1969 BBN Autocross

Dessie McCartney in his "Scoop" was unbeatable at BB&NMC's Autocross.

This article is reproduced from Motorweek 30 August 1969.


The BB&NMC Team make sure the Club badge is on display.

You’ve got to hand it to the Belfast, Bangor and Newtownards Motor Club. Undaunted by the fact that their autocross last Saturday coincided with Kirkistown‘s “Day of Speed” and the fact that some people assumed the event was cancelled, they managed to put on a very good show for the 600-odd paying customers who made the trip to their new field at Six Road Ends, Bangor.

Fred Bell in his Triumph GT6 was third in the sports car category.

And a very good field it turned out to be. The downhill start ensured a fair bit of elbow-waving at the first bend, following which a fast corner coming into a hump (not quite a yump) got the competitors going again into the tight uphill corner where most of the happenings happened.

The hilltop corner, just before square one, was the scene of much sliding and clod-throwing not to mention the occasional souvenir from the cows who had been in residence the day before. At the end of the day I wasn’t quite sure whether I worked for Motorweek or Farm Week . . .

Gordon McBurney goes a Twin Camming mostly, but not always, in a forward direction.

Our first disappointment was the non-appearance of Christine Nemec in her Imp, leaving us with an all-male cast. Our resident bird watcher tells us that the Imp was sick but Christine was alive and well and living at Kirkistown. Other absentees were Melvyn Sloan, A. W. Black and Tommy Burns from Ballybofey.


Notable appearances were Dessie McCartney (of course) in his devilishly fast Scoop, Ronnie White in his nearly as fast Cooper, Hill Scott who twin-cammed in text-book style, and Ron Mullan who was 999 Cooper mounted. That, indeed, was the order they finished overall and it surprised hardly anybody.

A lovely day for muck-spreading says Dessie. The “Scoop” scooped the top prize.

Those not having a good day included David McCullough and his immaculate Renault-yellow 875 Sunbeam Imp Sport (bearing no evidence of its Circuit mishap) who did not seem to get going satisfactorily. Nor did Ken Graham in his ex-McConnell Imp but perhaps the union is not yet consummated and Ken is wisely gaining experience as well as enjoying himself meanwhile. David Hanna’s Imp was also driven with some restraint.

Another special which caused a headache in triplicate was the Terry Smith S.S. Special, a cut-and-shut BMC 1100 with a supercharger which didn’t seem to.

After putting up a good time in practice, the S.S. Special declined declined to do better in the real thing and got all steamed up about it.


It was also to be driven by David and Fergie Stewart but it took a frightening attack of the Fahrenheits after a couple of practice laps and vomited boiling water up Fergie’s sleeve. None of your heartless tittering, please — it clocked 1min. 40sec. in practice which suggests interesting things to come. Gosh but it’s ugly, though . . .

Even more evil-looking was the 998 Cooper driven by Dessie Boyd which looked as though it had been used as a barricade up the Shankill (blue it was) but they are honourable scars gained in a previous autocrash giving it through-flow ventilation and wings like a size
36 bra on Twiggy.

After being slightly flattened a few weeks ago, the 998 Cooper of Dessie Boyd has been artistically knocked back into shape.

As I said before, the field was fast if slightly featureless – you can’t have everything — and a dry sunny day made the running something like the battle of Tobruk, only cow instead of camel flavoured. Dessie McCartney led the charge in the Scoop to such effect that 1t became painfully obvious that he would only be stopped by a land-mine. Baulked on his second run he nevertheless stopped the clock at 1min. 30.2sec. which would have exactly matched Ron White’s equally spirited maximum. A re-run clipped Dessie’s time to 1-27.4 and gave him the decision.

Ron Mullan ploughs a lone furrow on his way to joint third place overall.

Also baulked was Hill Scott who knocked 2.4 seconds off his best time on re-run, not enough to bring him closer than 6 seconds behind Ronnie White in Class 4 but close enough to clinch equal third overall with Ron Mullan.

A special mention for Ken Carson who earned our sympathy when he had piston trouble, and our gratitude when he donated a bottle of Carlsberg to wash out our parched tonsils. A lovely lad….


  1. Dessie McCartney, 1-27.4, (FTD);
  2. Ronnie White, 1-30.2;
  3. =Hill Scott, 1-36.2;
  4. =Ron Mullan 1-36.2.

Class 2:

  1. Ron Mullan, 1-36.2;
  2. Peter Thompson. 1-39.2;
  3. M. McCrory 1-39.4.

Class 3:

  1. Ron Nesbitt, 1-41.4;
  2. Tom Lawther, 1-42.2;
  3. M.Boyd 1-42.4.

Class 4:

  1. Ronnie White; 1-30.2;
  2. Hill Scott; 1-36.2;
  3. J. Murray 1-40.8.

Class 5:

  1. Ken Carson 1-37.4;
  2. F. Boyle 1-47.2;
  3. Fred Bell, 1-49.0.

Class 6:

  1. Dessie McCartney; 1-27.4 (FTD);
  2. Terry Smith, 1-53.6.
Awaiting their second run are Ken Carson, Gordon McBurney and F. G. Boyle. Others are included for decorative purposes.