Unsung Heroes: Eddie Cooper

Chances are that at some point you’ve spotted the EdCreations model stock cars around the tracks. They are the brainchild of Eddie Cooper, still sprightly in his seventies, who has been selling them through the EdCreations merchandise stall for over ten years. The models do great things to get young children interested in and enthused about stock cars. Sometimes you’ll see kids completely ignoring the action on the track because they are so engrossed in their own model races on the terraces!

Eddie sells plenty of other merchandise on his stall, including my own books, Matthew Hutchison’s StoxSigns models, calendars, mugs, tractor and trailer sets. He even sometimes has a few freebies. You certainly won’t find a friendlier face around the stock car scene. We decided to ask him a few questions.

unsung_heroes_27-09-16-01

How did you first get involved in stock car racing?

Following speedway in the late forties and early fifties at Ipswich, our local track from Colchester, I was there on the scene to watch stockcar racing when it first began. In those days they were modified street cars with scaffolding poles welded in to form roll cages to protect the drivers. I got hooked on stock cars then and have watched them ever since.

When I met my late wife in the late fifties, I met up with my sister-in-law and her family, the Casserleys. Colin, a former driver, is well known as one of the leading photographers on the stock car scene and his brother Alan was a former gold top in the old SCOTA set up. When they started racing in the seventies I went with them.

How did the model stock cars come about?

When Alan was racing in 1973 I had the vision of producing a model stock car based on his car, but on making enquiries at a local UK toy manufacturer I found it was far too expensive to follow up. The dream lay dormant for about 30 years until 2003. I realised that 2004 was the 50th anniversary of BriSCA stock car racing and that it would be a good idea to make some models. I was in touch with a toy importer at that time and he put me in touch with a rep who had direct links with a factory in China. He took my idea to China and thereafter I dealt with them direct via email. At first they came up with a mock-up resin model that was not acceptable, so I designed the model that we see today. Once I was satisfied that it was what I wanted I told them to proceed. So after 30 years the dream came true!

Who has been the best-selling driver?

Without any doubt Frankie Wainman Junior, especially the black and white checkered British Championship roof. He has outsold all others.

There have been many requests from fans, drivers and their families for personalised models too. We have made them for wedding favours (even one in New Zealand) and birthday cakes.

Do you have a favourite driver?

Not really, I admire and have great respect for them all. However if I had to make a choice I think John Lund would edge it.

What is the best thing about running EdCreations?

The models are my baby, I designed them I never tire of looking at them after all these years of selling. I have met and befriended so many people that the whole experience has changed my life. One of the big highlights was being able to go to Hong Kong to meet with the manufacturers.

How do I get hold of the model stock cars?

You can buy them from our stall – you’ll find us at most Coventry, Northampton, Belle Vue and Sheffield meetings. Whilst there is a website (www.modelstox.com) it has not been fully applied yet, but we can take orders by email and paid for via PayPal.

Our models go to various other places as well, to New Zealand, Holland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, plus several other outlets in England to be sold at stock car meetings.

Words: Scott Reeves
Photo: Mark Cooper

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