Lex Davison and Lyndon Duckett at the Rob Roy
Lex Davison and Lyndon Duckett at the Rob Roy no.11
November 24, 1946
Courtesy Leon Sims
Please contact Leon SimsCopyright
Lyndon Duckett and Lex Davison with their collection at Rob Roy.
Lex Davison (Alexander Nicholas Davison, 12 February 1923 – 20 February 1965) won the Australian Grand Prix four times, the first to do so, between 1954 and 1961. The only other driver to win the event four times is the 7 time World Champion Michael Schumacher). Davison also won the Australian Drivers' Championship seven times. Drivers who win the Australian Grand Prix are awarded the Lex Davison Trophy, to honor Davison. He drove HWM-Jaguar, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Cooper-Climax grand prix cars. He set two records at the Rob Roy Hillclimb, the first in 1956 in a Cooper Vincent at 25.77 seconds, the second in 1957 in a Cooper Irving at 24.85 seconds.
Vernon Lyndon Duckett was a member of the Duckett family of pioneer hardware merchants. He was a car racer and enthusiast and owned and modified many cars including a 1908 Isotta Fraschini F.E.N.C., and a Bugatti Type 35, which he fitted with an 1500cc R1 Anzani engine with twin-overhead cams, and gave its body a rounded tail (rather than the traditional pointed tail of the grand prix car).
The Rob Roy Hillclimb, Australia’s oldest purpose-built Hillclimb, was established in 1937 at Christmas Hills, about 30 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne. Hillclimbing, in which cars are driven uphill one at a time against the clock, is one of motorsport’s oldest events and was first held in 1897 in France.
Cut out of the bush, the Rob Roy course included an uphill, half-mile, graded dirt road. In 1939, the track was sealed and became one of only three bitumen-surfaced purpose-built hillclimbs in the world, the other two being the Shelsley Walsh and Prescott courses in the UK.
The Rob Roy Hillclimb attracted professionals, enthusiasts and amateurs, and has a special place in Australia’s motoring history. Drivers who competed here include Jack Brabham, Harry Firth, Stirling Moss, Jean Behra, Reg Parnell, Stan Jones, Lex Davison, Bill Patterson, Doug Whiteford, Peter Whitehead, Reg Hunt and Len Lukey, drivers who also tackled and in some cases vanquished the Formula One circuit.
In 1962, bushfires ravaged the Rob Roy course, and it lay in disuse for 30 years until the MG Car Club of Victoria secured a lease on the property and faithfully restored the track to host a bustling schedule of Hillclimb events every year.
Sources: Leon Sims, A history of Rob Roy Hillclimb - 1937 to 1961 - The Hill, The Drivers, The Cars. And, the MG Car Club of Victoria