The Royal Automobile Club paid tribute to the best of the United Kingdom’s historic motoring and motorsport world on November 24 at a swanky celebration at its Pall Mall clubhouse to announce the winners of the Club’s 2022 Historic Awards. And, with the wealth of skills, creativity and sheer enthusiasm to be found in the UK, there was plenty to celebrate, especially the many initiatives to involve the next generation in the classic car movement.
There was a bittersweet moment when the Personal Endeavour Award, presented by the Royal Automobile Club, was handed to Sarah Jane Adams-Diffey for the creation of the Simon Diffey Heritage Motorsport Apprentice Award she created in memory of her late husband Simon.
The Young Achiever Award (supported by 1762 RBC Brewin Dolphin and StarterMotor) went to 29-year-old William Heynes, who opened his Jaguar renovation and servicing workshop William Heynes Ltd. in August last year, after scouring the country for affordable equipment. The judges commented, “Now there’s a new William Heynes – a young man who works just as hard on Jaguars as his namesake grandfather.”
The award for Competitive Event (supported by A. Lange & Söhne) was presented to the Rally the Globe Generations Rally 2022, with the judges commenting, “The Generations Rally brought smiles to the faces of everyone involved. The requirement that every car must have two occupants from different generations ensured that there were many newcomers having their first taste of competitive motor sport. As an introduction to classic rallying, it was superb.”
Amongst many other categories, the evening culminated with the presentation of the Royal Automobile Club Lifetime Achievement Award. The 2022 recipient was Simon Taylor. From being appointed editor of Autosport at the young age of 23 in 1968, through publishing What Car? in 1973, devising Classic & Sports Car in 1982 and becoming Chairman of Haymarket Magazines in 1995, Simon has fuelled motorists’ passions over almost 60 years. A ‘petrolhead’ before the term was invented, Simon became well-known for his enthusiasm and quick wits among the wider public after he began commentating on Formula 1 for BBC Radio from 1976 for 20 years, moving over to ITV commentary in 1997. In 2002 he became a full-time writer, his columns and interviews appearing in Classic & Sports Car and Motor Sport, and developed a parallel life as a book author, with acclaimed titles on topics including his beloved HWM, Goodwood, Stirling Moss, and the Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb.
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