Ray Petty is best known as a Norton engine tuning specialist but, in late 1955, he built a his own car. It first appeared at the Boxing Day meeting at Brands Hatch in the hands of Alan Cowley and lead it's first race until Alan spun. The Petty is a slim, tidy design using a space frame chassis and is notable for it's suspension arrangement which consisted of inboard coil springs and rocker arms at the front and a de Dion rear using a transverse leaf spring. The Engine was, not surprisingly, Norton.

Alan was the primary driver through 1956, though Ray drove the car himself at the Brighton Speed Trials in September and Freddie Campbell took the wheel for the Commander Yorke 100 mile race. It doesn't appear at all in 1957 but Jeremy Menzies takes over for 1958 taking several wins in the Juniors.

 The Petty is still competing and won the Earl of March Trophy at Goodwood in 2005.

Reviewed by Autosport in February 1956

The Petty Norton during the Silverstone 100 Mile Race in 1956, driven by Freddie Campbell. For this race, it used a short stroke Norton engine and ran on petrol, rather than the normal methanol, in order to win a special award for petrol powered cars over 50 miles. (Photo courtesy of Ian Frost)

On the grid at Brands Hatch in 1958

Front suspension detail showing the rocker arms.

and at Woodcote Corner, Silverstone.

Dave Lecoq leaves the assembly area, Goodwood Revival 2005.

Dave takes the Goodwood chicane, September 2008

Some results for the Petty-Norton:

Brands Hatch 26th December 1955 Yuletide Trophy, DNF


Goodwood 2nd April 1956 Earl of March Trophy, 5th

Brands Hatch 29th April 1956, 3rd in heat

Brands Hatch 20th May 1956 Sporting Record Trophy, 1st in second final

Crystal Palace 21st May 1956 Redex Trophy,. 6th in heat

Silverstone 14th July 1956 British Grand Prix, 13th

Brighton Speed Trials 1st September 1956, 1st (Ray Petty)

Silverstone 29th September 1956 Commander Yorke Trophy, 8th overall and first in petrol class.


Brands Hatch 7th April 1958, 1st in junior race

Brands Hatch 18th May 1958, 1st in junior race

Brands Hatch 8th June 1958, 1st in junior race

Brands Hatch 4th August 1958 World Sports Trophy, 4th in heat

Silverstone 9th August 1958 Commander Yorke Trophy, 3rd in heat, 4th in 100 mile final