This site was last updated on Sunday 27th October 2013

 

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October 2013

In September 2013 Chris Blows contacted myself (Jon Spoard) and informed that he didn't want to continue running this website, in an instant I offered to take over the ownership and running of this fantastic website.

With only a few UK drag racing history websites around there was no way I was going to let such an important website about Nobby Hills and the Houndog team disappear.

I want to thank Chris for all the hard work that he put in to this website over the years and also that he has trusted me to keep the website going.

I have updated the Camaro story with text from the official NH Racing website and pictures from Peter Donaldson.

I still have to bring the Houndog 1 story up to date but for now I just wanted to get the website back up and running.  

 

 

February 2007

No updates, although I have some pictures that I must get around to posting......but news that Nobby has been inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

February 1st, it was announced that Nobby will be one of five inductees into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame: Courtesy of Eurodragster.com it was stated that "The British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame continues into its second successful year with a new set of five inductees joining the initial ten in this historic and prestigious list of names. Nominees are eligible by dint of having driven/ridden owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in British drag racing in any capacity, having been involved for at least twenty years or having made a significant and recognisable contribution to the sport. "

The write up for Nobby stated:
Nobby Hills has been involved in drag racing since the sport started in Europe in the 1960s. He was inspired to build his first car after having witnessed match races between Sydney Allard and Dante Duce in 1963. The first in a line of Houndog cars was introduced at the 1964 Drag Fest meetings. Nobby is primarily interested in the engineering side of the sport and mainly used hired drivers, including Les Hill, Mike Hutcherson, Owen Hayward and Alan Bates. After having run six front-engined dragsters, the opportunity to buy Paula Murphy's STP-sponsored Plymouth Duster Funny Car in 1973 was grabbed and Nobby ran Nitro Funny Cars from this point onwards, following up the Duster with a Vega, Challenger and a Corvette that was the first to record a five in 1986. After a hiatus from active involvement of almost two decades, Nobby Hills Racing have constructed a nitro-burning Camaro Funny Car, which we can't wait to see go down the track.

August 2006

Updates this month include a wonderful post race story from Mike Collins who used to be involved with John Lees in the running of the supporters club.....I know many ex-members of the club are regular visitors of this site and I make no apology for running the story that will mean more to the people that knew the person that the story was written about. Click here to read it.

 

16th July 2006

It seems that the race reports posted last month have been well received and as I mentioned, I hope to add more over time. Yvonne Tramm wrote in to tell me that the 20 she won in the competition described in one of the reports was spent on a large poster size photo of the Houndog F/C by Roger Gorringe that adorns her dining room wall to this day.

Up dates this month include:

Some fantastic old adverts (including one when Nobby and Santa Pod tried to sell Houndogs 7 and 8) and a controversial letter from drag racing magazines. These all come courtesy of Nick Pettitt and his Time Travel DVDs site. Click here to see them.

Peter Donaldson has again been kind enough to supply some historic pics, including an interesting one showing the 'Vet lining up alongside the old Houndog 9.
At the time this shot was taken, the Vega car was being campaigned by Dave Prior. One of Dave's crew was a guy called Duncan Corp who is now working alongside us with the new Houndog Fuel Funny Car. Small world !

That's it for now. It's hot and sunny outside, and there is a bottle of something cold and wet in the fridge with my name on it...

Next update probably after the summer !

 

18th June 2006

Another big thank you goes to Peter Donaldson for 2 more pictures of the 'Vet.
Don't forget, Peter has a great site showing his skills athttp://peterdonaldson.zenfolio.com/

Now this is what I am really pleased to be able to announce. Jez Batch has come good on clearing out his rubbish and finding not only some old Santa Pod programmes with Houndog on the cover that I will put on the site in the future, but also the race reports that were written all those years ago (when there was some decent funny car action....). I have made frequent appeals to readers/visitors of this site for these old reports as they give an interesting perspective on days gone by. I'm really pleased that we finally have some to share with you.

