Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Proposal for historic motorsport attraction on old Rest and Be Thankful road

I find it weird how a monstrous eyesore like Loch Lomond Shores can be built in a National Park (where the authority is supposedly stopping the place from being spoiled by development) with apparently no objection, while something that would keep alive a fairly well forgotten historic memory attracts negative comments.

One of the things that always saddens me is seeing pictures of the motoring events that were once held regularly on the old Rest and Be Thankful road.

These happened way before even my time, so I never had any chance to see them.

There are still occasional events there, but I think they are rare, and not well known.

I doubt many people are even aware of what happened, or happens, there unless they are motoring nuts.

We’ve lost a fair number of our little motoring museums, and others, over the years, and he has a point about this site.

SCOTS racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart has become a major driving force in an ambitious project celebrating a historic Highland road’s rich motoring history.

Plans to create a visitor attraction overlooking the old Military Road at the Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll have received the backing of the former world motorsport champion.

The Rest and Be Thankful Heritage Project will comprise of retail, cafe and arts spaces within a contemporary building aimed to highlight the road’s famous history.

Sir Jackie once raced the once-renowned hill climb events which were staged by the Royal Scottish Automobile Club at the Glen Croe site decades ago

The military road below the current A83, with its famous 400-feet gradient and hairpin bends, attracted leading international drivers including another world champion, the late Jim Clark, until its condition meant only select events could be staged after 1970.

Sir Jackie Stewart, who raced the 1400-yard course in a Ford in 1961, believes Scotland is missing a landmark to commemorate its proud place in global motorsport.

Via Sir Jackie Stewart backs attraction bid to celebrate Highland road – The Scotsman

It’s not as if something is being created for no good reason, or there is some fiction behind the plan to create this facility.

And I think it would look a damned site better than the temporary food and drink caravans that are planted at the RABT car park each year.

The fairly level, straight(ish), and easy climb up the hill via the modern road can just be made out to the centre left in the pic below, while the old military road can be seen snaking along a little below the new road.


August 11, 2015 - Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I do recall, as a child, on our way to annual holidays in Campbeltown, that the hillclimb was taking part as we passed, but at that time, my motorsport involvement was many years distant, so it held little interest.

    Later, in the 70s, I recall the sight of the original mighty Quattros four wheel power drifting around the top hairpin (probably either the Scottish Rally or the late lamented Burmah). Actually, I suppose that the Scottish is also late, lamented too, as there has been no high level rallying in Scotland for many years.

    The road has apparently been resurfaced recently, presumably to cope with repeated landslide diversions, but out of interest, there’s a 2014 in-car video of Hannu Mikkola in a road-going TT at


    Comment by Ian McConnell | August 11, 2015

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