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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone remember this little mishap at the Pod, I think it was 1977/78....

Apparently they were running it up to warm the engine/trans before qualifying, and had the rear axle jacked up with a trolley jack. One of the crew 'blipped' the throttle while in was running in gear, the rear tyres grew causing them to come into contact with the ground...... the pictures show the result....the car was repaired and raced the following day.













The station wagon was pushed through the pits, through the armco at the bottom of the pits and over the ditch! The funny car lost its exhausts, and ended up in the ditch. It missed us by about 10feet, but as usual I had my camera handy!
 

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My name is Martin
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Could have been an awful outcome, but what a brilliant bit of history :tup:
 

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richard rawlplug
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you should put these pics on UKDRN.
 

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richard rawlplug
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:tup::tup: Brilliant :tup::tup:
 

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fixin your car
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Is that DLT the bearded burbler in the last pic 2nd from the right ?
thanks for posting,
 

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Gary, I just discovered this old thread and I can give you an eye-witness report because the Funny car missed me by about 20 feet as it hurtled across to hit the station wagon. At the time I was working for the AA in London and Phil Manakee, one of my co-workers ran a rear-engined 3.3 litre straight 6 Vauxhall powered rail. A bunch of us went up to the Pod to help crew for him. We had taken the car into the Play-Pen and fired it up on the rollers to check out the engine when they fired up the Funny Car chassis to our left. Fortunately, it was angled across our car's bows. You can see our rail in amongst the crowd in the fourth picture.
They fired the engine and it went onto a fast idle, then down to idle. There's a mechanic sitting in it loosely wearing a face mask and gas mask. He blips the throttle and the car returns to idle. He blips it (I seem to remember) once more and the engine suddenly speeds up and keeps revving. At this point the surrounding crew are panicking. The revs keep rising and some guy tries to stuff his jacket or something into the bug-catcher. By now, the centrifugal clutch has engaged and the tyres grew and pulled the car off the stands. The car goes into a full-on burnout and smokes past the front of our rail maybe 8 feet away. It hits the team's Station Wagon which is sitting in Park and full of tools and heavy batteries. The front of the chassis rams under the tow-bar of the Station Wagon and lifts its rear wheels off the ground, so it starts rolling. Seconds before this all happened a guy was sitting the other side of the Armco barrier in his car watching activity in the Play-Pen. Luckily he had driven off just seconds before Priddle's engine fired up. The Armco was only held by a few bolts and the Station Wagon got rammed through it, across the road and into the ditch. The Funny Car chassis high-centred on the edge of the ditch and the weight of the Station Wagon levered the Funny Car rear tyres off the ground. They grew to max size and free-wheeled in the air. At this point the poor mechanic on-board managed to throw himself forward and pull the fuel shutoff. A split second later the engine stopped and this incredible silence fell over everyone close to the incident. It was punctuated by the voice of the mechanic from the driver's seat, "Oh no, oh no!" The poor guy was in tears, part shock and part realization that their racing weekend was probably over. We ran over so I saw the car at close quarters and it is truly a testament to racer's dedication and skills that they managed to have the car up and running by the next day. There was an awful lot of damage to the front end and fuel tank. It's really lucky that they didn't have the body on the car when this happened and truly amazing that nobody was injured.
I can tell you that it's one of the scariest experiences I've ever had and the noise was incredible. The whole incident from start to finish probably took about as long as it takes to read the first three lines of this report. Being there was like experiencing it in slow-motion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i've posted Martins comments on the FB page, as i'd posted my pics on there to see if anyone had the definitive story. The strange thing is i've known Martin for 35 years or so & its never come up in conversation, even though we were probably only standing 20ft from each other when it happened!

Gary
 

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Here's the basic layout before all hell broke loose. The angles may be a bit off, but the relative distances are about right (it's been a long time!).



The term "Barrier" is used very loosely because it might as well have been held together with chewing gum for all the good it did. I hope the 'Pod invested in some more nuts and bolts after this incident.
 

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mmm! car porn
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I was at York when a kid fired up a drag bike that ran amok and was last seen legging it across the fields!
 
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