Sidmouth petrolhead roars towards awards for dragster

PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:56 04 November 2013

Sidmouth's Brian Taylor with the restored 1961 Allard Chrysler. Brian, who has been nominated in two categories at the International Historic Motoring Awards 2013, led the team responsible for the dragster's restoration

Sidmouth's Brian Taylor with the restored 1961 Allard Chrysler. Brian, who has been nominated in two categories at the International Historic Motoring Awards 2013, led the team responsible for the dragster's restoration

Archant

A SIDMOUTH petrolhead could be roaring towards a couple of prestigious historic motoring awards later this month.

Brian Taylor (left) with members of the Allard Chrysler Action Group and the restored dragster at Santa Pod earlier this year.Brian Taylor (left) with members of the Allard Chrysler Action Group and the restored dragster at Santa Pod earlier this year.

Brian Taylor, of Trinity Court, says he is “gobsmacked” to have been nominated in two categories of the International Historic Motoring Awards 2013.

Described by the award organizers as the “driving force” behind the restoration of Europe’s first dragster, Brian says he’s “thrilled” that drag racing is to be featured at this year’s awards and is looking forward to the event at a ritzy London hotel.

News of the nominations came out of the blue.

It followed on from Brian’s work as Chairman of the Allard Chrysler Action Group responsible for restoring Sydney Allard’s 1961 Allard Chrysler, owned by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

“To say I was ‘gobsmacked’ understates how I felt,” said Brian. “I had to phone Doug Hill, Museum Manager at Beaulieu, to check that it wasn’t a hoax.”

The awards – now in their third year – celebrate “the very best of the best in the £multi-billion international industry.” The organisers describe it as “the benchmark by which the world of historic motoring judges itself”.

Brian and the restored dragster have been nominated in two categories: Restoration Of the Year and Personal Achievement Of The Year.

“These nominations are a tribute to the Allard Chrysler Action Group team and all of those who have supported us during the last five years,” said Brian.

“I’m so thrilled that drag racing is to be featured – not just in one category but two.”

Brian also thanked the dragster’s owners, the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, who have owned the car since the late 1970s. The car, according to Brian, looked OK for display purposes, but was minus an engine and other “bits and pieces”.

“We took the dragster off display for a long time, but they kept the faith while we solved many puzzles along the way. We’ve got everything working on the car now and it fires up, but it will never race again as it’s too valuable.”

The award winners will be announced at a gala dinner on Thursday, November 14, at London’s St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

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