Tuesday 23 November 2021

Tom Coffield, 1926 - 2021

Even if you didn't know him or ever met him, rally fans will have seen his work. Tom Coffield was an integral part of the Scottish rallying scene for over 40 years, firstly as a competitor and latterly as a motor sports photographer. Sadly, he passed away last Friday (19th Nov.).

In actual fact, Tom's day job was plumbing and he operated a successful plumbing and heating business based in Crianlarich and the surrounding area till he retired, but that gave him more time to pursue his other great joy in life, photography.

He got involved in motor sport some time in the early 1960s through friends in the Perth based 55 Car Club. Initially, he competed on navigational events, trials, autocross, sprints and hillclimbs first in a Sunbeam Rapier and then a Mini Cooper.

It was another 55 CC member, Arthur Jasper who suggested that he might like to try stage rallying with the Mini. He actually competed on the first ever Mullard Tour of Mull Rally in 1969 with Martin Cruickshank in the Mini and they finished 31st overall but already realisation was dawning. To be competitive, required something with a bit more poke.

He bought his first Escort 1300GT in 1970, later replaced with a Mexico and an RS1600, and went rallying with regular navigator Ron Adam, or sometimes Neil Fraser who was later to become his son in law. He still participated in the many and various motor sporting disciplines that were a staple part of club motor sport in those early days and also served time on the committee of 55 Car Club putting something back.

It's fair to say he was never a front runner, but that was down to budget and time, running his own business came first, motor sport was his escape.

We'll never know how good he could have been, but in the 1972 Shell Scottish Rally Championship he finished 29th equal in the points standings at the end of the season. In 1973 he scored a top twenty finish, this time 19th equal.

In 1974, the rules of the Challengers section of the national series were changed and he finished that season in 4th place overall in the Challengers points tables.

In 1975 he called it a day, but he wasn't finished with rallying. He had time for another hobby which was easier to manage alongside his 'day job', photography and thereafter he specialised in capturing the action primarily on stage and classic rallies as well as many other forms of motor sport.

In the days before digital photography, motor sports photographers were a much smaller and more exclusive band of hardy folks who followed the sport and Tom fell in with a 'bad crowd' comprising variously of Jim Barclay, Alistair Farquhar and Iain Wallace amongst others.

Jim of course was more of a videographer and therefore required different locations to film the action compared to the needs of stills photographers and there followed interminably vociferous 'Jack & Victor' type discussions about where to go, how to get there and which was the best spot.

But that was Tom. In his element with his camera, a flask, some friends and a box of corned beef sandwiches, and he was ready for anything.

The sport has lost another great pal and our thoughts must be with his family at this very sad time, daughter Jane and the two boys, Neil and Tom Jnr and all his wide circle of friends.

The funeral service will be held in Killin Church (Main St, Killin FK21 8TN) on Thursday 2nd December at 11.00 am.

Note: There is a more detailed, full version of this tribute here:


(Thanks to Tom Coffield Jnr and Alistair Farquhar for the pics)


Rally - Puzzle Pic

Spotted at last weekend's Scottish Borders Hill Rally - an MG Metro 6R4 in full flight, or is it? It must be, surely? It's got four wheel drive and six cylinders giving it yee-haa, but it sounds different. So it can't be, can it? Oh no it isn't. Oh yes it is - or is it? All will be revealed, and more, shortly!


Friday 19 November 2021

Rally - R.A.C. Rally

The entry list and timetable have now been published for this year's event on the 25-29 Nov and there's no real surprise in the automotive line-up. Of the 150 or so cars entered, two thirds are Fords! 

There's quite a few of our lot heading south for this great adventure, so check them out on the Entry List:


Timetable here:


Wednesday 17 November 2021

Rally - Milltown Stages

The final round of the Marshall Construction Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship takes place on Sunday (21st of Nov) near Elgin. The event is called the Annabelle Tennant Milltown Stages Rally in memory of the late and much loved 'Gravel Granny' herself, Annabelle Tennant whom we lost some 5 years ago now.

The title of 2021 Scottish Tarmack Rally Champion will be determined on this final round and although Alistair Inglis looks like he has one hand on the trophy, there is an outside chance that Jamie Miller in the Citroen C2 could perhaps snatch it away. However, for that to happen Jamie would need to win his class and Alistair not finish. Although, by my (questionable) reckoning, Jamie would score just enough points to match Alistair's total which would then go to the tie-decider - and that's way above my pay grade.

That's because this championship, unlike most others, is decided on class wins and points. With the same number of points available for each of the 5 classes, there is always the chance of a tie. But there is a 'but', there is a minimum number of entrants for each class to allow full points to be scored. If that minimum number isn't reached then full points won't be awarded. Clear? No, me neither!

Full entry list here:



Monday 15 November 2021

Rally - Scottish Borders Hill Rally

The Scottish Borders Hill Rally takes place this weekend at Forrest Estate near St John's Town of Dalry, but given the current and ongoing Covid restrictions it is not a spectator event and the Service Area is out of bounds to those not wearing organiser provided wristbands.

Which is a pity. Spectating at a Hill Rally can be every bit as entertaining as standing in a forest watching rally cars. For competitors, it provides a variety of thrills and challenges, from 100mph stretches with fast curves and hairpins, to nadgery, slippery, tricky detours, but without some of the eye watering costs associated with current competitive stage rally car machinery.

The Entry Fee for this  weekend's 14 Special Stage, 115 mile event is £495! The first car will set off at 10.00am on Saturday morning and should finish around 6.30pm with the second Leg starting at 10.00am on Sunday morning and the first car due home around 2.30pm. And given the time of year, the final two stages on Saturday will be run in the dark, and that adds a whole new dimension to the affair.

Full preview and Entry List here :


( Note: The photos were taken at the previous event in 2019 )