Alastair McHardy

1938 - ....

Files courtesy of his daughter: Fiona Dimmock

According to his daughter, Fiona Dimmock, he went into the army at 15 where he rallied, did motorbike trials and did some karting.
"Leaving the army he bought a lightweight TVR Grantura, which was raced successfully (this is also in his scrap book but I have just sent you the Imp pieces). The Grantura blew up, so he then raced a Sebring Sprite, which he was reunited with 1st October 2015 at Goodwood.

When he went to work for Adcock's Garage in Chichester (who where part of the Rootes Group) in 1966, they knew about his racing background. They asked him if he would be interested in racing an Imp for them. And so the Imp racing career began."

Mr. Alastair K. McHardy worked in 1968 as salesmanager for Adcock's Garages (Chichester).
Adcocks was the main Rootes dealer in West Sussex: Hillman, Humber, Sunbeam-Talbot, Commer, Karrier. Later, 1970, they dealt in Chrysler, Humber, Plymouth, Sunbeam, Hillman. They sold Shell fuel. Since 1964 they were 1 of 15 dealerships who sold Hartwell Imp conversions (according to an advert in Motor of August 22, 1964). And they were a Weathershields fitting agent for Imp sunroofs.
A spokesman for Adcock's said that good support for their race entries had been received from local firms. For 1968 throughout the season they were planning to enter the Imp at various meetings.

McHardy's Hillman Imp was white and blue.

 1st race on the new circuit of Thruxton



Chichester Hill Climb, Sunday, June 20th

[Not sure about the year. 20th June was a Sunday in 1965; but September 15 was a Wednesday in 1965 - though it may have been a holiday: 1940-09-15 Tide turns in Battle of Britain in WW II RAF beats Luftwaffe?]

Chichester Motoring Club opened a new hill course on Sunday 20th June: from Old Ditcham up to Sunwood Farm.


Class A often had both 851-1,000 c.c. and up to 850 c.c. in the same race.

Thruxton motor race 1968, Sunday, March 17

The British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) negotiated with the owners of the Truxton airfield, as a replacement for Goodwood was needed. The planning for the new circuit (2.356 miles) was only finalised by October 1967. The deadline was March 1st. (Normal flying traffic continued.) The Practice Day was on March 2nd, two weeks before the first race. On the day of the races, practice started at 9AM exact.

Saloon cars up to 1000cc
The Janspeed Mini Ford of Geoff Mabbs had an excessive oil leak and was pushed off the grid. On the second row, Alastair McHardy's Hillman Imp now had no one in front of him. McHardy stayed in the lead for all 10 laps. The Sunbeam Imp driven by Peter Bevan finished 2nd. Brian Cutting, starting from the very back of the grid, finished 3rd in another Imp with only 850cc. in class B.
There were 10,000 spectators for this first Thruxton motor race meeting, despite the cold, windy day with showers.

McHardy's Imp was entered by Adcocks Garages Ltd. of East Street, Chichester.

The up-to-1 liter race was not part of a championship, even though it was a BARC meeting.

Pos.No. Cl.DriverCarFastest laplapsgapMPH
13AAlastair McHardyHillman Imp 1 min. 43.8 sec.1020 sec.81.71
??APeter BevanSunbeam Imp?10??
last?BBrian CuttingImp?10??

Gale force start at B.A.R.C. Thruxton. - Motoring News Thursday, 21st March 1968

Thruxton début / by Jeff Hutchinson


McHardy at Thruxton
fish-eye photo of McHardy at Thruxton 
Same photo, but with a fish eye lens 

Brands Hatch BARC Clubman's Car Races, 1968 Sunday, April 28th

Class A: Saloon Car 851 cc to 1000 cc
10 laps

ResultsNo. Cl. Entrant DriverCar CC Fastest laplapsgapMPH
2nd 75 AM. RaymondAustin Cooper S 997 59.4 s.; 75.5 mph10  10 14.8
4th 76A I. BaxAustin Cooper S 997 10  10 36.8
  77 A M. Hayselden Austin Cooper S 997   10  
3rd 78 A Adcock's of Chichester A. Hardy Hillman Imp 998   10   10 15.2
  79 A P. Bevan Sunbeam Imp 998   10    
  80 A Speedsport conversions P. Hawthorne Morris Cooper S 99.   10    
  81 A R.E. Mead Ford Anglia 99.  10  
1st82AT. HarmerAustin Cooper S 97.  10  10 14.8


Hillclimb Chichester Motor Club - 1st Meeting: 16th June 68

Up the hill from Old Ditcham to Sunwood Farm: opening the new Hill climb course on behalf of Chichester Motor Club. The hill is part of the Ditcham Park Estate, on the Hampshire - Sussex border, near Petersfield.

