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Penguin Hillclimb Tasmania


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#1 275 GTB-4

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 09:34

The town of Penguin in Northern Tasmania Hillclimb. A friend has taken pictures of the track as it is today.

Deviation Road

Start
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Finish

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Access road (Mission Hill Road)

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Dennis tells me that there were no houses around when the climb was in operation and also assures me that the pictures do not show the true steepness of the course (ohhhh, and Telegraph Poles were also not in evidence!)

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#2 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:54

That looks like an interesting climb. Enough hazards to keep you concentrating. A very snakey layout.

Here's the map. Sadly, the Google Earth sat coverage is too low-res.

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#3 SGM

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 03:43

The Penguin Hillclimb was organised by the North West Car Club and ran between 1954 and 1970. It was very popular and people like John McCormack, John Goss and Paul Hawkins cut their motor racing teeth there. There was also mainland interest with Tom Hawkes setting the record in his Allard which stood for many years. Later Paul England and Erol Richardson both held the outright record with Richardson pushing the mark down to 36.8 seconds on 20/11/1970 in his SCV, which was the final event held. It was a legendary event in Tasmania and many who are old enough to remember it still talk about it fondly. The NWCC would like to put a history of the hillclimb together and are trying to track down any photos/slides, programs, results etc, as unfortunately very little of this material survives. If your friend Dennis, or anyone else has any info, we would love to hear from them.

Cheers,
Steve

I have a couple of photos to put on but couldn't work out how. What is the go?

#4 275 GTB-4

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 10:33

Steve,

Thanks for that...it looks like it was a great hill :up: I have passed your request for info on to Dennis.

Join up to photobucket or one of the many photo hosting websites then read about how to post them here:

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=70638

Cheers, Mick

#5 275 GTB-4

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 09:25

From Dennis...

I don't have any other information to pass on. In fact I never attended an event at Penguin. It closed before I became much interested. The location was well known to all my fellow hoons who lived in the region (and was occasionally tested "out-of-hours" - not me - no!!!).

There should be a few old NWCC people around the Ulverstone/Burnie region - the club was very strong in the 70s when I lived locally. I believe NWCC changed to the Highclere and Ridgley hillclimb locations after Penguin closed down. I went to Highclere once or twice and I think I have some photos somewhere.

Dennis

I wonder if ity might be possible to stage a "back to Penguin" event??? Dennis says...forget it! Its been 40 years and the current crop of residents probably could not care less...however, I reckon an approach to Mayor etc might be worthwhile :)

#6 SGM

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 22:58

The Nwcc thought about having a re-run of the climb to celebrate the clubs 50th anniversary in 2005 but the Track license requirements and amount of houses on the course made it unviable. I believe the main reason the hillclimb was discontinued was because of housing development encroaching on the track. Yes the club went to the Highclere course in 1975 and we still use it twice a year making it the longest running hillclimb in Tassie. In between we had a couple of years at Flowerdale for which we have no information whatsover. The image below (if it works!) is of John Zeigler in the ex Alan Ling ex Geoghegan Holden. I would say it was taken at the position of picture 13 of Dennis's.

http://s56.photobuck...illclimb002.jpg

Dennis, I would love to see your pics of highclere if you can dig them out.

#7 275 GTB-4

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:59

Hallelujah!! they have lifted the clouds and updated to hi res on Google Earth..pity you don't seem to be able to explore the climb on streetview.

The climb used the majority of Deviation Road...

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#8 austmcreg

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 14:54

The climb used the majority of Deviation Road...

No it did not. You have to realise that at the time Penguin hillclimb ran, c1955-1970, the Bass Highway was down on the coast (now Preservation Drive) and Deviation road and Pine Road were one continuous road (I cannot remember what it was called then). The current Bass Highway that now cuts this road did not exist until the 1970s. I think the impending roadworks, as well as the encroaching houses, was one reason why its use was stopped. Another was the state of the road - it was deteriorating, and the old fences were now nearly non-existant and deemed unsafe.

The meeting at which Erol Richardson set the final record was stopped early (due to timing problems if I remember correctly) and most competitors only got one or two runs after some long delays.

My father was one of the two CAMS stewards at that meeting and I was on duty relaying times from timekeepers to drivers, something I did whenever dad was working there as an official; he and my uncle shared the starters duties for several years about 1963-66, and later as a steward on several occasions.

