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Hay bales rather than bollards were used in the reversing tests of the late 1950s.

Experienced caravanners often excelled at the track test section of the Caravan Road Rallies due to their knowledge of manoeuvring vans.

During this section competitors displayed their ability to accurately park, reverse, accelerate, uncouple, climb a hill, brake and weave through bollards. Even their competence to evade potholes while towing was tested at some events.

Surprise tests were also thrown into the mix to show that the outfit was fully equipped for the road. Over the years these surprises ranged from having to change a wheel to making a cup of tea.

A Ford Capri 3000GT leads the way in the 1973 caravan race at Silverstone.

Staged at racing circuits including Silverstone, Aintree, Goodwood and Mallory Park, the speed for a single lap of the course was also tested.

In 1973 this was taken to a new level where caravan races, which were likened to Roman chariot racing, brought spectators to 'their feet cheering’. This was, however, a slightly perilous event causing damage to several outfits in their quest for the award. The Caravan Club issued reminders in the event programmes that 'motor sport is dangerous'.

In 1976 the track tests were made into an event separate from the Road Rally to encourage Caravan Club members without road rallying skills to display their manoeuvring.

Competitors burn rubber during the braking test at Mallory Park in 1966. These tests demonstrated how car and caravan outfits could brake safely at high speed:

The braking test returns to Mallory Park in 1968:

Spectators watch reversing skills at Mallory Park in 1968:

Press play to hear about the number of Caravan Road Rally competitors on the Mallory Park circuit.

Watch the timed single lap test at Mallory Park during the 1966 event:

Press the Play button to hear marshal Ray Smith's memories of how amateur crews had practiced hitching:

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