Steve Wills returns

Whistlin' Jack Smith >> Features >> Steve Wills returns

Car constructor of note Steve Wills is making a return to National Hot Rods as his current business will take over the running of Haird Motorsport.

Steve himself was originally a racing driver that moved up from domestic Hot Rods at Swaffham to National Hot Rods and even qualified for the World Final with a self-built Peugeot 205 in 1997. He then moved full time into NHR car construction with the Ford Fiesta mk4, although not one of the prettiest body shapes it was a car that enabled Michelle Randall to become the first female qualifier, launched a short but very successful oval for Steve Webb, brought back Steve Burgess and Colin Watson to Nationals as well as briefly converting Superstockers Gavan Kershaw and Shaun Brooker to Hot Rods.

As National Hot Rods moved into the 21st century the face of National Hot Rods were changing rapidly, within the space of 18 months there was 6 different shape cars added to the sport, compare that to now when the last new shape was the one-off BMW Z4 about 4 years ago. The next shape to come out of the Wills workshop was the Ford Focus first for Steve Webb that eventually became the car that Mark Paffey used when he made his National Hot Rod debut.

Wills had commented during this period “he wouldn’t make a Corrado, not even for his best friend” – as each manufacturer had seemed to have carved out a niche model, but it wasn’t long before Chris Haird had a Wills built Corrado. Chris made his debut at Outlaw level in a Wills built Focus which was used for the first few years before switching to this Corrado.

Wills was now moving into other forms of motorsport, when Spirit Racing was up and running completely and manufacturing Formula Ford racing cars he stepped away from the ovals and that element of the business was taken over by David Haird and renamed as Haird Motorsport. They first built a Peugeot 206cc and then the Tigra B.

Whilst the last decade has seen the dominance of the Ludlow/ Spedeworth built Tigra A, the alternative Tigra B surprisingly never had as many cars on track. It is a car that took Chris Haird to World title glory and claimed multiple English titles with; Gavin Murray wasn’t a slouch with his version even.

Now things have gone full circle as Steve Wills rebranded company S-Tek Fabrications are now taking over the assets of Haird Motorsport and aim to bring out a new model for the class, most fans have been wishing for year that hatch-backs would return.

Artist's impression of the fake car

Paul Ballard - 03.04.2014

April Fool's Day: Some of you may have spotted the Citroen DS3 that posted on Facebook as the car Wills would build first for driver Ed Watts-Heath, that name is an anagram of Whats the date, the number was also used to represent the date

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