Re-live the action from 1963

Year in review


1963 was dominated by the Ford factory team with Falcons, Cortinas and Anglias. The Victorian Trials Championship for drivers was won jointly by Frank Kilfoyle and Harry Firth while the navigators title was shared by Mike Flanagan and Graham Hoinville. Demonstrating his versatility, Kilfoyle swapped into the left hand seat to navigate Firth to victory in the annual BP Rally. The Ford factory Anglia of Don Opie and Doug Rutherford won the Alpine Trial.

Major Events

The BP Rally of South Eastern Australia was conducted from 1-5 May, effectively starting in Ballarat and finishing at Chadstone Shopping Centre. The winners were Harry Firth and Frank Kilfoyle in a factory Ford Falcon, with Geoff Thomas as the third crew member. Kilfoyle swapped to the navigator’s seat when Firth’s usual navigator, Graham Hoinville, was part of the directing team. For more detail on the event, go to Ross Runnalls’ compilation of BP Rally history.

We are fortunate to have some audio records of the BP rallies from the late 50s and early 60s. Listen to interviews conducted at the event finish by Lox McGrath of radio 3AW by selecting the link on the right side of this page. Go to our Audio page for interviews from other years.

The 1963 Alpine Trial was won by Don Opie and Doug Rutherford in a factory Ford Anglia.

Don Opie and Doug Rutherford in their Ford Anglia on the 1963 BP Rally

Victorian Trials Championship

Our best guess at the VTC events for 1963 are the Begonia, Akademos, Experts, Otway, Cec Warren Memorial, Two Day and Alpine.

Equal champions:
Harry Firth / Graham Hoinville, Ford Anglia / Cortina
Frank Kilfoyle / Mike Flanagan, Ford Falcon XM

For more details, including event results and points tables, go to the 1963 VTC page.

Other Open Events

Several clubs ran open events outside of the Trials Championship, although with some uncertainty about the VTC events, it is possible that some of these were in fact VTC rounds.

The VW Car Club ran the Pound Motors Trial at the end of March.

The Car Club of RMIT ran its annual George Derrick Memorial Trial in July. Some records suggest it was a VTC round.

The Wimmera Branch of the Light Car Club, together with the Western District Car Club, conducted the Caltex Horsham Rally at the end of August.

The Victorian Sporting Car Club conducted two open events, the Midnight Trial in July and the Blue Ribbon Trial in September.

Closed Events

Many clubs were running closed events but we have information on only some of them.

The Melbourne University Car Club ran four closed events. The year began with the Summer Trial in February, followed by the Commencement Rally in April, the Winter Trial in July and the Night Trial in August.

The Car Club of RMIT only appeared to conduct two closed events in 1963. These were their annual Autumn Midnight Trial in May and the Presidents Trial.

The Peugeot Car Club conducted its William Harvey Memorial Trial in July. This is probably PCCV’s oldest event.

A closed Invitation Trial was run at the end of June by the GHM Motoring Club with assistance from MUCC and the VW Car Club. The event was directed by Bob Watson.

 The Rally Calendar for this year:

There are probably quite a few events missing from this calendar.

23 FebSummer TrailMUCCClosed
2 MarCaltex Begonia RallyBLCCVTC
30 MarPound Motors TrialVWCCOpen
28 AprCommencement Rally / Farrago TrialMUCCClosed
1-5 MayBP RallyLCCANational
11 MayAutumn Midnight TrialCCRMITClosed
26 MayInvitation TrialVWCVClosed
15 JunAkademosMUCCVTC
30 JunInvitation TrialGHMMCClosed
6 JulExperts TrialLCCAVTC
6 JulWinter TrialMUCCClosed
13 JulGeorge Derrick Memorial TrialCCRMITOpen
20 JulOtway TrialWDCCVTC?
21 JulWilliam Harvey Memorial TrialPCCVClosed
27 JulMidnight TrialVSCCOpen
17 AugNight TrialMUCCClosed
25 AugCec Warren Memorial TrialMASCVTC?
31 AugHorsham RallyLCC (Wimm) / WDCCOpen
22 SepBlue Ribbon TrialVSCCOpen
28 SepShell Two Day TrialVWCC/ VADCVTC?
23 NovAlpine TrialLCCAVTC?
15 DecPolice Courtesy RallyVPMSCOpen