The need for speed
Thursday 30 December 1982
Some people like to take things easy. Not I. If I’m going to Ashton, it’s the 350 every time. I would like to catch the train on some occasions but Mossley only has a few trains in the peak hours. Still, 20 minutes to Ashton-under-Lyne’s not too shabby compared with an hour on foot.
At Wimpy, I met up with my friend from Copley, Nathan (you know, the fellow whose house I stayed in due to the Chemstar explosion). He and his Dad go to Belle Vue to watch the Aces in action. If he took the bus, this would mean a 343 or 344 to Hyde then the 210 or 211 down to Belle Vue. Luckily, his father’s the proud owner of a six-year-old Hillman Avenger (that’s four Clippercard numbers saved). He told me the track’s promoter wants to introduce tractor pulling and dragster racing to Hyde Road.
For many of us, this was the closest thing we got to dragster racing.
Back in 1976, us speed demons and daredevils took a fancy to Evil Knievel’s antics on World of Sport. Some of us were entranced by Shirley Muldowney’s derring do. At around this time, Milton Bradley launched a game called Dragster. All you had to do was get your cars to the end of the finishing line. The first player to get all four cars to the finish won the game. Hardly Trivial Pursuit.
Dragster – or Drag Strip in some countries – was a two player game. To move your dragster car to finish, you needed to flick a marble using a black trigger. Almost like a pinball machine or bagatelle board, the marble moved upwards towards any of your four cars.
In my view, it never had the tension of any 1980s racing game. Then again, as I found out myself at the Ewing School, being a solo Dragster player sucked.
S.V., 06 December 2017.