Re-live the action from 1966

Year in review


The Holdens finally broke the dominance of the Ford factory team in 1966. Tony Roberts and Peter Haas won the Victorian Trials Championship in their X2 Holden and also won the annual BP Rally and Alpine Rally.

This story in Australian Motor Sports profiles the new Holden.

This was also the first year of the International Southern Cross Rally which ran from Sydney to Melbourne and back in October. Harry Firth and Graham Hoinville in their Cortina GT beat a classy field of competitors, including internationals Paddy Hopkirk and Rauno Aaltonen, both in Minis.

Major Events

The 1966 BP Rally of South Eastern Australia was conducted from 3-8 May, effectively starting in Nathalia and finishing at Chadstone Shopping Centre. Tony Roberts and Pater Haas were eventually declared winners in their X2 Holden, but only after a number of protests and appeals. For more detail on the event, go to Ross Runnalls’ compilation of BP Rally history.

The first International Southern Cross Rally was held between Melbourne and Sydney in October. The route entered Victoria after a stopover in Wagga, using competitive stages through Whitfield, Jamieson and Warburton. After a mid-event stopover in Melbourne, the route took crews through Gippsland enroute to the next stopover in Canberra thence to the finish in Sydney. Winners were Victorians Harry Firth and Graham Hoinville in a Ford Cortina. For more details, go to the Southern Cross Rally history site.

The 1966 Alpine Rally was also won by Roberts and Haas in their X2 Holden.

Waston and McAuliffe tackle a tricky creek crossing on the 1966 BP Rally

Victorian Trials Championship

The 1966 VTC events were the Begonia, Akademos, Experts, Derrick, Two Day, North Eastern and Cooper Memorial.

Outright champions: Tony Roberts / Peter Haas, Holden X2

For more details, including event results and points tables, go to the 1966 VTC page.

Other Open Events

We have only a few details on other events in 1966. Certainly several clubs ran open events that were not part of the state championship.

The Peugeot Car Club ran their Summer Safari as an open event as the season opener.

The GHM Motoring Club again ran their Classic Trial as an open event which would be elevated to VTC status the following year.

The Victorian Sporting Car Club again ran their Midnight and Blue Ribbon Trials as open events.

The Light Car Club ran the Clubman’s Trial in June as an open restricted event, the Victorian Amateur Drivers Club did similarly with their Amateur 100 in July.

In addition to the Derrick, the CCRMIT ran the Presidents Trial late in the year as an open event.

In addition to the Cooper Memorial, the Western District Car Club also ran their annual Otway Trial in July.

Closed Events

Many clubs were running closed events but we have few details.

The Melbourne University Car Club ran four closed events, starting with their Summer Trial in February, then the Commencement Rally in March, the Mayday Trial (in May!), and the Night Trial in July.

The Car Club of RMIT ran two closed events, a Novice Trial, then their annual Autumn Midnight Trial, probably in May.

The Rally Calendar for this year:

Not a complete calendar yet.

5 FebSummer SafariPCCVOpen
5 FebSummer TrialMUCCClub
11 FebMotor Show TrialVSCCOpen?
20 FebSummer TrialVWCCClub
5 MarHops Festival TrialNECCOpen
12 MarBegonia RallyBLCCVTC-1
26 MarCommencement RallyMUCCClub
3 AprClassic TrialGMHMCOpen
24 AprGippsland TrialGCCOpen
1 MayMayday RallyMUCCClub
3-8 MayBP RallyLCCANational
28 MayAkademosMUCCVTC-2
11 JunClubman’s TrialLCCAOpen Restricted
18 JunMidnight TrialVSCCOpen
2 JulExperts TrialLCCAVTC-3
16 JulAmateur 100VADCOpen Restricted
17 JulWinter TrialCRBCCClub
23 JulOtway TrialWDCCOpen
23 JulNight TrialMUCCClub
13 AugGeorge Derrick Memorial TrialCCRMITVTC-4
3-4 SepTwo Day TrialVADC/ VWCCVTC-5
18 SepJunior Experts TrialJLCCAClub?
25 SepBlue Ribbon TrialVSCCOpen
2 OctSpring TrialBACOpen
5-9 OctSouthern Cross RallyASCCInternational
8 OctLinacres 400 Trial (cancelled)M850COpen
22 OctCaltex North Eastern TrialNECCVTC-6
6 NovInvitation TrialGMHCCClub
12 NovCooper Memorial TrialWDCCVTC-7
26 NovPresidents TrialCCRMITOpen
10 DecAlpine RallyLCCANational
11 DecPolice Courtesy RallyVPMSCOpen