During the 1950's a new section of trials emerged and developed into what we now term 'Sporting Trials'. Until this time, trials had largely been of the 'classic reliability' type; a number of traditional un-srfaced lanes joined by a pre-described road route. The winner of the event being the car/crew combination that had reached the summit of the most hills (known as sections) and completed under their own power the road route to the finish which, in some cases was several 100 miles from the start. This was the pre-war environment of cars such as MG's, Austin 7's and Allards, often entered as works team entries. Post war the sport started again much where it had left off, and natural evolution of the cars meant that ever lighter weight specials based around Ford10hp components become popular. There were some production manufacturers of suitable vehicles such as Dellow, but at least as many unique 'specials' created by the owner/builder/driver. The first Lotus being built for exactly this type of event.
As ever more ingenious designs came to be seen the RAC who governed the sport at that time decided to develop a 'National trials formula'. Vehicles were required to be built within fixed constraints for engine positioning, wheel size and donor components. Under these guidelines a new breed of trials car emerged, often with limited road equipment (for events were now held as multi venue with limited mileage, single venue) These amazing little cars were tremendously nimble due to their light weight, extreme steering lock and fiddle brakes. Events were well attended by spectators and competitors and even featured in the BBC Television trophy trial. It wasn’t until the mid 1960's that any true competition of the ford10hp, Austin8 components started to appear, but by this time the reputation of these original sporting trials cars had left a significant mark in the history of this quintessentially British motorsport.
Now, more than 60 years since they started to appear, it is for these Cannons, Alexis, and specials that the HSTA events are designed to cater for. Many of the vehicles competing today have long period competition history, and still wear the scars. The HSTA events allow them the opportunity to come out of the sheds where many have lain dormant, to battle again on the muddy hillsides in the UK.