It has been mentioned elsewhere on this site, but Nobby and team had a supporters club back in the old days that was initially run by John Lees and then in the latter stages by John's wife Brenda. It was through John and the club that I got to meet and then know Nobby and Owen and the rest of the team. I even wrote some of the masterpieces also known as race reports for the club which led to working on the car, this site, the www.nhracing.com site and my involvement in the new Funny Car.......now I think about it, that Mr. Lees has a lot to answer for !!!
Jez was (is) a good friend and was an active member of the supporters club and provided help in many ways using his printing skills. You have to remember this was in the era before PC's, Internet, home printers and all the stuff we now take for granted.

Race reports and club letters were initially typed on old typewriters by a number of willing volunteers (including a certain Mrs Hayward I recall) and were then photocopied....and I clearly remember using a copier at work (without permission) and the damn thing jammed with all the race reports in it !

Jez has promised over time to scan all the reports he can find, but we have a number of them in the Press Section of the site. Click here to get to them directly. I hope you get the same enjoyment out of them now as we did all those years ago. Its real anorak heaven !

4th June 2006

Another update with a brief summary of the various Houndogs best times and speeds. Of particular note, and a subject of much debate at Easter, is that Owen in the Fuel Altered is still the 2nd quickest Fuel Altered driver in Europe despite not having driven since 1984 !

 

Car Best ET Best TS Comment
Houndog 1 13.36 secs 109.20 mph  
Houndog 2 11.70 secs 130.00 mph  
Houndogs 3 /4 9.70 secs 147.00 mph  
Houndog 5 8.10 secs 183.00 mph Quickest 354 cu in engine record holder for over 10 years
Houndog 6 7.52 secs 196.08 mph  
Houndog 7 6.61 secs 213.68 mph  
Houndog 8 6.30 secs 223.31 mph  
Houndog 9 6.49 secs 218.00 mph  
Houndog 10 6.40 secs 234.00 mph Fastest European built Funny Car
Houndog 11 5.99 secs 251.80 mph First European 5 second Funny Car
Houndog Fuel Altered 6.83 secs 197.00 mph Still the 2nd quickest Fuel Altered in Europe

Can I recommend you make a visit Time Travel DVDs. I recently bought the DVD Time Travel 11, showing 44 minutes of great old clips from the Houndog cars of by gone days.

I dont know about you but I spend (too much) time and money on Ebay and recently came across some interesting sales.

Firstly, an ebay member (who kindly got in touch with me and sent a nice memory, see Anecdotes) sold the following for 22.00. The auction attracted bids from ebay members east13th, dragster425 and nitroracing. If any of you visit this site, please do get in touch.
 

Secondly, an unbuilt Revell model kit of Dennis Priddles "Mr Revell"  went for 235.00, attracting 11 bids!

There were kits made in the 70's of Houndog 7. Nobby tells me he has one, unbuilt, but there is no way he is selling it!
If anyone has one, you never know, you could be sitting on a small fortune !

As is well chronicled on this site, the first Houndog Funny Car, Houndog 7, was imported by Santa Pod and raced by Paula Murphy before Nobby And Owen got their grubby paws on it. An interesting article on Paula can be found here: http://stp50.com/uk/extra42.html

Just a couple of new pictures this update, two superb shots of Houndog 11, with thanks to Peter Donaldson. Peter has a great site showing his skills athttp://peterdonaldson.zenfolio.com/

That's is for now, but I hope to have some interesting, previously unseen, "old" material soon.

8th April 2006

Another update so soon you ask ? He only missed March !
Yes, another update and thanks go to Jon Spoard who has not only sent through some pictures of Houndogs 6, 7, 8 and 10, for which I thank him very much.

Melvyn Holmes has also again submitted some pictures of Houndog 10.
Thanks once again Melvyn, haven't you run out yet ?

I must also mention our good friends at Custom Car. You may recall they ran a big interview with Nobby a while back, and for those of you that didn't get to read it, I strongly recommend getting hold of a back copy while they are still available.
Contact them at http://www.customcarmag.co.uk/cgi-bin/purchase.cgi?m=&i=040009CCM&s=bi

That's it for now, but I hope to have some really exciting news and updates to the site in the next few weeks, so keep visiting.

19th February 2006

Gosh, two months into the year and another update......

