The Victory Wheelers was formed at 8pm Wednesday 27th July 1977 at Great Salterns Mansion, Eastern Road, Portsmouth (Now a Harvester restaurant).
The existing Southern Roadsters car club had decided to become street rod only. However, in 1977 more and more custom cars i.e. late Capris, Cortinas and Escorts along with Vans, American Muscle Cars and even Classic English and American Cars were being built or restored and therefore wished to be involved in the scene.
Southern Roadsters ex Chairman Phil Chappell, well known in the Street Rodding world for his trick painted Ford Pop, and a few others decided to start a club that encompassed all specialist vehicles, but they couldn’t do it all on their own. The fledgling independent local radio station ‘Radio Victory’ was also looking for new ways of attracting listeners and they felt a car club of some sort, allied to their radio station, could be a way forward.
So it came to pass that fifty or so people came together one summers evening to form the club. It then came time to select a name. This was much harder then it seemed, with names like ‘Victory Rods’, ‘Victory Roadsters’ and so on being passed around. In the end Denny Tomlin (Still a club member to this day) came up with the name ‘Victory Wheelers’. Some felt it sounded more like a bicycle club but it was put to a show of hands and a yes vote was successful in adopting the name.
So the club had a name and now a committee was needed to steer it in the right direction.
Chairman – Phil Chappell.
Vice Chairman – Paul Tickner.
Members Secretary – Melvyn Briggs.
Public Relations – Fred Young & Trish Chappell.
Treasurer – Vivien Hill.
Social Secretary – Graham Wallbridge.
Social Committee – Bob Cross, Sue Jones, John Fordor.
Club Typist – Debbie Rohleder
Voting Members – Richard Funnell, Steve Hill, Mick Malvaney, Toby Taylor.
We then needed a club logo. The first logo appeared as a basic window sticker but most club members felt that its design seemed more in keeping with a Volkswagen club than it was for the Victory Wheelers! The next logo was much more interesting as it had a rear view of a 1932 Ford fenderless hiboy with a jag rear end. It also had Radio Victory’s 257 wavelength on the number plate. Club member Steve Hill designed this logo. T shirts were then produced for club members.
‘The Harbour Lights’ pub in Paulsgrove was the first venue for club meetings. Because of the number of people that had turned up, the club met only once more there and a move to a somewhat larger location was sought. ‘The Churchillian’ Pub located on top of Portsdown Hill was selected as the next meeting place and the Wheelers had a happy stay there from September 1977 until 1979. Because of expanding membership once again a new location was sought. The Ponderosa Club, which was part of the Boars Head Pub in Boarhunt, was chosen, so from February 1979 the club relocated and remained there for over ten years.
July Club Formed, First Committee voted in
Aug First club night held at Harbour Lights Pub, Paulsgrove.
Sept Indoor/Outdoor show held at The Cambridge Garage, Bedhampton.
April First club car plaque introduced
June Victory Wheelers first Rod Run held at Chichester Leisure Centre
The ‘Best of Show’ award was a superb working model of a Jaguar rear end unit made by Tony Lawrence. It was so good that it was decided to keep it in the club and presented each year to a deserving club member.
Sept First 2 day indoor show held at Huxford’s Garage in Fareham.
Bob Grant of ‘On the Buses’ TV Show fame presented the trophies.
Feb First club night at new venue The Ponderosa, Boarhunt
June 2nd Rod Run held at Chichester Leisure Centre
Sept Victory Wheelers win their first ‘Best Club’ Trophy at Riverside Cruisers run.
Sept 2nd Indoor show held at Huxford’s Garage in Fareham. Radio One DJ Mike Read opens show.
June 3rd Rod Run held at Chichester Leisure Centre
Sept 3rd Indoor show held at Huxford’s Garage in Fareham
June 4th Rod Run held at new venue, The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
Sept AGM: Phil Chappell stands down, Paul Ticker takes over as Chairman with John Cross as Vice Chairman.
June 5th Rod Run at Scott’s Farm Camp Site, West Wittering, Sussex.
Aug Custom Car show held in three large marquees at Southsea Castle
Oct AGM: Paul Tickner stands down and John Cross voted in as new Chairman
June 6th Rod Run back at The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
June 7th Rod Run at The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
June 8th Rod Run at The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
June 9th Rod Run at The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
June 10th Anniversary Rod Run at The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
June 11th Rod Run at The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
June 12th Rod Run at The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
Oct AGM: John Cross & others stand down from committee, Ray Austen voted in as new Chairman.
June 13th Rod Run – The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
This was the 13th Rod Run but because of some superstitious committee members it was actually called the 12th Rod Run Part 2!
June 14th South Coast Internationals, The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
The first time the run was called this due to our numerous european participants.
Oct AGM: Ray Austen stands down and Melvyn Briggs voted in as new Chairman.
June 15th South Coast Internationals, The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island.
Aug Ponderosa closes. club relocates back to The Churchillian Pub
June South Coast Internationals, The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island
Sept Club locates to The Crofton Pub Stubbington.
