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Established 1976

Ever thought about a Production Car Trial?


We were recently tempted into competing in a production car trial organised by the South West area of the MG Car Club.  Itís almost certainly the slowest form of motor sport and is possible to enter with any vehicle, except four wheel drive.  The oldest car there was a 1932 MG J2 and the newest a Citroen AX.

 We entered in our 1964 MG Midget which has a 1098cc engine and we were one of seven cars in class 3.  Class 1- rear wheel drive production car post 1996. Class 2 Ė front wheel drive post 1996. Class 3 RWD pre 1996 and Class 4 for specials and kit cars.

 For those of you who have never heard of a PCT the object of the competition is to get as far up a grassy hill or unsurfaced track as possible before gravity and the lack of grip forces you to stop.

 For the trial in Bristol the organisers had laid out five routes up a dauntingly steep hill with ten Ďgatesí on each hill.  All the entrants had five runs at each hill with the best four on each hill to count.

 From the start the gates are progressively numbered 10, 9, 8 etc.  If you fail to get through gate 10 from the start you lose 10 points and if you clear gate 1 at the top of the hill you lose 0 points.  The winner at the end of the day being the person with the lowest score.


We passed scrutineering where each car is checked for a current MOT, all equipment on the car, especially items like the battery, are secure and that you have a fire extinguisher.  Tyre pressures are also checked with the minimum of 15psi having being decided by the Clerk of the Course.  Some of the old hands were asking for a reduction to 5psi but the pleas met with a firm refusal.

 We then made the first mistake being keen and very green by being one of the first to try a hill.  The grass was still damp with the morning dew and there was not a lot of grip.  We came to an ignominious halt at gate number 8.  We hadnít got far at all.

 As the morning progressed the grip improved as did our technique and level of skill and we finally made a clear run up one of the hills.  The sense of achievement as you pass the top gate and stop on the flat area at the top of the hill is unbelievable.  Having competed it is difficult to believe that it is possible for standard road cars to climb such steep grassy hills.

 There were 27 competitors and I am pleased to say that we didnít come last, but we were certainly well towards the bottom of the list. 

 We thoroughly enjoyed the event.  Itís non damaging for the car, cheap to enter and really tests you driving skills.  We are already booked for the next one.


contact John Dorney 01792 863387


© The Swansea Historic Vehicle Register 2009