Blue Ribbon

Find out about the rich history of the Blue Ribbon Trial / Rally

Event History

The Blue Ribbon Trial was one of the earliest post-war open events to be conducted in Victoria with the first edition being run in 1952. Conducted by the Victorian Sporting Car Club, the Blue Ribbon Trail ran annually until 1973 at which time the VSCC was incorporated into the Light Car Club. The Blue Ribbon had been a round of the Victorian Trial/Rally Championship on several occasions and was an Australian Rally Championship round in 1971, reverting to a round of the Victorian Clubman Series in 1972, and a non-championship open event in 1973.

The Light Car resurrected the Blue Ribbon Rally in 1977 and it ran for two years as a round of the Victorian Clubman Series before being elevated to a Victorian Rally Championship round from 1979 and a full special stage event, a status that it retained until the demise of the Light Car Club in 1992. In order to secure sponsorship the event was known as the Sandi Surf Jeans Rally in 1984. Due to organisational challenges, in 1988 the Blue Ribbon incorporated te George Derrick Memorial Rally while in 1989 the favour was returned with the Blue Ribbon incorporated into the George Derrick Memorial Rally.

In 1992 and 1993 the Blue Ribbon was briefly resurrected by the Benalla Auto Club but both editions were cancelled due to wet weather. Sadly, that was mostly the end of the Blue Ribbon.

But in 2007 the HRA resurrected the Blue Ribbon as a non-Special Stage event and later in 2014 and 2015 it was run as a Touring Road Event.

List of Editions held of this event.

Click on the Year to see more details about each edition. Click on the Area to see a plot of the route (where available).

YearDirector(s)AreaWinning DriverWinning NavigatorCarStatus
1952Don Thomson/ Maurie Monk (?)Dandenongs, StrzeleckiesJ. (Lex?) DennistonRoy LindenJaguar Mk VOpen
1953Don Thomson/ Maurie MonkNW of MelbourneBob ForemanJohn McDougallMorris MinorOpen
1954Vic Cox/ Fred ClarkeSW of MelbourneBob Foreman?Fiat 1100Open
1955Vic CoxBacchus Marsh/ CreswickBob ScarlettStandard VanguardOpen
1961NE Hill CountryOpen
1965Macedon/ CastlemaineBob WatsonJim McAuliffeHolden X2Open
1967Bob, Beau and Brian SimpsonMt Disappointment/ MurrindindiBrian AmeyTony WunderlichPeugeot 404Open
1968Bob, Beau and Brian SimpsonDaylesford/ Mt DisappointmentTony Roberts
Bob Watson (equal)
Mike Osborne
Jim McAuliffe (equal)
Holden HKVTC
1969Bob, Beau and Brian SimpsonDaylesford/ Mt DisappointmentBob WatsonJim McAuliffeRenault 16TSVTC
1970Bob, Beau and Brian SimpsonMurrindindiBob WatsonJim McAuliffeRenault R10 GordiniARC
1971Ian DouglasNorth GippslandJohn DixonChris JessupFord Escort 1600VTC
1972StrathbogiesBob BirdWarwick SmithFord CortinaVCS
1974-76Not conducted
1977Stuart ListerHeathcote/ NagambieDick DenvilDamian O’ReillyDatsun 1200VCS
1978Stuart ListerHeathcoteIan BoydTrevor BoydDatsun 1600VCS
1979Col PomroyStrathbogies/ Reef HillsDavid JonesStuart ListerMitsubishi LancerVRC
1980Bruce KeysStrathbogies/ Reef HillsCancelledVRC
1981Bruce KeysStrathbogies/ Reef HillsGeoff PortmanRoss RunnallsDatsun 200BVRC
1982Ron HarperStrathbogies/ Reef HillsHugh BellSteve EllisDatsun 1600VRC
1983Steve HollowoodBallaratCancelledVRC
1984John FaganBallaratGeoff PortmanDavid McKenzieDatsun BluebirdVRC
1985John FaganHeathcoteCancelledVRC
1986John FaganMaryboroughGeoff PortmanPeter GaleDatsun 1600VRC
1987John FaganMaryboroughGeoff PortmanPeter GaleDatsun 1600VRC
1988Rick Thorpe/ Phil WylieMaryboroughDavid GreigTirantDatsun 1600VRC
1989Rick ThorpeHeathcoteSteve AshtonRo NixonMitsubishi Galant VR4VRC
1990Phil WylieJohn ReynoldsDavid BoyceMazda 323 $WDVRC
1991Helen WylieDavid OfficerDavid McKenzieMitsubishi StarionVRC
2014Paul McKinnonWhrooTRE
2015Paul McKinnonHeathcoteTRE


  • 1984 and 85 were known as the Sandi Surf Jeans Rally, although 1985 was cancelled
  • 1989 was run in conjunction with the George Derrick Memorial Rally