Video: American Drag Racers Invade England, 1964

England Tony Nancy 1964In bright, beautiful color, presenting a classic drag racing moment: when American hot rodders crossed the pond to compete in Britain’s 1964 International Drag Festival. Here are two minutes of newsreel heaven. 



In 1964, two worlds collided when the National Hot Rod Association sent a select group of American drag racers to England to participate in the first annual International Drag Festival. The event, staged on a series of aircraft runways kindly loaned by the Royal Air Force, was widely promoted in the United States at the time by Hot Rod magazine and others. And now, thanks to British Pathé News, we have some beautiful color newsreel footage of the happening. A few of the great machines from both sides of the Atlantic we see here:

+   Tony Nancy’s innovative mid-engined Wedge dragster, powered by a Mopar big-block V8 (also pictured above).

+   The blue-and-yellow Houndog dragster of British drag racing pioneer Nobby Hills, here equipped with a Jaguar inline six.

+   From Long Beach, California, the Porsche-powered dragster of Doug Church, a killer small-bore racer in its day.

+   Representing the British home team, the wonderfully bizarre slingshot drag bike of Clive Waye, known as the Drag-Waye Special.

+   Dean Moon’s bright yellow Moonbeam, a Devin-bodied sports car built for both drag racing and Bonneville.

+   A brief appearance by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits himself, smoking the tires the full length of the runway in Swamp Rat VIB, the first dragster to officially exceed 200 mph.

In fact, this clip shows only a portion of the racers in attendance. Not shown are Ronnie Sox, Ohio George Montgomery, and a host of other ’60s drag racing stars who made the trip. Still, the video is quite a treat. Please enjoy.



2 thoughts on “Video: American Drag Racers Invade England, 1964

  1. No brakes? Dragsters have inneficient brakes but defenitly have then plus the chutes.
    The sound track,,, 4 cyl noises when a hemi is running, very bad editing.
    Interesting though, and obviously the English already had dragsters. just 5+ years behind the US

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