The Rob Roy hill climb is a car time trial in Smiths Gully, Victoria. It was initially established by the Light Car Club of Australia and began in 1937 and ran until 1962, when bushfires destroyed the track. It wasn’t until 1993 that the race was run again, and it still continues today.

Cars compete to see who can climb the 695 metres track the quickest across a number of different categories, including sports cars, open cars, supercharged racing cars and midget speedcars. In 1937 the fastest cars climbed the hill in 37 seconds. In 2013 many cars completed the course in under 30 seconds.

 Shows Arthur Wylie setting a new record of 29.47 seconds in the 1940 Rob Roy Hill Climb.
[Arthur Wylie driving his Wylie car at the 1940 Rob Roy Hill Climb], 

The MG Car Club of Victoria now runs the climb. The Library has digitised many photographs of the race, particularly from the 1940s and 50s. The photographer, George Thomas, was a founding member of the Phillip Island Auto Racing Club. With his interest in both motor sports and photography, he became a semi-professional photographer active at Victorian motor sports events in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

 People look at a damaged telephone pole after an MG collided with it in 1947.
[Group of people looking at the telephone pole which Lex Davison collided with, in December 1947, in his MG.TC]
, H2000.111/11

A photo from the 1947 Rob Roy Hill Climb.

Lombard, 14th Rob Roy Hill Climb, H2014.115/81

Written by Paul Dee, Librarian, Australian History & Literature Team

A history of Rob Roy Hillclimb 1937-1961: the hill, the drivers, the cars by Leon Sims; forward by Bruce Walton.
Phillip Island to Fangio: the history of the Light Car Club of Australia by Bob Watson.


This article has 2 comments

  1. I was a member of the LCCA and keen follower of motor sport in those days, and have a quite a collection of enlarged photos, mainly taken at Rob Roy, plus some other venues.

    I would like these to go to somewhere they can be seen by followers in the future.

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