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Silverdale Hillclimb nostalgic visit


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#51 275 GTB-4

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:05

more...ish

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#52 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:06

Are you going to phone Jim and ask his consent?

Just do it!

#53 DJH

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:14

Silverdale certainly looks different to my recollections from 1965. Somebody told me recently that parts of the road had been lost in a wash away.
As a spectator there, I remember seeing Ron Thorpe's Cobra ( and others ) lifting the inside rear at the hairpin. An old MG struggling up the hill brought a comment over the PA that "It seems to be in the grip of gravity ! "
All very enjoyable and the steak sandwiches were good too.

#54 Ian G

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:20

Thanks for the Pics. Mick,they did a great job laying the surface,still not breaking up.

#55 brucemoxon

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:25

I loved that place, despite never, ever having a good day there. I had car trouble every single time I ran there.

Has the big tree gone from Big Tree? I always felt almost like I could stick my arm out and whip myself around. Hard corner that - important - nay, vital for a good run up the striaght.

And going up the straight, even in a Mazda Rotary flat out in second gear, I could hear the Bellbirds through the rasp and my helmet!

Is there any chance it could be reopened? A great hill - not many left. And, oh, that suck - it - in drop through The Dipper.



Bruce Moxon

#56 GMACKIE

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:28

There doesn't appear to be any "wash away", in fact the surface seems to be in remarkably good condition. The 'big tree' has gone from 'big tree corner', and the edges are quite overgrown, as you can see in Mick's photos........great shots, by the way.

#57 GMACKIE

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:43

Bruce, I actually heard a Bellbird there on Saturday......a lot of memories.

#58 baz

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 22:48

Patience Padawan...we need to check whether it is OK first...then getting a few done should be easy.

Please confirm that that devlishly good looking, raconteur, guru, man-of-the-world (Dick Willis) is spot on in saying 80mm diameter....


Just checked my sticker and 80mm is about right. I,ve never been to Silverdale myself but I thought the condition of the surface after all this time was remarkable. Thanks for the great photos.

#59 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 23:03

Most of it looks quite good. Though the width makes Collingrove look wide!
The greenies would not let you run there now,, you may destroy the 'virgin' bush. All that has grown in the last decades!
And you might scare of the Bellbirds!! If Bruce did not do that with the rotary anyway.

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 10 September 2012 - 23:04.


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#60 GMACKIE

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 00:58

I wonder, was that Bellbirds that Bruce heard......or his suspension bushes squeaking? :lol:

#61 Dick Willis

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:05

Let me add my congratulations also to Mick for some great photos, sorry I couldn't be there but I was otherwise engaged, at Lowood, which probably warrants starting a new thread which I will do in a few days.

#62 DanTra2858

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:22

I thought that Silverdale closed due to damage to the track, safety fences & timing gear lines after a very bad bushfire in the late 1980's.

It is hard to believe that the track was so narrow, after the lefthander from the start down the dip to the righthander without backing off in my Cortina S/S left one big LUMP in my throat, we must have been MAD.

Good to see the track again, nice photo's & memories.

#63 kevinbartlett

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:25

Most of it looks quite good. Though the width makes Collingrove look wide!
The greenies would not let you run there now,, you may destroy the 'virgin' bush. All that has grown in the last decades!
And you might scare of the Bellbirds!! If Bruce did not do that with the rotary anyway.


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These might help with the bush scene. Tad blurry, blame my youth and the inevitable Box Brownie

Edited by kevinbartlett, 11 September 2012 - 02:37.


#64 GreenMachine

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:56

Thanks for the photos Mick! And KB!

I too am surprised at how well the track has held up. My memory does not accord with the narrowness shown in the photos, but that just shows how memory is fallible I guess ...

#65 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:04

Thanks to all for the kind words about what was a labour of love after all...

Lots of pics to come, but didn't want to take too few shots...I even have one of "KB's rock" at the T Intersection coming up...

