Medical pit stop for speedy twins
Both brothers forced to have knee operations to keep them on right road
THEY are the 79- year- old twins feared throughout the world... of Club Car Racing.
And speed addicts Reg and Ray Woodcock have no intention of slowing down after 40 years – despite having to make a couple of pit stops for “running repairs” – most recently knee ops for each.
Reg and Ray live a stone’s throw away from each other in Cheswick Green, near Solihull, and have never lost the enthusiasm for speed that made them a driver and mechanic double- act known on the top racing circuits of Britain and Europe.
Even now, the brothers own a dozen motorbikes between them – including two Vincent 1000cc collector’s items – as well as an array of racing cars including a 1960 TR3, a six- cylinder TR5 and a Westfield 11 with a five- litre Rover V8 race engine.
And with most of the bikes in roadworthy condition, the brothers still enjoyed taking them out for a spin until “ageing knees” put a temporary halt to their travels.
“It sounds funny but, to be honest, our knees were so worn we couldn’t actually get them over the bike,” explained Ray, a former chief engineer with Lucas who was the mechanical brains of the twins’ double act.
So they both arranged to meet with orthopaedic consultant Mr Shiv Jain at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull.
“He said we both needed knee replacements so we decided that we’d have them in tandem – Reg went first and, when he’d recovered fully so that he could get about properly, I had mine done so he could then take his turn looking after me,” explained Ray.
Less than four months later and they are back – Reg just having had his second knee replacement while Ray is booked in for early November when it is hoped his twin is back on his feet.
Surgeon Mr Jain said: “What a brilliant pair they are. They certainly aren’t ready to accept growing old just yet and their plan to ‘ stagger’ their ops so they can help each other is perfect. I will not be advising them to return to their high- speed ways of old but, provided they do the required physio and get themselves fully mobile, there is no reason at all why they can’t get back on their motorbikes.”
Both founder members of the Silverstone Racing Club, the pair chalked up an impressive 71 wins in their 35 years of Club Car Racing, with Reg bringing his fearless style of competitiveness to the track between 1963 and 1998.
“You could hear them saying ‘ here come the bloomin’ Woodcock twins’ when we turned up at the track,” said Ray. “Reg really did put them on their guard. Everyone knew they’d have a race on their hands when they saw Reg on the starting grid.”
The brothers, who are also long- standing members of the Solihull Rifle and Pistol Club, still ride out together – but now it is often to visit their 102- year- old mother Edith in the nearby Swallows Meadow Nursing Home.
Reg and Ray Woodcock in action behind the wheel in their heyday and, below, in hospital after both had knee operations