The details below are from Peter Alexander & Jan Houghton
Peter owner of PA Motorsport now owns the rights to Macon and has been compiling information about the marque.
Jan was Tony Houghton’s wife.
I contacted both because I was approached about an article for Australian Classic Car
& both responded to me in record time.

PA Motorsport
UK based Motorsport services supporting
MACON racing cars

Macon Race Cars History
By Peter Alexander PA Motorsport (United Kingdom) – written October 2007

Macon Race Cars was formed in the 1967 by Angus MacPhail and Tony Houghton – From then name & marque Macon was born. Macon was one of the first manufacturers of Formula Fords in the UK. The company was a typically British building racing car constructor of the sixties. Hilton McGee who now lives in Perth Western Australia was also initally involvd. Macon developed single seat racing cars that allowed people a way to enter motor racing ‘cheaply

The very first ‘Macon’ ever built was a land speed record motorcycle and sidecar. Tony Houghton then designed and built his first Macon race car for Monoposto racing which featured a kind of ‘geodetic’ space frame. After the first Monoposto car came the first of the Macon Formula Fords, the Macon MR6. It was pretty much as good as anyone elses Formula Ford, more or less straight out of the box.

Ray Allen, a protégé of Tony Lanfranchis drove one of the first Macon Formula Fords, Allen, who won the first ever Formula Ford race at Brands Hatch promptly won his first race in the Macon, aided no doubt by the development work carried out by another ‘famous’ Formula Ford driver Syd Fox. Syd went on to claim the Formula Ford lap record at both Thruxton and Lydden in the Macon.

During early 1968 a few cars were sold to customers in the UK, (so far my research leads me to believe these could have been cars for Roger Cowman, Bill Abbott and Phil Hardy). Tony Houghton was then introduced to Fred Opert, the New Jersey based importer of racing cars and he started sending everything that he could build to Fred. ‘Everything’ meant all that Tony could build by working around 18 hours a day helped by his friends Ian Webb and Derek Kneller in the evenings and at weekends. Derek Kneller later went on to get a job at McLaren. Tony designed the cars by himself at a drawing board in his front room.

There were a large number of Macons sent to America via Fred Opert. Formula Fords were numerically the largest number of cars produced but Macon racing cars were also built for Formula B, Formula Pacific and Formula 2. Many complete cars were sold as well as the company sending out many chassis/body/suspension kits to be assembled once they reached America. The chassis were all similar between FF, FB and F2 so could have been assembled to customers requirements. The cars worked well in America and held track records at pretty well every race track where they were driven.

The original Macon bodywork was produced by another small English ‘cottage industry’ race car builder, Centaur, in Southwold, Suffolk and was from a mould used for one of the cars in John Frankenheimers film ‘Grand Prix’. It was from an early McLaren mould (M4) which had been narrowed down. Some of the early Macons featured an extra piece of bodywork that ducted air in front of the cockpit screen and up over the drivers head to reduce buffeting rather like an idea seen on the Lotus 49.

Macon was one of the few small constructors to invest in making patterns and casting their own rear uprights. They were to a good design and well made and as such several other Formula Ford manufacturers purchased Macon uprights to use on their own cars. Early Jamun Formula Fords as well as Huron and some Jomics were just a few constructors who took advantage of the Macon cast rear upright.

There were a couple of notable Macon drivers. Vern Schuppan had his first drive in the UK in a Macon Formula Ford, whilst Australian Alan Jones was refused his first drive by Tony Houghton due to ‘personality differences!’ Tony himself drove Macon Formula Fords although he tended not to travel too far from Brands Hatch, his local circuit. He was invited however, to take two cars to the Brazilian Temporada series in 1970 where he entered cars for Gabrielle Konig and Max Fletcher. Gabrielle, whilst quick, had a rather nasty accident rolling the car and breaking a bone in her neck. Thankfully she made a full recovery.

Tony then emigrated to Australia where he set up a kart circuit in Mount Louisa, Townsville and he continued to race in Australia even after major heart surgery. Sadly Tony died in 2000 after falling overboard in a sailing accident off of the coast of Australia.

Other notable Macon drivers were Henry Clarke, Ray Howard, John Dadswell, Lees Hall, Gerry Brown, Keith Wilson, John Day, Craig McAlistair and Roger Hamblin. All raced Macon cars in the UK with Vern Schuppan, Syd Fox, Max Fletcher and Gabrielle Konig also racing in Europe.

In January 2004 Peter Alexander acquired the rights to Macon Race Cars from John Sims and as such is now in a position to supply all owners Macon cars genuine spare parts to keep their car racing, having acquired all of the original jigs, moulds and drawings. Alexander is also compiling a list of known Macon cars and is trying to trace the history of as many of the cars as possible. A number of cars have been tracked down in the UK, America and Europe as well as Australia.
Peter has sales records of 40 something cars being built. Some were sent as kits to Fred Opert. It’s difficult to come up with an exact number as a couple may have been used as spares or replacement chassis etc, while others were assembled in America.

The West Australian Racing Museum is known to have two Macons including a F2 car and a 1982 Macon FF1600, the search continues!


Macon by Jan Houghton – by email October 2007
(I contacted Jan and this is part of her reply. Jan was about to leave for a holiday & I thank her for her time)

The Macon car was initially developed back in 1967 by Angus MacPhail and Tony Houghton – hence the name Macon was born. Tony was one of the first manufacturers of Formula Fords in the UK, building about (from memory) 20 of them between 1967 and 1971. He only ever built one F2, which was sold to Craig McAlister in Perth.

The majority of the Macon Formula Fords were sent to the United States, however, the few which were kept in England held race records at most of the major tracks, eg Brands Hatch, Donnington, Castle Coombe and Snetterton.

I remember Tony coming back from a test session raving about a young Aussie driver, who subsequently drove for Macon – that driver was Vern Schuppan, who went on to drive Formula Ones, Indy Cars and Porsche Sports Cars, including the Le Mans 24 hour Race, which he won 3 times.

Regards Jan Houghton

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