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Bristol drag racers

Aidan Kenny

Aidan launching his black chopped Pop at the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals 2006.
Aidan has raced in the Pro ET bracket, and the head up class of the Outlaw Anglias for five years, changing the paint scheme every year. Aidan has had some success in the Pop, with a couple of wins and runners up in the Sportsman class of the Outlaw Anglia, and the same in the Pro ET class.

In 2006 Aidan ran a limited schedule, as he wanted to start rebuilding the Pop again ready for the 2008 season in the Super Street/Super Gas classes. Aidan did get to race his crew man and son Chris, at the 2006 European Finals, which he said was one of his proudest moments.

Aidan is crewing for Chris in 2007, while the Pop is being rebuilt with a new 650hp 427cu in Big Block Chevy engine built by ZaNNetec Motorsports. As the car has had so many paint schemes the body is being taken back to bare metal. The Pop will sport a new rear wing to keep the power to the ground, and will be ready for 2008 to run in the 9 second index.
Aidan started hot rodding in the seventies and had a few modified cars - his first major project was a Humber Sceptre which had 11x15 slot mag wheels on the rear, a red fur interior, a chrome chain steering wheel and side pipes. He had built this with the help of friends Pete Long and Nigel James.

In 1977 Aidan sold the Humber sceptre, as he and Pete long had been given a Pop by Nigel James, in return for some work they had done on a Pro street Capri that Nigel was building. (The fibreglass front end of this Capri still exists on Steve Mitchell's Super Gas Capri). Aidan started working on the Pop outside on his Mum and Dads patch, with a dodgy welder, and the help of Pete Long - but Pete was more interested in helping with the car than owning it, so he gave his half to Aidan.
Left: the chopped Pop in the early eighties at Aidan’s parents house, unfinished but driveable.

Right: the pop in 1984, taxed MOT'd and insured, just before the garage was built at his home.
The Pop was chopped because of Neil Grant - as one of Neil's Pops was just about ready for the street when he decide to chop the roof off. Aidan thought that Neil had gone mad, as Neil's car already looked good, and was ready for the street - but when he saw the car afterwards he liked it so much he immediately went home, got the hacksaw and chopped the Pop's roof off.

This Pop took a few years for Aidan to put together, as he had a young family and a new home to pay for, but the chopped Pop finally hit the streets in 1984, costing just £650 taxed, MOT'd, and insured. The Pop had a 2.5 Daimler V8, with the 11x15 slot mags on it. Aidan drove the Pop for about six months on the street, then decided he could build it better - time had moved on and he had a bit more knowledge, as he had joined the Bristol Renegades in the early 1980's.

Again for various reasons, including starting a new business, and family commitments, the Pop took a few years to rebuild. It was around 90% complete in 1991, with a Chrysler 383cu in motor in it, when he and a few mates went to the World Finals at Santa Pod, an event that was rained out. They all got drunk, and Martin Bishop pointed out that Aidan was never going to sell the Pop, so why not build it into a fully tube-framed race car? So off came the Pop body, everything else was chucked away, and they started again.
Aidan had a couple of cars in between the rebuilds of the Pop. He owned the yellow Pop that Mike Chandler built in the 80's (if anyone knows the whereabouts of this car please let Chris Kenny know), and in the early to the mid 90's he owned the orange 3.0 ltr V6 Consul that Spencer built, changing the colour to black.
In February 1999 the race car rolled out of the Bootsoop workshop - Zane Llewellyn had taken over the build of the car in 1996, but after Zane's crash the build was delayed. By late 1997 Aidan had saved up a bit more, and had the car finished by Zane. The Pop had a stock 427cu in Chevy engine in it, and ran in the Sportsman ET Class running low 12's at 108mph on the quarter mile. After owning his dream car for only five months the Pop had a top end roll over (which we think was caused by a slick coming off the rim) at Avon Park Raceway. The car was destroyed. Although the car's strong build had done its job and Aidan was fine, a major rebuild was needed.

Left: after the crash, the car was booked into Bootsoop racing for repair. The unpainted chassis tubes in the picture show how many bent pieces were replaced by Zane.

Right: Aidan’s first run in the Pop as a race car in April 1999 at Avon Park Raceway.
Aidan was the runner up in the Sportsman ET class in that year, as he finished off his racing year with a standard Volvo to keep his points up for the UK Championship. The car went back into the Bootsoop workshop in 2001, with a new body shell donated by his son who was starting to build his own car. Zane rebuilt all the bent chassis parts, and the car rolled straight out of the workshop straight on to the race track. With a mild cam and new MSD distributor on the engine, the car's first run went straight into the 11 second bracket, with Aidan taking his foot off. The car has run a best of 11.21 at 119 mph, with the mild engine combination.
After the rebuild Aidan and a few of the other Bristol Doorslammers took their cars to The Hockenheim race circuit; here the Pop sits outside the garages in the pit lane.

Chris Kenny

Chris has been around the drag race tracks since a very early age since his dad, Aidan, started racing in Pro ET in the mid 1990's. After years of crewing for Dad, Chris eventually took the plunge and bought Neil Grant's Superstreet Pop. After a couple of test sessions Chris got to grips with his first race car and entered a couple of meetings in 2006 in the Pro ET class. A few mods to the car were carried out over the winter to ensure the car was up to date for Superstreet, and Chris moved into the class that he really wanted to compete in.
A good start to the 2007 season saw Chris right at the top of the championship points, proving that he can cut the lights and run with the best of them in his first full season.

Chris also is a very keen ambassador for the sport, being actively involved in promoting drag racing on various internet sites - notably his great race meeting write-ups for the Bristol Doorslammers website, and a high profile on the Eurodragster news pages. It will only be a matter of time before Chris is recognised as one of the UK's top Sporstsman racers.
The standard 100e was Chris’s first car - he did take it down the quarter mile, running 26 second quarters at 56mph, with a slipping clutch!
This was not Chris’s first 'sit up and beg' Ford Pop, as that one ended up being given to his dad who had rolled his car. The second Pop had a 2 litre Ford engine, but before it was finished, Neil Grant’s race Pop came up for sale, and this street destined car had to go.
Still hoping to get a few runs in! Santa Pod Raceway, Easter 2008.  
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