Thanks to Melvyn Holmes for once again searching through old boxes for some pictures of Houndogs 9 and 10, and a nice shot of Nobby on the start line. He also sent through some related shots of previously unseen (certainly from my perspective) pictures of the ex-Houndog 9 when shown as "Roz Priors Maneater", which will probably be after its Warlock incarnation.

I have also, with thanks to Ola Mjorud a work colleague in my company's Stockholm office, got the small piece from the Swedish newspaper on the Challenger fire translated into English.

Thats all for now.

14th January 2006

We are still alive and kicking (just !) despite appearances to the contrary. 

This update sees the last batch of pictures from Richard Hayward with Houndogs  3  9 and 10 featured.

A scanned picture of Houndog 11 courtesy of Darren West  of Power Race Graphics fame is also included in this update.

I am pleased to see that Chris Dossett has got Trakbytes up and running again.
Those with a long memory may recall that Chris ran a feature that visitors were requested to vote for who they wanted to be elected to enter a "Hall of Fame".
Just prior to Trakbytes disappearing Nobby Hills was winning this due "allegedly" to some tactical voting orchestrated by visitors to this site.......as if !

Anyway I have reminded Chris that Nobby was winning last time around and he tells me that he did remember and he hopes to re-launch the "Hall of Fame" shortly.
So folks, you know what to do !

As you may have already seen, the NH Racing website has been updated with a team picture and story from a recent event and a new film produced by Emagine Productions.

Talking of videos, go to :http://topnitro.co.uk/root/E76_Choices.htm for a fantastic piece of nostalgia, the 1976 Easter meeting at Santa Pod where a certain Mr Don Garlits came over, Peter Crane ran the first 5 second run in Europe and Owen got to the final of the first 8 car top fuel field.
Its about 18 minutes long, the ITV World of Sport coverage, but its great !

Finally, another appeal for pictures, stories etc from the old days, without them the site will get stale, so please check those lofts and old storage spaces.

2nd October 2005

Oh well so much for the idea of monthly updates....anyway, some more pictures from the Hayward archives with a million thanks to Richard for supplying them. Houndog 7 pictures this time, with some more to come next month...hopefully !

 

1st June 2005

A number of new photos courtesy of Richard Hayward; thanks Richard, they are much appreciated.
Houndog 9 , 10 and Miscellaneous Houndog pictures this month with more to come next month.

 

1st May 2005

Continued improvements to the graphics on the site this month, with a million thanks going, once again, to Darren West of Power Race Graphics for his help.

Some pictures from Ron McNeil who previously sent a nice anecdote a few months ago; Houndogs 8, 9 and 10 are the topic this time.

Time has prevented more pictures being uploaded, but there are more in the pipeline for next month, so keep visiting !

 

1st April 2005

I hope you like the new look site, and believe it or not we are 4 years old now !
Thank you for the continued support and enthusiasm for both the old stuff and the new.

New stuff this month is a bit limited on the photo front, but I have got a picture of the Houndog 9 flame burnout.  Many may remember this picture also appearing on a poster that was sold at Santa Pod. The picture came from a site I stumbled across, www.hotrodphotos.co.uk....no prizes for guessing the content of the site. Thanks Mark !

Those of you that attended the recent Xtreme Wheels show will have noticed a short film being run alongside the new Houndog funny car. This showed the old Houndog cars in action and also some footage of the team working on the Camaro.

The film was put together, primarily for the show, by Emagine Productions  who the team is working with on various fronts.
Emagine Productions have been kind enough to convert the film for internet use and allowed me to put it on this site.
The film of the old cars includes footage of the infamous Houndog 7 wheelie, the Houndog 7 crash and the coming together of Harlen Thompson and Owen in Houndog 10.....
While the main focus of this site is on the history of the Houndog Team, both the old and new films have been put on the Video Clips page for your enjoyment.

I do recommend you turning the speakers up loud !

2nd March 2005

So after a quiet 2004, we are back to business as usual now with regular updates, lets see how long we can keep this up.

Firstly a big thank you to ace designer Darren West of PRG Graphics for the great new "front page" to the site.
Thanks Darren and I hope my nagging didn't wear you down too much.
(And the dog logo looks much better where it is !...sorry in-joke.)

