The Great British Rally by Graham Robson is the complete history of British international rally events, starting with the very first RAC rally of 1932, which included 1000 miles of road motoring, when a mere three driving tests were needed to produce a result. By 1951 an international permit had been achieved, a speed element was included, and the ‘Rally of the Tests’ ran until 1960. From 1961, the event took on a number of high-speed, loose-surfaced Special Stages, the Scandinavian influence became clear, and the event took on a World Championship qualification in 1973. In that time, competing cars had progressed from having perhaps 50bhp to at least 300bhp, and even more high-tech machines with 500bhp and four-wheel-drive would follow.
Let’s hit the road! Our Video of the Week this time goes all the way back to 1964. Part of me honestly wishes that wasn’t so long ago, and part of me finds it hard to believe that 54 years have passed since then. But anyway, our video is of a RAC rally from ’64 and features some great cars. From Minis to MGBs, you will find them in this video. There is also an Austin Healey, a Rover, and a host of other cars of the period both British and non-British. One of the things that always strikes me when I watch these old films is how safety standards have changed. These days you would never get as close to the actual racing as spectators used to do. Also helmets and other protective gear just don’t figure into the […]
On Friday 1st September, the Royal Automobile Club awarded its Club Trophy at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace, to the glorious 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, also known as Nellie. The owner, Katie Forrest, was awarded the Club Trophy by Royal Automobile Club President, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, beating off strong competition from the best of the best of the UK car clubs who were invited to send entries. Katie said: I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this honour. Nellie has been in our family for more than 25 years and I have so many wonderful memories to share. I named her Nellie because, when she first arrived with us, she was painted in a grey colour and, being large, reminded me of Nellie the Elephant! As part of the spoils, Nellie will be making an […]
The Royal Automobile Club has won the 2017 Surrey Heritage Award in recognition of its conversion of an 18th-century barn at its Woodcote Park estate, into a home for the Club’s heritage vehicle collection. Presented by the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust, the award was created to celebrate Surrey’s rich and diverse architectural heritage, highlighting best practice in historic building conservation and restoration. The winner was announced during a ceremony on 29 March at Loseley Park, Guildford, hosted by Michael More-Molyneux, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey and Patron of the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust. Dame Helen Ghosh, Director-General of The National Trust, was the guest speaker.
Brian Redman: Daring Drivers, Deadly Tracks, by Redman himself and Jim Mullen, has won the Royal Automobile Club’s 2016 Motoring Book of the Year Award. It was presented at an annual ceremony held at the Club’s Pall Mall clubhouse, attended by authors, leading publishers and discerning book collectors. It’s just the latest example of Redman – who evolved from boy racer in a Morris Minor Traveller to winning the Targa Florio road race and being three-times Formula 5000 champion – beating off stiff competition.
The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) is proud to announce the recipients of the Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal for 2016 are Gordon Murray Design and Riversimple. Arguably among the most prestigious honours in recognition of home grown British automotive engineering talent, the Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal are only awarded in years when the Royal Automobile Club’s Dewar Technical Committee deems there have been contenders of sufficient merit. This is one such year.
On Thursday 15 September Sir Stirling Moss OBE officially opened a new seafood restaurant and cocktail bar at the Royal Automobile Club’s Woodcote Park clubhouse in Epsom. Leading a cavalcade of classic Jaguars, Sir Stirling made a spectacular entrance down the Captain’s Drive to the delight of members and guests. Sir Stirling led the procession in a Jaguar XK120, the same model he drove on the eve of his 21st birthday, when he won the Royal Automobile Club International Tourist Trophy on the Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland. During 1951 and 1961 Stirling won the race a further six times. Also taking part in the parade was the Jaguar C-type commemorating his win in 1951 and the famous long-nose D-type which won the 12-hour race at Reims in 1956.
A host of competitors past and present, race organisers and sponsors gathered on Wednesday night in the company of Sir Stirling and Lady Moss at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall to celebrate the 10thanniversary of the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy race series. Launched in 2006, the Royal Automobile Club and Motor Racing Legends conceived a race series for genuine, pre-1956 sports-racers, to be called the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy. 10 years on – this highly respected race series is still going strong.
The Royal Automobile Club has won the 2015 Rally of the Year at the International Historic Motoring Awards for the second consecutive year for the 1000 Mile Trial. The awards ceremony, which took place on 19th November at London’s St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, resembled a ‘Who’s Who’ of historic motoring as famous names from the world of motoring, motor sport and industry gathered together for the events’ fifth annual awards. The Club’s Motoring Committee Chairman, Peter Read, who collected the award, said ‘The 1000 Mile Trial has received many accolades since its relaunch in 2014 we are delighted to have won Rally of the Year 2015 for the second consecutive year, especially against such a high calibre of contenders’.