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Works Driver Lyle Cathcart

Lyle Catchart is pictured on the left holding the Caravan Trophy next to his co–driver Mike Cockle after sweeping the overall title in the 1976 event.

Competing in the 1969 Caravan Club British Caravan Road Rally was the first taste Lyle Cathcart ever had of caravanning.

Lyle was experienced at car rallies and was invited by Lee Davey to act as his co-driver in the ’69 Caravan Road Rally. Lionel ‘Lee’ Davey knew all the ropes, having been a regular face at the events since its earliest days. He was also the owner of one of Europe’s leading caravan distributors, the Lee Davey Caravan Group.

The following year Lyle returned to the competition held at Snetterton, but this time he was behind the wheel. 1970 saw his first major success at the event while supported by co-driver G. Austin. Here they took the National Caravan Council Challenge Cup.

In 1972 Cathcart formed part of the Caravan International Pinetops team which carried off the Esso Challenge Cup. It was reported that ‘his drive was a highlight of the rally’. He finished against all odds after ‘creating extensive damage to the caravan body after hitting a tree on an off-the-road stage’. Cathcart commented ‘It was a fantastic route- I have never seen such narrow twisting roads before. At times the Range Rover was brushing both banks- and the caravan was wider’.

He also formed the Esso Challenge Cup winning team in 1975 after ‘hitting 70-plus on the forest tracks’.

It was 1976 however that was the pinnacle of Lyle’s Caravan Road Rally career. While ‘driving a Vauxhall Victor Estate towing a CI Sprint caravan’ Lyle scooped The Caravan Trophy along with ‘the first prize of £500’ and ‘a special £1,000 award from Caravans International’. It was reported that ‘this outright victory is a culmination of years of effort… they obviously know a thing or two’.

Lyle later put the towing experience he gained during his Road Rally victories to good use, hitching up a van for family holidays.

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