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Innovations

Brendan Witter (right) and co-driver Michael Stevens outside the Witter works following the duo's overall win in 1971.

From the earliest days of the Caravan Road Rallies, competitors were innovative in finding ways to gain an edge on their opponents.

‘Secret weapons’ and ‘gadgets’ were encouraged by organisers from periscopes on vans for improved view to additions on steering wheels to aid manoeuvres.

The rallies were also an excellent way for the caravan trade to showcase development and innovation. For example, the owners of Witter Trailer Towing Brackets were regular competitors and were able to trial their products. They stated that many event winners ‘depended upon Witter towing brackets and patent shock absorber’.

See a car and caravan de-stabilise on a bend. The quest to avoid caravan instability at higher speeds under rallying conditions led to vast improvements in caravan safety:

It's hard to believe now, but digital clocks were once a new innovation. Hear competitor David Parr talking about the first time he saw one used for timekeeping at a Caravan Road Rally in the 1970s.

Press play to discover how caravans were modified especially for the Road Rallies. These developments were later used on leisure vans driven on the roads of Britain.

Click the play button to hear how the Road Rallies helped to develop caravan stability, improving safety for holiday caravanners.

Play the audio clip to learn how reversing a caravan had become easier by the 1970s.

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