Ron McNeil who used to work at the Pod as part of the timing crew, sent an email of old anecdotes and memories that I have copied and included in the Anecdotes section. He has promised to send me more in the future too, so keep your eye on the site.

More new videos courtesy of Simon Hayward are now on the site. Simon gave me these ages ago but due to various technical difficulties, it has taken me some time to be able to get them on the site. Thanks again Simon. The lemonade is on me !!

That's about it for this month, but keep the pictures and stories etc. coming.

5th February 2005

Somewhere on this site it says I hope to update it every month...whoops haven't done so well recently have I ?

Anyway, Happy New Year to you all and I'm pleased to say we are still alive and well, despite appearances to the contrary.

There are some new pictures on the site courtesy of our old friend Alan Currens and some of the contributors to his site, Acceleration Archive, which is about the only general UK drag racing nostalgia website still running, well done Alan, keep up the good work.
Thanks go to Alan Peck (Houndog 5) and Barry George for the Houndog 3 and Houndog 7 and Houndog Related pictures.

Incidentally, the new Houndog team got together over the Christmas period for a glass of beer (or two) and spent the evening bench racing and watching numerous videos from the old days.
During, what was a very long and enjoyable evening, unsurprisingly, the subject of favourite cars and memorable moments came up. Both Nobby and Owen felt their favourite dragster was Houndog 5, and if you look at the beautiful body they built that is so clear in Alan Peck's picture, I think you can understand where they are coming from.
 

Again, with thanks to Alan Currens, another picture from"recent times" at the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Nobby getting stuck into one of those wonderful Fuel Altereds.
 

A quick plug for any racers or street rodders etc. who are looking for a seriously good paint / graphic design.
Darren West who is the man behind Power Race Graphics and has a host of cars bearing his designs, including the new Houndog Camaro, has a new website showing his skills and talents. Check it out at www.p-rg.co.uk


And finally, don't forget to keep an eye on www.nhracing.com for the latest news on the new Houndog Camaro.
 

Next update will be......sooner than you think. Hopefully !

July 24th 2004

No new stuff on the site I'm afraid but there are some more pictures etc. in the pipeline.
 

You may have heard that Nobby was at the Goodwood Festival of Speed recently, keeping his hand in helping the guys with the fuel altereds. I understand a good time was had by all with some great displays from the altereds.

 

See right to show he still knows his stuff !

 

The new Houndog Camaro has been and will continue to be attending various shows and as ever full details of attendances and progress as it gets to be strip ready can be found at NHRacing.com
 


Click for larger picture

And talking of the new car, some fantastic t-shirts are now available, check the nhracing site for details and how to order. 

 

In next months Custom Car magazine there will be an article on Nobby Hills and the history of the cars. The magazine is due to hit the newsstands on August 20th. 

And finally, regular readers of Custom Car magazine may have seen a recent article in the magazine featuring Darren West of PRG Graphics. Most of you will know that Darren has been responsible, amongst other things, for the design and graphics on the new car. Well, stuck away in his workshop and shown in the article, was the old Houndog Corvette body that will in time be refurbished to its old 1980's glory. I promise to keep you posted on the developments here.

I'm off on my holidays now and have been tasked by Nobby with bringing a couple of 14-71 superchargers back in hand baggage........

June 6th 2004

The last lot of Nobbys pictures have now been posted on the site...well the last lot until I can persuade him to search through his cupboards again !!!
Basically there are pictures of Houndog 5, Houndog 6Houndog 10, Houndog 11 and some great pictures that can only be described as Miscellaneous...you'll see !

I've made my peace with Chris Dossett of Trakbytes fame, but keep checking, sorry voting, in the Hall of Fame to make sure Nobby wins this time. 

As you will have probably read on either NHRacing.com or on some of the web sites that cover general drag racing news, Nobby and Anne's 25 year old daughter Jodie tragically died following a car accident on April 7th. 

On behalf of all the many Houndog supporters who visit this site, our sympathy and condolences go to Nobby and Anne, Jodie's sister Katie and all of Jodie's friends and family. 

