In 1973 Terry Gibbs bought a 1967 Chevy Corvette Roadster. This started a love affair with the American car scene, which his family still share today. But it was in 1976 that he purchased a 1969 Camaro, which was to be the first of many Camaros that would pass through his hands including ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Money Hungry’. It was this first Camaro that prompted Terry to incorporate and take on the Chairman’s role of the first ‘Camaro Club of Great Britain’ and being invited as special guest of the Camaro Club America to the 1978 Ontario World Finals was a particular highlight of this time. In 1979 Terry first started drag racing at Blackbushe in the Street classes, and he continued to do so through the early to mid eighties, racing at York, Santa Pod and Long Marston. He later went on to setup “Camaros Unlimited” importing Camaros and Corvettes.
In 1991 Terry imported the “Obsession” 1969 Camaro to race in Super Gas. Tony Gransden drove for the first two years then Terry took over from 1993 until 1997 when his son and crewman Craig took over the hot seat as Terry was beginning to get involved with the promotional side of drag racing. In 1995 Terry took over as Chairman of the Super Gas Drag Racers Association and as part of this rȏle took about organising and promoting the first and legendary Super Gas tour to Hockenheim, where he managed to assemble no fewer than twelve British teams to take on the might of the Europeans. He organised the Super Slam meeting at Avon Park in August 1997 which was a great success leading to him signing up with track owner Anthony Hodges to run four Super Series meetings at Avon Park in 1998. Again these were a great success and attracted Sky Sports who televised the meetings bringing a much-needed boost to Sportsman Racing and spreading the word of British drag racing.
In 1999, working alongside Avon Park International Racing Association and Santa Pod Racers Club, Terry negotiated the inclusion of the Super Series events in a ten-round UK National Championship for Sportsman racers which was a major factor in the growth of grassroots Sportsman racing in the UK.
In 2001 Terry commisioned Geoff Hauser to build the first domestic Junior Dragsters. There were four in total, and Terry campaigned for their inclusion within the National Championship, having seen the progression of the class in America. They were brought in initially to run as a demonstration class at Avon Park, and their popularity quickly grew. Terry’s involvement with Avon Park lasted until 2002 when he moved on to new challenges including the highly successful Xtreme Wheels Shows at Alexandra Palace, which brought back for many the spirit and excitement of the legendary Custom Car Shows of the 1970s and 1980s.
Sadly Terry died on Monday 20th March 2006 at the age of 54 but his memory lives on as a well-known, well-respected racer, promoter and show organiser within European drag racing – although he preferred to be known as “Just a Sportsman racer, making up the numbers”!