The 2015 Royal Automobile Club 1000 Mile Trial has been won for the second time in a row by John Abel / Martyn Taylor in their 1937 Lagonda LG 45.
The event wasn’t all one sided as a spirited drive by William Medcalf / Dan Harrison saw them push the winners right from the very start – if it wasn’t for an error by the Bentley mounted crew on the innocuous Lake Vyrnwy regularity section, the result could have been totally different. In third place were Paul Crosby / Andy Pullan in one of the drives of the event, their Arrive & Drive AC 16/80 March Special proving a delight to watch on the driving tests, remarkable in that the very talented Crosby had first sat in the vehicle just one week prior to the 1000 Mile Trial. The event formed part of the prestigious HERO Cup for Drivers in association with EFG International and drew entries from all over the UK and Europe, to complement these, official entries were also received from Bonhams Motoring and RM Auctions.
Forty-one vehicles lined up for the event at the Royal Automobile Club’s country home of Woodcote Park, Epsom where the weather was a little grey and drizzly but spirits were high as the route promised to deliver a driving experience beyond compare for the crews. The vehicles assembled encompassed a broad range, from an Austin Seven Super 750 right the way through to the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este award winning Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet A. It is safe to say that the quality of entry was in a league of its own. Amongst the other vehicles taking part were an Alfa Romeo 6C Mille Miglia Supercharged, its family provenance stretching back to just after the war- the gentleman driver Count Giovanni ‘Johnny’ Lurani rescuing the precious vehicle from life on a farm as a chicken carrier! Couple this with the ex- Donald Healey Triumph Dolomite 8C and the sublime ex-Tazio Nuvolari Bugatti Type 37A of Viola Procovio / Jessica Dickson and it becomes clear that such a gathering has never been assembled before in the UK.
The event took place over six days with breaks and halts in some of the best hostelries and finest stately homes in the country – Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth House, Gregynog Hall and Wilton House featured as lunch halts whilst iconic motor sport venues such as Shelsley Walsh, Chateau Impney, Curborough Sprint Course and Whilton Mill Kart circuit provided driving tests.
The Royal Automobile Club 1000 Mile Trial will return once again in 2016 and will have some refinements to keep the event fresh and enhance its reputation as the premier PreWar occasion in the UK and Europe.
The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1897 by Frederick Richard Simms and its distinguished history mirrors that of motoring itself. Ten years later, in 1907, King Edward VII awarded the Club the Royal title that it still holds to this day, sealing the Club’s status as Britain’s oldest and most influential motoring organisation.
The Club’s early years were focused on promoting the motor car and its place in society. Following the successful 1000 Mile Trial in 1900, the Club held the first Tourist Trophy in 1905, which remains the oldest continuously competed for motor sports event. The Club promoted the first pre-war and post-war Grand Prix at Brooklands in 1926 and Silverstone in 1948 respectively, whilst continuing to campaign for the rights of the motorist, including introducing the first driving licences.
In 1999 the Club demerged from the motoring services recovery division and established an independent body, the Motor Sports Association (MSA), to govern motor sport in the UK. The Club then added contemporary facilities and refurbished both clubhouses for the benefit of its growing membership.
The Club continues to award a series of historic trophies and medals celebrating motoring achievements, including the Segrave Trophy, the Tourist Trophy, the Simms Medal, the Dewar Trophy and the Torrens Trophy. Today, the Club retains a diverse membership drawn from all four corners of the globe and offers two stunning and unique clubhouses, a flourishing events programme, unsurpassed accommodation, dining, sports and golfing facilities. It also continues to develop and support automobilism through representation on the Motor Sport Association (MSA), Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and RAC Foundation, while continuing to promote its own motoring events, such as the freeto-attend Regent Street Motor Show and the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which this year take place on 31st October and 1st November.
The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO) is a classic car club recognised by the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association (the MSA – the official governing body for motor sport in the UK, affiliated to the FIA) and, through its membership of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, is affiliated to FIVA – the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens. A classic car endurance rallying club that dates over eighteen years, HERO has organized more than 130 events (trials and tours) especially for classic cars. HERO also offers a wide range of services such as the Arrive & Drive classic/rally car hire program, corporate and bespoke event planning and organisation, storage and transport logistic, a Premier Membership that offers discounts throughout its network of Partners; making it a truly integrated one stop shop platform.
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