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(Edit: having Browser issues (IE9!) so please be patient...OK Google Chrome here we go...)

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 11 September 2012 - 10:03.


#66 seldo

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:18

Patience Padawan...we need to check whether it is OK first...then getting a few done should be easy.

Please confirm that that devlishly good looking, raconteur, guru, man-of-the-world (Dick Willis) is spot on in saying 80mm diameter....

Having regard to the vintage of the originals, is it not likely that they would be an Imperial size - say 3 1/8" = 79.375...?

#67 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:39

Having regard to the vintage of the originals, is it not likely that they would be an Imperial size - say 3 1/8" = 79.375...?


A good point very well made David, however, the kid behind the counter in the sticker shop will think I'm speaking Swahili if I ask for "3 n ate-th" :)

#68 eldougo

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:42

Go say it just for the look on the face on Gen Y, or there abouts


#69 Catalina Park

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:45

I recall that there was a bit of fencing lost in the late 70's in a bushfire.
The reason given for closing and selling the place was a section of track was washed away. Now it seems that it may not have actually happened. :cry:

Great photo of the crowd at the hairpin, Kevin.
I was worried the first time I took the hairpin, no syncro on first gear!

I almost did a night hillclimb there in my Formula Vee! I had already fitted the headlights in preparation but then I went and broke my knee in a Motorbike crash instead. (I couldn't get into the car with plaster on my knee, I tried!)

#70 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:06

Is part of the return road washed away, perhaps? Or maybe a bit of the track undermined, but still present?

Did you give Jim a call, Mick?

#71 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:13

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These might help with the bush scene. Tad blurry, blame my youth and the inevitable Box Brownie


What is it with Queenslander's and rocks??? :p

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#72 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:21

On the final run to the top now....

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1:3 incline

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Finish in sight!

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Edited by 275 GTB-4, 11 September 2012 - 10:22.


#73 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:37

The Finish...line, timing shed etc

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[Thank you Gogle Chrome :up: and for the Anoraks, Google was named that originally!]

#74 Ian G

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:58

Great photo of the crowd at the hairpin, Kevin.
I was worried the first time I took the hairpin, no syncro on first gear!


Yeah,this thread has sure caused a lot of memories to resurface.The first time i was out there was in the early 1960's with a school friend who's father was in the Mosman Sporting Car Club(may have been Manly-Warringah) , we stood(eventually) near where that crowd was,i remember the wicker picnic baskets & Thermos('s) but what stuck in my memory was that some of the guys were wearing ties on a stinking hot day.

#75 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:44

There are three outstanding memories I have of the place...

One is old Jim and his mates tooling around on Bultacos; another is of a Vee hitting a bellbird and leaving it stunned in the middle of the road near the timing line; the third is of a pit full of cars, the fastidiously-prepared Garner Bowin Holden among them, and a child falling and hurting herself on the Murray Bingham trailer.

I used to live only about two or three miles away as the crow flies and I visited Jim and Paddy there quite a few times. They had a pet cockatoo or galah which had no feathers as a result of eating poisoned grain... among many other strange things.

#76 GMACKIE

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 20:56

So many memories came flooding back last Saturday. My first day at Silverdale [late 1961] was to compete, having never been there before.

How nice it was seeing people such as Erol Richardson, Arthur Garthon, Geoff & Talma Ringrose, etc. there. My VSCCA mebership application [1961] read "Prosed, Jack Bono....Seconded, Arthur Garthon".

Jim and Paddy Robson were good friends. Paddy had a remarkable ability to coax injured animals back to good health. A blue water-hen was one that sticks in my mind....Paddy found it on the road with broken bones etc. They set up a 'pond' in their printing shop [near my house] at Caringbah, and before long that bird was running around as part of their 'family'. And then there was Mark.

