The Bendigo Car Club was founded at a meeting in Bendigo by a group of people interested in motor sport, late in 1951. For the next two years, regular low-key sporting events were conducted in the local area. In 1953, negotiations were conducted with the Light Car Club of Australia, and subsequently the Bendigo Car Club was accepted as a branch, with full rights and privileges of the foremost motor sports club in Australia.
In 1961, after some years of declining interest, the Club was revitalised with new policies and officers, and by the end of that decade, was the owner of the Maiden Gully Clubrooms. With the interest in Off Road events becoming apparent, the Club conducted the first Mallee Desert Rally at Sea Lake in 1973, and continued with the event until it relinquished control of the Sea Lake Off Road Club in 1987.
During the seventies, land was purchased at Bagshot, to develop a motor sport complex, to provide members with a stable environment within which to conduct a wide range of sporting and social functions. Off Road and Autocross tracks plus a Motorkhana Area was establish.
The joint promotion of the historic hillclimb at Mt. Tarrengower, Maldon, with the Vintage Sports Car Club, was commenced in 1980, and continues to this day. Mt Tarrengower is Australia oldest and longest Hillclimb
After a series of unfortunate circumstances connected with high profile and expensive circuit races at Sandown, the parent body of the Light Car Club of Australia become insolvent, and in 1991, the Bendigo Car Club, now incorporated, and affiliated with the Confederation of Australia Motor Sport (CAMS), again became operation; in its own right. It repurchased the properties at Bagshot and Maiden Gully, and currently provided a full range of motor sporting activities for interested persons, from juniors to retirees. We place a lot of emphasis on Junior drivers and their training; two cars are available for use at Bagshot
We have several life members, two of which have received CAMS Service Awards – Frank Coad (1960 Armstrong 500 winner) and Max Jackman. Jackman also received in 2000 an Australian Sports Medal for services to Motor Sport.
The Bendigo Car Club has produced many Victorian and Australian Champions in the past few years in Rallies, Circuit racing, Off Road and Motorkhanas.
Road events such as rallies, treasure hunts are conducted, as well as track type events ie. sprints, autocross, rallysprints, short course offroad and motorkhanas. The calendar is boosted by jointly run events with other car clubs throughout Victoria.
Club meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at Maiden Gully Clubrooms, Calder Hwy, with a club magazine (Crossflow) being circulated a few days beforehand.
Compiled by the late Max Jackman