1966 Tostal Trial

Tostal Trial winner for the second year in a row, Conor Lenehan throws the front of his 1275S in the test after Altidore.

Report by Brian Foley, reprinted from Wheel Magazine, July 1966

Linehan Wins Tostal Again

The MOTOR ENTHUSIASTS CLUB had the usual big gathering of drivers from all over Ireland for their Annual Tostal Trial, postponed from June 11th to June 25th 1966.

The start this year was moved from Dun Laoghaire, traditional home of the Tostal Trial, to the promenade at Bray.  The seafront driving tests, once a very popular and attractive feature of this event, were not held, but next year is hoped that these tests will be held at Bray again.  The Finish was at Dun Laoghaire’s Hotel Victor.

Another unique feature of the Tostal, apart from the fact that it is run in the off season for trials, is the inclusion of a number of speed events. Speed events this time were a hill climb at Altidore and an autocross near Dundrum village.
As well as the regular driving test drivers, a number of racing, rally and autocross competitors took part in the Tostal. But as usual the test experts took all the major awards.

The Premier Award was won by current Hewison Champion Conor Linehan who finished with a total of 596.9 marks. The man from Galway drove a 1275 Mini Cooper S in his customary fiery manner to win for the second year running.

Second overall was Ulsterman Ronnie McCartney, 7.0 marks down on Linehan.
McCartney also drove a 1275 S, and on the 13th test the throttle jammed wide open, and he had to drive the last four tests using the ignition switch instead of the accelerator pedal. On the final test at Boland’s Biscuit Factory near Blackrock he had to switch off his engine and restart no less than eight times.

Dermot Carnegie of Dublin, in yet another 1275 S, finished third overall, 10.8 marks behind the leader. Northern Ireland drivers Ted Hobson, Ronnie McCartney and Harold Hagan headed three of the classes, and the other class wins were taken by Leslie Vard (Dublin) and Bill Johnston (Galway).

Mervyn Johnston, driving his Mini Cooper S with the ex-Heaney Racing 1132cc engine, won the Visitor’s Award.  Best of the Novices was racing and autocross man Paddy Curran at the wheel of the ex-Des Bradley M.G. Midget, and Are Lingus Captain Bill Pryor won the M.E.C. Members Award in his 1275 S.  The handicap was won by a man better known in the karting world, Joe Pat O’Kane in a Hillman Imp.


Premier Award: C. Linehan (1275 Mini Cooper S) 596.9 marks.

850cc Saloons: 1st, T. Hobson (Mini) 629.8; 2nd, R. Murphy (Mini) 682.7; 3rd, R. Pollock (Mini Van) 695.4; 4th, W. D. Bradley (Mini) 710.3.

850-1100cc Saloons: 1st, L. Vard (1071 Mini-Cooper S) 616.5; 2nd, G. Wilkinson (1071 Mini-Cooper S) 686.7; 3rd, D. Dyer (970 Mini-Cooper S 704.3.

1100-1400cc Saloons: 1st R. McCartney (1275 Mini-Cooper S) 603.8; 2nd, D. Carnegie (1275 Mini-Cooper S) 606.1; 3rd, L. Mooney (1300 Volkswagen) 622.5.

Over 1400cc Saloons: 1st, W. Johnston (Volkswagen “Beetle”) 655.5; 2nd, W. B. Kehoe (Ford Cortina GT) 709.5; 3rd, F. Gavin (1600 Volkswagen Variant) 712.2

Sports Cars: 1st, H. Hagan (M.G. Midget) 613.8; 2nd, D. Cullen (M.G. Midget) 651.3; 3rd, K. Carson (MG. Midget) 670.0.

Visitors (Other than any of the above) 1st, M. Johnston (1132 Mini Cooper S); 2nd M. Johnson (A-H Sprite) 701.6; 3rd, A. Frazer (M.G. Midget) 705.4

Novices: 1st P. Curran (M.G. Midget) 710.4; 2nd, S. Wilson (1200 Ford Anglia) 711.9; 3rd, P. Tuite (NSU Prinz TT) 712.2

M.E.C. Members: 1st J.W. Pryor (1275 Mini Cooper S) 661.5; 2nd G. Reed (M.G. Midget) 679.3; 3rd P. McGuire (NSU Prinz) 724.6.

Handicap: J.P. O’Kane (Hillman Imp) 514.5.