Having spoken with Nobby on many occasions over the last month, I know that he and the rest of the family are gaining much comfort from the support and kindness that is being shown from the Drag Racing community in general and the followers of his team in particular.

It is of a particular poignancy that last month I included a picture of a very young Jodie with the Houndog 10 crew, and this month I had already decided, prior to hearing the news of Jodie's accident, to use another "family picture" that was part of the Custom Car feature on the Fuel Altered. 

Rest in Peace Jodie.


May 1st 2004

This month I'm pleased to bring you more pictures from Nobby's personal collection, with pictures of:
Houndog's 9, 10, Fuel Altered  and Miscellaneous
Thanks again go to Nobby for the use of these pictures. 

I'm also really pleased to be able to show some pictures from Owen's personal collection, some really old pictures taken from slides of Houndog 4...in various stages of working order; just check out the front axle on one shot! Again, just a few this month with more to come next time. Thanks a million Owen.

Next......thanks go to Simon Hayward and Simon Young, who have spent ages getting this stuff together. 
We can now bring you some videos of the cars in action. For this update there is a video of the Fuel Altered doing a flame burnout and some videos of the Corvette doing its stuff. 
Thanks guys, I owe you both a very large drink (of Coca Cola of course!)
More video clips to come soon.

And finally, not that I visit it every day (as if!!), but last time I looked (today!), Nobby Hills was running away with the vote to be the next entrant into the Trakbytes "Hall of Fame".
Incase you don't know where to go, shame on you because it's a great site, go to http://www.trakbytes.com/ to vote.

 

April 1st 2004....(yes I know April fools day!)....and this month is the third anniversary of Walkin' The Dog!
Little did I know how this site would evolve and how much interest and pleasure it would give to many people when I built it in 2001, but a big thanks to the many new and old friends I have made contact with since that day when this site got launched. 
I have had good times and bad since then but the feedback and support from drag racing fans and Houndog supporters in particular have made all the hard work and effort worthwhile. Thanks to you all.

Also, thanks to the many people who had kind words to say about Nobby Hills Racing's nhracing.com site, its always nice to have work appreciated, even if this type of work can be classified as a labour of love!

Now for some real rare pictures, some that have never been seen anywhere before.  I am really pleased to bring you some pictures this month (and more to come over the coming months) from Nobby's own personal collection. This month there are pictures from both ends of the spectrum: Houndog 4 & 5, Houndog 7, Houndog 8 and the last version of the 'Vet Houndog 11. Obviously a big thank you goes to Nobby for permission to use these pictures.

It must have been a month or so since Alan Currans' and his website Acceleration Archive name appeared, so to address that shortcoming, he has kindly allowed me to use pictures that appear in the sections Houndog 10 and Misc. Houndog. (Thanks must also go to Peter Jones who took the pictures).

As I said last month, I am determined to keep this site active despite the "distractions" of the new car / website  and there are some exciting things to come, not least of which are further pictures from Nobby's own collection.

I'm sure you all know about Chris Dossett's Trakbytes drag racing nostalgia website. 
I'm sure you know he runs a poll for the next Hall of Fame entry. 
I'm sure you know, to the best of my recollection, Nobby Hills has come second for the last three polls. 
I'm sure you all agree that it would be nice for Nobby to win this one.....
So go over there and vote!
http://www.trakbytes.com/

Finally, despite the fact that the NHR Houndog Camaro will not be at Santa Pod for the Easter Thunderball, I intend to be there on the Easter Monday, so do get in touch if you will be there as it will be nice to meet some of the website visitors and "press the flesh" (shake hands for those of you not familiar with the expression!)
Please Email me here.

March 3rd 2004

Once again the new car won many plaudits from the crowds at the Xtreme Wheels show over the weekend of February 14th and 15th. 
Along with new team member Emma, the car also appeared in the Daily Mirror newspaper advertising the show on February 13th.. 


Emma, oh, and the Camaro.....

Next, news of a new web site that I'm sure you will all be interested in. 

