Historic car racing is one of the few flourishing categories of motorsport in the UK
today. However such popularity usually breeds a level of competitiveness, which
in itself brings added expense that invariably partners the desire to improve
and push the boundaries of any competitor's chosen vehicle, often far beyond
the financial reach of those wishing to enter the sport.
A tried and trusted formula in motor sport that 'levels the playing field' – both
competitively and financially - is a one-make race Series, where all cars are
expected to be equal and thus results rely solely on the ability of the driver to
shines through, not the car! Whilst this approach has been a most successful
mainstay of contemporary motorsport, it has not been taken on by the historic
racing community – until now. If such a concept was to be launched, the
over-riding question would then be – what car would be chosen that could
provide all the qualities of historic racing, prove sustainable through easy
access and parts supply, yet prove aspirational to would-be historic racers?
The answer is obvious – the ubiquitous and yet charismatic Austin A35!
So why the A35?
Over and above its quintessential cheeky character, the Austin A35 is readily
available to buy in the classic car marketplace at sensible prices. £3k to £4k
will buy a sound, well-presented road car if you buy wisely. The best advice is
to buy as good as you can because restoring a 'barn-find' car will not only
cost more than you expect, it will also take far longer than you would envisage,
damping one's enthusiasm for the project long before you can possibly hit
Mechanically the A35 is tried and tested, simple yet effective. Properly thought through, a
race version can not only be reliable, it will provide all the elements of
'proper' historic racing: Iconic looks, sideways handling and 'seat of your
pants' thrills! Most importantly, the HRDC Academy specification has been
specifically designed, not only to be reliable and competitive, but fundamentally
– to be safe. This carefully thought through package therefore offers a
rewarding, truly historic driving experience; but not at any cost.
So you have bought your A35, what happens now?
Yourfirst point of contact will be the HRDC, where you can register with the
Academy. Once signed up to the Academy and duly equipped with the specific
Regulations Book to the HRDC Academy Series, your second port of call will be
to the main suppliers - as listed and approved by the HRDC, where you will be able to tailor the purchase of the race
kit to your budget / build-schedule requirements.
The key elements of the package are:
This is a pre-tested and sealed unit,
available only to buy outright from Classic and Modern Engine Services, in
This is a specially designed 6 point bolt-in
type with weld-in strengthening plates, available solely through Caged Laser in
This kit incorporates the suspension, brakes, auxiliary engine parts, interior and body
accessories, all of which are available exclusively through Moto-Build Racing
The concept is simple:
You buy the parts from the HRDC
suppliers as and when it is convenient to you.
Then assemble the car.
There are a certain amount of
parts that are mandatory to buy via the HRDC suppliers, but there are many
other parts that are required to complete the car that you can source
yourself or via the official HRDC supplier, if required. (If you do source
certain items yourself, you must ensure they are suitable for inclusion in
So you have built the car, what happens now?
In order to race the car, it must first pass an eligibility inspection by the
Once passed, the HRDC will issue the car with its own, unique chassis plate, serial
number and racing 'log book'. This process ensures that all cars competing are
known to have been built to the correct standard.
If during the build, you are in any doubt about how to do something or wish to
determine whether a specific part is compatible / acceptable, there will always
be someone available at the end of the phone or approachable via email to
assist and advise you.
Once your newly-built HRDC Academy racer has its passport and chassis plate that's it
- you'll be off to the first available race with the HRDC! You'll be joining
one of the most sociable and fun-loving group of racers, who will give you a warm welcome to the world of historic motorsport.
Hopefully this brief resume will give you an insight into what we are all aiming for with
the HRDC Academy. My name is Darryl Davis, I own Moto-Build Racing and have
been drawing on my past 25-years of motorsport experience in helping to develop
this dynamic and accessible approach to true historic racing. I see a terrific
future for this Series as it embodies all the attributes that make historic
motorsport so appealing.
I can be contacted by phone on 07956451470 or by email:
Please feel free to contact me for a chat to find out more, and answer any queries you
may have regarding the cars, the conversion and the HRDC Academy Series.