I got to know Nobby, Owen and the rest of the Houndog team during the mid to late 1970's having joined the Houndog Supporters club in 1975/6. 

I actually joined the team as a crew member in 1982, meaning I progressed from being a  hanger-on to somebody who allegedly knew what they were doing and got seriously dirty diving into the bowels of the engine !  

The first meeting I attended as a fully fledged crew member was a wet, cold and miserable Fireworks meeting in 1982, (weren't they all wet, cold and miserable?). If my memory serves me right we did something fairly terminal on the Saturday night so that was our season finished, so no racing on the Sunday for us!

In 1983, I had my first experience of overseas drag racing, going with Nobby, Owen and our respective families to Mantorp Park in Sweden...a meeting never to be forgotten.

At the end of the first round, the Challenger body was engulfed in flames.

Extract from a Swedish newspaper
Translation: (with thanks to Ola Mjorud)

TOP: "Englishman Hayward's Funny Car suddenly caught fire at 300 kph"
BOTTOM: "But the driver successfully releases the parachutes and could climb out of the car himslef and put the fire out"


Thankfully, Owen was OK, but the car was, to say the least, a bit of a tired dog ! 

The car, within minutes of the fire being put out

"Did I do that ?" Owen in red shirt on right.


Oh dear ! 

Body back at the workshop

While the chassis was OK and the engine repairable, a new body was soon on Nobby's shopping list.  Eventually a new Corvette body was received and set upon !


As received from the States


Dust came free...shipping didn't !



A bit of work required on ground clearance


Where are the headers Nobby ?

After many, many hours work, the body was trimmed, strengthened and fit properly onto the chassis. From my recollection, we started on the new car in August and spent every weekend and some weekday nights building the new car. The only weekend we "had off" was in September when we raced the Altered at Santa Pod.


Looking good in the autumn sun


Nearly ready for a bit of paint

With time running out for the planned debut at the November meeting in 1983, decision time about paint lead to an interim paint job.

As the car appeared in November 1983, pictures taken at SLD Oldings factory

And below at Santa Pod (picture taken from Custom Car magazine)

With the meeting out of the way, it was now time for the final paint job !


At the paint shop....Winter 1983 / 4



Finished !

As featured in Custom Car

So, in 1984 now it was time to get the show on the road and burn those tyres !