Rob Roy

The VSCC of Australia’s Newsletter for June had some recollections of the famous Rob Roy speed hillclimb, by Earl Davey-Milne who was taken there when he was 14 by his late brother. That was during the war, but he went to his first event in 1946 and remembers such competing cars as the Ballot-Oldsmobile Special of Jimmy Gullan, Doug Whiteford’s Ford V8 Special, Teddy Gray’s V8 Alfa Romeo Special, the Chamberlain Special and the Itala V8, etc. This commentator went to the venue again this year with Lyndon Duckett, who made his first appearance there in 1946 with the 18-litre chain-drive 1908 Semmering Mercedes, Davey-Milne having been taken there in the ex-Joan Richmond Riley 9, driven by founder member Alan Roberts, who had the 38/250 Mercedes-Benz that was later campaigned by Lex Davidson.

His own first drive at Rob Roy was in the Bugatti-Hudson Eight Special. The hill was 760 yards long. Opened in 1937, Jack Day (Bugatti V8 Special) set the record in 35.42 sec over the then dirt surface. Peter Whitehead (ERA R10B) knocked this down to 31.46 sec the following year, and at the outbreak of war it was held by Wylie’s Ford A Midget racer (29.47 sec). The hill has now fallen into disrepair. WB