Autosport International
NEC, Birmingham, 9th-12th January 2020
Report and pictures by Bob Roberts


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First port of call was the NGK stand to see how it had all come together since Wednesday. And in pride of place the Robinson/Clayton Studebaker Lark which is now for sale. Plans for the lawn mower are for minor re-engineering ready for a land speed record attempt at Bruntingthorpe. The plan is for 150 mph or more.

Then on to the Serck stand where there was the promise of something new. It was Paul Morton's brilliant new and almost finished '55 Zodiac two-door destined for action in Street Eliminator.

Full tube chassis was built by Rob Chilton with bracketry by Andy Chilton and cooling by Serck. Not to be outdone in the power stakes Paul has opted for a blown 602 BBC backed by a US built Turbo 400. The engine is fully built and tested on the ICE dyno so it's ready to go as soon as the wiring and final plumbing is done.

The brilliant bodywork including the four to two door conversion is by Robin Dandy at Broad Lane Garage. Full of excellent details it's definitely worth a close look when the car hits the track if you don't catch it at the show.

A quick check on the Aurora stand to see how clean Pete Moore got his '34 Coupe and all's well.

Will we ever see this at the track because many of us would like to see what sort of times it would run.

Amy and Ben Chiarella had a stand in the heart of the Engineering exhibition to promote their business –Straight to the Point Racing. Check out their web site at to see the fabrication and maintenance services they offer. Dad George was on hand to keep an eye on proceedings.

Outlaw Anglias put on an impressive display given they had only a few days' notice that some space would be available.

Simon Barlow's Fordson was one of those on display in with a dummy block because his race engine was in Holland for its annual freshen up. Plans to chase the elusive Six are based on new (un-torched) heads and an increase in blower overdrive from 6% to 12%.

Their gazebo stood out well in the middle of Hall 4 and the four cars on show were the equal of any of the exotica around them. sponsor Geof Hauser and son and Super Pro ET racer Scott had their annual booking in the Engineering show.


Robin Read's new dragster was launched at the show and attracted much attention from drag racers and general motor sport fans alike.

This is another car that will reward close attention when it gets to the track as it is built to the highest standard and is every bit a 2020 car although the power plant is several decades older.

Robin and Crew Chief Mark Evans plan to test the car during this season to iron out any bugs in what is a completely new car. There is still unfinished business with the old little car so look out at Dragstalgia for another attempt on the 200 mark.

Multiple Super Street Bike Champion and record holder Steve Venables' current mount was on display in Autosport Engineering.

Santa Pod had their usual large stand featuring Suzanne Callin's Top Fuel car and Andy Bond's Ugly '56.

There always seemed to be a cluster of people around the Chevy which made it difficult to catch a moment for a photograph.

The Doorslammers and the Greenlight Nationals were a success in 2019 so they remain in the schedule for 2020. In fact there is little space in the calendar now for more new meetings since some moved following the closure of Shakespeare County.

Also seen at the show was Andy Frost, fresh from his triumph in Bahrain. His immediate plans are to rest, "I've spent five years chasing a dream and now I've done it", he said. But the car has more in it, both in terms of engine performance and chassis capability so it seems that further activity could take place. Watch this space.

This very tidy pick-up was on the stand of sponsor the Anglo American Oil Company.

Drag racing featured in the Live Action Arena for the first in many years with the Santa Pod Two-Seat dragster.

Steve Warner, Baron Sharpe and pilot Paul Brown were the crew for the show.

The plan was for Emma Walsh, the female commentator, to ride as a passenger for two burnouts then jump out of the car and tell the crowd all about it, but not all went according to plan.


This video will give you an idea of how the Live Action Arena show went.
There were plenty of racers at the show, some of whom were able to discuss their plans for 2020.

Thomas and Scott Barnes from 1320 Mini confirmed they will not be racing their Super Gas Mini this but will instead be focussing on c*rc**t racing which is where much of their customer base is active. Scott will be keeping the Barnes name on the right track as part of the crew on the ICE Automotive Firebird Pro Mod. Bert and Andy from the BA Racing Pro Mod team were unwilling to commit to any plans with discussion ranging from a two-car team to retirement. It seems likely that when old adversary Andy Robinson, hits the track again they will be unable to resist the challenge and will bring out something. Speaking of Andy Robinson, any hopes that this reporter had of using old acquaintanceship to get an exclusive scoop were dashed by a firm "No Comment". sponsor Robinson Race Cars will be racing again, some time.

Reports and pictures ©Bob Roberts for