Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

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Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby OldImp » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:50 pm

I have just been reading a book called Memory Lanes, the early years. This is a history of the Motoring News Rally Championship from 1966 to 1969 and is written by Peter Robinson who was a navigator during this period. The book is expensive but is a massive A4 size and is over an inch thick with some 450 pages, many of which contain photos from the period.
If you are interested in reading about rallying in the 60s this is a fantastic book as it gives you the entry list, route cards and the results. It also gives a vivid description of what the rallies were like and where the route went as well as the problems individual crews had. Many of the events just gave the map reference of the next control and it was up to you to find the best/quickest route and some combined road and stages in the same event. On thing that caught my imagination was the number of impossible hairpins that the organisers found. You had to either find a place to turn around and back up to the hairpin or drive past and hope to find a turning place quickly. While reading the book I kept thinking that it would be fun to drive some of these routes, not at rally speeds of course!
This book is particular interesting if you are into Imps because in 1968 Colin Malkin with John Brown navigating blew all the opposition into the weeds and won the championship convincingly. They would have had a perfect score but for a navigation error on one rally which made them second. Just how quick this combination was can be seen on the Swansea Rally of the Vales when an off lost them 13 minutes, which is a huge time loss considering rallies were often won by less than a minute. A fantastic drive saw them win by thirteen seconds. It was near the end of this championship that Chrysler pulled the plug on competition.
On many of the entry lists and results are the registration numbers of the cars. I doubt if any of these cars exist today but I wrote down some of the numbers.

1967
Dawson/Clegg Chamois DFL 492C
Malkin/Lyall Californian MUE 662E
1968
Malkin/Brown Imp JUC 123E
Dawson/Garlick Imp DTB 831E Not the same Dawson as above?
BYE/Vipond Imp XTC 967D
1969
Jenny Nadin/Lyall Imp JRW 701E Later she became Jenny Birrell. Robinson states that the competition department were hoping she would become the next Rosemary Smith.
Badham/Tucker Imp FDU 471C Badham had earlier had some successes using a Hillman Hunter.

This is an expensive book but one that is packed with great photos and interesting information.
Bob
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Re: Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby pubcrawler » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:03 pm

Have seen this book advertised and thought it looked a good read.
You might like to know that one of the rounds of the Motoring News Championship was the AGBO Rally organised by Owen Motoring Club, of which I am a member.

We were originally called the Owen Organisation Motoring Club. The Owen Organisation ran the BRM racing team and the giant engineering company Rubery Owen, which was in Darlarton in the West Midlands.
The rally name AGBO are the initials of the owner of Rubery Owen and mentor/sponsor to the F1 BRM team in the late 1950`s & early 60`s Alfred G.B.Owen.
The AGBO started life as a road rally, organised by a few of the founding members of the club. It quickly grew in reputation and stature, gaining a place in the “Motoring News” Silver Star road rally championship – the very best road championship in the 60`s, 70`s.
The AGBO Rally changed to a stage rally in the early 80`s and was originally run at Wilbarston Airfield but moved to Weston Park and is a popular single venue stage rally.
Run in late March on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border it is the opening round of the AWMMC Heart of England Stage Rally Championships.

2015 will be the 19th running at Weston Park. It is now again one of the clubs premier events.
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Re: Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby rje » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:50 pm

JVC123E (not JUC) was sold direct from the 'Works' to Jim Campbell in Northern Ireland. Jim sold it on after a few years and I competed in it (as co-driver) on a number of major rallies in the late 1970's. It was rebuilt as a 'modern' historic many years ago but is to get a rebuild this year to revive its period specification. JRW701E also still exists.

Malcolm Patrick rented Rod Badham's car to do the Donegal Rally in 1973 but suffered from forestry ratios in the JK gearbox 100mph at 10k rpm - not a lot of use in Donegal. He threw it through a hedge on day 1 and retired to the bar. Great colour scheme - using the early Works pattern but with orange striping on a dark mid-gray body colour and matt black bonnet - very smart car for about 2 hours pre-ditching!

