Introduction To The Allard Dragster Restoration Project
by Steve Weston
The staging of the Nostalgia Nationals event at Shakespeare County Raceway over the weekend of 22nd/23rd June 2013, gained in significance when it was announced earlier in the year that this event would mark the first nitro 'fire up' and 'cackle' run of the dragster on the Saturday evening.
The Allard restoration has been an ongoing project for a number of years, considered by to be the first dragster built in the UK, the fruition of that work and dedication of many people, including the Allard Chrysler Action Group, was to be realised on that Saturday evening.
Just one week earlier the dragster had been handed back to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu as a completed project.
I am indebted to ACAG Chairman Brian Taylor for providing the comprehensive, illustrated journey of the project and providing an insight into the background of the vehicle and restoration.
Brian will be well known to UK readers as the author of the definitive history of British Drag racing - 'Crazy Horses The History Of British Drag Racing' published by Haynes Publishing in 2009 and as the main voice and commentator at Santa Pod Raceway in the 1970's.
Since the article on the following pages was written, the project has gained a number of additional sponsors (Evans Waterless Engine Coolants and Corteco, a member of the Freudenberg Group ) and, in order to authenticate the period appearance of the dragster, suitable fire safety clothing for the 'cackle' sessions has been sought.
To this end, the group are indebted to Wild Bunch competitors, 'Team Backdraft' (Claire and Chris) for the donation of boots, Ron Hope gloves and Deist Safety for not only a silver 'nostalgia style' fire jacket but also a nostalgia fuel mask.
My own recollection of the Allard dragster I would like to think was 50 years ago at one of the regular Sprint events held at Long Marston Airfield (Shakespeare County Raceway), but, whilst I would have been a spectator in 1963, the significance of the occasion passed me by! However, I was delighted to be at the first 'cackle' fire up at the raceway in 2013 and that will stay in the memory!
If the proposed tour of the US takes place in 2014, it's a fabulous sight and, if the opportunity arises, go take a look, you won't be disappointed.
Preparations for the 'fire up', Shakespeare County 22nd. June 2013
Continued on next page...
Nostalgia Drag World - report and photos courtesy by Steve Weston www.spw-pics.co.uk/