Melbourne University Car Club

Melbourne University Car Club has for many years had a significant impact on motorsport in Victoria. It conducts the Akademos Rally, typically a round of the Victorian Rally Championship, although often an Australian Rally Championship round in the 1970s and 1980s. MUCC is also the pre-eminent club providing timing services to race meetings in Victoria. This is all due to a small but enthusiastic group of members who attended Melbourne University in their younger years.

Current connections with Melbourne University are limited, with modern students not having the interest in motoring activities that so fascinated their forebears.


A monthly newsletter commenced in 1955 with the name “Unbalanced Notes”. The name was changed to UNICAR in 1958. 

We believe we have every edition of Unicar and probably Unbalanced Notes, available here. Most editions of Unicar are also available from the National Library in Canberra.

If you have any that we don’t have or find any errors, please let us know.

Unbalanced Notes was originally compiled and edited by Brian Fleming and Tim Kendall. Subsequent editors were Ian McDonald (1958-60), Andrew Burston (1960-64), Bill Denvil (1964-1967 but with Brian Fleming doing part of 1965) and Don Humphries (1967-2012).

Unicar became a respected reference for competition results, event reports and calendars. Don Humphries was the editor for almost 45 years until his death in 2012. While almost every edition was published one or two months after its labelled date, Don was fastidious about not skipping an edition. He also published results and kept progress scores for all motorsport series of interest to members, including Formula 1, World Rally Championship, Australian Rally Championship, Australian Sporting Car Championship, Victorian Rally Championship and the TAUCC Championship. If you are looking for motorsport results from the past, try Unicar. 

Following Don’s death, no other member was willing to put the time and effort into continuing the publication of such a comprehensive magazine. But Unicar did continue in an abbreviated electronic format thanks to the efforts of Peter Otzen. It’s now called e-Unicar and is restricted to information more directly relevant to club members.

Club History

The Melbourne University Car Club was formed in the first half of 1938. However, wartime fuel shortages in 1941 saw the club not continue into 1942.

The club was “re-formed” on 11 October 1955 at a meeting held in the History Lecture Theatre at Melbourne University. At that meeting, George Nekrasov was elected President, Nicholas de la Vatine Treasurer, Brian Fleming (who remained a member until his death in 2018) Secretary and a general committee comprising the aptly named Miss Bentley and Messrs Martin and Shea.

The objectives of the club as at 1980 are available in the document that each member was required to sign for the club to comply with student union requirements.

An association with CAMS commenced in 1958 and that became affiliation from 1 January 1960. The club initially focused on social style events but evolved to conduct rallies and motorkhanas, with the first open rally being held in 1960. In 1961, the open trial was renamed Akademos and has become one of Victoria’s longest held rallies, with the most recent edition being the MRF Tyres Akademos in 2019.

MUCC also developed a passion and expertise at race timing, in due course becoming the predominant timing team in Victoria. A notable role was timing both of Donald Campbell’s 1964 attempts at world speed records, the “land” one at Lake Eyre and the “water” one at Lake Dumbleyung.

There have been a few attempts to compile the history of MUCC. The most comprehensive is that compiled by Ros Otzen in 2005 – accessible via the “History to 2005” green button on this page. That includes considerable information about the 1938-1941 iteration of the club.

A year by year summary of some early years of the club’s history is available via the History 1955-1961 button. An abbreviated history of MUCC from 1955 to 1960 can also be found in the March 1971 edition of Unicar.

The “20 year history” and “40 year history” are the documents provided to members at the 20th and 40th anniversary dinners. The “40th” document doesn’t include any more written history than the “20th”.

Following the publication of the history complied by Ros Otzen, Don Humphries (Unicar editor) was working on extending that history but he wasn’t able to publish any further material prior to his death. If you can provide further history of MUCC, please contact us.

Rallies organised

Soon after the club’s formation in 1955, it commenced running events for members.  That developed over the years to include social events, touring assemblies, treasure hunts, economy runs, night skatters and a range of car rallies. The premiere rally organised by MUCC is Akademos with the name being a corruption of “academic” and “motorsport” together with reference to the famous Acropolis Rally run in Greece for many years.

Akademos was often a round of the Australian Rally Championship in the 1970s and 1980s and has since typically been a round of the Victorian Rally Championship. More detail about Akademos is coming soon.

Club Champions

1957/58Frank Kilfoyle ** = Aggregate Trophy
1958/59Brian Fleming *
1959/60Brian Fleming *
1960/61John Tandy *
1961/62John Taws & David Wallis *
1962/63Geoff SproatBill Bates & Bill Denvil
1963/64David WilsonClarrie Mitchell
1964/65Geoff SproatJohn Taws
1965/66Richard BainbridgeGeoff Sproat
1966/67Clarke BallardDon Humphries
1967/68Ian Spark & Don WilsonDon Humphries
1968/69Clarke BallardRichard Bainbridge
1969/70Judy Richards & Trevor RichardsDon HumphriesJudy Richards
1970/71Geoff SproatClarke BallardPatricia Taws
1971/72Ian PearceTrevor RichardsRobyn Baass
1972/73Ian PearceRobin BaassJoy Pearce
1973/74Brian FlemingBill DenvilJoy Pearce
1974/75Glen McAlieceDavid McKenzieBill Denvil
1975/76David BrownsworthBarry JohnstonIan Sichlau
1976/77David OfficerJohn ScalzoKathryn Hobson
1977/78David OfficerGreg MathesonPeter Otzen
1978/79Greg Matheson & David MitchellRobert HughesIan Cole
1979/80David Officer & Kathryn HobsonRobert BradleyPeter Otzen
1980/81David McKenzieGary ReidGreg Matheson
1981/82Scott ChirnsideScott Riddell & Andrew RobbinsDon Humphries
1982/83Peter OtzenAndrew Bayliss, Kevin Piercy & Rohan TeagleDavid McKenzie
1983/84Jeff Moorhead & Rohan TeagleRobert ParkerDon Humphries
1984/85Andrew BrowneAndrew Browne & Jennie HutchinsonDon Humphries & Peter Otzen
1985/86Chris Adams & Tony CooperChris Adams & Tony CooperMichael Morrissey
1986/87Peter OtzenMichael SeidlerPeter Otzen
1987/88Michael SeidlerRobert PlenterPeter Otzen & Michael Seidler
1988/89Michael SeidlerAndrew CollinsBrian Fleming
1989/90Robert HughesJim RiisBrian Fleming
1990/91Robert HughesSteven FlemingDarryl Otzen & Alf Pearce
1991/92Vicki WilliamsVicki WilliamsDarryl Otzen
1992/93Peter OtzenPhil TimpanoAlf Pearce
1993/94Peter OtzenAndrew MackiePeter Otzen
1994/95Michael SeidlerTim O’ConnorDarryl Otzen

Other club information

The club’s website is accessible here.