The Auto 66 Club was formed in June 1966, hence the name. A group of enthusiasts keen to see Cars and Motorcycles being catered for under the same roof formed the club. In the first couple of years the main events were small car rallies, treasure hunts and vintage events for cars and motorcycles. The first major event was at Sledmere House near Driffield.
In 1968 the club ran its first motorcycle grass track, which was a tremendous success, the second event was run two months later and the club asked the ACU to observe the event and upgrade the club to National status, this was granted for the following year, when the club ran a round of the British Championships. After two years at National level the club became the first club in Great Britain to run an International Grass Track. This attracted all of the top names, Ivan Major, Ole Olsen, Peter Collins and Don Godden.
In 1970 the club gained the use of RAF Elvington near York, here the first Motorcycle Road Race was held, in June 1970. The ACU were asked again to observe the September meeting at Elvington and upgrade it to National status for the following season. The local critics thought that we had gone well over the top, but this was not so, the National event attracted one of the largest entries ever seen in the north with over 400 competitors, including up and coming stars, Tony Jefferies, Mick Grant and Barry Sheene.
The club ran Motorcycle Road Race meetings at Elvington for 27 years. Other events organised during the 70′ and 80′ included Motorcycle and Car Sprints, and a number of World Land Speed Record events.
By now the club was finding it very difficult to find suitable land for Grass Track Meetings, so they approached Filey Council with the idea of reviving Sand Racing on the beach, this was very popular before the war and during the 50’s. The club was welcomed with open arms by the people of Filey and ran very successful meetings. The Club ran a very successful British Championship events for a number of years.
The club are very proud of the many club members who started their career with the club and then went on to take British Championships, TT wins and World Championships. To name a few Tony Jefferies, Steve Ward, Phil Mellor, Mick Grant, Barry Sheene, Roger Marshall, Steve Henshaw, Barry and Derek Brindley,Steve Webster, Ian Lougher, David Jefferies and Chris Palmer. The club are also proud of the many TT Team awards that they have won over the last 25 years
The ambition of the club is to own its own Road Race Circuit. In the 70’s the club successfully applied for planning permission, and opened the Carnaby Raceway at Bridlington, which was a 1.5 mile circuit. Once again against all of the critics views the club made the venue a roaring success, with a number of British Championship meetings. The BBC televised the British Championship live for two days, the only event other than a Grand Prix, in the UK ever to have two days live coverage. The club also ran RAC British Car Sprint Championships and Kart Championships at Carnaby, before the East Yorkshire Borough Council decided that they wanted to develop the land for industry.
With the closure of Carnaby Raceway the club decided to put all of its resources into the famous Oliver’s Mount circuit at Scarborough. In the 70s the club bought a third share of the newly formed Scarborough Racing Circuits Ltd, since then the club have gone on to acquire all of the shares, and have developed meetings to a very high standard. In 1996 it was the 50th Anniversary of Motorcycle Road Racing at Oliver’s Mount and the meeting was one of the biggest successes seen in Great Britain.
In 2000 Oliver’s Mount will be celebrating the 50th running of the International Gold Cup in September, where all the past winners will be invited. A definite starter is the first winner of Gold Cup, Geoff Duke who will ride a works Norton and the Gilera 4, also in the line-up will be John Surtees, who will also ride a works Norton and also one of the famous MV Agusta’s.
A Museum of Legends a multi-million pound development is in the early stages of planning and it is hoped that this will be built adjacent to the Competitors paddock at Oliver’s Mount. The museum will house bikes and memorabilia from the first meetings, which were won by Denis Parkinson and Syd Barnett. There will also be a special feature built around Barry Sheene’s many wins at the Scarborough circuit.
Over the years the Club have promoted a number of Motocross events in the region and have recently revived part of the old scramble course at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough, which has been up-dated for the modern machines. The Club run three meetings a year at this venue. It is hoped to add another track in East Yorkshire in the near future enabling the Club to run its own in-house Championship for local competitors.
At the end of 2000 the Club started negotiations to use part of the Army School of Driving Establishment at Leconfield at Beverly East Yorkshire. Once permission had been granted and the local authority were happy club members set about designing a new road race and sprint circuit – this was used for the first time in April 2001.
