A stock pile of racing memories

A CHANCE visit to a stock car race in Odsal 34 years ago sparked one man’s love affair with the sport that has seen him collected thousands of items of memorabilia.

Philip Walker, 57, has accumulated more than 3,500 race programmes and 4,500 magazines dedicated to Brisca F1 Stock Cars – many of them dating back to the 1960s.

He even has the Stock Car Magazine’s annual trophy, along with model cars and pin badges.

But he is not finished yet, Philip wants to add more items to his collection.

Philip fell in love with the sport in 1978, when a workmate took him to a race at Odsal Stadium.

“In those days there were 20,000 people turning up to watch the cars,” Philip said.

“When I started following the sport, there were 200 meetings per year, but now there’s about 50.

“I think it’s the expense of the sport and the number of tracks closing that means there are less races now. The nearest track is in Sheffield.

“The sport has got a lot of more technical. It’s a millionaires’ sport now.

“The cars use Chevrolet V8 engines that cost upwards of £30,000 and the gearboxes are imported from America.

“The whole cars cost about £45,000 to make because they are Formula One fabricated racing cars. They’re far from the old bangers.”

Philip has visited Holland to watch races on 14 occasions and regularly travels up and down the UK to get his stock car fix.

He hopes to attend the European Championships, in Northampton, in July and the World Championships, held in Skegness this September.

He added: “I love it. I love the noise of the cars and the speed as well.

“You meet so many good people through the sport, following stock car racing is my hobby.

“I’m always on the look out for more memorabilia – but I would never sell my collection because it’s something I really love.”