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.


6 thoughts on “History

  1. Re: Renault R8 Gordini registration LLT218D

    Hi, I am the Competition Secretary & R8 Gordini registrar of the Renault Classic Car Club and Tim Thomson of Harwoods has sent me an image of the above car taken on an IOW Car Club (Stage?) Rally. I guess this would have probably have been in the mid 1960’s to early 1970, do/could any of your older members provide any information about the car and the event, if so I would really like to hear from them.

    The cars were very rare even in their day with only 2,600 of this particular model (R1134?) being made and of these very few were right hand drive models (perhaps only 200 into the UK) so I’m always particularly keen to discover more about one that was used in Competition.

    Nigel Patten

  2. Nigel,

    It would be lovely if we could have the picture of said car to display on the website.

    This might yield the answers you seek.


  3. Hello,
    i have acquired a pewter mug that has the words ‘I.W. CAR RALLY, 1953, 1ST AWARD’ stamped on it. Could you please supply me with some history on the winner that year and any other info that may be helpful.

    thank you


  4. Hi, I’m nearing the end of a very full restoration of a 1961 MGA 1600Mk2 registration no 535 WPF. It was once owned by John Foss of what is now Staddlestones Garage. The A has had some “racing” mods in the past, so I wondered if any club members remember a White MGA being thrashed around during the 1960s, Dave Crewe.

    1. I’ve now finished the MGA and it’s up and running, at the first show took it to a chap came over to me and told me that the car was owned in the 1960s by a Mark Collgate, if anyone out there has any memories please get in touch.

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