the car junkie daily magazine.


Incredible Video: Color Footage In Amazing Definition From The 1964 British International Drag Festival!

Incredible Video: Color Footage In Amazing Definition From The 1964 British International Drag Festival!

This incredible video, made somewhere around September 19 or October 4, 1964 shows the action at either the or the last stop on the first ever British International Drag Festival tour. This monumental event in the history of British motorsport was arranged by Sydney Allard, the founding father of British drag racing and backed by Wally Parks who gathered the talent in the form of an American all-star team of competitors to show an eager British public about just how fun a day at the drags could be. The first and last of the of six meetings spread around the country happened at Blackbushe and this is where the video comes from.

Before we go any further, a huge thanks to Bret Kepner for the tip on this!

The crow is insane. Check out the people at ground level and then in a few shots you can see the monstrous grandstand that was erected down track to hold people as well. This was not just a group of greasy racers taking a trip across the ocean. These guys were freaking rockstars and likely did not even know how big this would be before they got there.

So who was on the team? Get a load of this.

Don Garlits

Tommy Ivo

Tony Nancy

Bob Keith

KS Pittman

Ohio George Montgomery

Ronnie Sox

Dave Strickler

Doug Church

Dante Deuce

Don Hyland

Bill Woods

The tour was a massive and immediate success. Garlits defeated Ivo running in the 8.20s with his fuel dragster at the first event. At the last event had at this same place, Ivo beat Garlits also running in the 8.20s with both machines in the upper reaches of the 190mph zone.

The British International Drag Festival would become a regular thing through the 1960s and the Americans that raced in England loved the experience as much as the people who came out to watch. The influence of these shows helped set the course for a rapid growth period for British Drag racing and that’s the best part of the whole story. Through it all, despite pressures from all sides, British drag racers have hung tough and compete strongly today.

Press play to watch this incredible video from the International Drag Fest!

  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

3 thoughts on “Incredible Video: Color Footage In Amazing Definition From The 1964 British International Drag Festival!

  1. 75Duster

    My parents first date was there, my Mom kept the racing program from the event, and once the racing program was found it was sent to Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing where anyone can view it.

  2. Tom P

    Wow, that needs to be longer, what a great quality film. I thought i’d seen every British Pathe film to do with cars but haven’t seen that.

    It ran in late September, October 4th might have been the last day.

    Check this site for some great photos and commentary. About 3/4 of the way down that page, where the photo of Garlits being pushed by the Econoline van is.


  3. 69rrboy

    Loved that El Camino looking thing with the 59 Plymouth front end and the truck back end on it. I’m assuming some kind of Aussie/Brit “Ute” only sold over seas. Anybody know what that was called? Just wondered. There can’t be any of those left.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Get The Bangshift Newsletter