By the 1950s a hunger for competitive rallying had grown in caravanning circles as there had been no similar event since 1938.
Competitions at social rallies had grown to be a popular feature amongst amateur caravanners. However, there was no event where caravan traders and manufacturers could showcase the roadworthiness and design of their vans at a competitive level.
The Caravan Club wanted a public platform to demonstrate the safety and stability of caravans. They also wanted to encourage caravan development and by inviting competitors from the trade innovation was championed.
In 1954 The Caravan Club announced its plans for the first British Caravan Road Rally competition.
The event created such a buzz that more people had entered than there were places available – even before the application forms had been printed.
Designed to ‘give a stiff but strictly practical and realistic test’ of the cars and caravans, the competition was planned to contain a variety of sections including timed driving, fast towing, reversing, wheel changing, acceleration and braking.
Caravan Club members hitched up their holiday vans, and traders set off with their newest models, all in the quest for the coveted Caravan Trophy.
The Caravan magazine reported that the event ‘was the first in what looks like being a long series'. The competition proved extremely popular with caravanners returning year after year to compete and enjoy the friendly social spirit of the events.
Witness the relaxed family atmosphere behind the scenes at the 1968 Caravan Road Rally at Mallory Park:
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