The MG Car Club Rocky Mountain Centre (MGCC-RMC) has been awarded the prestigious Nuffield Challenge Trophy for the United States by its parent organization, the MG Car Club (UK) of Abingdon, England.
The trophy was first awarded in 1936 to one of twelve regional centres of the MG Car Club in England by William R. Morris, also known as Lord Nuffield. Morris was the owner of Morris Motors Ltd., (later the British Motor Corporation), parent of the MG brand. As interest in MGs grew internationally, affiliate Overseas Centres were established in various countries across the globe. While the original Nuffield Trophy was cast in gold, one of four silver traveling versions was created in 1954 for presentation to centres based in the United States and North America. Other overseas centres receiving a trophy that year were located in Africa, Europe, and Oceana.
The Nuffield Challenge Trophy is presented to the centre who has demonstrated enthusiasm, enterprise, and commitment to growing and maintaining membership. According to Lord Nuffield, the trophy “will enhance the Club’s prestige, assist its growth, and add to the enthusiasm of its members.”
The MGCC-RMC has more than 200 members living in Colorado and neighboring states. Established in 1952 by Hazel Hopkins Marble and Denis Evans, the club is North America’s longest continuously operating MGCC Overseas Centre, and the first single British marque car club established in the State of Colorado. The club’s signature event is the annual Rallye Glenwood Springs. The Rallye celebrates its 66th running in 2018 and is the oldest continuously run road rally in the United States.
“Dancing Daughter” Doreen Evans and the Rocky Mountain Centre: A Family Affair
In addition to Ms. Marble, famous names associated with the MGCC-Rocky Mountain Centre include Doreen Evans, her brother Denis and husband Allan Phipps. Doreen was one of the “Dancing Daughters” who drove an 847 cc MG PA for the MG works team at Le Mans in 1935. The team was managed by Captain George Eyston. Doreen finished 25th at Le Mans and went on to rally MG works saloon cars, winning first in class at the 1935 RAC Rally. Doreen made headlines after surviving a dramatic accident at Brooklands in 1936, escaping from her 750cc R Type as it caught fire and crashed on the circuit’s banking. She suffered only minor injuries, having leapt from the car while it was still at speed.
Doreen married gentleman racing driver Allan Phipps (who drove Aston Martins at Brooklands) and moved to the Denver area in 1936. Her brother Denis, also an accomplished pre-war MG works driver, moved to the Denver area and sold MGs in the early 1950s. Doreen and her brother were involved in the formation of the MGCC-RMC . Allan Phipps and his brother, sons of a U.S. Senator, were successful business partners, and would later own the Denver Broncos, the professional NFL team.
Doreen quit driving competitively in 1954 after she was injured in a crash during a time trial held in the Colorado Springs area. Doreen and Allan divorced in 1953. She died in 1982.
About MG Cars
MG (Morris Garage) Cars were originally tuned, re-bodied versions of Morris automobiles. The earliest examples were built in the early 1920s. In 1930, the MG Car Company Limited was established, and formally became a division of Morris Motors, Ltd. in 1935. Cecil Kimber served as managing director. More than eighty different models of MG cars have been produced since the mid-1920s. Some 500,00 examples of the MGB, the company’s most popular model, were produced from 1962-1980. After several changes in ownership, the MG brand continues to this day, with its distinctive Octagon logo appearing on vehicles produced by SAIC in China.
1. The Nuffield Challenge Trophy is accepted by officers and members of the MG Car Club, Rocky Mountain Centre (L to R): John Fraioli, Neil White, Al Wulf, Keith Kerr, Jonathan Lane, Alan Magnuson, and Rich Weiskopf.
2. The Nuffield Challenge Trophy for North America
3. Hazel Hopkins Marble (Mrs. Leroy Hopkins) and Denis Evans, founding members of the MGCC-RMC, as pictured in Denver area newspaper article, 1953.
4. Doreen Evans, circa 1934.
5. Doreen Evans (Mrs. Allan Phipps) in May, 1952 newspaper article.
6. Hazel Hopkins Marble in later years.