2001 was a very successful season. The club organised a number of meetings at the new Carnaby-Two circuit at Leconfield, when as well as road racing, the Club organised a very successful Car Sprint. Sprints were also revived on the Long Circuit at Elvington and Club members spent the early part of the season repairing the surface. The sprint circuit uses the majority of the original road race circuit at Elvington, which was used in the late 70’s early 80’s. At the end of the season a very successful road race was run on the circuit, which brought back many memories of Barry Sheene, Mick Grant, Steve Ward, Phil Mellor, the Padgett’s and, of course, all the sidecar boys who learnt their trade on the Elvington circuit, including World Champion Steve Webster.
The Club’s motorcycle Sprint and Hill Climb section also expanded in 2001. The club were very successful in negotiating the use of Brough, nr Hull, famous for its road racing in the 50’s when Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Cyril Smith, Eric Oliver and the likes were the top runners of the day. Another young man who started his career at Brough in the 500cc car class was Stirling Moss. The season was rounded off with a very successful but wet Hill Climb in Dalby Forest, where the club managed to negotiate a very picturesque three-quarter mile tarmac area. This venue was voted one of the best by the majority of competitors.
Super Moto racing was added to the Club’s events in 2002. The Club was one of the first to run Super Moto way back in 1989, when a very successful Euro Challenge event was run at Langbaurgh on Teesside. Unfortunately, Super Moto in the UK did not catch on at the time, so the event was put on the back burner until such times as it became more popular.
Another record was set in 2002 when Ian Lougher became the first rider to win 50 races at Oliver’s Mount, a record that will be hard to beat.
The Yorkshire Speed Hill Climb and Sprint Championship for both cars and bikes was introduced by the Club in 2002, which was very well supported and has become established as the highlight of future Hill Climb and Sprint seasons.
2003 saw the Club organising the ACU Centenary celebrations, which were part of the Scarborough International Bike Week in September. As well as the celebrations, the week included the Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s Festival of 1,000 Bikes and a Harley Davidson Rally. The week started with a Super Moto event at Oliver’s Mount on the Saturday and Sunday saw the Super Prix Beach Race on the South Bay beach. For the first time the Scarborough Borough Council allowed the promenade to be totally closed to traffic to allow the Vintage and Harley Davidson rallies. It was estimated over 30,000 visited the South Bay on that day. The International Gold Cup rounded off the week when the Patron of the ACU, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, presented the awards and also unveiled the Barry Sheene Memorial Plaque.
2003 also saw an action packed programme at Carnaby Two which included a round of the National Car Sprint Championship.
2004 produced some really good racing particularly at Carnaby Two and Cadwell Park. The club hosted an invitation Sprint Meeting for the Vintage Car Club at Elvington Park, this attracted a huge entry of very special vehicles from Austin Sevens to ERA’s and Napier Realtons. Bike Week moved back to the summer months with it’s usual parade of bikes, Breakfast Runs plus the Hill Climbs in Dalby Forest and at Olivers Mount. The week once again was rounded off with a superb Road Race meeting, The Cock of the North.
2005 saw an extended road races programme with 4 days of racing at Cadwell Park and for the first time in October a car and bike sprint which attracted the best competitors in the country. A new trophy was presented to the club in remembrance of Ian Watson who started racing with the club in 1986 and supported most of the events throughout his racing career, Ian was also a member of the winning club team at the senior TT in 2004, unfortunately Ian lost his life in a road accident close to home. The club decided to not only accept the trophy but to name the Spring National in memory of him.
The club celebrated it’s 40th Anniversary in 2006 along with the 10th Anniversary of International Bike Week and the 60th Anniversary of racing on the famous Olivers Mount Circuit, an action packed calendar of over 50 event days was enjoyed by fans from all over Europe. The 40th Anniversary kicked off at the Spring National where members from past and present were invited to come along and enjoy the Hill Climb and Racing. The main celebration came at Olivers Mount in September for the 56th running of the International Gold Cup which celebrated the 60th year of racing on the famous track. The 50th Anniversary was celebrated by riders from the 40’s and 50’s, including the parades with Giacomo Agostini, Andy McGladdery,Robert Dunlop, Allan McDonald, Austin Hockley, Dean Ashton, John Cronshaw, Jim Moodie, Phillip McCallen, Mick Grant, Charlie Williams, Terry Groetfeld, Gary Long, Les Trotter, Derek Chatterton, David Bedlington and James Whitam. A superb meeting and one to build on for the next celebration the 60th running of The Gold Cup in 2010.
