Tributes to Vic Hammond

UK Comp Altered racer and blown-alcohol slingshot owner Vic Hammond passed away in April 2013. Vic's wife Freda and daughters Vicki and Kelly were at his bedside.

Vic Hammond seemed to have been around the UK drag racing scene forever. Our first encounter with Vic was in the 1970s as driver of the Mr Big Comp Altered in the 1970s and it was great to see him return as owner of the class record-holding Speed Demon blown-alcohol slingshot driven by Sam Freeman in the Supercharged Outlaws. Vic was a very friendly and very funny guy who if he was not laughing himself was making the rest of us laugh.

We have received the following tributes to Vic. To send your own tribute, E-Mail

The most recently-received tributes are at the top of the page.

In the early 70s we built the first Mr Big, the three of us, Vic, his friend Jack and me. Vic was my best friend, I last saw him last year. We went to Stratford to see his Speed Demon. We played golf together the next day. There are no words to express the sorrow of losing him.

-- Ernie

Vic and I have known each other for around forty years, as with most good mates in life there were periods of time during those forty years when we did not see or speak to each other but as soon as we did it was if the last time we had met was only yesterday. Most of my involvement with Vic was at the race track or was closely related to racing. A lot of mention has been made on this tribute page of Vic's story telling and his ability to colour those events into a hilarious almost impossible to believe event, rest assured they were not, I was at quite a few of them and can vouch for the authenticity. I could even add a few of my own about the man himself from recent times, "I can't sleep uphill" will stay with me for a long long time, that comment tickled Vic to the extent that it took hime the best part of an hour to manage to get into the Van and into a sleeping bag (not helped by a quantity of Jack Daniels) as he was reduced to schoolgirl laughter every time he thought of it for several weeks. There are a great many more that are far too politically incorrect for such a page as this.

I was fortunate enough to be involved with Vic's return to drag racing in the last few years, he had planned on driving the dragster himself, but shortly after importing the car he was diagnosed with his illness that made it it impossible for him to drive on a regular basis. However he, as many of you know, still remained as keen as ever and allowed me the privilege of driving his car. This car also bought together a bunch of people who for various reasons had gone different ways many years ago, the reformation into Vic's Team was close to his heart, there were a great many reunions in the SpeedDemon pit in the last few years.

I'm sure that Vic will leave a mark on me and many others for the rest of their days, he was one of life's great characters, he will be greatly missed and some of his stories will turn into legends but will probably never be regaled in the original manner that Vic was able to.

RIP Vic.

-- Sam Freeman

It is so unfair that Vic Hammond has been taken from us - one of life's great characters. I have such fond and happy memories of Vic from my racing days - and more recently returning to the sport after a long break and meeting up with him again, I was happy to find that apart from slightly more weathered skin, Vic hadn't changed. His jokes and comments were still endless!

Remembering his crash at Santa Pod back in the 70s - when the tow truck came to remove the carnage that was Vic's Altered - he shouted to the crew "Oi, mind the paintwork"! Our team's concern for his injuries vanished into fits of laughter!

My thoughts are with Freda and his girls at this very sad time.

-- Liz Burn

Vic Hammond was an old and very dear friend. Our memories of him go right back to the seventies and many crazy days and nights of drag racing. Vic was always upbeat, ready for any mischief and always making everybody laugh. Over the last ten years or so we have met up with him each year at Bakersfield in October for the Hot Rod Reunion, where we've spent the evenings standing on the balcony at the Motel 6 talking about old times over a Jack Daniels or two! Bakersfield, and our lives, will seem a lot quieter and emptier without Vic. Rest in peace, old friend. Lots of love to Freda and the girls, and Vic's beloved grandchildren of whomwe heard many tales.

-- Bunt, Dinah, TJ and Josh Willcox

It was with great sadness I heard about Vic passing away. I only knew Vic through the Supercharged Outlaws although I had seen him race many years ago. The pits will be a poorer place from now on, as many have said already his stories are legendary. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks with Vic in California and Las Vegas last October and spent many evenings with him, Sam, Paul and Gail having a drink or two listening to Vic in full flow. My last evening with Vic was at the Supercharged Outlawspresentation in Februaryto see him pick up the Outlaws Series trophy, the Spirit of the Outlaws trophy and Fastest MPH trophy. A great man, a great racer. We will miss you RIP Vic.

