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Winner of first ever Caravan Road Rally D.O. Fellows

Text: Nearly the man who wasn't there

Fellows was the first ever recipient of The Caravan Trophy, pictured here. His name can just be seen on the second plaque from the left on the top tier.

We must make a special mention to the first ever winner of The Caravan Club’s British Caravan Road Rally event. Driving an Austin A70 and towing a brand new two-berth Winchester Special caravan, Fellows stormed home with 105 marks in 1954.

Fellows, then 36, of Stourbridge, West Midlands, took home the magnificent silver Caravan Trophy, sponsored by The Caravan Magazine. However, if it were not for his determined father J.R. Fellows, a veteran caravanner and trials driver, he might have never competed. Fellows originally decided that he was too busy to take part in the event, yet his father secretly sent in the entry form. After finally agreeing to compete, the pair entered as driver and co–driver.

Mr Fellows commented that he ‘thoroughly enjoyed the rally’ and praised the organisers who ‘worked magnificently to make it great fun for the competitors’. However, he found that the secret checks were ‘too much like having the police on one’s tail’. Despite high expectations, having won The Caravan Club’s cup for reversing tests some years ago, Fellows floundered in that section. He believed the reversing tests were made ‘too difficult’ and suggested that in future ‘It should be made easier and based on the stopwatch for best times’.

The following year Fellows returned in the same car and caravan combination and fiercely defended his title. Were it not for losing points through scraping past another van The Caravan Trophy could have returned to him. His father had better luck in the 1956 event. Competing in a Wolseley 6/90 and a Winchester Pipit, he formed part of the team which won the Esso Challenge Cup.

 

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