All of us at HERO-ERA were shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely passing of John Bloxham, who had an almost lifelong association with road rallying, and more than a little success along the way, as well as being a friend of HERO throughout the years.
John’s driving career began just after turning seventeen, in a treasure hunt driving a Renault Dauphine, and from humble beginnings would go on to have a successful career, competing in everything from Saabs, Mini’s, Fiats and of course a Twin Cam Escort, often with co-driver Richard Harper in the seat beside him.
Meticulously preparing cars at the family garage business in Wolverhampton, and a member of the Owen Motor Club, John would compete at all echelons of the sport, including top level international events. It was the domestic road rally scene where most success would come, including winning the 1969 Motoring News Rally Championship, a title also held by such luminaries as Bill Gwynne and Gwyndaf Evans and in the same year won the notorious Cilwendeg rally. In fact 1969 was a real bumper year, with John winning the ‘Triple Crown’, adding the BTRDA Gold Star and RAC British Rally Championships to the Motoring News triumph.
That year would also see John win on the national stages, with victory in the Vales Rally and Bolton Rally, he would compete nationally and internationally in stage rally events throughout the rest of the 60’s and the 70’s, as far afield as Portugal and Italy.
In more recent years, HERO-ERA were always delighted to have John with them in various capacities, driving the Arrive and Drive cars with the public at shows like Race Retro and marshalling on many events, particularly if his son Nick was competing. These days out rallying had become a real family affair, with wife Sue and the grandkids often in tow and most recently John marshalled on the PAAI event held just before Christmas.
Many in our fraternity will have fond memories of John, particularly those in Ecurie Cod-Fillet of which John was a member. In the HERO camp our own Guy Woodcock, HERO-ERA Competition Director, remembers the first time he encountered John, although at the time he was on the wrong end of John’s wrath. “I was 19 and marshalling on a borders rally, John and Richard arrived at the control with their spotlights askew having had an encounter with a gate that the course car hadn’t secured properly, and of course it was my fault. Years later I reminded him about it, he remembered the gate but not the ‘conversation’ with me!”
All of us at HERO-ERA would like to offer our sincere condolences to Sue, Nick and all the family at this most difficult time.
*The Shires host Round Two as the Challenge Increases