David Riswick is the head honcho at John Woolfe Racing
and was a pivotal figure in UK drag racing for many years.

The pictures on this page were discovered in the back rooms of
JWR's Bedford office and Dave has kindly made them available to
The Acceleration Archive for us all to enjoy.

Click on any image to get the bigger picture


Hot Wheels Top Fuel Dragster



Following the demise of the Quartermaster rail at the end of 1970, the team produced an all new car for 1971.  It was painted blue and yellow and sponsored by John Woolfe Racing and Mattel toys, it was known as the Hot Wheels car and was the first JWR sponsored car to have a 392 Keith Black prepared hemi.
This great leaving shot, with the front wheels slightly up and the butterflies wide open, was taken on 30 August 1971 by Alan Holland-Avery.



This shot was also taken on 30 August 1971 at Santa Pod Raceway.
Crouching down on the right are Don Beadle (Allan Herridge's mechanic) and, taking the photo, Dave Watts (BDR&HRA Race Director). 
Ray Pritchard had resigned from the team to be replaced by Pete Stanford.



This picture was taken at an unsuccessful world record attempt at Elvington in late September or early October 1971.
From left to right : Tay Devlin, partner, friend, Pete Stanford, Tony Gane, Dave Riswick, Terry Axe, Sandra Priddle, Dennis Priddle and Irven Axe.



Dennis Priddle on a lap at Santa Pod in the Hot Wheels car has a clear lead over his old adversary Clive Skilton driving his Second Revolution fueller.


But at Blackbushe, an up in smoke Dennis Priddle is struggling against Bill Weichelt driving the Dos Palmos dragster which he re-named Asmodeus.
However, Weichelt had been given a start of over a second and yet only managed to beat Dennis by a couple of feet.  That must have been some race!



Dennis with the laundry out at Santa Pod Raceway.
The Hot Wheels car was later sold to Jim Read who campaigned it in the methanol-burning Pro Comp class for some years.  Pictures of the car in this guise can be seen in the Alan Currans Collection on Pro Comp pages 1 and 5.


Mr Six



This is without doubt the most beautiful looking slingshot dragster ever produced outside of the USA.  Biased?  Who?  Me?
It had become obvious to the team that if the six second barrier was going to be broken a new car was needed.  So the Priddle, Stanford and Gane end of the partnership set about creating this beauty, whilst Dave Riswick went shopping for the latest 392" Chrysler-based Keith Black racing engine.



In recognition of a sponsorship deal arranged by Dave, the car was initially known as the Radio Luxembourg 208 Dragster.  The 208 bit was the wavelength of the station but this was soon to be equalled and surpassed in terminal speed figures.
This great leaving shot shows the car laying down rubber on the notoriously slippery surface at Blackbushe Aerodrome.



The car has been re-painted in blue and yellow to reflect the newly acquired Shell Oil sponsorship for 1973.  Mr Six has been captured here by Alan Holland-Avery burning out with gusto at Santa Pod Raceway.



Back at Blackbushe and Dennis Priddle waves to the camera as he is pushed back to the pits.  Pete Stanford is driving the push car with Irven Axe in the passenger seat.


The moment of history for which this car and Dennis Priddle will always be remembered - the first six second run outside of the USA.  The record books were re-written on 28 May 1972 when a run of 6.995 seconds at 185mph was recorded at Santa Pod Raceway.
Dennis went on to run 6.93 at 208mph later in the day and followed this up with a 6.95 at another 208 and a 6.93 to defeat a red lighting Clive Skilton in the final.
Dave tells me that he remembers asking Peter Billinton to get a shot of the ET clock and the result is this historic picture by Roger Philips.





To the victor the spoils - in this case a very small cup for a very small elapsed time! 
From left to right : Chris Powell, Terry Axe, Tony Gane, Dennis Priddle, Dave Riswick, Pete Stanford, Mrs Axe and Irven Axe.



A last look (on this page anyway!) of the elegant lines of Mr Six in the pits at Santa Pod.  Dennis went on to drive the car to a best time of 6.59 seconds underlining the fact that it went every bit as good as it looked.


Mr Revell



6.59 seconds in Mr Six was obviously not enough for Dennis Priddle, therefore enter Mr Revell.  This car had been purchased from Norm Wilcox during a trip to the USA with Clive Skilton to compete in the 1973 Winternationals held at Pomona.  Both Dennis and Clive qualified in the final 32 (out of a field of 90-odd cars).  Unfortunately the normally sunny Southern California suffered over 20 inches of rain in 10 days thus washing out the event.  Dennis ran out of cash and had to return to the UK before the meeting could be re-scheduled.
Pete Stanford crouches behind the Petersen Publishing board and watches Dennis Priddle blast off the Santa Pod start line.



Mr Revell had been bought minus an engine so a 417 Donovan engine was purchased.
This great close up shot by Peter quinn shows the car burning out at Santa Pod Raceway.



Another fine burn out at Santa Pod this time taken by Lawrie Gatehouse.
Team member Brian Savage is standing behind the car holding the bottle of 'grip juice'.
Standing on the fence on the extreme left of the shot is 'Powerful Pierre' Peter Quinn who is actually taking the close up burn out shot above!



And yet another great burn out at Santa Pod as seen through the lens of Peter Quinn.
I don't know about you but I can't get enough of these.


A bit of close examination of the engine going on here in the fire-up area in the pits.
Dennis Priddle is bending over on the left and Barry Duffty has his back to the camera wearing the white tee shirt.  Graham White is just behind Dennis and Chris Powell is almost obscured by Barry on the right.





Mr Revell gets pushed back into the 'bleach box' behind the start line at Santa Pod - the car was not fitted with a reverser.  It was usual for the cars to start their burn outs very close to the spectators in the barn.
By the end of 1973 Mr Revell had run a best time of 6.04 seconds which stood as the fastest elapsed time by a slingshot dragster for a lot of years.  Dave is convinced that the car actually ran at least one five but there were some concerns expressed over the validity of the time.



Dennis Priddle appears to have a slight advantage as he and Clive Skilton power off the line at Blackbushe Aerodrome.  The surface was very slippery and the fuel cars invariably rooster-tailed their way down the entire quarter mile.  This didn't do the times much good but the terminal speeds were usually quite high and it was great for photographers and spectators alike.

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