Best time of the dayTony Marsh4.2 Marsh Special30.22
FWD Saloon 1000Andy ElwinCooper S39.04
FWD Saloon over 1000Francis WilsonCooper S41.66
RWD Saloon 1200Alistair McHardyImp36.03
RWD Saloon over 1200Alan MussardAnglia 165036.22
Prod SptsIan KeanMidget40.61
 Mike DayTVR Tuscan V836.09
Spts RcgPeter VoightDRW Imp35.40
 Tim Westbury-JonesLotus 737.70
 Mike BarkerAlton Jaguar36.66
Rcg 1100Tom FackrellCooper JAP41.56
 Lloyd RichardsLotus 3137.22

BTD Tony Marsh (4.2 Marsh Spl) 30.22 FWD Saloon 1000 Andy Elwin (Cooper S) 39.04 Over 1000cc Francis Wilson (Cooper S) 41.66 RWD Saloon 1200cc Alistair McHardy (Imp) 36.03 Over 1200cc Alan Mussard (Anglia 1650) 36.22 Prod Spts Ian Kean (Midget) 40.61 Mike Day (TVR Ruscan) 36.09 Spts Rcg Peter Voight (DRW Imp) 35.40 Tim Westbury-Jones (Lotus 7) 37.70 Mike Barker (Alton Jaguar) 36.66 Rcg 1100 Tom Fackrell (Cooper JAP) 41.56 Lloyd Richards (Lotus 31) 37.22 > Marsh

Thruxton motor race Sunday, 1968 July 7th

BARC Motor racing - Saloon Car Race 'A'
According to the programme booklet for this race, the lap record for
851-1000cc was held by Alastair McHardy (Hillman Imp): 1 min. 39.4 sec., 85.33 m.p.h.
up to 850cc was held by Ted Hill (Hillman Imp): 1 min. [photo does not show]

851-1000 cc:
37Adcocks of ChichesterAlastair McHardyHillman Imp998white/blue
38Roger Nathan Racing Ltd.Liane EngemanHillman Imp998red
39Michael FordHillman998green/yellow
42Martin RaymondAustin Cooper S999black/blue
43Michael TurnerAustin Cooper S999blue/green
44Team 848Mike EvansAustin Cooper S999red/white
45John MannersAustin Cooper S999red/black
46Chris InchAustin Mini999yellow
48John WinesAustin Seven998green/white
51M. ChittendenMorris Minor 1000998blue
52Leslie FranklinMorris Cooper S999green
54Peter VannMorris Mini984blue/white
Up-to-850 cc:
57B. CuttingTed HillHillman Imp850white
59Andrew CranstoneHillman Imp846blue
60Team 848Brian VawerAustin Cooper848green/white
61Team 848Jeffery CartwrightAustin Mini850silver/blue
62Rodney LoveAustin Mini850blue/orange
63Conway HallAustin Mini848blue/yellow
64C. AndrewsDaniel PearceAustin Mini848yellow/black
65Roger SaundersAustin Mini848red/black
66John Peachy-AustingMorris Mini850white/green
68Trevor MooreMorris Mini848red
69Michael HallettMorris Mini848blue/white

Weather conditions: slight rain, track remaining very wet

Position     TimeSpeed 
OverallClassNo.EntrantDriverCarmsec. m.p.h.note
1stA142Martin RaymondAustin Cooper S1452.676.02 
2ndA254Peter VannMorris Mini1453.2  
3rdA337Adcocks of ChichesterAlastair McHardyHillman Imp1515.4  
4thB166John Peachey-AustingMorris Mini1516.674.03 
5thA444Team 848Mike EvansAustin Cooper S1517.8  
6thA546Chris InchAustin Mini1527.6  
7thA638Roger Nathan Racing Ltd.Liane EngmanHillman Imp1601.2  
8thA752Leslie FranklinMorris Cooper S1616.8  
9thA845John MannersAustin Cooper S1636.4  
10thB261Team 848Jeffery CartwrightAustin Mini1501.2 7 laps
11thA951M. ChittendenMorris Minor 10001538.4 7 laps
12thA1039Michael FordHillman Imp1705.4 7 laps; (incl. 1 min. penalty)

This completes the list of finishers.

