A Milestone Memory from 50 Years Ago. (31st of March 2024 Blog)

A Milestone Memory from 50 Years Ago. (31st of March 2024 Blog)

Once , I got back home to Cornwall (Ontario , Canada) ,  following my Pennsylvania racing road trip , things began to slow up.

The first few months of 2024 have been a little bit crazy,  what with February’s racing trip to Florida , followed by the Caribbean Cruise in early March. 

Since then , I’ve had various things that needed attending to,  and medical appointments to follow up on.

Within a few days of getting back , snow returned with vengeance. It’s been one of the less severe winters that I can remember, but the white stuff made a come back, just to tease us , for a few days.

  It was still on the ground on Saturday the 23rd of March when I drove over Plantaganet for the Lalonde Racing Team Annual Spaghetti Dinner and Auction.

It’s a fund raiser for the # 8  Pro Stock Team of Marc Lalonde.

Marc is the work shop teacher at the french language Secondary School in the town, and his race car is maintained by the pupils , as part of their ‘shop’ education.

As usual the evening started with the excellent Spaghetti and a selection of delicious desserts.

The silent auction went on throughout the night .

After the food,  there was a slide show and speeches which were made before the various prizes were given out.

Yes, it was another enjoyable night, so a big thanks to Marc and Josee.

The month drew to an end with the Easter Weekend .

Yes, I know, I’ve ‘whined’ about it in the past but , and I’m doing it again LOL.  This is the one time of year that I really miss living in Europe.

Over there, the Easter holiday is a feast of racing.

Back in the day , I would have four days of racing , Good Friday, Easter Saturday , Easter Sunday plus the ‘Holiday Monday’ . This side of the ‘pond’ I’m lucky if I can find two days of racing.

I had no plans for an Easter family trip to North Carolina this year.so looked at the possibilities

There was a Super Dirt Car Series race scheduled for the New Egypt Speedway (NJ)  on Easter Saturday (30th March)  but not much else was going on for Good Friday. The ones that were taking place didn’t appeal to me. It’s rare to find any racing taking place on Easter Sunday in North America , and Monday isn’t a public holiday for the masses . 

It would of been nice to go to New Egypt, but I couldn’t justify going all that way for just  one day of racing, especially after my hectic past few weeks.

I decided to stay at home, and I’m glad I did.

On Thursday, the day before the Easter Weekend, I had a massive tooth ache. My face was swollen up like a ‘hamster with it’s mouth full of food’, and I was in great pain.

At about 4-00 pm (just before they closed) I decided I should make an emergency appearance at my dentist. They were very busy but managed to get me in. He diagnosed a large abscess .

So my weekend was spent on anti-biotics with Tylanol to ease the pain.

In my absence, Anthony Perrego was the winner at New Egypt.

The 31st of March is milestone date in my life.

Fifty years ago on that day, back in1974, I had my first ever F1 stock car race.

In 1973, my buddy Chris Pickup and me , decided to take up BriSCA F1 racing, so bought an old chassis for 30 quid, and the construction began .








Our good friend , the late Tony Allen (one of the countries top drivers at the time) , put us in touch with someone he knew who’d got a good 3-8 litre S Type Jaguar engine for sale. We bought it  for 60 quid and before long we had it installed.









We acquired an Austin A40 body , cut and shut it , then grafted it around the roll cage.

We were still teenagers, and our progress was slow, with our limited funds and mechanical knowledge.

By February 1974, soon after my 20th birthday, the car was ready , so we both applied to the Stock Car Racing Board of Control in London for our Licences.

Chris got issued with # 50 and I got # 67.

The idea was for us to share the car , take it in turns racing it, and switch numbers between each event.

We mutually agreed that our first races would be at the Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk , for me on the 31st of March, and Chris would be at the Brands Hatch Circuit in Kent , two weeks later, on the 14th of April.

So,  on a chilly Sunday morning in March, the car was loaded up on a set of dollies (towing ambulance) behind my 1961 Austin Westminster.

Well, I managed not to wreck it, and even came away with a few World Championship Qualifying points after a 7th place in my heat race . Only 7 cars  finished from the 15 that started LOL 


Oh, Happy Days



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *