Formed in 1939
The 750 Motor Club was formed in 1939 as a means for 'the impecunious Austin Seven enthusiast' to meet like-minded individuals and talk about things Seven-ish and motoring related. It wasn't long before such discussions led to the notion of competition, but for the financially-challenged membership these proposed 'races' naturally had to involve an extremely small outlay. Such competition therefore took the form of road rallies and trials, although the 'specials' builder was already in evidence at circuit meetings, with both mildly and heavily modified Austin Sevens.
The War Years
The outbreak of WWII brought all forms of motorsport to halt, but the 750 Motor Club continued to meet at pubs in the London area, albeit with most of the membership arriving on bicycles. After the war, the Club continued to grow under the leadership of chairman Holly Birkett who, in 1949 was to come up with three ideas that were to have quite an influence on motorsport at the more affordable end of the scale. One of these helped launch the Club nationwide and allowed expansion into self-run meetings, whilst the other two still remain equally popular each season to this day.
Early Race Days
The first of these was that a consortium of the lesser motoring clubs should group together to organise a race meeting at Silverstone, which up until then was the sole preserve of the bigger and longer established clubs. Thus was born the 'Eight Clubs Meeting'. Secondly, Holly came up with the proposal of a 750 Formula , a two seater sports-racing car powered by the 750cc Austin Seven engine and based around the Seven chassis. This provided an outlet for the skills of the home constructor and special builder, and a number of members who are now well known figures in international motorsport started life as 750 Motor Club members in this golden era of ingenuity.
Perhaps the most famous of these was Colin Chapman whose innovative interpretation of the regulations allowed him to blitz the opposition various times in Club competition. After a number of Austin Seven Specials, his first re-titled 'Lotus Mk1' was a trials car competing within the 750MC, with every single Lotus road model to date in the Chapman and post-Chapman era going on to compete with 750 Motor Club.
The Relay Races
Holly's third idea was for a Now in its 68th year of running still titled as the six-hour relay race. 'Birkett Six-Hour Relay Race', Holly's masterstroke was the handicap format that allowed every team to have a chance of winning. Whilst there is still a 'scratch' winner overall, the handicap element ensures that teams can be as varied as possible and enter any closed-wheel car. Often described as the last bastion of British motorsport, typical Birkett race photos have included everything from an Austin A30 going wheel-to-wheel with a TCR Touring car, teams of Smart cars battling Caterhams, or a Jaguar XJS trying to hunt down a Mini.
Thriving in 2023
The Club's first club formula – the – is still thriving today and is the longest running championship in the world - older than F1! Now on its third generation of engine (Fiat 1100cc FIRE) as supplies of Austin and second-generation Reliant engines started to diminish, the previous two generations of Reliant-powered and Austin Seven-based 750 Formula cars still race today in our 750 Formula Historic 750 Formula.
Various new formulae have been developed and introduced over the years and these days , from more than 20 series and championship are now available single seaters, to Formula Vee , a Locost Racing and Hot Hatch Championship - the UK's largest championship. As well as the ensuring the highest quality experience with the largest grids and friendliest paddock, the focus still remains on leading the way in terms of affordable motorsport, whether via capitalising on an affordable new model, or investing in our own mobile rolling road to pioneer a switch to power-to-weight classes rather than capacity, and reduce competitor spending as a result. Club Enduro
Introduced for 2020, the Club's Foundation Programme brings in new competitors with an all-inclusive package comprising car, entry fees and ARDS/race kit for novices for the first time - read what Motorsport UK had to say 'In The Spotlight' here.
Roll of Honour
Since it was founded in 1939, the Club has always attracted aspiring engineers and innovators who have used their skills to develop new ideas for car and engine design. Over the years a number of the members have 'graduated' and gone on to make a name for themselves in the motor sport business.
Adrian Reynard - Founder of Reynard Racing: FF1600, FF2000, F3, F3000, and CART winners, and a recent competitor in 750MC's Bikesports Championship in a self-developed Radical. A current Vice President of the 750 Motor Club.
Arthur Mallock - Founder of Mallock Racing, the foremost manufacturer of F1300 and Clubmans cars.
Eric Broadley - Founder of Lola and designed the GT40 that devastated the Ferraris at Le Mans in the late sixties. Won the Indycar Championship in 1993 with Nigel Mansell at the wheel.
Colin Chapman - Founder of Lotus; with countless cars and innovations, from early Club success to F1 and iconic road cars.
Derek Bennett - Founder of Chevron Cars, from sports cars to F1.
John Miles - Former Team Lotus F1 driver, sportscar champion, estemeed road tester and vehicle dynamics guru, John cut his racing and engineering teeth with an Austin Seven and 750MC, and the Club always remained close to his heart until his sad passing in 2018. Having nurtured young driving and engineering talent with a series of awards and generous donations to competitors across the last decade, 'The John Miles Young Driver Award' still continues in his memory.
Tony Southgate - The 750MC's current President, he designed the Jaguar XJRs that took victory at Le Mans in 1988. Other work includes the Group C Toyotas, the Ferrari 333SP and the Lister Storm. Also designed the Yardley-BRM, the first Shadow GP car, and the first Arrows. He was also at Lotus for a time and designed the 'Gurney Eagle'.
Brian Hart - Learnt his trade building and racing an 1172 Formula special in 750 Motor Club, before going on to design and build F1 engines.
Gordon Murray - Legendary F1 designer, designed the Brabham cars in the 1970s and early '80s. More recently designed the Rocket and the McLaren F1 for McLaren Cars. In GTR form this car won Le Mans.
Lee Noble - Designer of Ultima and Noble Sportscars, the early models of which were raced by Noble in the 750MC Kit Car Championship.
Jem Marsh - Founder of Marcos Cars whose 600LM became a formidable GT race car.
Frank Costin - Joint founder of Marcos. Aerodynamicist who gave the Vanwall its shape, and was responsible for a number of bodywork designs in the 1960s. Brother of Mike Costin, who was one half of Cosworth Engineering and also a 750 Motor Club member.
Mike Pilbeam - Worked for the Lotus, Surtees, and BRM design teams before setting up Pilbeam Racing Designs in 1975. His cars continue to dominate hillclimbs.
Phil Abbott and Mick Hyde - Founders of Radical Sportscars; the early models of which were developed for 750 Motor Club Championships and driven by the duo.
750 Motor Club President
Viv Ayres, Ian Nelson, Robin Knight, Keith Messer, Marcus Pye, Adrian Reynard, Mike Whatley