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British Stock-Car Racing in the 1950s-1970s
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in the Sixties
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Spedeworth: BriSCA's Cousin

 
October 2016:   A thank-you for valuable info to David Lloyd whose family knew the farming Cayzers very well, and whose dad mechanic'd for  Alan Cayzer and Dave Pierce. One of the Cayzer clan, John, raced for almost 50 years.

November 2015 update:

Same car, two bodies:  

Ron Allen 172 raced in the early-mid sixties in this Ford Y and then Fiat Topolino stock car.                    

My thanks to Brian Lucas, who was Ron's helper, for the photos and facts.

  • Here's Ron in the Ford Y at  Wimbledon in 1962 or 1963.  [Eric Setchell track photo]

  • At Aldershot in 1964, Ron Allen has re-bodied the car with Fiat 'tin':

ron allen



July 2015 update:
John Grainger raced F2s in the late fifties and the sixties, until 1985.  He also built and ran grass-track cars and oval track midgets.  These two photos are his, and were printed in the OVAL TRACK magazine issue 4 in 2010, alas no longer published.

grainger 1

John chasing the pack, in the days when fans wore proper sports jackets and shirts and ties!

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January 2015 update:

Stan Verrall, who raced under #80,  has kindly sent me a bunch of photos from the early days, which I will be adding bit by bit in the next few days.  Stan had 'the touch': racing only in 1962 and 1963, he reached red-top status.

before and

Stan worked for Vickers Armstrong in their test flight dept at Wisley Airfield in Surrey, and has always lived near Farnborough. He went on from an apprenticeship in airframe/engine enginneering to a 41-year long engineering career, eventually as Senior Airline Engineer for British Airways.

How did he get into racing stoick cars?  Stan almost won a stock car at an Aldershot raffle --- missing it by one number --- and was so "miffed" that he went to its builder, Mac MacLean from Egham, and ordered one for cash.  Stan was keen:

 "I raced at Aldershot, Arlington, Eastbourne, Ipswich, Norwich, Wimbledon, Reading, and Portsmouth."

One of his first tow cars was a US Army jeep bought from a friend for ten pounds.  
Number 80's constructor Mac McLean appears in this photo of a Humber Super Snipe tow car, at Arlington.

Stan's
car had a centralized steering and seat, and a Ford 10 motor hotted up with a higher-compression Ford 8 head and twin SU carbs, driving a locked diff and reversed Vauxhall wheels.  Petrol tank as required by the reg's.

Stock-car fact of life: if you're going to race, you're going to crash, and this is what #80 looked like after one of those incidents.  Steering and A arm not so happy either.

Handsome Stan on the oficial documents all those years ago.

Rare item naming pioneering names:  Aldershot's Boxing Day programme from 1961. first column;  second column.


Fifty years on, Stan still smiles when he's around cars, in this case his rare limited-edition Royal Sabre, one of only 100 examples, which he exhibits at the Bourne Show. 


January 1st 2015 update:

Who kindly sent me these?  The scans have been in my files for ages. Let me know if it was you.
It's the 1968 Spedeworth ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP programme. The programme includes results and notes written in.
Front and back covers: Look at the 1968 prices.  

spedeworth 68 wimble


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December 2014 Update:

Does anyone recall these drivers and their car #159?

Don Martin and Len Parker from Colchester raced under #159 in the early sixties, for Spedeworth.  Don was a toolmaker, and if you remember the old Xpelair fans, well Don created the moulds for them. He also in his own time built a 2-person hovercraft, when he was not simply enjoying working on their Ford Y stock car.  Don's son Paul sent these two photos. They all enjoyed watching the exploits of Stan Ingle, Spedeworth's 1966 world champion, nicknamed "Fangio" for the way he could carve smoothly through a pack.
Len, who was a fitter and turner, used to closely look at Ingle's engine to spot the finer points 
Below: Len Parker with the car.
len

 
Below: Len and Don survey the damage to their #159 that put the car out of action for the day:

len and don


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Spedeworth driver in a road safety test:

Kelvin "Chuck" Broady, #630, from Chatham, happily ran his car into some specially formulated "aggregate" in government tests. This was at Brands Hatch in 1968.  The 4-minute video first shows an Anglia station wagon, an Anglia van, and a Cortina testing the gravel, then at 2m10secs we see Chuck's F2 Spedeworth car doing the deed. Video.
And here's a photo of  Kelvin at Eastbourne.

For BriSCA fans, there's a similar film of Ken Freeman testing cable barriers at Blackbushe Airport in 1962, at the top of the SENIORS IN THE SIXTIES page.

My website is 99% BriSCA, as was my oval track spectating, but I have been storing these images for ages and it's time to let them loose:


cowdie

Above: Sunny day at Cowdenbeath!

First, a huge thank-you is due to long time race fan Alan Humphrey, who contributed the following 68 Spedeworth photos some years ago, and which have sat "somewhere" in my computer ever since. These photos also appear elsewhere on the Intenet.  Alan's  racing started in 1973 in Jalopies with Tongham Motor Club. Thence to Spedeworth Hot Rods driving #162, then PRI MiniRods #63, then Spedeworth Stock Rods #262, with a foray into Spedeworth Bangers #55. Braintree Auto Club was Alan's last sign-up where he raced Bangers as #62 and lastly Hot Rods under #228, with a few borrowed rides along the way. The last race Alan had was in the banger van #00 that he took out in a charity event for Cystic Fibrosis: altogether a racing 'career' spanning some thirteen years

Secondly, my plea for patience from Alan and others who knew Spedeworth much better than I did, as I cannot accurately place many of the cars, drivers, dates, or tracks.  Get in touch with me if you can correct or add a fact to this list.  I will try to group the photos as best I can to start with.

Special thanks to the knowledgeable and well-traveled Graham Brown for many driver and track facts I've been able to add to the following photos.  Graham has for many years been organizing, lap scoring, doingTV commentaries, documentary making, and magazine reporting on oval track racing, as well as running his own transmission business and collecting stock car memorabilia. He recently moved to a road that leads just three miles to the site of Staines Stadium, "only 48 years too late!" in Graham's own words.

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Steve Brantom: tarmac or shale, wet or dry, bring it on!

brantom drift

Steve says his #21 car loved wet shale, but evidently Steve loved any surface where he could nail a four wheel drift, as shown at Aldershot, above.

  • Two Spedeworth winner photos: one, and two.
  • Lining up for a night race at Aldershot.
  • Helping someone to "get out of the way".
  • Flat out in the sunshine.
  • "Plum Crazy", Steve's car at its first Aldershot appearance.
  • In 1978 with the second Colin Higman chassis ever to appear in Spedeworth (Derek Hales ran the first one.).  The Higman design was a difficult car to "turn-in", but Steve B. figured that the locked diff in the Spedeworth version was the problem, and knew how to adjust it.  The new breed of professionally designed and fabricated cars took over from the traditional old DIY BriSCA motors, and "the game" changed for ever.
Steve raced F2, Spedeworth, Legends, Hot Rods, and Sprint cars over the years.


Sylvia Malkin
scanned from a 1977 Speedweek magazine.  I assume she is related to Hot Rod expert Gary Malkin?
The car belonged to Stuart Blythe 235, or Trevor Blythe 475, from Kings Lynn.

sylvia at


The First Junior F2 World Final
This also appears on my JUNIOR F2 page, because in 1961 Spedeworth was essentially BriSCA's "Junior" class.

Fred Swansborough scanned the programme, and Fred's listed there along with some famous and soon-to-be-famous names; Fred scored third place in the final :-).  Note that Fred's #21 was his new number for 1961; he had been #689 in 1960.

The WF was held at Ipswich, and you'll see ads for upcoming Ipswich Witches speedway matches --- in 1961 the bikes were using what is now the longer stock-car "outside" oval.  
Also, notice the reference to the celebrity presenter, Doctor Barbara Moore.  She was the famous vegetarian long-distance walker who I'm afraid many of us laughed at; in 1959 she walked nonstop from John O'Groats to Land's End in 23 days.  She was a Russian born engineer,
hence the 'Doctor' title, born Anya Cherkasova,  who won a Russian long distance motorcycle championship in 1932, as well as claiming to be Russia's first women pilot.  Lots to see in this programme.

Fred Swansborough: in at the beginning

fred ipswich wf


See the F21 car up there?  Fred was competing in Spedeworth's first world championship, in Ipswich in 1961 (won by Jan Scott), bigger jpg file here.  Fred, from Hampshire, had visited one race, liked what he saw, and within days had built his first stock car.   

November 2015 update:  Fred built that #21 Topolino at his workshop, using a boxed-steel frame welded to the Ford cross member, and putting on the Ford 10's higher-compression cylinder head with two SU carbs, and the diff welded; the same engine type he had used in the 1961 World Championship race, where Fred was awarded a "place" trophy.

