Oxford Motor Club was believed to have been founded in 1907. In fact it was founded four years earlier on the 6th February 1903 as the Oxford and District Automobile Club during a meeting of
acquaintances and interested parties at the Clarendon Hotel, Cornmarket Street, Oxford. An announcement was made in both the Oxford Chronicle and the Jacksons Oxford Journal locally, nationally in Autocar within a week of the this first meeting. The Club became an affiliated member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland (ACGB&I) and the Motor Union of Great Britain and Ireland within the year. The Club was called the Oxford and District Automobile Club. A sister Club was formed for motor cycling enthusiasts at the same venue in 1905 on the 10th September, this club being called the Bocardo Motor Cycling Club. The Bocardo was also an affiliated club to the ACGB&I but under the control of Auto Cycle Club later to become the ACU. The Boanerges Motor Cycle Club pre-dates the Bocardo Motor Cycle Club by how long is unclear. It is thought that this early name change was due to an early sponsorship deal by a wealthy Club member who owned the Bocardo Press a publishing company. The oldest trophy the club has was first won by R G T Gillman 12th October 1905 for a Reliability Trial. The trophy has the name of The Boanerges Motor Cycling Club.
In 1907 the ACGB&I got the Royal patronage by King Edward VII and changed its name to The Royal Automobile Club and promptly fell out with the Motor Union. The Oxford and District Automobile Club sided with the Motor Union and the Bocardo sided with the RAC and the ACC. The Auto Cycle Club eventually became the Auto Cycle Union. The Bocardo
Motor Cycling Club became the Oxford Motor Cycling Club and the Oxford and District Automobile Club became the Oxfordshire Automobile Club.
In 1910 the Motor Union was in a poor way and amalgamated with the Automobile Association. Oxfordshire Automobile Club re-registered with the RAC, who recorded that the club was founded in 1907. The Oxford Motor Cycling Club, was recorded to have been founded in 1905.
The photo above shows the entrants in the London to Exeter trial, Boxing day 1913. WRM Motors entered three Bullnose Morris’s, all three crewed by Club members. The event was run by the Motor Cycle Club who are still going strong.
After the First World War the Club had lost many male members to the war but had been kept going by those too old to go to war and the female members. On Wednesday 13th June 1919 a meeting was convened at the Tap House Music Rooms, Oxford, where the two Clubs with their depleted memberships were invited to re-form as one club, The Oxford Motor Club. Both the Oxfordshire Automobile Club and the Oxford Motor Cycle Club retained their names well into the twenties as organisers of events in their respective disciplines. Finally dropping the separate club names around 1924 when the final club name was officially registered with the RAC.
The car above, though not contemporary with 1913 but our bit to celebrate the Morris Centenary, is the sports car version of the Morris Oxford. It was driven by Cecil Kimber and navigated by Wilfrid Mathews on the 1925 Lands end trial. Both were members of OMC, Wilfrid was the Secretary, Cecil was an active member as well as a manager at WRM Motors prior to setting up the MG mark.
As of 24th November 2012; The Club has recovered a trophy from the son of a previous Chairman. The trophy was awarded for ‘Reliability Trials’ by the Boanerges Motor Cycling Club. The first winner was RGT Gillman dated 12th October 1905. The trophy was competed for up until 1909. All winners were members of the Bocardo and subsequently Oxford Motor Club. Further research may one day get to the bottom of the motor cyclist wing of the club.
2015. The club ran the 30th Carfax stage Rally at Throckmorton Aerodrome in Worcestershire. The event ran until 2017. Previous Carfax venues were Finmere, Turweston, Barford St.John USAF radio station, Bruntingthorpe, Cranfield aerodrome, now part of the Open University, Enstone, Longcross vehicle test circuit, now a film set), and Benson rotory wing Aerodrome.
2019. The club comes a close second in the JLT Motorsport UK ‘Club of the year’ award.