|Rob Roy HillClimb|
|At the time of its construction, Rob Roy was one of only three bitumen
surfaced purpose built hillclimbs in the world, the other two being Shelsley
Walsh and Prescott
Its origins go back to 1935, when representatives from the then Light Car Club of Australia inspected the property known as Clinton's Pleasure Grounds with a view to establishing a suitable venue for the hillclimb meetings.
The actual track commences on a slight incline, proceeds through a sharp right turn which originally passed a rusty iron shed (whose memory is perpetuated by the name Tin Shed Corner), down a slight incline to a level stretch along the top of an embankment holding back a half acre dam, then rears up a one-in-three gradient. The track then winds its way uphill through a series of left turns to the finish line. The start and finish lines are 760 yards (695 metres) apart.
The first meeting was run on 1st February 1937, and the track fully bitumenised in 1939. Many meetings were conducted over succeeding years by the Light Car Club, including nine Australian Hillclimb Championships, the very first of which in 1938 was won by Peter Whitehead in his ERA. In 1962 the area was ravaged by bushfires and the track unfortunately fell into disuse.
An inspection of the names of Outright and Class record holders over these years reveal that eight of these drivers have been Australian Grand Prix winners and one a triple F1 World Champion (Jack Brabham).
In 1992 the MG Car Club was successful in obtaining a ten year lease on the property, and reconstruction began, which involved re-laying the entire surface, improving access roads, and the installation of guard rails on the causeway. The result was a faithful re-creation of the original track.
During this period an immense amount of voluntary work was put in by MGCC members in all areas of its reconstruction. To cover some of the enormous costs involved, the Friends of Rob Roy was born where a foundation membership, limited to 500, was offered giving subscribers a ten year period of exclusive free spectator entry among other benefits. This was fully subscribed very quickly and the bulk of the finance was available in a very short time.
In February 1993 the first "Return to Rob Roy" Historic Meeting was run with outstanding success and a huge spectator attendance. In November 1999 the MGCC ran its eighth Historic and Classic Hillclimb at Rob Roy and the popularity of the event from both competitors and spectators alike has never waned.
In 2005, a shelter known as the Octunda was constructed. This houses permanent barbecue facilities.
In July 2009, the VDC (Vintage Drivers Club) presented the original Rob Roy road sign to the MGCC, after holding it for nearly thirty years. This sign now hangs in the MGCC Clubrooms in Nunawading. (more)
In November 2009, the giant PBR brake shoes (rescued from the Templestowe Hillclimb), were erected just before the start line at Rob Roy. (more)
Return to main Rob Roy page)