Racing heritage

Rob Kirby is a former British racing driver. He began his career in 1974 driving his Mini Cooper S in stage race rallies culminating with winning the 1985 British Saloon Car Championships in his Class, driving an Alfa GTV 6 for the Alfa Romeo Dealer Team.

 

In conjunction with racing, Rob also built his cars and many of the other racecars driven by the Alfa Dealer Team. In 1980 Rob was invited to guest drive the Napolina GTV 2 Litre with driver John Dooley and in the following year progressed to driving for the Alfa Dealer Team in the Saloon car championships.

 

In 1985 Rob moved into the current Premier Garage site where he combined racing and preparing cars with running a petrol forecourt and garage repair business.  

Alfa Romeo GTV6 race car restoration / Harrison Kirby

In 2017 Rob Kirby's son, Harrison started the immense task of restoring his fathers Alfa Romeo GTV6. With incredible skill and dedication he is on the way to reaching his ambition of getting the GTV6 back on the track and racing. We are very proud that after a break of 30 years our 'Racing Heritage' is coming back to life. 

We will continue to add updates here on the progress of the GTV6 restoration follow our Facebook page @PremierGarageNewport for notifications.

Engine bay finished as original, using many of the original racing parts.

Engine bay finished as original, using many of the original racing parts.

May 2020

Front brakes and split rims restored to working condition. These ‘twin caliper balance brakes’ were

Front brakes and split rims restored to working condition. These ‘twin caliper balance brakes’ were

May 2020

Original custom made wheels fitted on the car.

Original custom made wheels fitted on the car.

May 2020

Adding stripes to the john west car in the traditional way

Adding stripes to the john west car in the traditional way

September 2019

Matching to the original 1986 alfa 75 wing

Matching to the original 1986 alfa 75 wing

September 2019

Done. Striped

Done. Striped

September 2019

GTV6 Restoration

GTV6 Restoration

September 2019

GTV6 Restoration

GTV6 Restoration

September 2019

GTV6 Restoration

GTV6 Restoration

September 2019

GTV6 Restoration

GTV6 Restoration

September 2019

GTV6 Restoration

GTV6 Restoration

The body required a complete re spray which was completed by Rob and Laurence Kirby on site at Premier Garage.

GTV6 1985

GTV6 1985

Championship winning season GTV6 original livery painted by Rob Kirby

Mini Cooper S

Mini Cooper S

Stage race rally in Norfolk 1974. Built by Rob Kirby at Hadstock Airdrome between 1970-74 and raced for 2 years between 1974/5

Opel Cadet 1500 cc

Opel Cadet 1500 cc

Stage race rally in Norfolk 1977/78 using all the road.. and the ditch. Built in 1976 to standard road car level. An excellent handling car, which made up for the lack of power.

Opel Cadet

Opel Cadet

Britvick Rally Chemlsford 1977/78

Opel Cadet

Opel Cadet

Stage rally into the night so lights (and sunglasses!) on.

Alfa Romeo Alfasud 1300TI

Alfa Romeo Alfasud 1300TI

Production saloon car 1979. Built by Rob and Malcolm Coston. Raced by Nick Baughn for the Alfa Romeo Dealer Team, it went onto win 2 championships in 1979. In the 31 races there was only 1 DNF.

Alfa GTV 2L 1980

Alfa GTV 2L 1980

Silverstone 6 hour relay race. Rob built the car for the Alfa Dealer Team driver John Dooley. He then guest drove in the race.

Alfa GTV 2L

Alfa GTV 2L

1980 Rob driving in the Silverstone 6hr relay race.

Alfasud sprint

Alfasud sprint

22nd March 1981 1st Round at Mallory Park in the Tricentrol Saloon Car Championship. Built and driven by Rob for the Alfa Dealer Team and sponsored by Napolina.

Alfasud 1500

Alfasud 1500

Donnington 1982. The start of a big accident.

Alfasud

Alfasud

Mallory Park 23rd Oct 1983 Winner of the Mario Delloti Trophy pictured with pit mechanic Graeme Millar.

Alfasud

Alfasud

Saloon Car championship race at Silverstone 1983. Pictured Top-John Dooley driving for the Alfa Dealer Team. Left- Patrick Watts for the Unipart team and Right-Rob Kirby for the Alfa Dealer Team.

Alfasud

Alfasud

Saloon car championship 1983 car set up with Campognolo full wets

Alfasud

Alfasud

Paddock Bend at Brands Hatch 1983. Qualifying in the Trimoco Saloon Car Championships.

Alfa GTV 6

Alfa GTV 6

Copse at Silverstone Trimoco British Saloon Car Championships 1985. Pictured Left-John Dooley. Centre- Andy Rouse. Right-Rob Kirby

1985 British saloon Car Championship

1985 British saloon Car Championship

Rob Kirby class B winner in the 1985 British saloon Car Championships. Andy Rouse pictured on the right as overall winner.

Alfa 75

Alfa 75

First year of the Alfa 75 built by Rob. 1986 Premier Garage forecourt (previously Scimitar Services)

Alfa 75

Alfa 75

Thruxton 1986 racing against Chris Hodgetts in his Toyota Corolla GT.

Alfa 75 2.5 V6

Alfa 75 2.5 V6

Alfa Romeo Dealer Team article in Autosport.

One of Rob’s personal highlights of his professional racing career was in 1989 guest driving a VW Golf GTI in the Willhire 25 hour.  Rob and co driver, Nick Baughn took the Golf to 1st in class and 2nd overall. 1989 was the only year the annual race had been run over 25 hours rather than 24 to celebrate Willhire’s 25th anniversary.

Premier Garage

Address

Independently owned vehicle repair and MOT garage, established in 1985 from a passion in motor racing and preparing race cars.

We take pride in providing excellent quality service at competitive prices, for all cars and light commercial vehicles.

Premier Garage,

High Street, Newport Saffron Walden 

CB11 3PE

Opening Hours

Mon: 8am - 5:30pm

Tue: 8am - 5:30pm

Wed: 8am - 5:30pm

Thu: 8am - 5:30pm

Fri: 8am - 5:30pm
​​Sat/Sun: Closed

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01799 541041

Mini Cooper S

Stage race rally in Norfolk 1974. Built by Rob Kirby at Hadstock Airdrome between 1970-74 and raced for 2 years between 1974/5