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Little Classics News: 23 July 2014

Pistons and Props to Host Historic Rally Car Register 30th

Pistons and Props to Host Historic Rally Car Register 30th

The Historic Rally Car Register’s 30th anniversary celebrations will culminate at this year’s Footman James Sywell Classic – Pistons and Props on 27th and 28th September, which provides the finish line for the two day Classic 30 Rally.

From day one the Historic Rally Car Register (HRCR) has provided cost effective rallies where teams could sign-on on the morning of the rally and drive home afterwards keeping costs low and time away from home to a minimum. The club hosts rallies right across the country and today continues to be the largest championship run by the HRCR.

The Classic 30 is very much in that mould and is limited to 60 cars with the aim of creating a sociable, yet competitive clubman rally. The rally will start in Corby, Northamptonshire with the finish line being at Sywell Classic on September 28th with the cars being put on display.

With several months to go before the cars are waved away from the start line the event is all but sold out with 58 entries already booked in. The entry list reads like a ‘who’s who’ of classic rallying with everything from Mini Coopers to Ford Escorts to Volvo Amazons all vying for glory.

Ian Shapland, editor of the HRCR’s club magazine said “There can be no argument - Philip Young first floated the idea for an historic rally car organisation in an article published in Sporting Cars back in the very early eighties.”

“In April 1982 the RAC ran the Lombard Golden Fifty rally to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the RAC’s first rally in 1932. A wide variety of old warriors came out of hibernation including Mini Coopers, Austin Healeys, Jaguars and Ford Zephyrs. A bunch of enthusiasts got together informally over the next couple of years before deciding to all meet up at the Bristol Classic Car Show to launch a new club to promote ‘Historic Rallying’.

Robin Stretton recalls that it was at Philip’s instigation, saying: “A collection of us gathered at the show, which was one of the first shows of this type and held in a very narrow, two-floor dockside building. We met in the canteen area - Philip Young, Don Pither, Jeremy Dickson, Martin Jubb and myself - and agreed to form a club.” After this inaugural meeting, the newly formed ‘HRCR’ could proudly boast no less than 24 members, mostly owners of ex-works rally cars.

Jeremy Dickson, armed with a wedge of Sporting Cars sponsorship, set about organising the Coronation Rally, setting in train the historic rallying movement that is today represented by the Historic Rally Car Register. In 1984 the HRCR became officially recognised by what was then the RAC Motor Sport Association, today known simply as the MSA.”

The Footman James Sywell Classic – Pistons and Props is a two-day motoring festival celebrating classic motoring, both on the ground and in the air. Find out more at:


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