I dont have any photos of later Penguin hillclimbs but do have some from 1955 first meeting.

Rob Saward

Edited by austmcreg, 25 October 2012 - 11:09.


#9 rms

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:21

I just took a ground level "drive" up Penguin on "Google Earth". Brings it all back !

From what I remember it was a 5th gear all the way- very fast corners and bl&&^y dangerous if you came unstuck.
What is now armco used to be barbed wire and a drop into the valley.
Had some mid week "private practice" in Jack's new 289 GT Falcon.

I remember the hospitality of the locals and the after event party, I don't remember the home owners name though.

I relished this hill with it's higher speed corners, certainly different to the slower mainland hills.

Erol


#10 275 GTB-4

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:18

Derek has an "off"

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Edited by 275 GTB-4, 25 October 2012 - 09:28.


#11 275 GTB-4

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:44

I just took a ground level "drive" up Penguin on "Google Earth". Brings it all back !

From what I remember it was a 5th gear all the way- very fast corners and bl&&^y dangerous if you came unstuck.
What is now armco used to be barbed wire and a drop into the valley.
Had some mid week "private practice" in Jack's new 289 GT Falcon.

I remember the hospitality of the locals and the after event party, I don't remember the home owners name though.

I relished this hill with it's higher speed corners, certainly different to the slower mainland hills.

Erol


Hope those Taswegians wern't too miffed when you ran away with the silverware in 1970 Erol :)

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Edited by 275 GTB-4, 25 October 2012 - 09:46.


#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:01

Those photos of Derek Jolly should be referred to kaydee?

I wonder if he was also there that day...

Good descriptive words there, Erol!

#13 D-Type

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 13:39

It's interesting to see a Cooper-JAP featuring as late as 1965. Was this an 'original' one or an FJ with a JAP motor?

#14 275 GTB-4

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 23:28

No it did not. You have to realise that at the time Penguin hillclimb ran, c1955-1970, the Bass Highway was down on the coast (now Preservation Drive) and Deviation road and Pine Road were one continuous road (I cannot remember what it was called then). The current Bass Highway that now cuts this road did not exist until the 1970s. I think the impending roadworks, as well as the encroaching houses, was one reason why its use was stopped. Another was the state of the road - it was deteriorating, and the old fences were now nearly non-existant and deemed unsafe.

The meeting at which Erol Richardson set the final record was stopped early (due to timing problems if I remember correctly) and most competitors only got one or two runs after some long delays.

My father was one of the two CAMS stewards at that meeting and I was on duty relaying times from timekeepers to drivers, something I did whenever dad was working there as an official; he and my uncle shared the starters duties for several years about 1963-66, and later as a steward on several occasions.

I dont have any photos of later Penguin hillclimbs but do have some from 1955 first meeting.

Rob Saward


Thanks Rob...now we are getting somewhere (as they did in period!)....look forward to your 1955 pictures :up:

#15 275 GTB-4

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 23:29

It's interesting to see a Cooper-JAP featuring as late as 1965.


and dead-heating/co-winning with Lyn Archers Elfin Ford...

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 25 October 2012 - 23:30.


#16 austmcreg

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:24

and dead-heating/co-winning with Lyn Archers Elfin Ford...

That honour board is the THCC, not all Penguin, though Penguin was certainly Tasmanias leading hill climb in late 60s. The THCC was shared around Penguin, Domain, Trevallyn and later Hillwood. The event when Fysh and Archer shared FTD was in Hobart. The Fysh car was, I think (can anyone confirm) the ex Walton Cooper JAP that won several AHCC. Interesting that 1956 is blank - I think I have program from 1956 THCC at Trevallyn. Will check at weekend.

The 1972 THCC was at Flowerdale. I will shortly start a new thread for Flowerdale if there is not already one, as I can post the program for that event. I do, somehere, have photos of Highclere , and maybe a few Flowerdale, so when i get them scanned wiil post some.

Edited by austmcreg, 26 October 2012 - 02:33.


#17 austmcreg

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 02:40

The Derek Holden accident could have been more serious. He hit a low stree stump just off the road, and cut his face quite badly on the perspex screen. I must have been standing pretty close to the photographer becasue I had the same view. The stewards had a bit of work to do after that meeting. That car is the HEA Simca, built by Harry Atherton but best known in Brian Bowe's hands before Derek Holden.