-- Dave (Fuzzie) McKenzie

I was saddened to read of Vic's death. On behalf of the Hot Rod Drags team, thanks for all the years. Our thoughts are with family and friends at this time. RIP Vic.

-- Mark, Martyn, Steve and Alan

RIP Vic (Mr Big), what a fitting name! My condolences and thoughts go out to Freda and family, Im sure it must bring some smiles into sad times for Vic's family, to hear and read just how much of an impression and how much Vic lit the life of everyone who knew him. Im one of the very lucky ones in the drag racing community who not only was brought up around the scene but who also had a very close connection with those who built the sport and all those who made or were there for all the stories of yesteryear! Growing up I used to listen intently to the stories from my old man, his mates and fellow racers, and so many of the stories involved Vic, certainly all the humorous ones! When I finally got to meet this Vic character with his return to the scene a few years back, he did not disappoint one bit, truly larger life and lived up to everything I had heard for so many years... drag racings very own Mike Reid! Im so grateful that I was able to be involved in Vics story time of a night in the pits time and time again, with all the 70s racers I knew or knew of, all bouncing off each other but with Vic at the centre commanding the raucous. Even on holiday after the Bakersfield meeting at my godparents' house with all the old crowd from the 70s as well as many other people, Vic was centre stage in the front room without a dry eye in the house! He will be very sadly missed by all who knew him, and leaves a very big hole in the social scene of drag racing. Was great to have met you and known you Vic, RIP.

-- Dan Sharp

I had the good fortune to meet Vic in the Motel 6 parking lot at Bakersfield last October. We enjoyed some early morning coffee, talked briefly about the weekends CHRR, and then suddenly we were swapping travel anecdotes, soon landing in the magical world of movie making. Vic was a big man in every sense of the word, and I was happy to sip my beverage and smile as he regaled me with some wondrous tales from his storied past. Then his posse arrived and they all set off for Las Vegas.

Three days at Famoso meant I was all nitrod out, but Id also been so busy enjoying the moment that I neglected to hit the instant recall button in my mind and most of the tales I was privy to went with him! However, from the short time spent in his company, I realised that Vic was someone very special to those who knew him, and they have my deepest sympathies for their loss.

-- Mike Collins

Vic was a good mate of the 'Horn team through the years. He was a real larger than life character, drag racing will never quite be the same again for me. He was part of the British contingent at Mantorp in Sweden in '76 and he made it one long unforgettable party as he did at most race meets. I'm really glad he managed to pack in so much during his last few years with us and that he and Sammy were so successful in Supercharged Outlaws. RIP mate you'll be sadly missed by all who knew you.

-- Dick Sharp, on behalf of Dorset Horn team members past and present

Although it is so sad to hear of Vic's passing, at least everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him will surely raise a smile at the very least when they think of him. One of life'strue characters, his antics andstories will be repeated for many years to come by all his many friends.

-- Keith Lee

I knew Vic for several years whilst racing with the Supercharged Outlaws. It greatly saddens me to hear of his passing away. He was great man with many stories of the past, a true and faithful fellow racer. My thoughts are with his family at this time. Your memory with live on with us all.

-- Mark (Fettler)

May I express my deep and profound regret for the passing of Vic. Only at the last minute did I learn that he was seriously ill in hospital. My sincere condolences go to Freda and his family.

I havent been to a drag race for many years, but there were two things that I really missed. The first was the night show at Hockenheim which I revisited in 2007 and the other was Vic Hammond in full flow in a pub at 1am in the morning.

Vic stories werent just humorous tales from happy days, they were great dramas re-enacted in vivid language as Shakespearean style battles that had been fought valiantly both on and off the track. Nobody would or could stop him to ask questions as stomachs were aching, faces contorted with the pain, eyes full of tears and mouths unable to speak. Despite the early hours pubs never closed as hysterical publicans couldnt muster the strength to drag themselves away from the entertainment.

