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Vintage sports car racing.

First Historic Hill Climb At Arthurs Seat.

September 1992

Hill climb racing in Australia is something on an enigma. Hill climbing with motorbikes and cars was very popular from the twenties onwards, attracting considerable crowds and competitors yet it dropped away almost completely after the war.

The hill climbs of the thirties are remembered as picnic affairs where it was not unusual the pull the guards of the family transport and throw the old banger up a hill. There wasn’t a lot of regulation so special machines could be prepared. These may range from rolling chassis with different wheel sizes on the left and right side to help with cornering ( not real flash on the straights ) to very lightweight items that dispensed with the unnecessary dead weight of brakes. Well there’s really no need for brakes if you are going up a steep incline, the gravity will stop you as you back off the loud pedal at the top of the hill.

And because most of the competing machines were often just common transport there was a wealth of instant spare parts available in the unattended public car parks right next to the hill climb track.

The Arthurs Hill road was reclaimed for uphill sprints after fifty years. However the tone of this revived event had little in common with the past. The Historic Hill Climb instigated by the Austin 7 Car club was not quite such a cowboy affair. The road was sealed for instance, but some pretty stupid old coots put up a fair display of geriatric testosterone.

You can see one of these brainless coots behind the camera in the Bentley.

This is quite the most stupid thing I have ever done and as soon as the driver came to the first corner and smeared off speed by rolling his tyres down to the rims I knew that I had made a terrible mistake.

At the top of the track he alighted and apologised for the slow run, I got out and changed my trousers.

This over-the-driver's-shoulder shot appears in the video with the map of the course superimposed in the frame. It cost me so much terror I wasn't going to just throw the shot away!

But I did have to clean up the sound track.

Bentley defies inertia

Arthurs Seat road map

The Road:
Length 1.9 km.
Width 6.5 mt.
Rise 190 mt

The Competition:

Programme - Events List

EVENT 1    Group J Racing up to 1500cc  (Pre 1930)
EVENT 2    Group J Racing over 1501cc
EVENT 3    Group J Sports up to 1500cc  (Pre 1930)
EVENT 4    Group J Racing 1501 - 3000cc
EVENT 5    Group J Sports over 3001cc
EVENT 6    Austin 7 Racing Cars (Group J & K, Pre 1940)
EVENT 7    Group K Racing up to 1500cc  (1931 - 1940)
EVENT 8    Group K Racing over 1501cc
EVENT 9    Group K Sports up to 1500cc  (1931 - 1940)
EVENT 10  Group K Sports over 1501cc
EVENT 11  Group LB Racing - All Capacities  (1941-1960)
EVENT 12  Group LB Sports - All Capacities
EVENT 13  Group SA under 2001cc
EVENT 14  Group SA over 2001cc.

80 Cars made between 1920 and 1960 compete on a road that was unraced for fifty years.

MG special Morgasm
Bentley Hispano Suisa special.

This 58 minute programme, produced to the highest standards, will enthral each and every person who takes the opportunity too savour the nostalgic and sometimes thrilling delights.

Ride up the course mostly in the back of a Speed Six Bentley!

See an MG TC Special almost flip!

Gasp as a twelve litre aeroplane-engined Hispano Suiza tractors up the hill while oil company representatives cheer wildly!

Yes. Yes. Yes! All your vintage car dreams come true as these preposterously old cars are driven at dangerous speeds up a steep mountain road that is normally littered with defeated Volkswagen Combis.

Hill Climb orders
Hill Climb racers

This unique, high quality programme $4.95 plus post and handling.

Link to Hot Rods Intro

Hot Rods 1.
Hot Rods 2.
Hot Rods 3

All material on this site is the copyright of Australian Bushcraft Library. 2012.