Ian Appleyard

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Appleyard's Coupe d'Or-winning "NUB 120" Jaguar XK120 driven at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Ernest Ian Appleyard (10 October 1923 – 2 June 1998) was a British rally driver, alpine skier and ornithologist. Driving a Jaguar XK120, he won the RAC Rally in 1951 and 1953, the Tulip Rally in 1951 and a Coupe d'Or at the Alpine Rally in 1952. In alpine skiing, he competed for Great Britain in the 1948 Winter Olympic Games. After retiring from sports, he became a leading author on the ring ouzel.


Appleyard was born in Linton, West Yorkshire, in 1923.[1] As a child, he shared an interest in birds and alpine skiing with his brother Geoffrey, who died on an SAS mission during World War II.[2] Ian received his degree in mechanical engineering in 1943 and went on to become a Major at the Royal Military College of Science.[2] In 1946, he accepted a job as a director of the family car dealership Appleyard of Leeds.[2]

The following year, Appleyard finished third in his class at the Alpine Rally in a Jaguar SS100.[2] In 1948, he received factory support from Jaguar Cars.[3] Despite stopping to help an injured rival, he met all the target times and was awarded his first Coupe des Alpes (Alpine Cup).[2] That same year, he competed in the Winter Olympics and finished 55th in men's slalom and 91st in men's downhill.[1] At the wheel of an XK120 and with his wife Patricia "Pat" Lyons, the daughter of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons, as his co-driver,[4] Appleyard finished the Alpine Rally unpenalized three times in a row from 1950 to 1952, becoming the first driver to win the coveted Coupe d'Or (Gold Cup).[5] Only two drivers would match this feat; Stirling Moss in 1954 and Jean Vinatier in 1971.[5]

Appleyard went on to take his fifth Coupe des Alpes in 1953,[5] but achieved success in other rallies as well. In the Netherlands, he drove to victory in the Tulip Rally in 1951,[6] after having finished second two years earlier.[3] In his home country, he won the RAC Rally in 1951 and 1953.[6] In 1953, Appleyard also finished runner-up in the Monte Carlo Rally and the inaugural European Rally Championship.[2][6] He later continued in motorsport more sporadically, taking second place in the 1956 RAC in an XK140.[7]

After retiring from rallying, Appleyard chaired the Appleyard Group until 1988.[2] He also rekindled his interest in birds and started studying the ring ouzel in 1978, eventually becoming a leading author on the subject.[2] In 1994, he released a book titled Ring Ouzels of the Yorkshire Dales.[2] Appleyard died in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in 1998.[1] An obituary in The Independent wrote that "in his gleaming white Jaguar XK120, he became a sporting icon for his generation."[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Ian Appleyard". Sports Reference. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lean, Mary (16 June 1998). "Obituary: Ian Appleyard". The Independent. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Hicks, Roger (1989). Jaguar: An Illustrated History of the World's Most Elegant Sports Car. Crescent Books. p. 13. 
  4. ^ Bouzanquet, Jean-François (2009). Fast Ladies: Female Racing Drivers 1888 to 1970. Veloce Publishing Ltd. p. 98. 
  5. ^ a b c Pfundner, Martin (2005). Alpine Trials & Rallies: 1910 to 1973. Veloce Publishing Ltd. pp. 88–91. 
  6. ^ a b c Dryburgh, Neil (2 May 1984). "Car complex facelift dovetails company's operations in West". The Herald. p. 6. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "6th R.A.C. International Rally". The Motor. Temple Press Ltd. 109: 106. 1956.