Oct AGM: Melvyn Briggs Stands down and Paul Shadwell voted in as Chairman
June 17th South Coast Internationals, The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island
June 18th South Coast Internationals, The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island
June 19th South Coast Internationals, The Oven Camp Site, Hayling Island
June 20th Anniversary SCI, The Oven Camp Site Hayling Island
Oct AGM: Paul Shadwell stands down and Mike Worsfold voted in as new Chairman
The Oven camp was no longer available to us so unfortunately there was no 21st show this year.
July 22nd South Coast Internationals, The Sunday Show & Shine was put on at The Hayling School, with camping at nearby Mill Rythe Camp Site.
Oct AGM: Mike Worsfold stands down and Mick Mears voted in as new Chairman.
July 23rd South Coast Internationals, At same Hayling venue as last year
Oct Club nights re-locate to the Bold Forester pub at Sarisbury Green.
July 24th South Coast Internationals finds a new venue at Thorney Island Army Base, after negotiations with the Army by Mick Mears, Loads of room for camping!
July 25th Anniversary South Coast Internationals at Thorney Island. The Drag Strip is introduced and proves rather popular.
Jan Club nights re-located to The Chase Inn at Waltham Chase
July 26th South Coast Internationals at Thorney Island.
July 27th South Coast Internationals at Thorney Island.
July 28th South Coast Internationals at Thorney Island.
Oct AGM: Mick Mears stands down and Terry Clifford voted in as new Chairman.
There was no SCI this year at Thorney due to Defence Estates raising the site rental to £25,000!
May A return to Hayling Island was organised by Big Al, held at The Hayling Billy Pub and called ‘The Hayling Reunion’.
May 2nd Hayling Reunion now held at the Inn on the Beach at Beachlands, Hayling Island
July 30th Anniversary South Coast Internationals held at Broadlands Estate, Romsey.
A good venue but it was very muddy!
May 3rd Hayling Reunion held at the Inn on the Beach at Beachlands, Hayling Island
June Asked by Beaulieu to help with their Hot Rod & Custom Drive In – to promote their Art of Custom exhibition
July Club moves to The Railway Inn at Botley
Oct AGM: Terry Clifford stands down and Alan ‘Big Al’ Partridge voted in as new Chairman.
May 4th Hayling Reunion held at the Inn on the Beach at Beachlands, Hayling Island
June 32nd South Coast Internationals weekend held at Beaulieu
Dec Alan ‘Big Al’ Partridge passes away, Keith Ellis stands in as Chairman.
May 5th Hayling Reunion held at the Inn on the Beach at Beachlands, Hayling Island
June 33rd South Coast Internationals weekend held at Beaulieu
Nov AGM: Keith Ellis voted in as Chairman
May 6th Hayling Reunion now held at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island
May Club visit to Rolls Royce Factory at Chichester with Surrey Street Rodders & The Brack Pack.
June 34th South Coast Internationals held at Beaulieu
May 7th Hayling Reunion at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island
Aug 35th Anniversary South Coast Internationals held at new venue. Pylewell Park at Lymington.
Apr Club Nights re-located to The Plough Inn at, Bursledon
May 8th Hayling Reunion at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island
June Help support Beaulieu Custom & Hot Rod Festival
Sept One day show at The Plough Inn, Bursledon
May 9th Hayling Reunion at The Fun Fair. Hayling Island
June Help support Beaulieu Custom & Hot Rod Festival
July Club nights re-located to The Netley Grange, Netley
Oct First Hayling Sunset Show at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island
Nov AGM: Keith Ellis stands down and Carol Rule voted in as new Chairman.
May 10th Hayling Reunion at The Fun Fair. Hayling Island
Aug The 1st Stansted House Show negotiated by Carol Rule.
Oct 2nd Hayling Sunset Show at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island
Nov AGM Carol Rule stands down and Mick Mears voted back in as chairman.
May 11th Hayling Reunion at The Fun Fair. Hayling Island
Aug The 2nd Stansted House Show
Oct 3rd Hayling Sunset Show at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island
May 12th Hayling Reunion at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island
July The 3rd Stansted House Show, and the first one to go back to the weekender format.
Aug Mickey Kimber, one of the founder members of the club, and previous author of this history page, sadly passed away aged 70. It is decided to dedicate the Hayling Sunset to his memory, as he spent his formative years living on the Island.
Oct 4th Hayling Sunset Show at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island in memory of Mickey Kimber.
Nov AGM Mick Mears stands down, and Malcolm Maughan voted as chairman. Club venue moved to the Country Inn, Waltham Chase from Dec, where the club previously met (previously known as the Chase Inn).
Dec Founder member, and the person responsible for the club name, Denny Tomlin, passes away suddenly.
May The 13th Hayling Reunion held at Funland Amusement Park, Hayling Island
Aug Stansted House is host to the second weekender, and the weather is kinder to us.
Oct The 5th Hayling Sunset Show at Funland Amusement Park,
Nov: Malcolm Maughan is voted in for a second term. Club venue returns to the Plough, Portsmouth Rd, Bursledon.
This is just a brief overview of the club’s history taken from The Victory Wheelers Archives compiled by Honorary Member the late Mickey Kimber, (Founder Member No. 13). He worked tirelessly in the early days to help make the club what it is today. The Archive in several large volumes, which Mickey dedicated to the memory of ‘Big Al’, is available to view.