I was honoured to be asked by Nobby to build and run his new website which will cover the exploits of Nobby Hills Racing and the Houndog Camaro Nitro Funny Car. It will provide details of appearances, race reports and in time provide supporters with the opportunity to purchase tee shirts, car stickers and other forms of merchandise. It will also enable the team to give exposure to its financial and product partners, such an important part of today's business of drag racing. 

I have been promised timely access to up-to-date information so make sure that you become a regular visitor to the site and you'll be "in the know" as soon as news happens. 
In many respects this is real deja vu for me as many of the things we will be doing on the web site are what we did in the old days with the Houndog Supporters Club; only in those days it was via a type written piece of paper!
Anyway, there is a link to it from, guess what, the links page, (and some of you may have seen the teaser about this new site on the last update...), but  www.nhracing.com is the URL anyway.

While I am excited about the development of the new site, I am determined not to let Walkin' The Dog fall into disrepair; it will continue to do what it was originally designed to do and cover the history of the cars and be a source of photos etc. from the many supporters who wish to share their memories with others, so do keep the stuff coming! 
I can assure you that there are some exciting things in the pipeline that I am really looking forward to and know that you will enjoy, so Walkin' The Dog will continue to grow and develop. 
It will also hopefully continue to provide you with enjoyment and something of interest.

Finally, new Houndog driver Junior Olley has some signed copies of Darrell Gwynn's Autobiography, ' Darrell Gwynn - At Full Throttle'. for sale. I got a (unsigned!) copy at Christmas and can confirm that it's a FANTASTIC and moving account of his life, before and after his tragic accident, in the UK.
It's 160 pages, packed with colour photo's from the Gwynn family's own personal collection.

The price is 22 inc P&P. Junior can be contacted at JnrOlleyRacing@aol.com if your interested.

February 12th 2004

Well, things have been busy on the new car front with loads of emails flying around and complimentary comments being received. 
Regular contributor Melvyn Holmes has sent some photos from the Autosport Show which can be seen by clicking here. Thanks Melvyn.

Richard Stirling, also known as "Top Nitro" has set up a very promising new drag racing web site that includes an article on the launch of the Camaro Funny Car. Click here to see the site or go to it via the links page.

I received an email from a guy called John Knight in response to my request for anecdotes, click here to read his story of the 1976 Garlits meeting...one many of us can relate to for different reasons.
This was my first meeting as a fully fledged and paid up Houndog supporter and the first meeting I "slept" at Santa Pod, camping with a friend in his Mini Estate!  It was also the meeting that was instrumental in my meeting the girl who was to become my wife! Thanks John for the memories, this has to have been one of the great meetings of all times.

That's about it for now, but as soon as more news related to the Camaro and Nobby Hills Racing comes through, check here for updates.

11th January 2004

We came, we saw, we chatted and we pictured....click here for what you've all been waiting for.

9th January 2004

Well this is the news that we have all been waiting for, the first public showing of the new Houndog.
If you go to the Autosport Show over the weekend of January 10th and 11th 2004 at the NEC Birmingham, you will see the new Houndog Camaro Funny Car!

As announced on Eurodragster in December, the car is also scheduled to be at the Extreme Wheels show at Ally Pally on the 14th and 15th February.

Nobby phoned me at the end of November to tell me about the public launch of the car at the Autosport Show but I was sworn to secrecy as he wanted to make a "big splash" at the show. 

The car went into the paint shop during early December and the guys have been busy getting the car ready. It's still not quiet ready for the strip, the engine is not yet complete, but clearly one of the ideas is to generate interest and get that much needed commodity; sponsorship.

I'll get pictures of the new car shortly, so keep an eye on this site. In the meantime check out Eurodragster.com for full coverage of the show.

With regard to the old stuff, courtesy of Alan Currans and his Acceleration Archive site I have a fantastic shot, previously unseen I believe, of the infamous Houndog 7 wheelie.

That's all for now, but I'll be putting pictures of the new car on the site very shortly along with further exciting news.

(And if Santa gives you a pot of gold on December 25th and you don't know what to do with it, let me know and I can put you in touch with a certain Mr. Nobby Hills who will be able to help you........)

December 1st 2003

Final scheduled update of the year and from the Alan Currens / Peter Jones collection comes a picture of Houndog 9 . Thanks again guys.

