Howard Cole Developments or HCD as it is more commonly known was founded by the late Howard Cole in the late 1980s.
Howard a successful superstox driver had been building his own cars for years and after being made redundant from Perkins he decided to start a business building cars for others.
The first car he built under the HCD name was the red car that Roy Eaton won the European Championship with in 1987 and then featured in the infamous fall out with Rob Perry at the Superstox world final at Arlington in 1988.
After moving from his garage at home to a workshop (located in a horse riding school yard!) He took on 15 year old Stuart Annible, Stuart tells us the first car he worked on was a F2 for Mike James from the West Country.
As the business took off Howard and Stuart moved into a workshop in the centre of Crowland which was owned by Gordon Randall, Gordon had been going racing for years with his cousin Rockin Robin Randall (Superstox 206) and between Howard and Gordon they saw a niche in the market for race parts. In 1988 they opened up Racers Hardware and the vans were to be seen at numerous race meetings up and down the country.
In the May of 1990 Howards wife Carol sold her hairdressing business and started working alongside Gordon in Racers Hardware.
In the August 0f 1990 HCD cars got all top 3 position in the Superstox world final with Mickel taking the title followed
home by Innocent and Chisholm in 3rd. A great night followed celebrating in the local pub!
In October 1990 tragedy struck when Howard was killed in a freak accident racing at Ipswich Stadium. He was 45 years old.
The following year the first Howard Cole memorial meeting was held at Wisbech Stadium with both Spedeworth Superstox and Brisca F2s racing at the same meeting, something which had never happened before. Paul Pearson was the winner of the Superstox memorial trophy and Paul Shepherd the F2 memorial trophy. The memorial trophies were raced for for many years and in 2000 the Superstox one was fittingly won by son Tim at Wimbledon much to everyones delight. Colin went on to win it in 2002, 2003 and the last time it was held in 2007.
After Howards death his eldest son Justin left his job at Baker Perkins and joined the business and together with Stuart continued building cars . Family friends Nigel & Jean (Trudys parents) who had been going racing with Howard & Carol for many years became well known faces around the tracks with the Racers Hardware van and in 1993 younger son Tim also joined the business, working in Racers Hardware.
Whilst chatting with Kelly Wells (ex ministox & pickup driver) who at the time was also working at Racers Hardware, Colin who had moved up from London with family mentioned he was looking for a job, Kelly told Justin and Colin was given a two week trial at HCD and then started as an apprentice in July 1993 aged 16.
Many F2’s and Superstox were built over the following years including Rob Speaks 1996 world final winning F2 and Glen Salmons 1996 world final winning superstox. They also ventured into different formulas, building National hot rods, F1s and Autograss cars.
In 1996 after Kellys departure and with Carol having moved to Devon, Trudy started working in Racers Hardware.
In 1998 Stuart left to work at a specialist training centre, teaching welding and fabrication and Gordon left to start up his own company Randall Motorsport.
In 2006 HCD then consisting of Justin, Colin and Kevin Hubbard moved to a bigger workshop on the outskirts of Crowland. In 2007 Justin decided that the time had come to move on and with a job secured at Pilbeam engineering agreed to sell HCD to Colin and Trudy who took over in April of that year. Tim also wanted to try something new so made the decision to close Racers Hardware and in 2008 started a career in the prison service.
2008 was a great year for HCD with Jason Cooper winning the Superstox world final and 2010 saw Colin himself winning the Superstox world final with Steven Jackson 2nd and Ryan Eaton 3rd, all in HCD built cars, Something that hadn’t been done since the 1990 world final!
When Trudy and Colins oldest son Jordan left school in 2009 he decided he’d like to join the business, so he started an apprenticeship (coincidentally being taught by Stuart Annible!)
In 2010 Nigel (Trudys Dad) suggested to Trudy and Colin that they build their own workshop on his land, so the wheels were set in motion, sadly Nigel passed away in the December of that year so didn’t get to see the workshop but in 2013 HCD moved from Crowland to Whaplode Drove where they are now.
Colin, Trudy and Jordan are proud to continue building cars under the HCD name