HISTORY OF THE APOLLO 2 RACE CAR 

Taken at Santa Pod Raceway (1979 World Finals) with Clive Dawe driving.

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The Chassis was built by Norm Wheeldon at Oxford during November/December of 1978. It was a copy of the Tom Hoover's Nitro Funny Car "SHOWTIME" and was well ahead of it's design for the time. We were the first small Comp Altered to have a small Funny Car type chassis built. It was very strong and lightwight, fitted with torsion bar front suspention. Norm also supplied the 1923 T Ford fiberglass body for us, we supplied the 3.8 Jaguar engine, manual gearbox and rear Jaguar Axle (Which Norm shortened for us) these items came out of the Apollo 1 Ford Popular car. The Jaguar engine ran with no water and on methanol fuel on 15 to 1 Compresion ratio. later on we fitted Piper camshafts larger valves a Jim Terster Damper plus Jim Tester Headers, the whole car weighed 1425 lbs. (without the driver) Owned & driven by Steve Bingham, Tony Little and Clive Dawe all from the Stourbridge Area (West Midlands)

The Altered was finished and on the track by 23rd June 1979 where we ran at Snetterton Raceway, Norfolk. it's first time out netted a best time of 12.56 @ 112 mph.  The best ever e.t was at Long Marston Raceway 10.88 @ 125 mph in 1981 with Tony driving. We did win a few final rounds in our class, one at Long Marston with Steve Driving, but the best win was at the 1979 World Finals at Santa Pod when we WON the final round (In the dark) Clive was driving. The car also won many "Best Compitition Car" Awards at Custom Car shows.  Due to personal circumansis the car was put up for sale at the beginning of 1982. The car was sold in November 1983 to Gunther Kolb from Germany, Rico Anthens came over from Germany to collect the car. 

July 1984. Apollo in the Pits at Zandvoort Raceway, Holland. Looking about the same with it's new owner Gunter Kolb.

September 1984, Gunter bought Apollo 2 back over to England to race at Santa Pod Raceway's World Finals.

July 1985, Zandvoort Raceway, Holland. Whilst I was crewing for the Mr Shifter car I noticed our old Apollo race car in the staging lanes ready to do a run down the 1/8th mile track. The race car has new Good year slicks and a new paint job now called "SUNRISE" and still owned by Gunter Kolb.       

1986, I belive the Jaguar engine finally went bang and part's for these engines are rare to find in Germany, So, Gunter fitted a Small Block Chevy into the frame rails plus a Trabant Body was also fitted, I'm not sure where these photos were taken ? 

1987. Gunter Kolb Sold the race car to Uwe Kulecki. Uwe stuck with the Small Block Chevy engine but removed the Trabant body and replaced it withe the Ford 1923 T Body, the race car is called "NITRO TURTLE" The S.B Chevy was running on Petrol and N2 o gas. Later on in the year The Small Block went BANG at Hockenhiem Drag Strip in August.

1988. Over a Winter Uwe rebuilt the Small Block Chevy engine, the roll cage on the chassis was cut off, chromed and re-welded back on plus fitted new front wheels and another respray. He ran the car in "SUPER PRO" Class, but had Ignition problems. Uwe last drove the race car at Drachten Raceway in Germany later this year. The engine and Gearbox was sold, Uwe kept the rolling chassis for some time before putting the car up for sale (which took some time ?)

2010. Markus Witte bought the rolling chassis off Uwe and fitted a Highly Modified Mazda 3 B Rotary Engine with a Turbocharger Plus a Reid powerglide Trasmission.

2012. The Mazda 3 B Engine. Markus was doing test runs during this year down the drag strip.

Marcus put the race car (rolling chassis) up for sale in 2014 Tom Meir (Who used to run a Pro-Modified car) bought the rolling shell with the intention of putting in a 396ci Hemi V8 with a Supercharger on top, The Chrome roll cage had to go and a new thicker wall tubeing was welded in place for better roll cage protection, but due to Doctors advice Tom was advised not to race again and retired from Drag Racing.

2015. Maxim Spaans bought the rolling chassis and body with the intention of fitting his own Iron Big Block Chevy Engine and Powerglide Transmission with Crower Fuel injection running on Methonol, bought off the Gleadow Brothers in England.

These photos were taken in 2016 when Max contacted me through my web site after visiting Dragstalgia at Santa Pod in July 2016 this year, the car is only mocked up at the moment, he intends to fully rebuild the car now and hopefully get it to Dragstalgia next year (2017) ? Let hope it get's there, it will be nice to see the old Apollo 2 race car running again in England. I've been working things out now, this race car that Norm Wheeldon built back in 1978 has gone through 6 owners now and is 38 years old, But it's always kept the same fuel tank ! (That was the only way I can recognise the chassis)

5th February 2017. The Body is the original one that was fitted on the Apollo chassis, it's had many coats of paint over the last 39 years which will need sanding down to the original primer before a new top coat is applied.
 But, Max has been checking the new SFI regulations for safety on chassis's, it turns out that this chassis will not comply with the latest regluations, so Max is prepaired to back half the chassis with new thicker wall steel tubing mig welding it all together, below there is a plan to work by. Max has realised that this project will take a lot longer to build than planned and it's quite possible that the car won't be at Santa Pod this year.  

With a bit of luck Max might get all the work done and the car on the track for 2018. Who knows we could be cellibrating the altered 40th Birthday at Dragstalgia ?