Drag Racing Memories by Dave...
Dave Buckland have a treasure of old photographs from drag strips around the UK in the 1970's!
I saw some of them on Facebook where we are friends and he offered to send all of them to me! Dave
is still taking pictures today and he and his wife Christine are members of the "Heaven & Hell Racing
Team" of Carla & Rick.
Always under construction!
If you have info of any picture on this page, please email me at anders.envall (at) vingaland.se
|My first introduction to drag racing was when
my older brother brought home many editions of the ‘Hot Rod’ magazine during the mid to late 60’s.
I was about 9 or 10 years old at the time. Even then
I was amazed at the array of machinery on its pages.
My first actual event attended was at Santa Pod, around 1971 if I remember correctly.
|The company I
worked for sponsored an 850 mini which was originally used in ‘Autocross’ racing, similar to Rallycross, but without the tarmac sections.
When we got bored with that it was decided to lighten it and run
|Although I was too young at the time to drive the car,
I crewed for the team and took many photos at my time there.
We had great fun running in
junior comp altered class.
|My overriding memory of those early days must
be the 1st Peterson publishing International meet at
Santa Pod. This was mine
and many others first introduction to the American racers such as
Don ‘The Shoe’ Schumacher & Paula Murphy in their totally amazing Funny Cars,
the mega long smoky burnouts, and then the ‘dry hopping’ to the start line, just awesome stuff. In addition to that, there was Tony Nancy in his ‘Revell Liner’ top fuel dragster, Norm Wilcox, driving Dennis Priddle’s newly acquired slingshot rail.
And Danny Johnson on his Harley drag bike. Also at this meeting were many of the Swedish and European racers with their immaculate race cars.
|All of these along with our own ‘home grown’
racers provided the sell out
crowd with an event which will be forever etched into the history of Drag racing in Europe.
I drifted away from drag racing during the late ‘70’s, family commitments taking over my time.
It wasn’t until 2006 and a chance encounter with an old work colleague who persuaded
me to attend a meeting at the
‘Pod’ that I was once again hooked
by the noise and the smell of the nitro.
|After attending several meetings
and taking many photos,
I was fortunate to be able to get involved crewing for Rick & Carla’s
Heaven & Hell Pro ET team.
We have become great friends and have enjoyed (at the time of writing, spring '11) 3 seasons together during which we managed to win the 2010 Pro ET national Championship with Rick driving the Heaven & Hell As Well ’84 Camaro, with Carla coming 4th in the championship driving the ’70 Camaro.
|We also enjoyed a fantastic meeting at Mantorp park in 2010 running the ’84
And hope to do so again.
I was also fortunate to drive the teams
’70 Pro ET Camaro at one event in 2009. An experience never to be forgotten.
So there we have a very brief account of my involvement with drag racing to date.
There are many other memories and accounts of our adventures on the
Heaven & Hell Facebook page
I hope you enjoy the pictures and would like to thank Anders for the opportunity to share them with to a wider audience.
Santa Pod 1970 - 1978 (?)
Svante Eriksson, from Umeå, was early to Santa Pod and raced his Hemi Jeep together with his brother
Rolf. Funny thing is that they used to drive it (first Jeep) to England but there the organizers placed him
in the Compeititon Eliminator class because the Eriksson brothers would have killed eveything easily
in a Street class with their 10 second Jeep. Well, they killed in any class! They were The Unstopables!
So typical English! Homebrewn...things!
This is also typical English! What it is? I have no idea but Dave will try to remember to each picture
when the page is done. You are welcome to help too!
American Tony Nancy is pushed in the lines in his Top Fuel dragster!
Who were allowed to walk that super construction? That black can is probably track bite, or is it bleach?
Crecent Coupe? Chicken Coupe? Pete Millar?
Not all cars were beautifully painted
Engine? And the car over there at the parking?
Media action! Filming with film! And wooden tripod!
Zephyr? Rocky II
One of the most beautiful pictures! So much feeling of early drag racing!
1967 Camaro (I had one myself)
Focus puller B-photo USA-clothes. Dennis Priddle.
Lower bank back then, you could see the Fairground! The Cortina in lower right corner!
Wild Honey Sture Thorngren
What a beautiful picture from Santa Pod! Sun in zenit and two slingshots rolling to the burnout area.
You drive! No, after you! Are you scared? No, you're the owner! You are scared!? Yes but no,
you're the builder! You should take the shot! You drive! No, you! No.
Ok...if you paint it in flames!
16 plug Hemi!
Was it in this "London Heavy" Challenger? (Or in "Brooklyn Heavy"?)
Slingshot and an early rear egined dragster.
Black Knight 1
Black Knight 2 (same team?)
Who drove Stardust?
He had an adventure!
The Mini Cooper also wanted to do burnouts!
Escort within the Stones family?
Rocky II vs Blue Rose II
Ed Shaver had a funny ride, a rear engined Funny Car! (Vauxhall?)
Is this him?
Late line up! Top Fuel Eliminations? Or qualifications? End of schedule of the day?
Hazze From's Roaring Viking in PR sponsor skin. Pierre Robert after shave. What class?
Mr Six Dennis Priddle in Mr Revell Top Fuel dragster.
Top Fuel pit.
A girl. Where is this? Is it the Santa Pod barn??
Nice photo. Is it a caravan in the background? Or a...small house?
What is this?
Is this the same model as Basil Fawlty beat up with a stick in one of the episodes of Fawlty Towers?
Nice tower there!
What is that running on the strip? Who's thermos in the tower there?
El Go-Go engine in the Clunk Click Camaro in Pro Stock.
Twin engined dragster...
Two injected small block Chevys
Owen Hayward won Funny Car
It rained also back then.
Another air strip
Tage Hammerman, driver Björn Andersson (not ABBA) Dragstrip?
Not hunchback, they simply owned a Hasselblad camera
For Sale. Cheap. This model was called "Halv fem" in Swedish meaning 4:30 - "people went home
from the factory half an hour too early so they just throw in the back window there"
Gunne Back, Stockholm Sweden. "More Freighten"
Skilton, Second Invention.
Dick's place again, where? What an awesome moment again! I wish I could go there just for an hour!
Valkyrian Top Fuel dragster from Sweden. John Andersson.
At the Sea?
Thank you Dave Buckland for all these wonderful pictures!
We hope that more info for the pictures will come in
to me via email anders.envall (at) vingaland.se
You can also find much more fantastic pictures and
reading about nostalgic UK dragracing here:
and always dive into the small headlines to the left at: