MOTORWISE have a long history with motorsport going back
to the early seventies when proprietor Jim McDowall started competing in club rallies in a Mini Cooper. After the Mini came
a brief foray into a Ford Escort BDA, followed by an Opel Kadett and finally into the Hillman/Talbot marque where he remains
loyal up to the present day.
The first Talbot Sunbeam was built in 1982 from a works shell (Skip Brown) and several
other Sunbeams followed until a 2-door Hillman Avenger was bought in 1992. This Avenger, after a total rebuild and fitted
with Skip Brown's famous 1600 pushrod engine and laterly a 2200 Lotus Sunbeam engine, served until 2007 having competed
in 15 ‘Tour of Mulls', as well as many other events, when it was retired in favour of a Sunbeam Lotus.
Although quicker and lighter than the Avenger, the Lotus didn't have the character of it predecessor and a replacement
2-door Avenger was found in west Wales, this one a standard road car which had been lying in a shed for 15 years. The car
was stripped to a bare shell and sandblasted and was in surprisingly excellent condition for its year (1974). It was sprayed,
built and made ready in 6 weeks for this years ‘Tour of Mull', again fitted with the original 1600 engine, where
the car took top honours winning the Lawrence Willis Cup for the best prepared car, an accolade also won in 2004 with the
The generations move on and Jim's son Jamie is now competing as well at the age of16. He
is navigating for his dad, their first event being the Christmas Stages at Croft in January where, in the terrible snowy condtions
they were lucky to finish having run all day on slick tyres. A better run materialised on the Border Counties on Jamie's
16th birthday in March, this time in the Mazda 323. The best result in 2010 was 1st overall in the historic class on the Jim
Clark Reivers in May in the Avenger. The rally year finished in Mull where the pair had mixed luck, firstly with the gearbox
jamming on the Saturday afternoon and then the engine blowing on the Saturday night when they had one stage to go and lying
second in the Trophy Rally.
Jamie moved into the driver's seat in the Mazda in November at the Fuchs Lubricant
Rallycross at Knockhill and in his very first event as a driver, took a tremendous 3rd overall in the rally car class.
As well as competing, Jim is also a Motor Sports Association National ‘A' Scrutineer and officiates on events
both locally and nationwide. He is a regular Scrutineer at the British Round at Silverstone of the Formula 1 calender, the
British Touring Car Championship and the British Rally Championship as well as many other events such as rallycross, hillclimbing
and circuit racing.
Motorwise have recenty started, as a sideline, a motorsport preparation section and can now
offer a full range of support either from complete car preparation to rebuilds and on event servicing. We specialise in the
older 2 wheel drive cars such as Ford Escorts, Sunbeams, Novas, Corsas and so on and have just been commissioned with our
first two projects, a BMW 2500 for a customer in Carlisle who will be competing in the BMW challenge in 2010 and an Avenger
for a customer in the Midlands who watched our own car in Mull and was so impressed, he wants his one prepared to the same
We offer a complete package which includes paint and bodywork, from bare shell to a rebuild or repair.
Give us a call on 01671 40 40 80 to discuss your requirements and take the strain out of building the car yourself.
A big thank you to our service crew who keep the car going: David Kilpatrick, Jamie McDowall, Forsyth Vance and Bob Sherry.