Uncle Scrumble

A Saga of Low Budget
Racing, 1971-1976

Uncle S License Plate Pony Express

Pony Express was a junior altered built around 1970 by Bruce Eggleton and his brother. It was largely funded by the late Ron “Clutch” Billbury, a USAF serviceman, while the late Allan “Bootsie” Herridge brought advice and technical support. They all lived close to Hillingdon, North London.

The design was their interpretation of contemporary BDR&HRA regulations and was quite revolutionary for an altered in that the driver’s seat was low behind the rear axle. This feature was great for weight transfer but would not have been legal in the USA. The most critical dimension was the engine setback, built exactly on the permitted limit with the front spark plug hole 25% of the 6’-0” wheelbase from the front wheel centre line.

The Eggleton’s bubble paint job was truly outstanding. It was modeled after a traditional flame job but more psychedelic and light hearted. Eggleton and Billbury ran successfully with Ron at the wheel for a couple of years. They sold when Ron wanted out, I believe his tour of duty was coming to an end.

Bruce and I were both BDR&HRA national committee members and after Jon Annear agreed to be my team mate, I bought the car for £550 if I recall correctly. This photo shows it at our first outing renamed “Uncle Scrumble”, hand lettered over masking tape on the wheel spat.

First Race as Uncle Scrumble

This was a low budget operation. We were in our early 20s with new mortgages to pay. We agreed I would pay all the bills and take all the prize, appearance and sponsor money while Jon just promised to show up to the races and soon became the “designated driver”. As an impoverished student, this was an easy decision for Jon! The car was kept at my home, so I was chief mechanic.

My out of pocket racing expenses were limited by spousal contract to less than the value of a 60/day cigarette habit – I had promised to smoke rubber, not tobacco! First Race as Uncle Scrumble

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