with Jerry Cookson
It’s ironic that, roughly four weeks ago, I was leafing through some old record covers and tucked inside one of my drag racing LPs from the Seventies was a floppy 45rpm EP disc which was given away free by the original Street Machine magazine. Then, just a few weeks later, I get a call from editor Dave informing me that the title would be re-launching sometime around the time of the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals and would I like to be involved, to which I said yes… hence why you’re reading this now.
Reading Street Machine had a great influence in my younger life like many other people’s lives in the custom and drag racing scene. It was fun reading Mike Collins’ Hot Gossip column every month and I have been friends with him ever since. After all he was around in the early days of Santa Pod doing the jobs I do now: reporting and commentating.
Besides the abundance of custom car shows at that time and well into the Eighties, Street Machine was also involved with the drags sponsoring meets the Smokers Meets at Blackbushe in the good old NDRC days, York Raceway’s Street Racer Championships (which is still part of today’s scene), backing the Rover V8 Championship as well as being involved with the original Yanks events at Long Marston Raceway as was!
I wish my buddy Dave, SM publishers as well as the contributors well with this new venture in the modern era and being a part of the launch at Shakespeare County Raceway.
Obviously the rumours about the raceway’s future continue to rumble on but it’s simply a case of ‘enjoy it while you’ve got it’. We’ve got some big meets coming up with plenty of RWYB Public Track Weekends to add to the mix, the ever popular Bracket Gamblers series, UK National Championship drag racing at the Open Sport Nationals in August and of course the Original NSRA Hot Rod Drags; everyone’s choice of destination in the month of September.
So stick around, as I’m sure the title will grow into its former glory with plenty of ace photos, race action and all the news from the rod and custom scene. See you at the strip!
Outlaws Going Straight
Words: Mark Wallington
Outlaw Street is an amateur drag racing series open to anyone who owns a street legal car, wants to enjoy quarter-mile racing with like minded people and at the same time have an opportunity to be part of the fastest growing drag series in the UK. This is our eighth year and we have 73 cars signed on to compete, ranging from Twenties and Thirties hot rods, to Sixties muscle cars, all sorts of retro English tin, a few quick VWs and late-model American muscle cars.
The series races at both Santa Pod Raceway and Shakespeare County Raceway at a mix of events including RWYBs, Peak Performance Days, lifestyle events and specialist weekends such as Gary’s Picnic, the Mopar Euronationals and VW Action. We’re already two rounds into the eight of the 2017 series with members running cars from the nines to the 19s.
Sponsored by Wisbech American Street & Performance, Joe & Co and HRG Services, there’s a vast array of trophies up for grabs this season. Why not stop for a chat if you see any Outlaw Street members at the track? They’re easy to spot; they’re normally the ones making lots of tyre smoke and noise. If you’d like to join or have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
King Of The Road
If you’re really quick off the mark (and you’d need to be), July 2nd sees the 40th running of the annual Street Racer Championship up at York Raceway. Aimed at any street-legal car with MoT, pump fuel, treads and mufflers, it’s a heads-up, quick-fire shootout to the final, with the winner netting a cool £1,000 in cashy-money. See www.yorkraceway.org.uk for details and rules.
Just out of interest, does anyone remember the upset in the 1985 Street Racer at York? That was the year hot favourite Nic Mann in his trick Morris Minor, looking to defend his Street Racer championship title for the fourth consecutive year, was beaten in eliminations by a quick-staging chap in a big-block Ford Pop. That man was Andy Carter, who went on to be a Top fuel champion. Mind you, those were the days when mid-11s were enough to get you the title. You’ll need to bring a little more than that to the table these days…
photo credit Adam Pritchard
The National Street Car Challenge is a series for all street-driven rods, customs, Americans, classics… almost anything. Trailer queens need not apply, though, because as well as racing heads-up at York Raceway, you also score points by attending shows and monthly cruise meets. That keeps the playing field level, and it’s rarely the fastest car that wins the overall championship at the end of the year.
Derek Beck is reigning champ, seen here in his nitrous-snorting TVR, but the winningest (thank you, America, for “winningest”) car in the series’ history is a Rover-powered, rather scabby MkII Cortina longroof that runs 13s, 11s on gas, but gets driven everywhere. By the time this mag hits the shelves, the series will already be six rounds in, so you’re unlikely to swoop in and snatch it, but see www.nscc.info for calendar and leader-board, and stop by and say hi.
Words: Ben Barnwell, photography: Matt Woods
Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator is the longest established street-legal drag racing series in Europe and features some of the quickest and fastest true street cars on the planet including, as it does, both World and European street-legal champions. All cars have to use street-legal tyres, mufflers and commonly available pump fuel.
As the Street Eliminator series is a “heads-up” class, different competitors use a range of power adders including turbochargers, nitrous oxide and superchargers. Some of the cars in the class produce over 3,000bhp and the quickest cars have achieved times in the quarter mile of 7.2 seconds at over 200mph. The class ET record of 7.24 seconds was set by Mark Todd at the Main Event 2015 in his 1965 Pontiac GTO; the speed record is still held by Richard Billings at 208mph.
As it stands in 2017, the 2015 series champion Mark Todd is in the hot seat for his second title. He has a 500-point lead over 2014 champion Stu Williams. Possibly the most exciting new release of 2017 is Andy Bond with his ‘Ugly Sister’ ’56 Chevy, a car built with one goal in mind: to be the fastest street car in Europe. We look forward to seeing Andy challenge Mark and Martin Smith for the low 7-second zone this year, and maybe further…?