Non-starters: 43; 59; 60; 63; 64; 68

Lap leaders
 lap 1lap 2lap 3lap 4lap 5lap 6lap 7lap 8

Alastair McHardy (no. 37); Truxton, 7th July 1968

Thruxton motor race 1968, Sunday, August 4th

Threatening skies, but dry; a large crowd

Saloon cars - 8 laps

...A qualifying round for the Osram-G.E.C. saloon championship, his first of the tin-top races was divided into two classes, up to 850 c.c. and 851-1,000 c.c. Sitting pole with a time under the existing class record was John Chappel's Mini, with the Adcocks of Chichester Hillman Imp, driven by Alastait McHardy, also under the bogy time beside him. Peter Vann completed the front row, while fastest 850s, equalling the lap record in practice, were John Peachey-Austing's Mini and Keith Holland's Fraser Imp.

Trouble struck on the grid with Brian Cutting's 850 Imp was wheeled off with a blown head gasket, and Bill Durst's ver standard-looking Fiat 850 succumbed to wheel trouble. Mike Hallett's Mini wet out with a broken oil seal, and then Chappel's engine wouldn't fire and the rest of the field screeched off leaving him to be pushed-started and docked a minute.

McHardy snatched an immediate lead from Chris Inch's second-row Mini and Peter Vann, with Holland fourth and leading the 850s, just, from Peter Wilcox's 1-litre Mini and Graham Ayes'850 example. Inch shouldered past the blue and grey Imp by the completion of lap 2, and Vann was snapping at McHardy's heels. This trio had left the next bunch, containing Holland, Wilcox, Ayres and Peachey-Austing, and were drawing away steadily, Vann also passing the Imp to make it a B.M.C. one-two on lap three. Wilcox had got past the smaller-engined Imp, which had Ayres and Peachey-Austing right up its exhaust, and on lap four Vann and McHardy gor the better of of Inch's yellow Mini and took the lead as Holland nipped back in front of Wilcox, and Ayres spun under braking for Club and lost contact.

Vann and McHardy completed lap five inches apart with Inch trailing slightly with a wooly-sounding motor, and John Chappel, who had been eighth on lap three, had scratched up into fourth place behind him. Holland still held his advantage from Wilcox and as Graham Ayres entered the chicane again after his earlier spin, he lost the lot and went nose-first into the barrier, bending the body but escaping personal injury.

On lap severn McHardy outfumbled Vann into the Club chicane in a well-judged effort and led over the line with Inch dropping further away in third place and being closed on by Chappel. As they came up to the line for the last time McHardy had pulled out quite a lead to win by 1.6 sec. from Vann, while Inch held third place from Chappel who was right behind on the road but was docked his minute, dropping to 12th in the results. Holland won his class, finishing fourth overall, only 0.2 sec. ahead of Wilcox's 1-litre Mini. Chappel and Holland both got new class lap records.

1. A. McHardy (Hillman Imp), 13 m. 0.0s., 84.82 m.p.h.
2. P. Vann (Morris Mini)
3. C. Inch (Austin Mini)
4. K. Holland (Hillman Imp)
Fastest lap: J. Chappel (Austin Mini), 1m. 37.0s, 87.44 m.p.h., new class record

Up to 850 c.c. Class:
1. Holland, 13m. 36.0s (83.15 m.p.h.)
2. J. Peachy-Austing (Morris Mini)
3. C. Hall (Austin Mini)
4. R. Fox (Austin Mini)
Fastest lap: Holland, 1m. 40.4s. (84.48 m.p.h. (record)

851-1,000 c.c. Class:
1. McHardy
2. Vann
3. Inch
4. P. Wilcox (Austin Cooper)
Fastest lap: Chappel

OverallNo. Cl. Entrant DriverCar CC Fastest laplapsmin. sec.MPH
1st 41 A1 Adcock's of Chichester Alastair HardyHillman Imp  813 20.084.82
2nd63 A2 Peter VannMorris Mini   8 13 21.6 
3rd 54 A3 Chris Inch  Austin Mini   8 13 25.6 
4th 68 B1 Alan Fraser Keith Holland Hillman Imp   8 13 36.0 83.15
5th 52 A4 Janspeed Engineering Ltd. Peter Wilcox Austin Cooper   8 13 36.2 
6th 79 B2 John Peachy-Austing  Morris Mini   8 14 02.4 
7th 61 A5 Ian Pettie Morris Cooper   8 14 05.0 
8th 74 B3 Conway Hall Austin Mini   8 14 06.2 
9th 56 A6 John Wines Austin Mini   8 14 08.2 
10th 75 B4 Bob Fox Austin Mini   8 14 08.8 
11th 80 B5 Gerry Allen Austin Mini   8 14 30.0 
12th 55 A7 John Chappel  Austin Mini   8 14 25.4
inc. 1 min. penalty
13th 42 A8 Michael Ford  Hillman Imp   8 15 05.6 
14th 59 A9 Martyn Crosthwaite  Morris Cooper S   7 13 29.2 

This completes the list of finishers

Non-starters: 45, 48, 49, 66, 76, 70, 67. 81

BARC Finals; Thruxton, 1968, October 13th

A qualifying round of the Osram-GEC BARC saloon car Championship
slightly overcast, dry
Class A: 851-1000 cc
Class B: up to 850 cc
8 laps

PositionCl. Entrant DriverCar c.c. Fastest laplapsTimeSpeed
OverallNo. Cl. min. sec. m.p.h.
1st1A1The Steering Wheel Club (West Bromwich)Lawrence HickmanFord Anglia    13 06.2 86.30
2nd23B1Alan FraserKeith HollandHillman Imp 1 min. 40.2 sec.
84.65 m.p.h.
(new lap record)
  13 36.4 83.11
3rd4A2Adcocks of ChichesterAlastair McHardyHillman Imp    13 39.2  
4th21B2 Team HartwellRay Payne Hillman Imp    13 53.2  
5th25B3Janspeed Engineering Ltd.Graham AyresAustin Mini    13 59.0  
6th26B4Stephen MarshallAustin Mini    14 07.2  
7th14A3Chris InchPeter WilcoxAustin Mini    14 34.6  
8th30B5Trevor MooreMorris Mini    1454.4 
9th28B6Thomas JayAustin Mini   7 13 26.0  
10th27B7Derek BennettAustin Mini   7 13 52.4  
11th22B8Bill KepplerHillman Imp   5 16 29.0  
DNF19APeter VannMorris Mini 1 min. 36.0 sec.
88.35 m.p.h.
(new lap record)

This completes the list of finishers.
Retirements (Laps completed in brackets):
Cars no. 12 (7 laps); 19 (7 laps); 29 (1 lap)
3, 5, 6, 9, 16
Race incidents:
Car No. 22 (Bill Keppler) was push started after the rest of the field had left the grid.
Car No. 29 (John Peaching-Austing) spun at Club on his first lap and continued. He retired to the pits on his second lap with a broken fan belt.
Car No. 22 (Bill Keppler) called on the pits on his second lap with fuel trouble. He rejoined the race later.
Cars No. 12 (John Chappell) and No. 19 (Peter Vann) touched at Club corner on their last lap and retired, drivers unhurt.
Lap records:
Keith Holland broke his own class lap record, previously held with a time of 1 min 40.4 secs. (84.48 m.p.h.).
Peter Vann broke John Chappell (Austin Mini)'s class lap record, which was 1 min. 37.0 secs. (87.44 m.p.h.).

  lap 1 lap 2 lap 3 lap 4 lap 5 lap 6 lap 7 lap 8


Thruxton, 26th May: 100km Osram-GEC Trophy

A BARC national British race meeting, part of the Osram-G.E.C. saloon Car Championship.

Position    TimeSpeed 
1stA175George BevanBill McGovernSunbeam Imp1312.085.6 
2ndA276Adcocks of ChichesterAlastair McHardyHillman Imp1331.2  
3rdA389John Peachey-AustingMorris Mini1331.2  
4thA481Bill SydenhamAustin Cooper S1336.4  
5thA577Bill KepplerHillman Imp1402.6  
6thB198Ginger MarshallAustin Mini1407.680.6 
7thB291John StantonJohn AnsteadFiat Abarth 8501433.0  
8thB3100Andrew WheldonMorris Mini1500.0  
9thA684Jeremy BeanAustin Cooper1313.4 7 laps
10thA790John StantonWally HallMorris Mini1331.4 7 laps
11thB496George WillsAustin Mini1500.0 5 laps

This completes the list of finishers.

Non-starters: 78; 92; 95; 99
Retirements: Car No. 94 (3 laps completed)


Osram GEC or Osram/BARC Special Saloon Car Championship started as one of several series for saloons in the late 60's early 70's.

Looking at 1970 the front runners were perhaps:
Gerry Marshall - Viva; Roger Williamson - Anglia; Terry McNally -Anglia; Ray Payne - Imp; Geoff Wood -Vitamin; Richard Longman - Cooper S; Roy Pierpoint - Traco Rover; David Brodie - Escort; etc.
the 1.0 litre class had four front runners, all Imps: John Turner, Andy Holloway, Alistair McHardy, and Payne.

Alastair McHardy was 3rd in class (CLASS C: 851 to 1000 cc) with his Hillman Imp - 15 points.

