Tony Broster rants
A personalized recall of events
from someone who had witnessed and participated in early Dulon racing
history. An entertaining and long account of events. Tony is a great
great guy and we are fortunate that he reached out for us.
my name is Tony
Broster, & perhaps I can help a little with your Dulon site.
I raced a new Titan FF & was friendly with Reg Thurley & Ian Taylor
who drove the lighter LD 4s, there were several very close battles
with Ian so close in fact that the bugger developed an amazing
knack of breaking off my tyre valves with his wheels.
I can clearly
recall threatening to hang a fist off Ians nose at Combe if he
did it again, bless him he took himself off the track trying that day.
( yes in the 1970s we could
do all that bad stuff to each other without MSA hearings &
dodgy club steward problems )
Ian went on to became
Dulon FF & later F3 champion in his Baty March he was an all round star
driver, we remained pretty friendly & I worked for him part time instructing
on the BMW days until around the time of his untimely death.
I had visited the factory during
1968 several times looking & chatting about cars as you do,
around Sept or early Oct during a visit with John Fenning the always
food hungry Bill longley produced a 12' slab of model clay shaped like a
squarish race car & announced that it would eventually be the soon to
be all new Dulon1969 formula ford LD 9.
Andy Duncan Bill Longley
Fenning & I retired to the local Bicester Chinese restaurant as was usual
& over Longleys 2nd & thankfully double final banana fritter
& ice cream a deal was struck to fund the prototype kit of parts of the
very first LD9 rolling chassis less instruments, & belts, that Fenning
donated from his Willans company,
& all this for the earth
shattering sum of 509 pounds & sixteen shillings plus we had to build it
& report any problems to the factory directly.
that there were no build problems, it was dead straight forward & a credit
to the Dulon teams design & fabrication.
On the way back to Hampshire
that fatefull evening Fenning suddenly announced "Bros you have to be
Bl--dy bent to have bought that " (in
those days bent meant stupid) we argued like two bitter old tarts all the way
back to his home in Stockbridge Hants.
Fenning & I had
originally paid half each for our original Titan FF which whilst being
beautifully over built was a vile twitchy swine to drive & only
provided me with a couple of wins but several unscheduled trips into
Tony Trimmer one of the best
drivers I have ever seen in anything from an F1 down & who should have
gone all the way if he wasn't such a totally nice guy made a sister works Titan
FF car fly,
but alas I was
no Trimmer, pretty ok on my day but not a Trimmer or Ian taylor, they were
I figured at the time that
with proper factory help & plenty of Chinese restaurant evenings we would be
able to make the new LD9 a somewhat easier car to drive & its a fact that
the best way to Longleys heart was through his stomach, as that always got
Engineering services produced a good strong engine & the wonderful
Mike Endine he of later Extrac & tax exile fame bless him built my gear box
at a knock down price,
which consisted of several old used VW castings & some money & I had our
The LD9 was great, straight
off early in 1970 from the time it first turned a wheel a much easier
forgiving car to drive than the Titan ever had been & I loved it,
its only fault being the
proximity of the margettes designed high cockpit side to ones gear change
knuckles, & trust me it did hurt !
a teardrop hole was cut in
the top cover & half a large king Edward potato was pushed through from the
inside & fibre glassed over the domed skin into a hand clearance blister (
no more hurt knuckles ) but Les was less than amused at the fix.
incorporated by Les Margettes into the 1st MP 15 cars ( & very
professionally done without a potato it must be said )
1970 was a cheaters charter
season engine wise, competition for sales of chassis & engines was
amazing & the changing of camshafts for something a bit 'hotter " or in
some instances "megga hot " was epidemic, there were so many
questionable engines running that we ( stupidly ) early on took the high moral
ground & removed the FF engine,
on reflection perhaps we should have stayed in & done a bender like
a lot of others that year as no one official seemed to want to check engines
& make a stink.
generously provided a great fresh 161 hp mk13 Brian Hart Lotus twin cam &
a set of 8' & 10" Brabham rims,
Wheeler dealer & my on & off buddy Bob Howlings sold us a good used set
of YB11 Firestones for 50 quid ( in cash mate ! ) & winged about
parting with them for the rest of the season if I managed to beat him, some
pretty awful front & rear wings were fitted from somewhere & we went
Libre racing for the season, funny as hell as we knew absolutely
nothing about wings !
1970 was a great libre year
for the LD9, ( now the only ever I believe LD9B )
you had the likes of a couple of old grand prix cars & the future Rothmans
5000 star Stevie Thompson, Bob Howlings, Graham Eden & several others in
powerfull new F2 cars plus a group of half dozen of us poorer lower pond life including
later Le Mans winner Vern Shuppen & my pal the flame haired maniac
Spencer Elton in 1600 twin cam cars.
There was also assorted F3s
with the likes of future hard nut world champion Allan Jones & funny series
clown Allan Joy competing plus the odd big sporty car.
All us tiddlers prayed for
wet or damp races which put us on more even terms with the F1s & F2s,
my old mate Bob Howlings used to be absolutely livid if a twink , especially a (
poxy- his words ) converted FF finished in front of him, it was worth trying
extra hard just to see Bob throw a toys out the pram wobbler in the
paddock,& abuse you on the phone later in the week with his list of
brilliantly funny excuses.
1970 was a
highly amusing & very sporting Libre season & the LD9B won a
few rounds during the season I recall.
we were allowed to
enjoy ourselves back then, It was permitted !!
Racing was not
intense, 70s was a laugh, Vietnam, flower power, jefferson airplane, Chris
Summers downing pints on the startline, Fennings 350 horse power GTO Pontiac, my
mate Carl Jeanes earning 50 quid ( a fortune ) for running bare Ass naked in the
With John Webbs Formula
Atlantic just being announced my mate Bev Bond ( later Lotus works F3
driver ) & I trudged off for the Brands first press introduction run that we
would share alternate track sessions in.
To our amazement the
old Dulon FF - twin cam blew away 2 future F1 stars including John Watson &
a to be in the future Lotus world champion with proper 1600 BDA engined
Bev who was a blindingly
quick driver when he forgot about his strangely & sometimes alarming nervous
twitch caused some serious upset during his own track session & finally
pitted the LD9 Dulon with a big silly grin having upstaged more than half of the
cars that had appeared, lotsa lotsa fun for us both.
1971 saw the car converted
yet again, twink very sadly went back to John Fenning who I guess was
feeling the financial pinch that month or something & a cheaper 1000cc
Cossie MAE screamer was fitted.
The LD9 B car was sold
onto Swansea builder ?? Jen Jones who I recall arrived to view it with more kids
than the pied piper of Hamlin but some very respectable "English
green" folding money in a paper bag,
we saw ken who was a super
friendly guy doing very well at several races afterward,
he sold the Dulon on
a few years later & I only saw it once finally looking like a decent
rebuild really would do it some good, the then present owner for some reason
refused to believe it had been mine as by then the rather weak Dulon chassis
plate had gone.
I wonder who has my
old 01 FF car now , are you out there ?
What can I say, Dulon
LD9, LD9B what a truly great car, built like a brick lavatory with the larger
Americans market in mind,
It never broke & never failed, easy to maintain & run & brilliant
sensibly priced spares supply.
What great help &
support we always received from the funny but caustic witted Andy Duncan,
permanently hungry Bill Longley & Les Margettes at the Dulon factory,
great great guys all
of you, & again 40 years on another big thank you. Tony Broster.
subsequently I bought , raced
& managed a team with several other FF Dulons, If you want that story for
your site & am not over bored by the above chassis 01 crap e-mail me
here in Thailand,
as theres some stuff you
dont know about 1 off developments that took place with Dulons, that much I
can guarantee, boring trivia or history depends on ones viewpoint.
The car arrived in a sort of
some bits every few days, Dulons ace welder Bill ( not Longley ) finished
welding up the chassis whilst I watched him, a quick powder coat up the road
& we were able to return to Timsbury to start building.
trips to Bicester soon produced enough to get it on its wheels