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.
[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.
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.
|1||3||A||Alastair McHardy||Hillman Imp||1 min. 43.8 sec.||10||20 sec.||81.71|
|?||?||A||Peter Bevan||Sunbeam Imp||?||10||?||?|
Gale force start at B.A.R.C. Thruxton. - Motoring News Thursday, 21st March 1968
Thruxton début / by Jeff Hutchinson
|Same photo, but with a fish eye lens|
Class A: Saloon Car 851 cc to 1000 cc
|2nd||75||A||M. Raymond||Austin Cooper S||997||59.4 s.; 75.5 mph||10||10 14.8|
|4th||76||A||I. Bax||Austin 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|
|1st||82||A||T. Harmer||Austin Cooper S||97.||10||10 14.8|
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 day||Tony Marsh||4.2 Marsh Special||30.22|
|FWD Saloon 1000||Andy Elwin||Cooper S||39.04|
|FWD Saloon over 1000||Francis Wilson||Cooper S||41.66|
|RWD Saloon 1200||Alistair McHardy||Imp||36.03|
|RWD Saloon over 1200||Alan Mussard||Anglia 1650||36.22|
|Prod Spts||Ian Kean||Midget||40.61|
|Mike Day||TVR Tuscan V8||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|
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
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]
|37||Adcocks of Chichester||Alastair McHardy||Hillman Imp||998||white/blue|
|38||Roger Nathan Racing Ltd.||Liane Engeman||Hillman Imp||998||red|
|42||Martin Raymond||Austin Cooper S||999||black/blue|
|43||Michael Turner||Austin Cooper S||999||blue/green|
|44||Team 848||Mike Evans||Austin Cooper S||999||red/white|
|45||John Manners||Austin Cooper S||999||red/black|
|46||Chris Inch||Austin Mini||999||yellow|
|48||John Wines||Austin Seven||998||green/white|
|51||M. Chittenden||Morris Minor 1000||998||blue|
|52||Leslie Franklin||Morris Cooper S||999||green|
|54||Peter Vann||Morris Mini||984||blue/white|
|57||B. Cutting||Ted Hill||Hillman Imp||850||white|
|59||Andrew Cranstone||Hillman Imp||846||blue|
|60||Team 848||Brian Vawer||Austin Cooper||848||green/white|
|61||Team 848||Jeffery Cartwright||Austin Mini||850||silver/blue|
|62||Rodney Love||Austin Mini||850||blue/orange|
|63||Conway Hall||Austin Mini||848||blue/yellow|
|64||C. Andrews||Daniel Pearce||Austin Mini||848||yellow/black|
|65||Roger Saunders||Austin Mini||848||red/black|
|66||John Peachy-Austing||Morris Mini||850||white/green|
|68||Trevor Moore||Morris Mini||848||red|
|69||Michael Hallett||Morris Mini||848||blue/white|
Weather conditions: slight rain, track remaining very wet
|1st||A1||42||Martin Raymond||Austin Cooper S||14||52.6||76.02|
|2nd||A2||54||Peter Vann||Morris Mini||14||53.2|
|3rd||A3||37||Adcocks of Chichester||Alastair McHardy||Hillman Imp||15||15.4|
|4th||B1||66||John Peachey-Austing||Morris Mini||15||16.6||74.03|
|5th||A4||44||Team 848||Mike Evans||Austin Cooper S||15||17.8|
|6th||A5||46||Chris Inch||Austin Mini||15||27.6|
|7th||A6||38||Roger Nathan Racing Ltd.||Liane Engman||Hillman Imp||16||01.2|
|8th||A7||52||Leslie Franklin||Morris Cooper S||16||16.8|
|9th||A8||45||John Manners||Austin Cooper S||16||36.4||>|
|10th||B2||61||Team 848||Jeffery Cartwright||Austin Mini||15||01.2||7 laps|
|11th||A9||51||M. Chittenden||Morris Minor 1000||15||38.4||7 laps|
|12th||A10||39||Michael Ford||Hillman Imp||17||05.4||7 laps; (incl. 1 min. penalty)|
This completes the list of finishers.