Colin Malkin also used MUE, which I think was his own car, on the Circuit of Ireland about 1968/69.
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Re: Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby bazzateer » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:28 pm

£24 on Amazon
If I told you I was a pathological liar, would you believe me?
Barry Blackmore - Chiltern ACO, apparently.......................
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Re: Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby allthingscars » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:50 pm

I have owned DTB 831E for at least 35 years, after seeing a photo of the car on franka's site I got in touch with Andy Dawson
But as you say it was a different Dawson.
Are there any details about the car or photos in the book
Kev
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Re: Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby GURNSIMPS » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:11 pm

Fabulous post this,there is another book called Night Moves that tells all about the later (70's/80's) Motoring News Championships,full on Group 4 BDA Escorts,300+bhp TR8's and even a Fiat Strada converted to RWD running a 2 Litre twin cam,I was lucky/foolish enough to enter The Gremlin Road Rally back in 1980 I think it was,first ever rally in the 'serious' seat,plot and bash as it was called then,our rally ended up a snow bank at 3am!,proper rallying!!,I did 14 years as a Nav after that,stage ralling was the natural progression but it was never the same as the good old days on the Maps.
For those that have been on the Wicked Welsh run over Abergwesyn,that road was very popular,favoured the brave or those with 'local' knowledge. :wink:
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Re: Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby pubcrawler » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:10 pm

GURNSIMPS wrote:....................run over Abergwesyn,that road was very popular,favoured the brave or those with 'local' knowledge. :wink:


In my younger days I was once navigated over this mountain road :o towing an empty 4 wheel trailer in my Mk 1 Escort 1600 Estate to go and rescue a rally car that had retired on the previous days stage rally with broken rear suspension :shock:
As I was climbing the devil's staircase (4 of us in my car) we met someone coming in the opposite direction :roll: he eventually conceded and reversed up whilst I reversed back down a short distance so I could have another run at the hill :o :D
Needless to say we chose a longer, wider and flatter route home :D
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Re: Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby Peter Hurst » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:45 pm

GURNSIMPS wrote:Fabulous post this,there is another book called Night Moves that tells all about the later (70's/80's) Motoring News Championships,full on Group 4 BDA Escorts,300+bhp TR8's and even a Fiat Strada converted to RWD running a 2 Litre twin cam,I was lucky/foolish enough to enter The Gremlin Road Rally back in 1980 I think it was,first ever rally in the 'serious' seat,plot and bash as it was called then,our rally ended up a snow bank at 3am!,proper rallying!!,I did 14 years as a Nav after that,stage ralling was the natural progression but it was never the same as the good old days on the Maps.
For those that have been on the Wicked Welsh run over Abergwesyn,that road was very popular,favoured the brave or those with 'local' knowledge. :wink:


I'll be sending 60 classic cars including 2 Clans (no Imps except mine) up over Abergwesyn on the HRCR Taith Cymru tour in March so hopefully no snow (Also taking them across Eppynt) Can never have too much of a good thing and like you for a lot of the drivers will bring back good memories. This time they will be doing it in daylight so can admire the view and hopefully drive a bit slower!
Peter
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Re: Memory Lanes. The history of 60s Motoring News rallies

Postby OldImp » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:37 pm

Hi Kev
I have had a quick look through the book, there are 450 pages, and have found one poor photo of DTB831E. This was from the Shenstone rally in 1968 where the car started at number 13 and finished 29th. Unfortunately in those days very few people took photos at night because of the equipment available so most are at the start or finish.
The book on Amazon is not this one but is the previous book by Peter Robinson covering the Motoring News championship from 1970 to 1973. This book has many action shots of various Imps and Clans. There are some of JDU 48E which appears to have a different driver/navigator each weekend and there are some great photos of the Badham Imp and later Clan. Many of these photos are available from a company called Ferret which is usually at Race Retro.
It would be great to see some photos of these cars as they are now.
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