Autocar will mark the 75th anniversary of the inaugural RAC Rally – along with celebrating its role in organising the event – with a special display of historic machines at this year’s Wales Rally GB.
The special showcase will be part of the spectator stage at Oulton Park in Cheshire for Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship. It will feature machines including the Lanchester 15/18 that won the first event in 1932, and present-day WRC machines including the Hyundai i20 and Toyota Yaris.
In the 1930s, a director at Autocar magazine suggested the idea of a high-profile British rally event to the Royal Automobile Club to compete with the revered Monte-Carlo Rally. A campaign in the pages of Autocar resulted in the first event being held.
The resulting competition attracted 367 entries – still a record for a British motorsport event – who started from various points around the country. Each route covered around 1000 miles and ended in Torquay, where a series of tests were held. Lanchester driver Colonel A H Loughborough was determined the winner, and took home £25 and an Autocar trophy.