Matt Josey inducts Michael Coventry
Michael Coventry deserves his place in the Hall of Fame for a variety of reasons. He will be known as one of the best commentators racing has had, and he will be known as the editor of one of the best banger magazines too! It’s quite simple why I am nominating MC. As a child, I went racing all around the country, but the atmosphere provided at Mildenhall Stadium, and especially Michael Coventry just gave off a completely different vibe! His commentary really built the atmosphere up, and would often set the day going before the meeting had even started. His commentary was different, but in a very good way; it was entertaining! It’s not just that, as already mentioned he was the editor of Wasted Magazine, which sadly ended in September 2016 and was the main reason why I started Caged. It’s also the simple thank you’s in life that make a difference – I heard of many instances where drivers had finished a meeting at a RDC Promotions event, whether it was Dover or Mildenhall, and the drivers received a simple thank you from Michael Coventry for racing that day or night. It’s little things like that, that make a big difference, and drivers continuously went back for more at both venues, and especially at Mildenhall Stadium. No matter what the meeting, the turnouts constantly grew. To this day, a lot of people still mention Michael Coventry as one of the greats, so it’s a pleasure to induct him into the Caged Hall of Fame for those reasons!
Bryson Walker inducts Iain ‘The Steamer’ House
Steamer was a massive personality around the raceways, and was one of the early ‘bangeraks’ or scribes as you’d more commonly describe it. His contributions to various magazines; Blitz, Damage Inc or Wasted in the later years, Steamer’s views were very much gospel. What his thoughts were on something banger related were the banger code. He very much lived and breathed everything about bangers. When Steamer was at a meeting, you knew he was there, and any meeting he wasn’t at, probably wasn’t a meeting worth attending. It’s for people like The Steamer, as to why I do what I do with Caged nowadays. He potentially, alongside people like Michael Coventry paved the way for Caged to be in existence and that’s why I’m including him as my nomination into the hall of fame.
Ed Fahey inducts the Ford Granada
The car itself has been a big part of banger racing for at least 30 years. The Granada as an entity has won pretty much every championship available in bangers, and pretty much every banger driver that’s raced for at least 10 years has raced one Mk1/2 Granada over the years. Why do people race them – they are simple! There are only two bolts holding the engine in, and four on the gearbox mount, single wishbone suspension, and are very quick to change parts on too. You see how quick they can be pulled out. They are still an easy car to build, albeit if they are not rusty, and are quick cars that handle well – as you see from 617 Jack Overy sliding his around tracks still. They are easy to repair as proved by the hardcore wreckers along the years; they could get absolutely caged and be pulled out and return for more. There is so many different variants of the car too, then you add that with the engineering simplicity. The engine and gearbox can take a hell of a lot of abuse. A recent memory of this is the All Granada meeting at Ringwood; the smells on offer that day – burnt clutch, cooked engine, cooked gearbox. When you compare that to the newer cars, with the V6 and Pinto engines there is no ECU telling the engine what to do which just adds to that overall feel. With oval racing, in particular the bangers, Ford is the leading manufacturer. Not only for the cars, but the amount of other cars that have a Ford engine implanted into them, and is still common practice. Talking of that V6 engine, that is still very much the sound of banger racing! The Granada is still a popular car to race, and there is still yards full of them. They are good cars, good to race and have that little bit of magic, so for me that’s why the Ford Granada is my choice.
James Keane inducts #260 Keith Reynolds
Keefy is a man that embodies everything great about banger racing, ever since his debut in what I believe was 1986. With my role as a marshal, I’m very much linked with Keefy especially at Aldershot where he does scruiteneering, as well as being a racer. What he has done for the sport is immeasurable. He really does embody the spirit of the sport. I can’t recall him ever doing a dirty hit, or getting a ban at all. Keefy is the impetus behind back to basics, and his contributions have really reinvigorated the sport. We’ve mentioned before on our podcasts about how ‘rookies’ are no longer rookies, and back to basics is now that form of stepping stone. Add all that to introducing his sons (Joey 760 and Jackstar 360) into the sport, as we revealed the Caged Awards you saw home often their names were mentioned. Even from a Caged perspective, he has been more than willing to come on the podcast on a couple of occasions and is always happy to provide us with content, and I can’t envision that there is many people that would say Keefy isn’t among their favourite drivers.
Jordan Hollands inducts Arena Essex Raceway
I am going to be nominating Arena Essex Raceway which we sadly lost a few seasons ago. It was a track that I watched my first meeting at, and a track that I grew up watching at. I think it’s fair to say that the track kick started my love affair with the sport, and led me down the path I have now taken which is sport journalism, in particular motorsports. I have lots of memories of going with my dad, and I still miss it now! I was a really cool track, and even with its negative points, it was still a great track.
Jake Harris inducts #617 Jack Overy
Jack Overy is a man that needs no introduction really! He’s been there, done it and got the T-shirt! Greatest of all time is a phrase overused by the Americans, but it really does describe Jack. He has raced across various decades, and with the rapid changes that we’ve seen in bangers, many drivers have been left behind, whereas Jack has stayed on top of the game. Jack got his World Championship win in 2015, and you could argue that he should have had more over his time, and probably would have done it it wasn’t for his mate Shane (Davies 158.) He has won countless other titles, wrecked with the best of them, and raced some of the coolest traditional bangers we know. You could put Jack in anything and he would still pedal it. They say in football, can they do it on a cold night at Stoke, the banger equivalent is can they do it on a cold January day at Standlake and Jack has proven himself there. He’s been associated with good, if not the best teams in bangers over the years. He’s been up there for years and years and quietly goes about his business too, which is pretty admirable given his stature in the sport. You could go on and on, but those are my reasons for including Jack.
Dominic Brock inducts ‘Pre meetings’
With my nomination I thought I’d be quite broad, but it is my passion. Pre meetings are my nomination. They always get the tongue wagging as soon as they are announced, as already the case with the Stan Woods Memorial. They typically started off as a ‘Pre 68 Golden Oldies’ at Hednesford and Wimbledon and have developed across the years and are always good meetings. Pre meetings always bring some top material that are talked about years later. It’s simply spectacular to see how the meetings unfold with some cars that have been very left field. It’s gives a great impression, maybe with rose-tinted spectacles about how great racing from yesteryear were.
Stef Robinson inducts Independent Tracks
My nomination is small independent tracks, and the reason is because that is where is started out doing the photos. When I go to the independent tracks there is a bigger family element, and more of a family support network about them. They are tracks where you don’t need to spend a lot of money to be competitive and is the true grass roots element of the sport.
Caged Sponsor Cecil’s Rent a Rookie induct Ramp Rollover Competitions
Cecil is the front man for our sponsor companies and has inducted ramp rollover competitions. They have been a fan favourite for many a year. It shows the other side of bangers, the novelty and entertainment side of things. It may be a novelty event but it does require a lot of skill to complete a successful roll with a mix of speed and timing – it certainly takes a lot of balls to do so.
Caged! induct Dan Klyn Signs
As a collective we decided that Dan Klyn Signs was worthy of a nomination given all his work in the background. When it comes to greats in the bangers, you forget those involved behind the scenes. Dan Klyn has been at the top of his game for a good 20 years or so, and when you think of top signwriters over the years, his name is one that pops up. Some of his efforts over the years have been incredible, and his World Final efforts stand out. Some of the stories Dan has to share are superb too!