Although it was 50 years ago, Fred and his brother Patrick were receiving £15 start money each at tracks like Ipswich and Norwich. Patrick Swansboroiugh raced car #157, and he and Fred used to tow using "A" bars behind their Morris 1000 vans. He also raced at Aldershot, his 'home' track, as well as Reading, Weymouth, and Oxford.




From Fred's copy of the same programme, here are 11 of the racer profiles, some of whom became stars, and ALL had fun:
 Can anyone identify any of the other cars in thew photo or in the programme?  Please contact me. 

Old racers never stop.  Today, over 50 years on, Fred is owner/builder of a rare British kit car called a "MIDGE", whose fans have their own website here. Fred's lovely lttle tourer has a Mazda engine under the hood. 

Fred's Spedeworth licences from 1966 and 1967,and his photo:

fred photo

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Reading Stadium

UPDATE  March 2012:  Treasure trove of photos from Spedeworth event at Reading Stadium, thanks to Mike Shonfield.  

  • Dashing through the dust:  106 is Sussex driver Dave Crittall,  chasing Frank Luff in the 329 (looks like a four-door Y Model – a rarity) with Reading local Roy Wood 82 coming up behind.
  • Turn One action involves, among others, 335 “Ginger” Payne being turned round by 17 Tony Maidment, while the white tops fall over each other. Payne was a renowned motorcycle racer and tuner [raced against John Surtees and Mike Hailwood in the late 50s], who turned engine builder in the early days of Hot Rods and had a long career that included a 3rd place in the 1967 Nat'l Championship at Hednesford,  and had success in saloon cars at Brands Hatch.

Thanks to Spedeworth wizard Paul Huggett for identifying cars and drivers.

Reading's Dick Barker

November 2011:   Thanks to Lorraine Saunders for sending these three photos of early Spedeworth meets at Reading's Tilehurst Stadium, [sadly closed] taken some time between 1961 and 1964. 

They show her father Richard "Dick" Barker, who raced under #6 between 1959 and 1964 and, quote "lived his life to the full".  If it was daring, difficult, or a bit dangerous, Dick was there!

  • Repairs in progress on the greyhound track.

  • Reading's underwhelming track fence!

  • Dick Barker enjoys the victory honours on Spedeworth's Jaguar pace car with Spedeworth's marshal "Jumbo" Allen who is wearing a dicky-bow tie, which he sometimes used to top off with a gold painted bowler hat.   

Dick Barker was based in nearby Purley, and was accompanied to the stock cars by his younger brother. He built his stock car in his own garage with his good friend Ian Baker, and they used to "wake up" the estate while testing it noisily on the road.  He was a chap who thrived on excitement, doing archery and flying planes, and a close family friend recalls his love of life and non-stop adventures before his regrettably early death in 1968.  Dick Barker and his brothers had been greyhound trainers for years, following their own father's footsteps. Today Dick's daughters Lorraine and Cheryl still remember the fun of going to speedway and banger racing with their dad.

May 2015 Update:  Dick Barker and his father were greyhound enthusiasts. Thanks to Dick's nephew Kevin Barker, here's the proof: Dick is in the white dust-coadt with dog #2:
dog 2




Request:  would anyone who remembers Dick Barker from the greyhounds or stock cars, please get in touch with me.



 UPDATE  January 2012:  Staines racer Don Mason #78 raced in 1967/68 with Todd Sweeney, Biffo Sweeney, Tony May, Dave Pearce and the Warwick brothers.  In Spedeworth he was listed as "Mole" Mason, as there was already a seasoned driver with the name Don Mason.   His first car used a Ford motor with twin carbs, 4-branch manifold, ally flywheel etc, but still neede more oomph.  After a Wimbledon wreck he worked with Les Collins and Jack Bavingdon to get a bought-in chassis and installed an 1800 MG motor.  

 Brands Hatch

"Kinky" Roy Wood #82,  from Reading was nicknamed for 'kinking' his car so often, as well as for his adventurous fabrication, which included a rear-engined car.
Doug Wardropper #55 and 550.
Doug W. again alongside son Alan #500.
Pete Cayzer #359
Colourful hillside shot of cars 29, 520, and 342
Oct.2016:  David Loyd identifies three of them as 342 Johnny Hartfield, 264 Pete Welland, 29 yellow top is Les Williams,               359 [mini head on] is Peter Cayzer again.

Wimbledon Stadium

Cars 106 and 480 in the pits.
Wimpy burgers wait for car 162!
Very low-slung lightweight #14, with 567 and 546
, who was John Gray. On the left [chequered paint] is Pat Frost.
Square versus rounded: 155 versus 96 body styles.
Another year, 155 Don Ham from Hawkhurt , 160 John Field and the little Topolino #65 of Tony Grant.
Cars 364 Tony May and 320 Dave Pierce from Dorking.
Packed with spare stuff,from Kirton is Norman Crowe's #307. with 399 Chris Studd.  

Norman’s car was on at the start of a children’s TV programme everyweek in the 60s and 70s called ‘screentest’. 

The opening credits can still be found on youtube. 


Youth admiring #217 Bob Perry's car from Diss in Norfolk, and the pace car.
A Scot invades: #2. It's Stan Thomson, son of Armadale veteran "Tiger" Thomson.
Buncha cars: 41, 35 Trevor Carpenter, 576, and 456 Tony Bell wait at Wimbledon.


Sunny Cowdenbeath, "Cowdie"

 

 UPDATE January 2012:  Derek Wood, #105 sends these photos.  Derek raced Spedeworth in 1965-66 and was in fact the first winner of the Cowdenbeath Cup. Derek was based in Ayton, Berwickshire, and raced a Ford-chassis'd Mini-bodied car.  The 997cc motor used an Aquaplane head.

First, some celebrity:  the Berwick & District Motor Club was privileged to have visitors and members such as Jim Clark and Graham Hill.   Unfortunately, Graham Hill didn't have time to switch from his 'serious' face to a smile at the instant the camera flashed.  A two-time F1 world champ, Indy 500 winner, and Le Mans winner, as well as 5-time Monaco winner, Hill was a hard man who had left school at 16 as an apprentice with little money, and who believed strongly in supporting amateur sports.

Derek Wood is 2nd from left in the back row
.
wood hill

August 2013 update:  That happy chap on the far right is Andrew Cowan, who in 1968 scored the first of two London-to-Sydney marathon rally wins. Andrew was a neighbour and friend of Jim Clark, and a professional rally driver before running the Mitsubishi works rally team which won four World Rally Championships. [Thanks to Frank Love for the info.]

 
Great view for those houses, of cars 98, 114, and 50.

Geoff Goddard's red-top #294 heads the lineup.
The builder of colourful #51 maybe started with a Metropolitan? Pitted next to 320 Dave Pearce.

Scottish Team 1968
Before heading down the long road to Wimbledon for the Scotland-England contest, these drivers were happy to pose for the team photo at Cowdenbeath.  The photo is courtesy of the website www.knockhillimages.smugmug.com   , a huge archive that includes the 20-year collection of Spedeworth's photographer Jim Fyfe.
scottish team
Back row l-r:   George MacMillan, Vic Russell, Gordon McDougall, Eric Smith, Fred Waite, Gavin Paterson.
Front row l-r:   Malcolm Paterson, Walter Brown, Maureen Waite, Peter Dent. 

  



Night races, unknown tracks and dates

#226 Eddie George, who took his number into Saloon Stocks, needs a new bonnet soon.
#107 and X85.  Thanks to Frank Love for identifying Scottish racers Malcolm Paterson 107 and Scottish champ Sam Page X85, on which perhaps the X is the Scottish saltire emblem.
#267 [with 55 Dougie W. in the background]is Graham North, who later moved into Saloon Stocks.
Alan Freebody was #295 and autographed this photo of himself on the drivers parade at Wimbledon.
In rain gear and with a toy on the roof, #319 tries to look cheery. He should do: Denny Pearson was an undertaker by profession, and on carnival nights would dress up the car with a coffin!
A very cut-down doot being blackened by exhaust, on #82, probably Reading, 'possibly' Oxford.
Three directions: left, right, and oops for 345, 224 and Dave Hall.

Some winners

Anyone recognize this chap, and these happy men?  Thanks to Alan and Russ --- the chap with the dicky bow tie is Spedeworth's marshal "Jumbo" Allen, who often topped it off with a gold-painted bowler hat. Big thanks to Bill Riley and Graham Brown for the other names.
spedeworth winners


Eddie Asling always a grin

In BriSCA and Spedeworth, the smart driver's suit and horn rimmed glasses above a big smile meant "Asling's here."
asling trophies