Non-starters: 43; 59; 60; 63; 64; 68
|lap 1||lap 2||lap 3||lap 4||lap 5||lap 6||lap 7||lap 8|
Threatening skies, but dry; a large crowd
...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:
4. P. Wilcox (Austin Cooper)
Fastest lap: Chappel
|Overall||No.||Cl.||Entrant||Driver||Car||CC||Fastest lap||laps||min. sec.||MPH|
|1st||41||A1||Adcock's of Chichester||Alastair Hardy||Hillman Imp||8||13 20.0||84.82|
|2nd||63||A2||Peter Vann||Morris 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
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
|1st||1||A1||The Steering Wheel Club (West Bromwich)||Lawrence Hickman||Ford Anglia||13||06.2||86.30|
|2nd||23||B1||Alan Fraser||Keith Holland||Hillman Imp||1 min. 40.2 sec.|
(new lap record)
|3rd||4||A2||Adcocks of Chichester||Alastair McHardy||Hillman Imp||13||39.2|
|4th||21||B2||Team Hartwell||Ray Payne||Hillman Imp||13||53.2|
|5th||25||B3||Janspeed Engineering Ltd.||Graham Ayres||Austin Mini||13||59.0|
|6th||26||B4||Stephen Marshall||Austin Mini||14||07.2|
|7th||14||A3||Chris Inch||Peter Wilcox||Austin Mini||14||34.6|
|8th||30||B5||Trevor Moore||Morris Mini||14||54.4|
|9th||28||B6||Thomas Jay||Austin Mini||7||13||26.0|
|10th||27||B7||Derek Bennett||Austin Mini||7||13||52.4|
|11th||22||B8||Bill Keppler||Hillman Imp||5||16||29.0|
|DNF||19||A||Peter Vann||Morris Mini||1 min. 36.0 sec.|
(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
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.
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|
A BARC national British race meeting, part of the Osram-G.E.C. saloon Car Championship.
|1st||A1||75||George Bevan||Bill McGovern||Sunbeam Imp||13||12.0||85.6|
|2nd||A2||76||Adcocks of Chichester||Alastair McHardy||Hillman Imp||13||31.2|
|3rd||A3||89||John Peachey-Austing||Morris Mini||13||31.2|
|4th||A4||81||Bill Sydenham||Austin Cooper S||13||36.4|
|5th||A5||77||Bill Keppler||Hillman Imp||14||02.6|
|6th||B1||98||Ginger Marshall||Austin Mini||14||07.6||80.6|
|7th||B2||91||John Stanton||John Anstead||Fiat Abarth 850||14||33.0|
|8th||B3||100||Andrew Wheldon||Morris Mini||15||00.0||>|
|9th||A6||84||Jeremy Bean||Austin Cooper||13||13.4||7 laps|
|10th||A7||90||John Stanton||Wally Hall||Morris Mini||13||31.4||7 laps|
|11th||B4||96||George Wills||Austin Mini||15||00.0||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.
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).
|175||V.M.W. Motors (Racing Division)||Vince Woodman||Ford Escort||997||white/blue|
|177||Adcocks of Chichester||Alstair McHardy||Hillman Imp||998||white/blue|
|178||Peter Demus||Hillman Imp||998||white/orange|
|179||Anthony Pearce||BL Mini Clubman||984||yellow/white|
|180||Pino Scarpino||Entrant or John Manners||Austin Cooper S||999||orange|
|181||Jim Balmer||Austin Cooper S||999||red/white|
|182||Ian Scott||Austin Cooper S||999||purple|
|183||Stuart Hayman (2nd reserve)||Austin Cooper||998||red/white|
|184||C.S.M.A. Racing Team Ltd.||Patrick Short||Austin Cooper||998||blue/white|
|185||Cyril Willmott||Jack Wines||Austin Cooper||970||white/green|
|186||Peter Keik||Morris Cooper S||999||blue/black|
|187||Jan Speed Engineering Ltd.||Graham Ayres (7th Reserve)||Austin Cooper S||999||red/black|
|188||David Ings||Morris Cooper||998||maroon|
|189||Edward Hayward (3rd Reserve)||Morris Cooper||970||pink|
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.
|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.
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 ...
|The Imp Site|
|File started: July 12th 2019|
File date: 15th September 2019