Boy… it’s been a while! First of all I apologise for not writing in such a long time, over a year in fact. Life takes over of course; I started a new job, helped build a race car and have just generally been busy. In that time I have made plans for new articles, and have a whole list of topics I want to cover when I find time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard?), so don’t forget about Raceway Hussy!
But for now, a life update.
For nearly two months now, me and my boyfriend, Jake, have had to rebut questions on why our 1962 Ford Fairlane (that I raced last season in Nostalgia Superstock) and my ‘72 MG B GT both mysteriously went up for sale less than an hour after a certain gasser appeared for sale on social media… we weren’t exactly subtle and so of course many people guessed the reason, while others we left guessing. We also get far too giddy about this type of thing so struggled to keep it a secret a lot of the time.
After both cars sold and were dropped off, and once we had settled on a date, me, Jake and his dad travelled down to collect the latest racecar to join the Cawthorne/Smith stable; Nogbad the Bad, an Austin Devon gasser.
When the car popped up for sale, there wasn’t a doubt in our minds that we needed to sell everything we owned to gather some funds for the car: we drew the line at our organs. I’m only kidding, that is an exaggeration, as Nogbad was reasonably priced, so we decided to sell two of our cars. For years now the Gasser Circus has been a class both Jake and I have wanted to race in since crewing for our friend Tim with his ‘Wragged Wedge’ 1964 AWB Dodge Polara, and some may remember our failed project ‘Kwik Magic’ which was intended to be a ‘Fred Hurst’-esque Barracuda gasser. Nogbad was the perfect way to get into the Circus.
I’m sure many fans of British drag racing will know some of the history behind the car, or at least seen it run, piloted by ‘Nervous’ Nick Brooke-Langham for many years now. He has owned it for a long time, and transformed it into its current guise as Nogbad around 15 years ago. The history of the car goes back to at least the late 70s and into the 80s when it was hot rodded, and owned back then by Mike Taylor. There’s a lot more to the history of the car that I am yet to learn, and the Brooke-Langham family have so many great stories and memories of the car, including a trip to Finland with it and, of course, many years on the track.
My intentions with the car are obviously to race it with the Gasser Circus from next year. The car handily came with a 351ci Cleveland motor which we’ve already mocked up in the engine bay, and with some small adjustments and parts shall hopefully be running soon. Other than that there really isn’t much that needs doing to the car except some minor cosmetic changes: some small bits of paintwork (such as the rear valance which is bare metal currently) and signwriting. Even if I wanted to – which I don’t – I’m of the opinion that you can’t majorly change what is such a well known and historic car, it would be sacrilege. The look of it is also perfect; it’s certainly not a show car and has paint flaking in parts, but this patina just gives it the look of a survivor from the 60s. I also hate cleaning and trying to keep ‘nice’ paint clean, so a car I can give a wipe over with WD40 is perfect for me.
I also intend to return it to the street, with some additions such as an exhaust and a single wiper as a token gesture to the MOT tester, so I can also take it to car shows. All that’s left to do then is just to really enjoy this car, which I know we definitely will! Keep an eye on my social media (@racewayhussy on Instagram) as I will be posting updates there on finishing the car and getting it race-ready, as well as my first season with the Gasser Circus.
Thank you to Nick Brooke-Langham for being a great custodian of this historic car and for allowing me to see it through the next chapter. Can’t wait to have a match race with you next year!
Photo credits for on track photos: GJC MotorSport Media https://gjcmotorsportmedia.smugmug.com/