Thruxton, Speed Fair June 14th

 Alastair McHardy, June 1970
 Alastair McHardy, Adcocks of Chichester Imp; 1970 June

On Sunday the 14th of June BARC held the Speed Fair 'Motor Racing at its best'. A warm and sunny day. Race 4 (8 laps) was the Special Saloon Car Race. It had competitors of four classes (!). Class A: Over 1300cc (4 entrants); Class B: 1001-1300cc (16); Class C: 851-1000cc (14); Class D: Up-to-850cc (3).

Class C
175V.M.W. Motors (Racing Division)Vince WoodmanFord Escort997white/blue
177Adcocks of ChichesterAlstair McHardyHillman Imp998white/blue
178Peter DemusHillman Imp998white/orange
179Anthony PearceBL Mini Clubman984yellow/white
180Pino ScarpinoEntrant or John MannersAustin Cooper S999orange
181Jim BalmerAustin Cooper S999red/white
182Ian ScottAustin Cooper S999purple
183Stuart Hayman (2nd reserve)Austin Cooper998red/white
184C.S.M.A. Racing Team Ltd.Patrick ShortAustin Cooper998blue/white
185Cyril WillmottJack WinesAustin Cooper970white/green
186Peter KeikMorris Cooper S999blue/black
187Jan Speed Engineering Ltd.Graham Ayres (7th Reserve)Austin Cooper S999red/black
188David IngsMorris Cooper998maroon
189Edward Hayward (3rd Reserve)Morris Cooper970pink

the final round at Thruxton on October 11

McHardy competed against John Turner and Ray Payne in Imps, and Richard Longman and Peter Vann in Minis.



The last time that Alastair McHardy raced the Imp, ended in an accident. Adcocks of Chichester decided that it was too badly damaged to repair. McHardy did buy himself a Formula Ford after that [when?], but never raced it. He failed his medical, due to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.


The car that crashed at 100 m.p.h.

newspaper article in The Promotor

The astonishing thing about these pictures of a Hillman Imp, taken at Chichester garage, is not how much but how little it is damaged.
For it crashed into another car while traveling at around 100 miles per hour.
Also incredible is the fact that the driver sustained only a broken ankle.

The Imp, sponsored by Adcocks Garages Ltd. of East Street, Chichester, and driven by 31-year-old Alistair McHardy of Selsey, was taking part in the Osram-GEC saloon car championship at Brands Hatch when it happened.

The fact that so little damage was done and the driver only slightly injured, is an outstanding tribute to the design of the car and to the efficiency of the seat belt manufactured by Wingards of Chichester.

Alistair McHardy is sales manager at Adocks. He is a skilled racing driver with a first-class reputation in motor-sport. Driving the Imp, he won the first Osram-GEC champioship at Thruxton and was in thord place in the qualifiers for this year's event.

Refused stretcher

He and Mr. Nigel Eaton, company secretary of the firm, are members of the small team at Adcocks whose hard work and enthusiasm have enabled the Imp to chalk up a number of notable successes.

Mr. Eaton who saw the crash at Brands Hatch, told the Promotor: "it happened in the fourth lap at Pilgrim's Rise. A Mini driven by Mick Rope became literally airborne and then dropped right in front of the Imp.

"Alastair was doing really well in spite of the fact that he had started at the back of the grid. He must have been travelling at around 100 m.p.h. There was nothing he could possible do to avoid hitting the Mini.

"I was amazed to see him climb out of the car and hobble over to the side of the track. He refused to get on a stretcher because he thought it might scare Jan, his wife, who was watching the race. "He told me later that he found the journey to hospital in the ambulance 'quite terrifying - wobbling from side to side and dodging in and out of traffic'."

The track was not completely obstructed by the crashed vehicles, but the race was stopped. Mr. McHardy was found to have broken an ankle, but was allowed to go home after treatment. His leg will be in plaster for the next six to eight weeks. The driver of the Mini was also released after observation.

Said Mr. Eaton: "This was a most unfortunated accident but two very important facts have been demonstrated.

"The first is the value of having an engine in the rear, as in the Imp. I hate to think what would have happened if it had been in the front. As it was, the force of the impact was absorbed in the bonnet space... the windscreen wasn't even broken.

"And Alaistair's life was undoubtedly saved by the truely wondeful seatbelt. The flooring of the car was bent upwards by the strain on the belt, but the anchorage helt fast."

Mr. Eaton has written a letter of thanks and praise to the manufacturers of the belt, Wingards Ltd. of Chichester.

Work will soon begin on the re-building of the Imp and it is hoped that Alistair McHardy will be racing her again in ...


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