Just a few of the tales included the overnight rebuilding of a top fuel engine in a Swedish motel only to find that they couldnt it get out through the door in the morning. The badgering of Royal Naval staff to lock him in the Wroughton glasshouse when he couldnt find his way back to the camp site. The exploits of whoopee cushion on The Omen film set. The low wooden beam in Mickey Moores local that kept attacking the regulars and anybody else whose eyesight temporary failed them. His roll over at Santa Pod that had him visiting the tracks Red Cross lady who told him that she couldnt deal with his trivial problem as there had been a major accident on the track and somebody had probably been killed. His incandescence that having craved some supportive publicity for years, another competitor was credited as being the victim. None of these tales ended there, they were just forerunners of deeper trials and tribulations that resulted from these incidents. Im others can think of many more

Had the phrase "Its the way I tell em" ever applied in drag racing, it would have been to Vic. I can visualise St Peter being slow to let him through the gates - not because his stories might upset those inside with their liberal dosage of profanities -but because St Peter would want to keep Vic to himself for as long as possible.

Heaven is enriched by his presence whilst we mere mortals are far poorer.

God bless you Vic.

-- Ron Clark

We were really sad to hear about Vics passing. He was always larger than life and there were always a load of laughs when he was around. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Vic is all his funny stories. People always talk about the fact that he had them laughing, and sometimes laughing for hours when we was in full flow! No-one could tell em like Vic could, and he had a real gift! He was also a warm-hearted, genuine guy with a deep passion for his racing, and we are glad to have known him, and watched him enjoy a second drag racing career, with his slingshot. Deepest sympathy to all his family and many friends. Race in Peace, Vic.

-- Chris and Claire

I will miss Vic. He was a huge part of racing, and Supercharged Outlaws in the last few years, whenI really got to know him and the team. The news of his passing has come as a huge shock to everyone who knew Vic and his family. Everyone at Shakey will miss him so much, he was always there to support his team and the track. As my son said "Race in Peace". Love and condolences to his family and friends xxxx

-- Julie Willcox and all at Shakespeare County Raceway

I hate opening Eurodragster and seeing someone's name at the top, as this is usually bad news. Today seeing Vic's name just stoppedme in my tracks. Despite not seeing or having spoken to Vic since my days with Liz and Ollie (The Lizard ) in the late 1970s, such was the presence of the man that even after all this time I still have very fond memories of Vic. Even when things were not going well on or off the track you could rely on Vic to raise a smile or two. All who place a tribute here will, I'm sure, remember him for the same reason. RIP.

-- Tim (Timbo) Ingman

He will be sadly missed in the drag racing and film games a legend in his own lifetime. RIP Vic.

-- H

So sad to hear the news of another long-term member of the British drag racing family has passed on. Vic and his cars were there when I started going to the drags back in the late 1970s, through the 1980s, and onwards. Both the old NDRC events, as well as at the Pod. Many a photo of Vic and the cars at the tracks... a sad loss indeed. Many condolences to family, close friends, and team members. The sport was enriched by his presence, not just his cars.

-- Doug McDiarmid

Sad news about the passing of another true drag racing character, Vic Hammond. Deepest sympathies to all Vic's family and friends.

-- Stu Bradbury

Our thoughts go to Freda and family. Great guy, great times we all had. All our luv.

-- Jan and Terry Revill

You will be sadly missed Vic we loved your stories and you kept us entertained for a long time and often had us in pain laughing! Wherever you are youll give them a hard time and wont take any nonsense from anyone. Its a sad day for the sport and Supercharged Outlaws. RIP xxx

-- Ingrid and Martin

Sad to hear that Vic Hammond has passed away. He was one of the characters remembered by those of us involved in the 1970s; supporting drag racing whoever organised the event and wherever they were held. A tough racer who was never short of a word if he wanted to get a point across.

-- Brian Taylor

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