The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) was founded in 1897. Ten years later, in 1907, King Edward VII awarded the Club the Royal title that it still holds to this day, sealing the Club’s status as Britain’s oldest and most influential motoring organisation.
As long ago as 1902 the RAC has always been involved in the motoring scene in the UK. Back then they campaigned for the abolition of the then 14 mph speed limit. Since 1905 it has been organising racing events and tours and founded the Motorsport Association of Great Britain (MSA).
The Club is one of the best equipped of all the London and Pall Mall “gentlemen’s” clubs. It possesses recently renovated Edwardian Turkish baths, an Italian marble swimming pool, squash courts (including a doubles court), a snooker room, three restaurants, one of only two privately operated Royal Mail Offices in the UK.
Various parts of the Pall Mall club house have also been used as the location for numerous films and television programmes.
As well as Pall Mall the RAC purchased Woodcote Park in1913. The former stately home now provides the club a second facility with a golf course, tennis and squash courts, croquet lawn and pool as well as bars and restaurants.
In 1940 a Hurricane fighter landed on the lawn after being shot down!
In all its history the RAC has never seen the likes of a Nissan GT-R GT1 car, but being the tenth anniversary of the GTROC we thought we would change that! In advance of the GTROC’s forthcoming A.G.M and Annual Awards Dinner we thought a GTR in the Pall Mall rotunda would be a good way to start the celebrations.
So on Thursday 24th October, GTROC members are welcome to come and see the car – provided you register first. To register just email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than midday on 24th quoting your membership number as well from your membership card.
Getting the car into Pall Mall proved a feat in itself with less than an inch either side, getting the car in proved to be a challenge for the hard working RAC team. For Shaun – the owner – he too had a few nervous moments as the car inched its way ( literally ) into the rotunda.
Starting at 05:00am Shaun and his brother Eamon met the GTROC Chairman, John Fuggles at the RAC in Pall Mall after a long drive so were happy for a cup of coffee before the task began – and what a task it proved to be!
Even at 05:00am the traffic had to stopped as we first off loaded the car and then manoeuvred it across two lanes of Pall Mall to get it lined up for the entrance
Whilst one team were organising the car, another team were installing the ramp and winch as well as taking the revolving doors off their hinges and removing them from the route in.
Once lined up, it was then the tricky task of getting it through the front door, with only inches to spare. Taking the doors off helped though …
Once on the bottom of the ramp and the GTR in line, it was time to winch and push the car up the ramp so that little by little it soon made its way in. Eamon was at the wheel and with Shaun directing the proceedings!
We said it was tight:
If getting it through the door and up the ramp was difficult though, getting it the rest of the way between the marble columns of the RAC rotunda was even more of a squeeze.
With only an inch to spare and with the car perfectly straight as it came onto the carpet we finally got the car in and now could begin to position it.
The finished result speaks for itself …
More pictures here: GTROC Flickr Page
For those who want to see the car at its new temporary home, then we will see you on Thursday 24th October from 06:00pm.
For those unable to make this, then we hope you can join us at the GTROC Annual Dinner which this year will be held at the RAC Woodcote Park. Then on Sunday morning there will be a drive out to RAC Pall Mall for a spot of brunch and of course to see the car!