|After serving an
apprenticeship with Doves of Croydon, I emigrated to the USA in 1965 and
worked for Carroll Shelby at his LA airport facility. I worked on the Mustang
GT350 production line and then onto the 427 Cobra's. I returned to England
in 1966 and for a while worked for Alan Allard at Upper Richmond Road on
rally preparation and also fitting Shorrock Superchargers to customer's vehicles.
On hearing about Santa Pod and having caught the drag racing bug whilst in
the US, I entered my 1964 Ford Cortina, Shorrock supercharged (of course),
this would have been in 1966. After a season, I became involved in my business
and stopped competing.
Some years later, I bought a wrecked Pontiac
Firebird 400 convertible, and a 1948 Austin A40 2 door, and with Mike Knapman's
help and assistance built what was probably the first Proper English hot-rod?
The car ran, but was not trimmed or painted when I sold it to Cliff Jones,
he finished it off and won many shows etc with "Devon Cream", as he named
it. I sold the car because I had become more involved with my business again,
and could not see me having the time to complete the project.
My return to drag racing came about via
a joint project with long time friend Ray Edmondson.The 70.1/2 Chevrolet
Camaro was sourced from Garlits through Peter Billington of G Max fuels.
The car was called "Eazy Ridin", but should have been called the "Bottomless
Pit"!!! since everything that could break - did - at least once!! When Ray
and I finally decided enough was enough, and we put Eazy Ridin up for sale
.It now had roller cam ,Crower injection and a clutch turbo trans.
We were approached by Bob & Roy Phelps
with an offer to run a Top Fuel dragster. Obviously we accepted, our team
consisted of Ray and his brother Ron Edmondson, Jim Hone, Graham Whalley,
Jim Barrington, Norm Bristow, and last but not least Eve Whalley. We campaigned
"Stormbringer" the "Hustler" and Dave Lee Travis' "Needle" dragster (which
I drove on occasions).