|Tuesday September 10th
Silverstone. Dante Duce and Sydney Allard were invited to the track to demonstrate to the press what Drag Racing was all about on the circuits Club Straight. They were joined by, Allan Herridge with his Buick dragster, Tony Densham with his 1500 Ford dragster 'The Worden' and George Brown with his supercharged 1000cc Vincent motorcycle 'Super Nero' which was, at that time, the fastest accelorating motorcycle in the world. Allard also brought along two of his 'Allardette' blown Ford Anglias. Bob and Roy Phelps of Fibreglass Repairs were brought in, with their customised Plymouth pickup, to push start the dragsters. So began their long involvement with British drag racing. Norman 'Nobby' Hills, who would become familiar with British Drag Racing fans, was further inspired to build his own car after witnessing this event. The first run of the meeting saw Allard and Duce each take the wheel of an Allardette, with Duce taking the first win with a 17.47/81 run. Tony Densham then put in a 14.66/88.2 in The Worden followed by a 14.41//97.3 from Herridges Buick rail. George Brown then put in an 11.14/139.5 before Allard brought the Dragster out for it's first run, a 13.81/129.5. Duce then fired up Mooneyes and after a promising tyre smoking launch started to lose the sliding rear end, resullting in a 14.69 ET. Herridge and Densham then ran together with The Worden crossing the line first with a 14.33/92.3. Brown then ran an improved 10.86/136, carrying the front wheel for the first sixty yards. The first run between the two big cars resulted in a disappointing performance with a 17/81 ET, whereupon Moon decided to change the cars gearing from a 4.40 to a 4.11 ratio. This produced another impressive launch on the next run, but the car once again became loose at half track. The press were then invited to relocate to the finish line to witness the deployment of the chutes at the end of the run. Duce provided a dramatic example of this, with the front wheels lifting as the chute blossomed. Allards however failed to deploy until the car had stopped, when it then fell out uncerimoniously onto the ground. Roy Phelps was then despatched with the dragsters slicks to find a local garage with a compressor to raise the tyre pressures. Apparently Silverstone did not have the facility to do this! Having found somewhere Roy was told not to bother as the tyres were clearly worn out. Racing slicks were not a common sight in those days. Herridge and Densham had another match up, this time the win went to Herridge with a 14.40/97 as Densham lost his blower belt on the start line. The final run of the day gave the press what they had come to see as Duce smoked the tyres for the full length of the track to record a 9.48/167, the quickest quarter mile pass the UK had ever seen.