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Tony aboard his Brabham BT33, the car with which he briefly held the outright record at Shelsley Walsh. Photo: Tony Griffiths Archive
Tony Griffiths.Photo: Kary Jiggle
Tony Griffiths.
Photo: Kary Jiggle

For me, motors and motoring were in my blood and my genes. After the first World War, my father had a motorcycle business that later grew to having both Ford and Austin dealerships in Birmingham. They were on the old Aston Road, which is now the Aston Expressway. I have a brother who is a doctor and a twin sister, but for me motor cars were my center of attention. My first aim was to join the family business, which I did after my spell in National Service. I must say I enjoyed the Service very much and joined the Territorial Army (TA) almost immediately after. The TA eventually took me away from motor sport, hanging up my helmet in 1975; I got incredibly involved with it and got a command.

The first entry in GriffithsÕ extensive scrapbook was made when he proved fastest at Chateau Impney in the ex-Graham Hill BRM P48.Photo: Tony Griffiths Archive
The first entry in Griffiths’ extensive scrapbook was made when he proved fastest at Chateau Impney in the ex-Graham Hill BRM P48.
Photo: Tony Griffiths Archive

However, it’s the motor car side of things I’ll concentrate on here. My first car was an MGA, followed by an MGA twin-cam, then I had a series of 3-liter Austin-Healeys, which I competed with at many venues including Chateau Impney. I was extremely lucky to move on to a Jaguar E-Type when they first came out—many, even those in the motor industry, simply couldn’t get hold of one they were so much in demand. One of the first championships I won was the Junior Sprint and Hillclimb Championships organized by the Midland Automobile Club (MAC). The MAC was my club throughout my entire interest in the sport and still is today. I have risen from a mere member to Committee member, Chairman, President and now Vice-President of this wonderful club. I had to go the Sprint and Hillclimb route in motor sport, as I was required to work on Saturday mornings. Circuit racing would have meant my being available to practice, qualify and race possibly Friday afternoon, certainly all day Saturday and Sunday too. There were many hillclimb and sprint venues very near to my work in the West Midlands, including Shelsley Walsh, Prescott, Loton Park and, of course, Chateau Impney, which I’ve already mentioned.

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