Obituary: Joy Rainey

27 Jan 2020

Our president, John Moody, collects his thoughts on Joy Rainey, a remarkable competitor and friend to Shelsley Walsh who recently passed away.


“Joy Rainey, who died recently whilst in Australia, was remarkable in various types of motor sport. 


Born in Australia, she came to England with her father in 1959 and got to know a number of motor racing competitors and she wrote a column in the motoring section in the Daily Telegraph. Despite the difficulty of restricted growth, she began to enter motorsport events and first competed at Shelsley in 1974 with her E-type Jaguar. This was then followed by a series of cars including her father’s pre-war Alfa Romeo, and then she used single seater hill climb cars in which she held the Ladies’ Record at Shelsley for many years from 1979 onwards.


Joy then moved from hill climbing to long distance events. She covered the London to Sydney Marathon in a Morris Minor 1000 and in 2004 she drove her 1904 Oldsmobile from California to Florida in 31 days at a 20 m.p.h. average – an amazing achievement.


In the last couple of years she had visited hill climbs in her McLaren, a very powerful and sophisticated car, and she was happy to show and explain the features of the car to spectators and give some lucky ones a ride up the hill.


A brave, friendly and popular lady.”




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