Rob Saward

#18 ellrosso

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 04:10

I've posted this one elsewhere before but its a good Penguin shot taken by Eddie Wilson. Robin Pare taking off in the Don Elliot Mustang -1968?

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#19 275 GTB-4

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 07:04

That honour board is the THCC, not all Penguin, though Penguin was certainly Tasmanias leading hill climb in late 60s. The THCC was shared around Penguin, Domain, Trevallyn and later Hillwood. The event when Fysh and Archer shared FTD was in Hobart. The Fysh car was, I think (can anyone confirm) the ex Walton Cooper JAP that won several AHCC. Interesting that 1956 is blank - I think I have program from 1956 THCC at Trevallyn. Will check at weekend.

The 1972 THCC was at Flowerdale. I will shortly start a new thread for Flowerdale if there is not already one, as I can post the program for that event. I do, somehere, have photos of Highclere, maybe a few Flowerdale, so when i get them scanned wiil post some.


A quick search shows no thread with Flowerdale, Muddy Creek (Legana?), Domain (Launceston or Hobart? not to be confused with AUK) in the title :)

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#20 ellrosso

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 08:05

Musn't forget Ridgeway Hillclimb, which was Hobart's only venue after the Domain was shut down for competition. Went there with my brother in the early 70's. Quite wet and Tom Hey did a good job getting FTD in the ex Kerry Cox Paramount Jag. The Domain H/climb shot could be Wayne Turnbull and could be 1964, sorry nothing definite on that shot. The Ridgeway shot was taken not long after the '67 bushfires which really ripped through that area.

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#21 austmcreg

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:21

Can I suggest gents that we should keep this thread for Penguin photos - there is already another for Highclere, and I will open one shortly for Flowerdale. makes it easier to find stuff. There is already a fair bit of Domain and Trevallyn stuff on other threads but maybe they should have there own too.

Rob Saward

Edited by austmcreg, 27 October 2012 - 00:52.


#22 tsrwright

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 23:55

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. The Fysh car was, I think (can anyone confirm) the ex Walton Cooper JAP that won several AHCC. Interesting that 1956 is blank - I think I have program from 1956 THCC at Trevallyn. Will when i get them scanned wiil post some.


Yes, John Fish owned the car after Bruce. I now own it.

Bruce's AHCC tally was six, 1958 to 1963, which for a long time had an entry in the Guiness Book of Records (Au) for the most consecutive national sporting titles. Of course Peter Gumley has long since passed Bruce's mark.

Edited by tsrwright, 27 October 2012 - 00:07.


#23 austmcreg

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 23:51

Yes, John Fish owned the car after Bruce. I now own it.

Thanks Terry, and my apology for spelling of Fish. There were several famous Fysh family members, one in Tasmanian motoring and motor racing , and I have been corrupted! John Fish brought the car to Tas for a holiday and did a sprint meeting at Richmond as well as the hill climb.

Back to Penguin - a few photos from what I believe was the first meeting there, in March 1955, the week after Longford. I have selected photos that show some course background. The wooden post and rail fence was a feature of Penguin from start to finish, but not looking so good in later years!
Lyn Archer, Austin Healey. Photo J.Saward
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Jock Walkem, Manx Special. Photo J.Saward
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Stan Allen, Ford 10 Special. Photo J.Saward
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And, one from 1958 of Lyn Archer's Cooper Climax, showing part of the the area below the start line that was used as a pit area. Photo by Pat & Jim Smith.
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Rob Saward

Edited by austmcreg, 27 October 2012 - 23:58.


#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:03

Stan Allen, Ford 10 Special?

It looks like (from distant memory of photos once seen...) the Fiat Special...

#25 austmcreg

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:34

Stan Allen, Ford 10 Special?

It looks like (from distant memory of photos once seen...) the Fiat Special...

Later Ray. It started as all Ford 10, and in 1956 was fitted with an early 1950s Fiat 1300cc engine, later supercharged. At the time of this photo, 1955, it was Ford 10 powered. Visually the same, as it retained all the Ford running gear.

Rob Saward

#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:46

Okay, perhaps I should have known that...

By the way, the Fiat engine was from a 1400. As far as I know, it was the only such engine used in any form of racing car in Australia. I believe it was a pretty quick thing, even quicker than the Bashmobile.