Mick ‘Duffy’ Col­lard 1946- 2016

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - Gra­ham Brown

Mick ‘Duffy’ Col­lard com­menced his oval rac­ing ca­reer at the age of 16 driv­ing For­mula 2 stock cars for Spede­worth at the Read­ing Tile­hurst track when his fa­ther bought him an ex-nor­man Hicks Y-type Ford.

But it was to be the old Alder­shot track which would be­come al­most syn­ony­mous with the Col­lard name, Mick wreck­ing his last F2 there be­fore mov­ing on to race Sa­loon Stock cars. When his Mk1 Ford Cortina GT was deemed ‘too ad­vanced’ for the for­mula, he cut the car up in dis­gust, trans­ferred many of the parts to a Ford Anglia, and launched a ca­reer as a Hot Rod driver.

In a television in­ter­view in 2013, Mick ex­plained from where the nick­name had come. “I used to play rugby at school and I used to make a lot of duff passes so I ended up be­ing called Duffy,” he ex­plained. “Then, when I raced Hot Rods, I had a rep­u­ta­tion for duff­ing peo­ple up so the name just stuck!”

It wasn’t long be­fore Mick – or Duffy– was liv­ing up to the nick­name. He was squar­ing up to the other aces of the era, notably Ge­orge Pol­ley and Barry Lee, the trio be­com­ing for­ever known as The Big Three. Their some­times less than fully non-con­tact dices at tracks like Wim­ble­don, Alder­shot, East­bourne and Ip­swich be­came the stuff of leg­end and helped fuel the huge fol­low­ing the for­mula built through­out the 1970s.

It was how­ever, some­times a Big Three with only two ac­tive mem­bers with Mick – who of­ten courted con­tro­versy – oc­ca­sion­ally side­lined through rac­ing bans. Such an­tics only added to the Col­lard fan-base though, a fol­low­ing fur­ther boosted when a full length feature film en­ti­tled ‘ Hot Rod Breeder & Pig Racer’ was re­leased which high­lighted Mick’s suc­cess as both a pig farmer and a race car driver.

Mo­tor­sport News sends its con­do­lences to his wife Les­lie, son Robert and daugh­ters Karen, Ju­lia and Maria, and his many fam­ily and friends.

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