This vehicle was described in the April 1968 issue of Drag Racing And Hot Rod Magazine as being an American style Altered, and, when compared to the numerous gas coupe types of car favoured by many British racers of the time in the Competition Altered ranks, it stood out as being a little different.
The driver was Peter Atkins, the managing director of Watford Motor Accessories, a company who imported many stateside dress up and performance parts. Between meetings Slo-Mo-Shun was sometimes displayed in the shop window surrounded by parts and accessories. Bearing this in mind it is hardly surprising that the car contained much of the equipment that WMA carried as stock. Peter lived above the shop, behind which were the workshops where the car was constructed.
The car was built during the 1967 season by Peter Atkins and Ken Bunnage, both of whom had been drag racing for a number of years. Peter and Ken had previously owned a car called Dragon-fly, the twin to Alan Ings championship winning car. Ken had also piloted a 100E engined Marcos with some success.
The layout for the chassis was drawn in chalk on the workshop floor and Ken got to work with the fabrication. The original idea was to have been a Cobra powered rail but the plans were re-drawn when it became apparent that it would not fit in the workshop! Allan Herridge was called in to make the front axle and narrow the Oldsmobile rear axle. Allan was regarded by most as being the number one man in the country for this job and at that time had probably narrowed more axles for use on the dragstrip than anyone else. The rest of the work was carried out by Peter, Ken and the rest of the WMA team out of work hours, sometimes starting as late as 9pm, and all day on Sundays.
Slo-Mo-Shun was completed late in the 1967 season and weighed in at approximately 1200lbs at a total cost of £450 (many parts being purchased at trade price). It appeared at Santa Pod a couple of times towards the end of the '67 season and was a regular entrant throughout the '68 season, its best performance being 12.36/118mph.
Pete ordered a blown Oldsmobile V8 with a front mounted blower for the car after selling his Allard Dragon to Doug Harler. The motor arrived from the States in a somewhat less than perfect condition and required a lot more work than had been anticipated before it could be installed in the car. Doug went with Pete and Ken to Santa Pod to test the car but after towing it all the way from Watford they didn't manage to get it running well enough to make a pass.
In September 1973 Pete and the car re-appeared at the European Grand Prix at Santa Pod and ran a very creditable 10.15 /128.53 mph run straight off the trailer, I have no more information for the car after this date.
And the name? Slo-Mo-Shun was the name coined by American Stanley Sayres for his series of Gold Cup Competition hydroplanes (speedboats) which were powered by supercharged 27 litre Rolls Royce Merlin engines running on nitromethane, the last of which held the absolute water speed record for a number of years. So now you know.
Chris Pattison has contacted me with a little more information about the car. " I knew Pete Atkins very well back in the day. I can provide a smidgen more info about the car because I owned it briefly! Bought it less engine and trans in early '70s but I had a '57 Olds engine and Cad LaSalle kicking around, but then sold the lot on to Tony Froome."
Slo-Mo-Shun Specifications as of 1968
|Engine||289c.i. Shelby Cobra, purchased from AC Cars, Edelbrock F.4B Ram Log inlet manifold, Shelby "Touring" camshaft, 10.5:1 compression ratio running on 100% octane fuel.|
|Cylinder Heads||Standard Cobra items, Autolite spark plugs, chrome plated rocker covers, 1 1/2"dia. separate exhaust pipes, 33" long.|
|Carburetors/ injectors||Single Holley 4 barrel carb, with a Moon cast aluminium scoop.|
|Fuel Tank||Moon, cylindrical, spun aluminium.|
|Transmission||1950 Cadillac 3 speed box, modified from column shift to floor shift. A Hurst shifter was fitted later.|
|Clutch||10 1/4"dia.single plate Shieffer.|
|Rear Axle||Oldsmobile, narrowed by Allan Herridge, to 42". Olds brakes with 10" drums|
|Front Axle||Chromed 1 5/8"dia. straight tubular type, made by Allan Herridge, with a transverse mounted leaf spring. Woodhead Monroe shock absorbers. E93A spindles and brakes, Model Y radius arms and a Standard Ten steering box.|
|Chassis||2"dia. top rails & 1"dia bottom rails, 1 5/8" roll bar, painted black & built by Ken Bunnage.|
|Brakes||Rear 10" Oldsmobile drums, front E93A drums converted to hydraulic operation.|
|Front Wheels/tyres||L.M.B. Ballamy 15" steel disc from a VW, drilled to reduce weight. Pirelli 5.25" section tyres.|
|Rear Wheels/tyres||Chromed steel rimmed Cragar S/S mags with magnesium centre casting. 15"width with 6" rim width. 6.00/11.50 Goodyear Racing tyres.|
|Body||Geoff Jago Fibreglass 1923 Ford Model T. Narrowed by 6" with cut out wheel arches to accommodate the narrowed rear axle and battery box at the rear. Jago dummy radiator grille.|
|Paint||ICI Dulux Coach Finish Oxford Blue, brush painted|
Details and pictures taken from Drag Racing & Hot Rod Magazine April 1968 issue