No doubt tired of unkind jokes however, the Mellor crew "clipped its ears" in July and all of a sudden a car that had been a bit of an "ugly duckling'' became quite acceptable.
On the basis however that an "acceptable" looking car can be made to look outstanding with some trick pa.int I had been promising to make the Mellor Car a feature of the "Supercar" spot following the "Big Man ' s " remarkable British Championship win at Bradford in July. His comparably outstanding drive at Baarlo in the World "Long Track " Final reinforced the conviction , and the illustration was complete and ready to print before Dave ' s amazing World Championship win at Belle Vue. Thus the slogan ‘British Champion ‘78 and not ‘World Champion ‘78 also.
Despite being in only his third full season, Dave Mellor has come a long way in a short time. Former ''fearless '' motor-cycle combination racer Dave reputedly only forsook racing "chairs " when he ran out of passengers, but skills acquired in his sport no doubt assisted Dave in his getting in to the stock car groove.
Most people who have made the grade quickly have done so with proven machinery from one of the sport’s top constructors. Not Mellor! Successes last year would probably have come so-oner had no.t Dave been " experimenting" and this year’s dip into the ' Blues ' was largely due to Dave having to sort out the bugs in his third car in three seasons!
This year’s model is fairly conventional in chassis layout but much attention has been given to keeping the weight down. He even started slimming to help the overall approach towards being competitive! The 100 " wheelbase is the norm, but everywhere you look on this car it’s thin. Main chassis rails, bumper sump guard, side rails, Jaguar gearbox even the lack of rear shock absorbers!
Drawing by Keith Barber and reproduced from Stock Car Monthly November 1978.