The National Hot Rod community was saddened to learn of the recent death of former racer Cyril Wilcox on September 26th at Telford Hospital following a short illness. He was 94.
Born in Bishops Castle, Shropshire, Cyril moved to Peplow near Market Drayton in 1954 and based his garage business there where it remains to this day.
He was racing at Hednesford in their destruction derbies by 1965 but very quickly switched to the still new class of Hot Rods, utilising a Ford 100E built by promoter Bill Morris’ Meadway Spares outfit. Wilcox soon became an ever-present star grade performer and his Peplow Service Station backed cars a familiar sight for many years on the Midlands circuits but also further afield. He took part in all the early World finals from 1972 onwards and frequently journeyed south to compete at Spedeworth tracks including Wisbech and Wimbledon.
Although never a major championship holder Cyril was a respected prolific race winner in fields of cars which included all the Midlands hot rodding legends of the early era such as Martin Morris, Terry Haywood and Barry Kibble, racing on into the decades where he would face up to the likes of Tom Laffey, George Polley, Barry Lee and Mick Collard. He was still racing in the hybrid era and once owned the unique ex-Pete Stevens long wheelbase Toyota Starlet and subsequently the ex-Mick Collard spaceframe Peugeot 205.
As is so often the case on the ovals, the Wilcox name became something of a racing dynasty with Cyril’s nephew Bill also competing, as did Cyril’s son Terry, while Terry’s brother Ray crewed for his dad and is the father of present day racer Russ Wilcox.
Gordon Bland’s memory of Cyril was that he never did practice. The reason being that the car would do more races. He was always willing to help anyone in the pits. Great man.
The funeral will be at St Luke’s Church, Hodnet nr. Market Drayton Shropshire TF9 3NL on Monday October 17 at 14.30.
We offer our condolences to his family and many friends at this sad time.