MIDLAND AC: THE FIRST 100 YEARS
The Midland Automobile Club was formed on January 11, 1901 — the first to be affiliated to the Automobile Club of Great Britain, and the oldest recognised by the MSA. It held its first competitive event later that year on Gorcott Hill, near Alcester. It is with Shelsley, however, the world’s oldest continuous motorsport venue, that the club has become synonymous, the first event, in 1905, being won by Ernest
Instone’s 35hp Daimler in 77.6sec. In 1930, it hosted a round of the European Hill Climb Championship. The duel between Rudi Caracciola’s 7-litre Mercedes-Benz and Hans Stuck’s AustroDaimler was the highlight, the latter man coming out on top with a record 42.8sec. He returned in 1936 with the V16 Auto Union, the first visit to British shores of the fabled Silver Arrows. On the 50th
anniversary of this event, Hannu Mikkola took an Audi quattro Si up in 29.51sec, a then-record for saloon cars.
The inaugural British Hillclimb Championship, in 1947, included a round at Shelsley and, in the immediate post-war period, Stirling Moss and Peter Collins were among those who cut their teeth on MAC’s historic hill. Its membership now stands at almost 1300 and it organises five Shelsley meetings per year. Beyond this, its activities
extend to Classic Trials and sprint events at Curborough and MIRA and, until 1976, it ran race meetings at Silverstone.
In its centenary year, MAC has formed the Shelsley Trust which hopes to achieve charitable status in order to safeguard the future of this historically important site. By far its most ambitious event will be its centenary celebration meeting to be held between August 17-19 (see Matters of Moment, pages 6-71. Jonathan Layzell