A new dragster was deemed to be next, so Houndog 8 came into play in 1974. Based on American Tony Nancy's car that raced in England in 1973, Nobby and crew built their first rear engined rail and bedecked it in the same colour scheme as the Funny Car.
Houndog 8 (Dragster) and Houndog 7 (Funny Car)
in the Santa Pod pits
picture courtesy of Malmesbury-Jackdaw
The Dragster was driven originally by Mike Hutcherson. When he left the team Owen assumed the drivers role of the Dragster as well as the Funny Car. A best of 6.30/223.31 was seen from this car with Owen at the helm.
Tony Nancys Revelliner in 1973
Houndog 8 in 1975
Spot the difference ?
August 1977 saw the end of the Duster in a terrible crash while match racing against Roz Priors dragster. Thankfully Owen was OK, if you call being knocked out and hospitalised OK !
Alan Bates drove Houndog 8 for the last few races of 1977 as Owen recovered from his Funny Car crash before the dragster was pensioned off, bits of appearing in 1978 on The Needle, driven by Radio 1 DJ DLT..
In 1978 the team debuted a new Funny Car, Houndog 9.
A much modified Chevy Vega body over a home-built chassis. Again, Owen assumed the drivers role and a best of 6.49 / 218 resulted. Sponsorship was made available from SLD Olding, a company for whom both Nobby and Owen and some of the team worked. The fantastic preparation and paint scheme that had come to be expected from the team continued as this car looked as good as it went. It won numerous car show awards and a center page spread in Custom Car magazine, complete with the requisite nudes, the expected accompaniment in 1978!
Click on pictures for larger ones!
(Note price of magazines in those days)
Houndog 9 in action
At the end of 1979, the Vega car was sold to Dave Prior, re-appearing in 1980 as Warlock with Alan Bates at the wheel.
Another Funny Car from the Houndog camp appeared at the season ending Firework meet in November 1979; Houndog 10 was a Dodge Challenger bodied car, again with a home built chassis. The car was another show winner, immaculately prepared and continued the look-a-like paint scheme of its predecessor that owed something to Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's US Army cars.
With continued sponsorship from SLD Oldings, Houndog 10 went on in one shape or another until the mid 80's. The Challenger body met its end in a fire in Sweden in 1983, (see Corvette). A best of 6.40/234 was seen from this car with the Challenger body.