicle Files section.

1963 an attempt to hold the first BHRA Drag Meeting was aborted, 1964 BHRA show at Hyde Park, there are a number of new dates added in the sixties sections but as yet there is no information to go with them.

Not much to offer for such a long break but there will be more soon.

Photo Of The Week

"Vee Two Brutus"

Latest News 27/4/02

I'm not really finding a lot of spare time for compiling new material at the moment, and until I get my laptop sorted the updates will be on the small side. I have been keeping an eye on Alans new site and he's adding more pictures from his collection at   The Acceleration Archive , if you have not had a look yet after I plugged it on the last update, why not? It's well worth checking out. Those of you who are under the impression that I forgot to include the new Photo Of The Week on the last update...........are correct. I've remembered this time though. I have had to delay the next update as May is a very busy month for Jo & myself. Next weekend sees the first round of the Nitro Funny Car Championship at Shakespeare County Raceway. The weekend after that is the Speedfreaks Ball at SPR with the first appearance of Slammin' Sammy Miller for a god few years. The weekend after that it's the BMF Show at Peterborough. Therefore the next update should be the weekend after that when I will be at home with a very empty wallet! It will absolutely definately feature Darren Wests profile of the Gladiator Funny Car.................honest!

This Weeks Updates

This week sees even more additions to the 1973 section with details and all class results from SPRs Big Street & Motorcycle Meet in August and the BDR&HRA Nationals in the same month (where Owen Hayward took his first drive in Paulas old car, a well known fast lady made her debut and the Mighty Mouse went into the nines). Also there are details and some results from the NDRC Finals at the end of September where the Championship winners were crowned.

The Annecdotes section has a new entry supplied by Cliff Watts. Cliff was part of the team that ran the 'Uncle Scrumble' (ex-Pony Express) Altered in the early-mid seventies. His story provides a unique and fascinating account of the hard work, dedication and money he and Jon Annear put into the running of the car.

There are also new entries in the Hall Of Fame sections for Clive Skilton, Dennis Priddle, Allan Herridge and John Hobbs.

Photo Of The Week

Latest News 13/4/02

Late again! And a small update again. Been busy you see, the season is well and truly underway at last, the Thunderball came and went and the Showtime website tells the tale of our weekend.

A new website has appeared on the nostalgia scene recently. Alan Currans, who kindly provided the pictures in the Cuss/Ashley gallery of the Photo Archive, has built his own site which goes under the superb name of The Acceleration Archive. Although still under construction there are already many great pictures and I know Alan has a huge collection so look out for many more to come.

This Weeks Updates

This week sees a continuation in the additions to the 1973 section with coverage of the August NDRC meet at Blackbushe to go with the results that Steve Collins sent me some time ago (Good to see you back out on the strip at Easter Steve!) there's also details of Dave Stones Rat wrecking trip to Sweden in September of the same year.

There are also new entries in the Hall Of Fame sections for Clive Skilton and Dennis Priddle

Photo Of The Week

Latest News 23/3/02

Not much to add this week I'm afraid. Things are starting to happen on the scene as the new season starts next week with the Thunderball at Santa Pod. There's also been some very exciting news since the last update. The one and only Slammin' Sammy Miller is returning to the UK to run his famous 'Vanishing Point' Rocket Funny Car. For those of you who have never seen it I can highly recommend it. There's no point in trying to describe just what it is like to witness this incredible machine. Words cannot do it justice. Just be there. I picked up these links to a couple of articles by Chris Martin on Sammys career from one of the threads on the Dragsterworld forum. Sammy Miller Article One  &  Sammy Miller Article two These links have been added to the Draglinks page. Sammy will be appearing at the Speedfreaks Ball which is a bike only event at Santa Pod on the 10th/11th/12th May. There is a website with more details at

Finally another racer has been in touch. This week I had an e mail from Des Taylor pointing me towards his website. The site features a detailed account of Des' career in Drag Racing and features a number of great photos. You can find it at and this has also been added to the Draglinks page.

This Weeks Updates

This week sees the addition of my photos and a write-up from the 2001 Hot Rod Drags at Shakespeare County Raceway which can be found in the Photo Archive. This event showcases the best in UK Nostalgia racing.

Photo Of The Week

Fuel Altered 2001

Latest News 9/3/02

Sorry for the delay in getting this update finished. The usual story I'm afraid, problems with PCs coupled with brief periods of lethargy and 'can't be bothered' syndrome. I think I may have a seasonally affected disorder. We now have a whizzy new PC system installed here at Trakbyte Towers and with a new scanner, and some more interesting contributions, I can promise a lot more new material in the Photo section soon. Unfortunately while downloading Trakbytes files for the new PC some of the files became damaged and had information missing. It has taken me a while to sort through all the pages, root out the damaged files and install complete copies in their place. I think I'm on top of the situation now though. I now have the problem of a rogue laptop to deal with and everything should be more or less back to normal. I didn't get time to sort out the promised Gladiator profile from Darren West but it will be on the next update. Also have not sorted out a new photo of the week but if I leave the last one there you might not notice! Normal service will be resumed as soon as.....................Oh, and one other thing. The nice people at Bravenet, who supply the counters and guestbook for the site, have had a security breach on their server so these features are out of action until things are sorted at their end. Sorry for any inconvenience.

This Weeks Updates

The three Petersen Publishing Internationals in 1973 get a re-write this week. There is now a lot more info included for these historic meetings where the two US Funny Cars made their first appearances on British soil. 'That Swedish Jeep' was in the country at that time, running in a different class at the final round in July. By coincidence Brian Taylor, who many of you will remember as Santa Pod commentator from 1967-1979, has contacted me in the last week and offers us a behind the scenes look at that event. You can find his memories of the day in the 'That Swedish Jeep' section of the Snippets page.

The 1980 section also gets a re-write for the Summer Internationals meeting at SPR in July. Bootsie debuted his new FC and, despite the non-completion of the meeting, there were some very interesting performances.

With the above new additions there are now new entries in the Hall Of Fame for Dennis Priddle, Allan Herridge, Clive Skilton, Tony Dickson, John Hobbs and Peter Crane.

Photo Of The Week

Flamin' Firefly

Latest News 3/2/02

This week you may have noticed that another piece of Drag Racing history came up for sale. The 21 year old Paranoia altered has been put on the market by current owner Martin Holgate. The car is a fine example of the kind of Jaguar powered machine that dominated the British Drag racing scene in the seventies & early eighties. More recently Martin has run the car in the Wild Bunch series, and if you've ever fancied getting involved yourself it would be the ideal choice. If enough people send me money right away I could buy it and have a lot of fun with it! Sounds like a good idea eh? I'm waiting for your donations..........

A smaller update than of late this week but some very interesting additions. The next update will see the addition of a profile of the Gladiator Funny Car supplied by regular contributor Darren West.

This Weeks Updates

There's another new addition to the Hall Of Fame. Peter Crane gets his own page and I'm pleased to say that Pete himself has kindly given a helping hand with the compilation. There are also new Hall Of Fame entries in the files of Dennis Priddle, Allan Herridge and John Hobbs

There's also a new addition to the Historic Vehicle Files with a profile of Ian Richardsons unique Moonraker bike from the late sixties sent in by Mal Hawkins.

The 1980 Easter International gets a full re-write now that I have a full report of the meeting that saw record setting performances in Pro Comp and the debut of a new Priddle fueler, due to rain the finals from that meeting were run at the following Spring Nationals and there's details from that meeting also plus full results.

Photo Of The Week

Flamin' Firefly

Latest News 20/1/02

After last weeks sad news about Tony Dickson it seemed fitting to prepare a Hall Of Fame entry for him. It includes all the material I have in the Trakbytes archives relating to Tony and, like the other entries it will be added to as more details are found. I have included some of the tributes to Tony from the Drag Racing Community at the bottom of the page. If anyone has any more details on Tonys Drag racing career, or any biographical details that can help complete the story, then please e mail them here to me at Trakbytes and I will add them to Tonys page. Tonys funeral takes place on Tuesday 22nd January, see below for details.

Finally for now an appeal for help from Australia. The following mail arrived recently;

I am wondering if you have any information on Jack Gates? Jack was an Australian Motorcycle rider and competed in the UK for a number of years. He is now in his 70's and I would like to compile something for his next birthday.


Greg James

If anyone out there can help with info on Jacks time in the UK send it to me here at Trakbytes as soon as possible and I will pass it on to Greg.

This Weeks Updates

The 1964 section has the addition of the cover from the 1st international Dragfest which was sent in by Phil Cottingham from Dragsterworld. There are more to come from Phils collection. The updates to the 1973 season continue with details from SPRs Big Go in May, which saw a record number of British owned fuelers attending, and details and results from the G-Max Grand Fuel Meet the following month which included the rained off finals from the Big Go. Later on in June there's details and results from the NRDC International Meeting at Silverstone.

As usual the Hall Of Fame includes new entries from the above updates for Dennis Priddle, Clive Skilton, Allan Herridge and John Hobbs, and a new entry for Tony Dickson which, like the others, will be added to as new material is gathered. If you have anything to add to these profiles please send it in.

The Historic Vehicles Files section has a new addition with a profile of one of the UKs finest examples of Fuel Altereds, the Stones Tee Rat, which has been supplied by Jerry Cookson of the APIRA, thanks Jerry and thanks to Jon Spoard of the UK Drag Racing Nostalgia site for letting me use the accompaning photos.

Photo Of The Week

The Money Hungry Camaro 1975

Latest News Extra 13/1/02

Tony Dickson

The following news arrived in my mailbox the day after I had posted the last update. My thanks to Maurice Takoor of the BHRA Pioneers Club for passing the news on to me;

"It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you all that Tony Dickson passed away on 6th January 2002.

I was first alerted to his condition by Pete Crane just before Christmas when he said that Tony had been admitted to Maidstone hospital with heart problems. Pete then emailed me yesterday to say that Tony had been moved to the Royal Free Hospital in London and then again this morning to say John (Tony's brother) had rung late last night to say he had died.

I am sure you are all with me when I say he was one of the best, both as a past competitior and lately as a supporter of the American car business, with his company Gasoline Alley. He will be sorely missed.

Tonys last run

will be on

Tuesday 22 January 2002

11.00 am

Vinters Park Crematorium ( also known as Bearsted Crematorium & may be signposted as such)

Maidstone, Kent.

This is literally just 1/2 a mile off the M20 at Junc.7.   If any one wants directions or a map, contact Maurice Takoor.

Please note NO FLOWERS, but donations to Tony's favourite choice of charity THE BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION. If you are intending to attend the funeral, the undertakers can accept your donations there & will send it all in in one go on your behalf.

As the procession will be travelling from Tony's house down to Maidstone and it anticipated that quite a few cars will be attending to accompany him, the police will be present to ensure a smooth journey & also at the crematorium. In view of this, it would be appreciated that if you are going in an ordinary vehicle, could you make your own way to the crematorium to ease the journey for the procession.

Tony will be travelling in a Cadillac hearse, with two limousines in attendance plus some "interesting & appropriate" cars and they are expecting over 100 people to be present, so it should be a fitting & probably moving send off for one of the true gentlemen I have been privileged to know."

Maurice Takoor

I will be posting a tribute to Tony on the next update.

Latest News 6/1/02

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first update for 2002. Welcome especially to those of you who have joined us online after the addition of new PCs at Christmas. Thanks to all those of you who sent greetings over the festive period.

This week sees the addition of new material in the Photo Archives, Hall Of fame, History Archives and the return of the Photo Of The Week. The next update should include a profile of one of the UKs finest examples of Fuel Altereds which has been supplied by Jerry Cookson of the APIRA, some sixties programme covers sent in by Phil Cottingham from Dragsterworld and a tidy-up on the Questions page, as well as more archive memories. Don't forget, if you have anything to contribute that you think may be of interest don't hesitate to send it in.

This Weeks Updates

The arrival of a new Allard rail at the beginning of the 1965 section, and, at the start of 1968, the rail gets a new driver, 1969 saw the end of the line for Tudor Rose, August 1972 saw the debut of a new car for the Page Brothers at Blackbushe, and with a stroke of luck they took their first eliminator title a week later, March 1973 and some bike detail from a practice meet at the Pod and April sees the addition of details and all class results from SPRs Season opener.

The Photo Archive gets a tidy up at last and sees the addition of an album of photos of Cuss/Ashley cars from the lens of Alan Currans. I am very grateful to Alan for supplying these, particularly as he promises there are more to come!

There are new entries in the Hall Of Fame for Dennis Priddle, Allan Herridge, Clive Skilton and the Allards. In addition to this John Hobbs entry features more details gleaned from a 1980 Drag Racing News review of his career.

Photo Of The Week

The Cuss/Ashley Bel-Ray Streamliner

Previous Update Archives

2001 Whats New Archive Click Here
2000 Whats New Archive Click Here
1999 Whats New Archive Click Here
1998 Whats New Archive Click Here

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