Sunday, 23 January 2011

Pauline Mayman

Pauline (standing) at the 1964 Tour de France, with Val Domleo

Pauline is remembered by many as navigator to Pat Moss in 1962, as well as being a driver in her own right. Most notably, she and Pat won the Baden-Baden rally together, in a Mini. Also in a Mini, they were third in the Geneva Rally. In the Austin-Healey 3000, Pat’s signature car, they were second in the Polish Rally and third in the Alpine and RAC Rallies.

Pauline began her driving career in club rallies in the 1950s, and her first international event was the 1959 RAC Rally. Her car was a Morgan 4/4, which she had been using previously on British rallies. Daphne Freeman was co-driving. Pauline’s husband, Lionel, was also a Morgan driver. It was as his navigator that she got her start in rallying.

In 1960, her biggest achievement was probably a second place in the Express & Star Rally, driving the Morgan once more, with Valerie Domleo. This was described as a difficult event, and many crews missed the first control.

She made her first Monte Carlo appearance the following year, driving a Sunbeam Rapier, with Mary Handley-Page and Daphne Freeman. Her finishing position is unknown. A return to the Express & Star Rally led to a very swift retirement - after ten minutes of navigational test, the electrics failed on her car. She also drove in the London Rally in an MG 1100.

For 1962, she was contracted to BMC as a navigator, so driving was put to one side for a time. Although she was a successful co-driver, Pauline, however, wished to return to the driving seat, which she did in 1963. She was retained by BMC, and drove the Mini Cooper with Val Domleo. They were 28th in Monte Carlo, and 21st in the Tulip Rally, with a third in the Ladies’ Cup, behind Pat Moss and Sylvia Österberg. They won the Coupe des Dames in the Trifels Rally, as well as winning their class. The Alpine gave Pauline probably the best finish of her career: sixth, with a Coupe des Alpes. She was 30th in the season-ending RAC Rally.

In 1964, she was involved in a serious accident in Monte Carlo. Her Mini was hit by a farmer’s truck, and she suffered multiple injuries, including a broken leg. After five months out of action, Pauline returned in time for the Alpine Rally, and was thirteenth, sixth in the Touring class, and first lady, driving a Mini with Valerie Domleo. She later drove in the Spa-Sofia-Liège marathon rally, as well as the RAC Rally, in an MGB.

As well as rallying, Pauline raced on the circuits occasionally. Before her rally career began in earnest, she drove a Cooper T39, and her Morgan, in handicap races. Later, she and Elizabeth Jones drove a Mini together in the 1962 Brands Hatch 6-Hour race, and she also took part in some rallycross events. She participated in the Tour de France twice, both times in a Mini: in 1963, she and Elizabeth Jones failed to make the finish, but in 1964, she and Valerie Domleo were 28th, first in the one-litre Touring class.

1965 was Pauline’s last year of competition. She was still experiencing trouble from her 1964 Monte injuries and had had enough. The highlight of this year was a thirteenth place and class win on the Alpine Rally, which was always her best event.

After her retirement from the stages, Pauline helped to run her family autoparts business, and was involved in the management of the Kieft racing car company. She also devoted a lot of time to breeding and rescuing Irish Wolfhounds.

She died of cancer in 1989, aged 61.

(Image from


  1. Good to see that hat again after all these years!

    Nick Mayman (Pauline's son)

  2. Hi Nick did your mum run a garage in Birmingham years ago?

    1. I vaguely remember something about Paulines husband Lionel running a garage or dealership in Birmingham but she definitely had a tuning shop on Broad Street in Birmingham. Her name brings back many memories of the good old days of motorsports and the era of tuning businesses in the Midlands