I  found out some more information about what happened to the Houndog 'Vet after it left Nobby's hands in the late 1980's; see Press stuff / odds and ends and Houndog Related pics.
Thanks to Martyn Harris of  http://www.eurodragster.com/shellracing/  for the info and the permission to use the pictures.

Department of Rollockings:
I received an email  from Alan Bates' son ticking me off and accusing  me of not giving his dad sufficient credit for being the first European funny car driver to run a 5 second run........
In my defense, it always has been stated on the site that Alan did achieve this (see the history section), but herewith public apologies if he feels slighted. 
I knew Alan really well, he was old drinking buddy and we spent many hours together on Friday nights in some long forgotten pub in Ware, Hertfordshire;  I hope he and his son have now forgiven me! 

And finally....Tee-shirts and stickers? 
"Old" friend and site contributor Jez Batch has been in touch and wondered if there would be any interest in Houndog / Walkin' The Dog stickers or tee shirts. 
My honest answer is I haven't got a clue, but please get in touch by email if you would be interested and we can get something done in the New Year.

On a sad note, November 2003 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Allan "Bootsie" Herridge, a man that played a significant role in the development of British Drag Racing.  
He started racing about the same time as Nobby. Most of us will remember him from the numerous races during the mid 1970's between him (in Stardust) and Owen (in Houndog 7), the first Fuel Funny Cars in Europe.
After Stardust, Allan went on to drive the Gladiator Funny Car (2 versions), the Asphalt Alligator dragster, and even Sammy Millers Rocket car!
It was in November 1983, when we debuted the Houndog 'Vet, that he debuted the first European Jet Funny car, the car that was to crash and take his life. 
God Bless you Bootsie. 


Allan "Bootsie" Herridge

2nd November 2003

Despite my rude comments about him on the last update, Melvyn Holmes has still been busy with his scanner and sent some more pictures from various magazines which can be found at: Houndog 6, Houndog 7 and Houndog 9

Howard Leeming,  who used to do some promotional photography at the Pod in the late seventies has sent a fantastic shot of a sidewise Owen (if you follow my drift...) in Houndog 9. Howard told me that Owen was coming straight towards him until he straightened up! 
The picture is of a very high quality and makes a fantastic desk top background on the PC; its also been used to create a new entry page to the site.
(Howard I tried to contact you via Email to thank you but my mail kept getting bounced, please Email me .)

Finally, I have written a couple more anecdotes which I hope you will find of interest.

The season has ended with no public show of the new 'Dog but we can only hope that Nobby can tie up the loose ends and get the car out in the public domain next year. As and when any firm news arises be assured, it will be on this site.

9th October 2003

Wow...my email inbox was overflowing with emails after the last update and news of the new car...this has really caught people's attention!

This update sees a couple of press release supplied by old friend and contributor Melvyn Holmes....thanks Melvyn, see you in November hopefully. Check them out on the Misc. Houndog Pictures page. Unfortunately Melvyn must also be awarded a "sad old man award" as he kept his Houndog Supports Club membership card after all these years....and now it's one the Internet for all to see. I have spared his and his parents blushes by not showing the side with the address on it! 
A pile of used 5 notes will of course enable this information to be made public....(Only joking Melvyn!)

Thanks to Tony Smith who has let me use a picture of Houndog 10 at a car show. Check out Tony's site at www.cunningplan.net.

Again, I wouldn't want to encourage any block voting  but Nobby Hills is currently being beaten by The Pages on Trakbytes "Hall of Fame" vote. 
Come on all you Houndog fans, get over to Trakbytes and vote for Nobby. 
Trakbytes can be found by clicking here.

September 8th 2003

Check out this page for some news and detail of the new Houndog....... 

Early September 2003

It's been ages since the last update due to a lack of concrete news on the new car and unimportant things like:

  1. My holidays 
    and 

  2. The choice of a glass or two of falling down liquid during the hot weather or time sat in front of the PC always had the drink winning !

  3. Problems with my web hosting company......

Anyway..........................The last pictures from Alan Currans almost inexhaustible supply have been posted; see Houndog Fuel Altered and Misc. Houndog pictures.
Alan, I thank you once again for your time and effort in supplying so many pictures for this site. Don't forget, Alan's site can be found at Acceleration Archive .

