Arthur Mallock or the Mad Major as he was known in racing circles, first became interested in cars at the age of 11 when he began construction of his first special. This was not finished until he was 17 and then it was still not quite complete. Based on a Carden it had coil springs all round and the two stroke engine mounted under the rear seat.
His story really started when he and his family were living in Brighton before WWII, he went to the Lewes Speed Trials and met John Bolster. On remarking how low the car was he asked Bolster if any part of the machine ever touched the ground. "I hope the wheels do sometimes!" remarked John.
He joined the Army and purchased an Austin 7. Then after visiting the Exeter Trial he bought a Gordon England Cup Model A7. He was stopped and, without insurance, was given a one year ban.
After being stationed at Catterick he got his license back and had a succession of cars including Austin 7s, MGs and others.
His built his first racing car in 1939. Based on an Austin 7 he built it for a cost of £15 and in August he took part in the Hartlepool Speed Trials posting a time of 20.8 seconds for the quarter mile.
During the war he transferred to the RAF and became a flying instructor but returned to the Army at the end of hostilities with the rank of Major. He started racing again with another Austin 7 Special competing in anything that it was eligible for. Next came WJ 1515 yet another Austin 7 Special. At one point he even fitted it with a 500cc engine to compete in events, however the motor usually expired in practice so it never actually made the grid.
A CRM 55 followed but costs were spiraling and on advice he sold it and brought WJ1515 out of retirement in 1953 for the new 750 Motor Club 1172 Formula. The car was modified during the season but could not beat the Lotuses.
After being posted overseas in 1954 and 1955 he returned to racing and further modifications to WJ1515. For 1957 he lowered the car by five inches and upgraded the brakes for the cable operated ones he had been using. However by 1958 the car had reached its limit and Arthur built the first of his famous U2 Specials. The car showed immediate promise but an engine failure at Snetterton but an end to his season. With a rebuilt and modified engine he returned in 1959 and took five wins and four seconds. He won the Ford Championship of Ireland and even finished second in an F2 race at Silverstone behind a Cooper Climax!
In 1960 he entered Formula Junior and started selling replicas of his U2. A chassis cost £48 10 shillings (£48.50) or £78 with bodywork. At Rheims the car was timed at 137 mph with Capt John Harwood at the wheel and in October of that year Harwood actually won an International race at the Nurburgring.
Arthur had a number of successes himself in 1961 but in 1962 he reverted to the 1172 Formula to keep running cost down. He won the title and in 1963 he introduced the Mk3, lower and independently coil sprung. Once again he won the 1172 Formula and had by now built up a reasonable business selling cars to customers.
In 1964 he tackled the new 1000cc F3 series but lack of power hampered progress. Another attempt at F3 in 1965 with the Mk 5 also but after two engine blow ups he switched to 1500cc Clubmans racing. The formula was designed for Lotus 7 type cars and so the U2 fitted in perfectly. Arthur had a race in a works F3 Alexis that year finishing a respectable 5th at Brand hatch.
1966 was spent mostly working on developing the business but he did take part in a couple of Clubman races.
In 1967 Arthur fitted a Ford Cosworth Twin Cam engine in an Mk6B and raced in European F2, Formula Libre and sports car races.
Arthur Mallock created a dynasty of sports-racing cars of which more than 300 now exist. He was regarded as one of the great pioneers of post-war motor racing.