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Colin Strang worked in the motor trade, Strang Motors Ltd in Harrow, North London, he was one of the first to present a complete car having built his 500 in just four months, with assistance from Noel Shorrock, of the supercharging company, and G Mullet. The Strang car was based on a Fiat 500 chassis, boxed with steel to improve rigidity, with a mid mounted Vincent HRD engine. Considerable effort went into lightening the car, very much against the thinking at the time, and many other details were improved. At the rear, the Fiat elliptical springs were retained and a solid back axle was used but the centre drive sprocket and fabric disk were free to move and located by a pair of parallel braces running above and below the axle. After the end of '46 this arrangement was abandoned in favour of  amore conventional Fiat set up. Colin managed to extract more power from the TT and Dirt track engines than even the Vincent factory could achieve, switching between the two according to the relative need for peak power or torque.

Colin was fastest at Prescott in May 1946 and then won the next six events over the following twelve months, an incredibly successful start. Wisely, he stuck to the hills where reliability was easier to achieve, his only recorded circuit outings at Gransden Lodge in '47 and Silverstone for the Grand Prix in '48 resulted in a DNFs.

Inevitably, by 1949, the car became outclassed by the Cooper production cars but Colin still managed a fastest time in June at Bo'ness. Strang quit at the end of the year but his special continued to compete in various hands, notably G. Foulger, a haulage contractor from Attleborough, into the 50s. It still exists but has not run for many years.

While largely forgotten, Colin's choice of a mid mounted engine and Fiat based suspension predates John Cooper's first effort by several months making this car a highly significant development in the history of motor racing.

Colin Strang, on his way to victory, at Prescott, 1946

Strang at Prescott.jpg (320294 bytes)

and in the paddock at Shelsley Walsh, 1946

Strang at Shelsey.jpg (302130 bytes)

Side elevation of the Strang, wearing solid rear wheels.

strang picture.jpg (31499 bytes)

Colin gets out of shape at Gransden Lodge in July 1947

Colin's known results:

Prescott 19th May 1946, 1st

Shelsley Walsh 2nd June 1946, 1st

Prescott 27/28th July 1946, 1st

Prescott 31st August 1946, 1st

Bo'ness 7th September 1946 1,100 cc Class, 1st

Prescott 22nd September 1946, 1st

Crofton Hackett 1946, 1st

 

"White Hart" 4th May 1947

Prescott 11th May 1947, 1st

Shelsley Walsh 21st June 1947, 1st

Prescott 22nd June 1947 (750cc class), 2nd

Gransden Lodge 13th July 1947, DNF

Prescott 20th July 1947, 1st

Prescott Hill 14th September 1947 International Meeting, 5th

Shelsley Walsh 27th September 1947, 3rd

 

Prescott Hill 9th May 1948, 2nd

Shelsley Walsh 12th June 1948, 2nd

Prescott Hill 13th June 1948 (750cc Class), 3rd

Prescott 18th July 1948, 2nd

Great Auclum Sprint 24th July 1948, 3rd

Boscombe Speed Trial 7th August 1948, 4th

Prescott Hill 12th September 1948, 2nd

Shelsley Walsh 25th September 1948, 2nd

Silverstone 2nd October 1948 British Grand Prix, DNF

 

Prescott Hill 22nd May 1949, 6th

Shelsley Walsh 11th June 1949, 4th

Bo'ness 25th June 1949, 1st

Prescott Hill 17th July 1949, 4th

Prescott Hill 11th September 1949, 2nd

Shelsley Walsh 24th September 1949 (up to 750cc class), 4th

A shot of the Strang at Snetterton. Probably GN Foulger in July 1953.

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