Alan has also supplied a magazine scan of Houndog 3 and some information on Houndog 3 and the strange picture of Mike Hutcherson pushing the car over the line. See Odds And Ends under the "Press Stuff".

And finally.......... Alan has forwarded some pictures that were taken by a Peter Jones who was one of the people behind a book called "Drive It" published by Haynes, the car repair manual people in 1981. Thanks Peter. See Houndog 10 and Misc. Houndog Pictures. (And I have found I still have the book!...Ebay anyone?)

A new link to a part of a multi-faceted site can be found on the Links page. This link is to some stuff on the Hillbillies team, who you may recall ran a Transcontinental Funny Car about a zillion years ago.

Thanks to those who have voted for their favourite car and added their names to a mailing list (see above). To answer someone's concern I guarantee that I will not sell any names or pass them on to anyone, the list is purely to enable you to get a quick email from me when the site is updated or other news becomes available...nothing sinister at all.  

16th June 2003 (Mid month update:)

Some promising news on the new car can be found here.

A load of high quality Houndog 10 pictures from Jez Batch's collection have been added.

Given the hot news about the new car, I thought I'd update the site as soon as I found out. Next regular update will be end July / early August but any further news on the new car will be published as soon as I get it.

If anyone has any further news, please let me know.

 

June 2003:

More clean ups of links following the re-build and finally some of anecdotes from my time on the team.

Time, or lack of it, has precluded any other updates. 
I did however find time to attend my first drag race since for 18 years when I went to Santa Pod's "Main Event". 
5.2 second Funny Cars and 4.8 second  / 303mph Top Fuelers. AWESOME! 

I wouldn't want to encourage any block voting  ( ) but Nobby Hills was beaten by the Stones on Trakbytes recent "Hall of Fame" vote. 
Chris Dossett, the webmaster is having another vote and maybe, just maybe, you may want to go there and vote for Nobby. 
Trakbytes can be found by clicking here.

May 2003:

Some time was spent this month fixing a few links that were broken during the re-build (and thanks to the people who advised me of them).

Regular contributor Alan Currans has kindly put me in touch with Timo Aartomaa who many may remember as a Pro Comp driver in the 1980's, driving the beautiful California Charger funny car (see below).  He also took a seriously good picture or two! 
Check out his great black and white pictures of Houndog 10 and Owen (in the miscellaneous section). Timo has told me that he has a few boxes of old pictures and will look through to see if he can find some more of the Houndog team. Thanks Timo, you contribution is more than welcome.
Some more of Timos pictures, of other cars and stars from the 70's and 1980's can be found on Alan Currans Acceleration Archive site


The California Charger of Timo Aartomaa
(Picture courtesy of Alan Currans)

Finally some more odds and ends from both Jez Batch's and my collections in the miscellaneous section and Houndog 2 pictures.....and thats it for this month!

April 2003:

This site will celebrated its 2nd birthday during April 2003. It has received over 10,000 hits since first being launched, showing that the interest in a UK Fuel Drag Racing team form the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's seems to be unabated.

As regular visitors will have noticed, a re-vamp of the site has taken place for its second birthday. 
I was hoping to get more done, but this took more time than anticipated so new stuff  such as the anecdotes (with thanks to Chris Dossett for the idea!) will be coming soon. There will be some more new material and ideas over the coming months too, but any suggestions will, as ever be more than welcome. 
The navigation should be a bit better and I have tried to improve the download speeds. In particular the building of the Corvette has seen some enhancements (and will be getting some new pictures of the build in the next month or so). The gallery and contents have seen some major work too on the size and quality of the pictures.

While wallowing in nostalgia, I'd like to thank the many people who have contributed to the site over last couple of years, most especially Alan Currans, John Spoard, Richard Hayward, Jez Batch, Melvyn Holmes and Chris Dossett; thanks guys you have all made a lot of  people very happy and they have enjoyed the trip down nostalgia avenue thanks to your contributions, support and encouragement.

Keep your stuff coming; comments, suggestions, pictures and information are always welcome.