British Drag Racing trinkets on show

Besides the three main trophies on display inside this year’s Dragstalgia Historic Marque several members of the BDRHoF also brought along several pieces of memorabilia and trinkets of nostalgia for fans to look at and hopefully bring back some of those golden moments in British drag racing.

Lesley Wright brought several trophies and items of interest associated with and won by BDRHoF member Allan Herridge. These included the Allan Herridge Trophy (shown above) which, back in its day, was a special memorial award presented annually at the BDR&HRA Trophy Nights in Allan’s memory; the very first prototype of the BDRHoF ‘Bootsie’ award presented to Hall of Fame inductees (note the 0000 reference instead of the inductees name) and was first presented in 2006; Allan’s 1980 Funny Car Driver of the Year trophy presented by Custom Car magazine; a Cannonball necklace which was presented to all the Funny Car drivers competing at the very first Cannonball Run held at Santa Pod on  July 1981; an original H&H Race Craft sticker displayed to commemorate the years when Allan and business partner John Harrison ran their chassis building concern in the late sixties and 2 shield trophy’s for Allan’s win in Top Fuel at the Drag International May 1980 and the Speed 7 Dragraces held in Holland at Drachten August 1977.

BDRHoF’s Nigel Payne brought along his 50 year old model of Tony Nancy’s AA/FD slingshot dragster ‘The Loner’ built from a 1/16th scale Revell model kit issued in 1972 which came complete with wiring and a fully blossomed drag chute, and was acquired from founding BDHRoF chairman Stu Bradbury. The moulding’s for this model was used two years later for a Revell UK issue of BDRHoF member Dennis Priddle’s famous dragster ‘Mr Revell’. Nigel also displayed a copy Tony’s book ‘The Loner – The Story of a Drag Racer’. This was written around the same time by Tom Madigan and includes a forward written by film and TV actor James Garner. This is another hard to find title!, a British Drag Racing & Hot Rod Association [BDR&HRA] cloth badge and the blower snout from Rex Sluggett’s ‘Duke of Cornwall’ dragster. With Rex visiting Dragstalgia and Santa Pod in more than 50 years to oversee the fire up’s of Tudor Rose Nigel got Rex to sign the underside cover. Nigel and the BDRHoF would like to thank Dom Romney for the loan of this item along with Tony Nancy’s book. 

Phil Cottingham, BDRHoF’s Event’s Co-ordinator brought along a signed piston from the engine which produced the quickest and fastest pass in Europe (4.572/320.19) at Santa Pod’s 2010 Euro Finals for 4 times European Champion Andy Carter at the wheel of the Lucas Oil Top Fuel Dragster (a record for the quarter mile which still stands today). A copy of the commemorative poster was also displayed alongside an original programme (probably Phil’s most treasured possession!) from the very first meeting at Santa Pod Raceway held Easter Monday April 1966. A reprint was published by Santa Pod for the 2006 Easter Thunderball 40th Anniversary programme.

HoFTalk editor Jerry Cookson displayed a couple of his father Gerry Cookson’s trophies won in a blown 1071cc BMC Cooper-S powered slingshot called ‘The Joker’ in 1973. Trophies included the Middle Dragster win from the first drag race held September 9th at Warwickshire’s Long Martson Airfield which later became known as Avon Park and Shakespeare County Raceway before its closure in early 2018, another Middle Dragster win at the Hot Car/208 Radio Luxembourg Grandnationals organised by the National Drag Racing Club at Blackbushe Airport and an unusual trophy made from perspex and presented at the DeeJay & Radio Monthly Trophy meeting held at Santa Pod, again for Gerry’s win in Middle Dragster. An original poster from the Petersen Publishing International Drag Races held at Santa Pod and HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-Solent on the South Coast to commemorate their 50th anniversary. Jerry also brought along a framed poster from the original 1973 Long Marston programme cover but subtlety amended for the tracks 40th anniversary celebrations in 2013.

To all involved, the directors of the Hall of Fame wish to thank Santa Pod Raceway for the loan of the display cabinets as well as being included in the events Historic Marque.

Words & Photos, Jerry Cookson
HoFTalk Editor