Practical Classics (UK)

Starting HANDLE

- Danny Hopkins makes a plea to the banger boys

Cards on table, I’m not a fan of classic banger racing and I would never do it. But I believe in 'live and let live' and I would defend the community’s right to race freely. There is an argument that it is better for a basket case classic, stripped of useful and reusable parts, to go out on an oval rather than dissolving in a back garden.

But this issue we carry two really worrying stories that lead me to ask the banger racing community to, please, get its house in order. The Ford Country Squire, stolen to be raced, put the whole banger racing world in a dark place. With an owner beside himself with grief and frustrated at the police’s inability to protect his pride and joy, or prosecute those responsibl­e, there’s now an apparent green light for this sort of thing to happen again.

Got to say, it is beyond theft for me.

When someone pours their heart and soul into a project or simply loves their car, to take it is bad enough, but to then destroy it for fun in public is pretty inhumane. If you do it, you deserve to go to prison, simple. The banger racing authoritie­s repeatedly condemn these actions and that’s heartening, but thefts still happen. Some racers still nick other people’s classics and destroy them, for fun, in public – it has got to change.

There’s also still an apparent joy to be had in racing and destroying rare or irreplacea­ble cars. This just makes me sad. Surely racing is about the thrill of the event itself and classic racing is about the nostalgia of reliving those thrills. Why do it in something that might be a car that will be valued by future generation­s? Value though… there’s the thing. If we don’t want these cars to go to the track, when we see them for sale, we need to bid, and then we need to use and restore them.

‘Cars still get nicked for racing, it has to change’

 ?? ?? Stolen Squire.
Stolen Squire.
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