Various ovals

  • Dutch driver  #14 at Wimbledon
  • Bob Elson #173 waits and watches an escape at Cross-in-Hand.
  • Car #586 leads the pack and #226 Eddie George "hangs in there", also Cross-in-Hand; Eddie went on to be an ace in saloon stock cars.
  • Berrie "Barry" van den Oetlelaar #4 dives into the bend, probably at Lydden Hill.
  • Hey, is that a STOCK car? Midget #6, a S.African team car from their "Superstox" class, at Lydden.
Oct. 2016:  #6 identified by David Lloyd as being Koos Maree; the name was so appealing that stock car fan Franklyn Turner named his house after him!
  • Dave "Perfect" Pierce #320 leads, and the rest go pear-shaped --- at Arlington.
  • Pretty in pink #94 white-top leads the blues and reds on Cowdenbeath's oval.
  • Dave Hindle #170, two secs before a headache, as Geoff Goddard clears off at Arlington.
  • On Arlington's centre green afterwards  : Dave Hindle, Bill Bridges [bottom right], and the ambulance man .
  • A pefect barrel roll half-way completed. Derek Howe # 268 at Brands Hatch.
  • Leon Smith may be  the only driver to earn a BA in Economics, open a garage, and successfully race( #401) in Superstox and Hot Rods. He was taught engine building by an ex Vanwall mechanic. This is almost certainly Cross-in-Hand.

Various oval track pits

  • The car is brand new, unblemished.  Where? A toss-up between Ipswich and Cross-in-Hand.  #24 Terry Sayers.
  • Below:  Dutch invasion; #4, #14, and #24 are all Van den Oetelaar cars at Aldershot:
oetelaars

  • Graham Brown identifies the Wimbledon pits, with the distinct chimneys of the "Corner Pin" pub.                                   Thanks to Frank Love, August 2013, for identifying the husband and wife team of  605 Fred Waite and  631 Maureen Waite from Darlington. They towed every Sunday up to Cowdenbeath to race, and in this case took the long road South to Wimbledon.  Car #94 is Vic Russell from Dunfermline.

  • Distinct from most BriSCA F2's of the era, 91 and 61 wait in the pits at Ipswich. #61 is Ron Harris who used to trail a feather after his roof fin.
  • The washing line and clothes pegs suggest it ain't the pits, but here's #632 Dave Troughton;  a Dave and John Troughton raced 775 and 776 among the East Coast racers.
  • Here's a different looking 632 car, pitted beside #269 Howard ----?
  • A neatly-shortened VW bug with a hefty front bumper is #618.
  • Pete Fox #60 at Wimbledon followed the same approach with a Ford Pop.
  • A Mini-bodied #42 and in the background #33.  Where is this?
  • Lots of folded sheet on this one. Behind are 175 and 302, at Wimbledon.
  • This old Ford Y #362 didn't make it to BriSCA.
  • Looks like #348 started as an A40; conventional Fiat "Topo" #526 Dave Olding behind, in the Aldershot pits.
  • Below: a classic Ford Pop #310 in the lineup at Aldershot; Les Collins 284 behind.
310 pop



From
Alan Humphrey's large Spedeworth archive I am going to select some sensational --- fires and crashes, yes I know this gives a bad image!  Thanks to David Lloyd for identifying several of the drivers.  Here we go:

Doug Wardropper, when he wasn't busy being Senior (F1) World Champion, could also be seen racing his Junior # 505, and his Spedeworth Superstox #55 with 316 Pat Frost Trevor Frost's brother)  just behind, at Ipswich 1968.

UPDATE July 2010: Another photo of the Wardroppers' foray into Spedeworth 1968 in their identical cars; Doug is 55 and Alan is #500.  This is Ipswich.  Ahead of the Wardroppers are 530 Biffo Sweeney and 69 Skid Parrish.Photo from Gordon Bland.




UPDATE August 2010: Here are two photos of the late Leslie Hobbs, who raced Spedeworth all over the South-East in the early 1970's.  Leslie's son Graham kindly sent me these photos a couple of years back, and I lost them in my files until recently.  Leslie's long-bonnet #111 car, and shown again here with sons Graham and Russell, was once found handy as an "elves float" in a local Christmas parade.  Graham Hobbs recalls as a youngster the dominant presence of the great "Foxy" Dance at most races, and that eternal Swingin' Safari

The following two photos were taken at Ipswich in 1965.  "Nev" Thompson enjoying a parade lap on his #50, and at a different date (with a bigger crowd) storming through a corner.  Also, a snapshot of Neville's car on its trailer.  Nev Thompson was from West Dereham, Norfolk, and had earlier raced in Senior F1's, and was a buddy of the famous Ron Pears from Wisbech.  Nev's Senior was taken over by his brother Keith Thompson, the father of Tim who kindly supplied the info and photos.  Keith held the enviable record for rollovers from a ramp at Norwich.
























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in the Sixties

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in the Sixties

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