The Isle of Wight car club was formed at Bembridge airport in the late 1940’s by man named Keith Holdaway better known then as “Flying Officer Kite” to his friends. Along with Bill Shotter as chairman, who ran a local coach business, Bernard Channing as club captain, famous for “The Channing apparatus” – a primitive, although reportedly very accurate timing device of his own design and manufacture, Jack Shoat as secretary and Fred Tutton as vice chairman they began to organise events and expand the membership as more and more people became interested in, and were able to afford production motor vehicles. Not long after the formation the club became fully RAC affiliated and remains so.
Sometime after the formation, Derrick Williams aka “Bonzo”, a keen and very capable auto-test/slalom driver and club luminary, started the Sprite club on the mainland. However Sprite as a car manufacturer objected to the use of the name and the club was then renamed the Austin Healey club as it is known to this day.
The integral connection that Bonzo had with both clubs brought them together for the first time in 1963. He arranged for members of the Austin Healey club to visit the Isle of Wight for a weekend, during which the two clubs could compete and socialise together. A variety of venues were used including Alum Bay car park and the Old Park Hotel drive to name a couple. The clubs competed on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning and this tradition has been continued ever since.