The big disappointment in 2006 was the non availability of tracks to run the Supermoto fixtures on this has not deterred the club as they will continue to work on finding suitable venues, one of the highlights of the year was the 5th round of the National BYMX British Junior Moto X Championship at Olivers Mount on 1st & 2nd July the start of Bike Week, members worked round the clock for 2 days prior to the meeting soaking the trackl with water in an attempt to keep down the dust, they managed to succeed but it was an all night exercise on the Friday. This was a very memorable meeting and was the last Moto X to be run at Olivers Mount.
After the success of the Barry Sheene Trophy races at the previous two years Cock of the North events the club decided to run a meeting dedicated purely to classic racing and the Sheene Trophy, this event was the opener for International Bike Week, a good entry was received including Ian Lougher, John Cronshaw, Mick Grant, Guy Martin, Chris Palmer, Vernon Glashier and Bill Swallow, originally this was to be a one day affair but after demands from riders and the public, permission was granted from the local council to extend the racing an extra day this proved to be a success as the club attracted many visitors from all parts of Europe
Since 2006 the club have been putting all their efforts into development of the circuits introducing more safety measures at the same time, keeping on top of the normal action packed seasons events. The facilities at Olivers Mount was the main aim, resurfacing the Paddock and adding electricity points for the competitors in readiness for the 60th anniversary at the September Gold Cup in 2010. The theme of the celebrations was to get away from the Champions that had appeared at the 50th and bring in riders from the 80s and 90s, these included Carl Foggarty, Mick Grant, Jamie Whitham, Nick Jefferies, Phil McCallen, Roger Marshall, Bill Robertson plus many more local riders from that era. This meeting also celbated the 25th Anniversary of the Steve Henshaw Trophy and all riders in the parade were presented with a Rosette by Val Henshaw who also rode in the parade on a Ducati TT2.
with the growing success of racing at Oliver’s Mount and the raid cost to hire circuits etc. the club felt that in the early 2000s it would be better to put all it resources into devolving Oliver’s Mount. this was mainly down to Evington become to dangerous to race at which put riders off from entering and of course noise issues made the club finally make the decision no the go to the York circuit anymore. the committee decided to stream line club & not get involved in off road events and only organise tarmac events. the club also asked PMH Promotions to put together a championship package which over the last few years has grown and worked very well. this started with the Hill Climb which is the Northern Bike & Northern Counties. on the road race side the UK Road & Track series was put together to allow comps who like racing on the roads, Ireland, Isle of Man & Scarborough, but also liked short circuits. This has been very successful has grown from strength to strength. the Sidecar series was created and has been a tremendous success also a solo F1 & F2 was made for a couple of years which has not been as a success and will be re vamped for 2017.
a lot of new development has taken place at Oliver’s Mount including new paths from the Esses to the jumps, replacing steps to quarry bridge repainting of all toilet and shower blocks and fencing changed and updated in certain areas. a number of new marshals points have been put in to replace old pones. the new ones are made of brick and with a wire mesh catch cage round the top. a bigger run off area has been put in just before farm bends and a link road to the new helipad. this road is linked direct to the medical centre. this has also made enough grass land in the area to become Paddock A where all officials and VIP can be parked. this will free space up in B paddock meaning more room for competitors.
electronic start lights and message board have been installed at the tower and in the future it is hoped what electronic communications will be placed at Mere Hairpin and Quarry Hill.
in 2015 a new venue was found for the dinner dance and award ceremony. the awards presented at the Royal Hotel Scarborough which was a complete sell out and previous Friday we had a one of chat show with Steve Parrish. the club have decided the 2016 awards will be held at the same place.