The Island Car Club has its origins in the Malta Branch of the Forces Motoring Club, which was active in the 1950s. The FMC was quite a high-powered organization, with headquarters in London and branches in a number of places where significant numbers of British servicemen were based, such as Cyprus, Aden and Singapore besides Malta. In the early years, Chairmen of the Malta Branch and many members were high-ranking officers like Army Colonels, Navy Captains and Air Force Group Captains. Later on, when the number of service people decreased with the rundown, the seniority level dropped too. Among leading lights of the period one recalls Bob Marshall, 'Bunny' Rabbits, David Wilson and the inimitable Bill Duxbury, who has retained links with Malta to the present day, and who’s red Ford Consul, affectionately known as The Fire Engine, was a regular participant in Club events.
As its name implied, the FMC was a club for the armed forces and membership was restricted to persons who wore or had worn British Forces uniform. The first two Maltese members were Francis Gera and Alex Agius Cesareo, who later served for many years as Committee Member and Chairman. They both joined in the late 1950s, and had the right to become members because they had been in the Territorial Army. Later the 'uniform' rule was relaxed to allow Maltese who were keen motorists and were considered assets to the Club, to join even though they had never had any connection with the Forces. Club members Aldo Laferla, Mario Said and others joined in this manner.
The Malta Motor Cycle and Car Club, which was active from the late 1940s but became defunct by the mid-1950s, had organized occasional rallies and at least one hill climb, at Ghar Lapsi. Besides fun events like the ever popular treasure hunts and gymkhanas, the FMC also organized hill climbs, autotests and rallies, including an All-Night Rally. What was important was that these major events, usually held with a frequency of one a month, were run strictly to RAC Regulations, with some unavoidable modifications to cater for local conditions. The first hill climb in Malta for many years was held at Mizieb in 1961 under RAC Regulations and was a huge success. It was won by a Sergeant Penny driving a Speedwell conversion of an Austin Healey Sprite. Maltese members' years of exposure to this rigorously professional approach proved invaluable when the British forces eventually left Malta and the Maltese members took over the running of the club completely.
The club then went through two or three name changes, first dropping 'Forces' from its name and, when new legislation prohibited the use of the word 'Malta', changing from Malta Driving Club to Island Car Club. Though its name changed the club's serious approach to organizing competition events never faltered and in fact strengthened considerably over time. Among other things it pioneered the use of electronic timing equipment, and has been generally recognized as the benchmark for organizational arrangements, regularly providing equipment and marshals for other clubs' events.
In December 2000, the club made local history under the guidance of the then PR0 Antonella Muscat, by being the first motor sport organization having it's own website. Today, islandcarclub.com is one of the most visited Maltese motorsport website, serving thousands of visitors every month.
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