Mike Erskine built this car as a one off for John Habin (who previously raced a JBS) to a design by Dean Delamont and Cecil Mitchell, it first appeared at Goodwood in April 1952, where John finished a creditable fourth.
Mike had been successful in speedway and had a factory in Southampton making car radiators, he had also branched out into making speedway bike frames. At the end of the 1951 season, he quit speedway and Formula 3 racing was a natural move. Delamont had been closely involved with the design of the Kieft and the Staride represents logical development of that design. It's appearance is distinctive as, due to the mid mounted fuel tank, the driver is placed a long way forward in the space frame chassis and features wishbone suspension at the front and a swing axle at the rear.
After the first car and a production prototype, as series of production cars were built though 1953, these had pushrod operated inboard springs at the rear and were offered with a choice of JAP or Norton engines.
Both the mid mounted fuel tank, which reduces the impact of fuel load on the car's handling, and the push rod suspension were features which took many years to be "invented" by Formula 1 designers.
In 1953, Reg Bicknell (better known for the Revis) finished in the top three in three international F3 races and in 1954 Dennis Taylor, achieved similar results. About 10 cars were made. In 1956, a young hopeful from Yorkshire, named Trevor Taylor made his racing debut in a Staride JAP. Trevor would go on to partner Jim Clark at Lotus.
Sadly, John Habin passed away in March 2005 while on holiday in South Africa.
Minus rear body at Brands Hatch in 1955. Photo by Ian Frost.