Around this time two of my friends, Bob Major and Dave Tigwell, had started a garage business together called Severnside Motors. They mostly did ordinary garage work but as both were keen rally drivers they offered to paint my car in their colours. I still carried Gordons advertising on the car and got help from Glenn Gordon.
Severnside also had a Transit and trailer which we could use to get us to rallies and carry spares etc. A proper service crew for the first time!
The Transit was called “Brian” and did excellent work for quite a few other friends on many and various events. There was an unofficial speed competition with crews using Brian, I seem to recall the record being 102mph (complete with trailer and rally car) coming down from Shap Summit on the M6. I should point out that it was not me driving at the time!
1979 turned out to be a great year with a string of good results and ending with winning the Association of West Midland Motor Clubs Stage Rally Championship. It was a hotly contested championship and great to win it outright in a 1600cc car. Several different folk came along as navigators during the year as Oliver was away working for Shell in Brunei most of the time.
Our local paper - The Stroud News and Journal - sent along their sports editor as navigator at the end of the year and I gave him a good day out finishing 5th overall on the Ebworth Chase Stages Rally. This was in the same woods where I had been on the roof a year before, luckily with no repeat performance. He did a nice little write-up in the paper which helped with publicity.
More Pictures from 1979
|Very first run in the re-shelled Avenger getting ready for the 1979 season to come
|First event of 1979 was The Trentham Gardens Stages run in deep snow near Stoke-on-Trent. The M6 motorway was closed so even getting there was difficult but we finished 7th overall.
|1979 Championship Prizegiving