Neil Hallworth's blog of his visit to the the 2008 Tunnock's Tour of Mull in a Talbot Sunbeam. Daily updates during rally weekend. Find it here tourofmull2008.blogspot.com
The 2300 Club began life as the motoring section of a factory sports’ club in Blackburn in 1955. The factory was Mullards, part of the Philips’ empire, with over 5,000 employees. The Club was originally the Mullard Motor Cycle and Car Club, but this overlong title was shortened by taking the initial letters as Roman Numerals (MMCCC) and translating them to 2300.
The Club did all the usual things for a number of years. Navigational rallies, treasure hunts, club nights, cheap tyres and exhausts, but catering for its own members. The first big step forward was in 1959 with the first Mullard Trophy, a restricted rally to which outside clubs were invited. The event became an annual affair and was so well received that by 1963 the Mullard Trophy Rally was invited to become a qualifying round for the Motoring News Championship and, with the exception of one year, remained in that prestigious Championship until it came to an end in 1987.
The rallies of the 1960s were in the hands of Arthur Rogers, and were all outstandingly successful, high speed road events. We used north Lancashire, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, but it gradually became apparent that the residents of these areas were understandably less than enamoured by these regular night time intrusions by ourselves and many other Clubs. In 1968 the Committee concluded that they would not be organising any more events of this nature. The problems were becoming too great and too intractable. 1968 happened to be the year when Brian Molyneux and his family had a holiday on the Isle of Mull and the germ of a ridiculous idea was sown. The roads of Mull were ideal for rallying. Narrow, tortuous and, in places, quite frightening, they would provide a serious test of rallying skills.