#77 Paul Hamilton

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 13:00


There are certainly some great memories here and I am really sorry I did not make the effort to come along. The hill seems to remain in remarkably good condition and looks almost like it could be put back into action with some hard work to clear the scrub, take down a few trees and put up some barriers. There does not seem to be any sign of the major washaway which I had been told had taken away most of the road down through the dipper and up to big tree. That seems to have been a pretty widely spread story and I wonder just where it came from and why.

One strong memory these great photos brought back for me was that of a freezing cold Saturday night spent sleeping in the timing room next to the start pad during the course of a two day AHCC meeting during the early 1960s. The timing room is still there and seems from the photos to be relatively intact.

Silverdale was the start of it all for many of us and I too can thank Arthur Garthon for my intro to the VSCC. Its great to hear that he is still around.



#78 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 22:55

And who got fastest time? and what brand of sports shoes were they wearing?
It wasnt Mick, he was too busy taking some excellent pics.

#79 GMACKIE

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 01:50

Wallacia Hotel saw the competition for FTD [First To Drink]. :rolleyes:

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#80 rms

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 02:52

Well I didn't see anyone else in the bar when I ordered
So
FTD again ??????

Erol


#81 BT 35-8

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 03:26

And who can remember the day when Murray Bingham was invited to give advice to newcomers
as to how to approach the hill and then the demonstration in the Ex Abbott Porsche Cobra and proceeded
to fire it off at a great rate of knots into the bush on the left of the notorious dipper and half the pits and Jim's
Landrover were needed to haul it back up onto the hill.

I was running Series Prod in my Cooper S but spent most of my time '' perving'' on things like RMS's Rennmax.

Bryan Miller.

#82 GMACKIE

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 05:17

Bingham was not the only one to go 'over the edge' at the Dipper, was he Bryan? I saw David McKay in [I think] a Cologne Capri, and a VW special [someone will remember his name...Millburn?] do the same thing.

It was almost impossible to resist the urge to turn the steering wheel when the wheels were well in the air, and if you did, and hit the track with a bit of lock on.... :blush: But wasn't it a great hillclimb? :up:

Edited by GMACKIE, 13 September 2012 - 05:22.


#83 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 06:52

And who can remember the day when Murray Bingham was invited to give advice to newcomers
as to how to approach the hill and then the demonstration in the Ex Abbott Porsche Cobra and proceeded
to fire it off at a great rate of knots into the bush on the left of the notorious dipper and half the pits and Jim's
Landrover were needed to haul it back up onto the hill.

I was running Series Prod in my Cooper S but spent most of my time '' perving'' on things like RMS's Rennmax.

Bryan Miller.


Not this one Bryan?? :wave:

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and another A Series powered device....

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Edited by 275 GTB-4, 13 September 2012 - 06:55.


#84 BT 35-8

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:02

No , mine was I think EPW 423 in Marine Blue with a pale blue roof , then a Red MK 11 with white roof.
I was down the back of the Bob Forbes [ two cars to choose from ] one with Michelin XAS's or the other
with Dunlop CR65s , then Wilf Slater from Wingham , and various others , sometimes Peter Finlay ran one
of Bob Forbes from memory .

#85 BT 35-8

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:04

Is that not the '' Mini Jem'' , can't remember who ran it.

#86 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:15

I only went to a very few hillclimbs, but I'm sure I also saw someone go over the edge above the timing shed...

McKay in the Cologne Capri would have been competing in the Dulux Rally of 1972, wouldn't he?

#87 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:43

Is that not the '' Mini Jem'' , can't remember who ran it.


More likely a Marcos GT Bryan...check your programs!! (Post late 70s- Pre-84)


#88 GMACKIE

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:56

Remembered the name of the bloke who went over the edge of the Dipper in his VW special.....it was Brian Milton.

#89 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:00

Remembered the name of the bloke who went over the edge of the Dipper in his VW special.....it was Brian Milton.


BUT!! can you remember where you are and what you have to do tomorrow Greg?? :wave: :lol:




#90 GMACKIE

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:15

Nah...I only remember the important stuff. :rolleyes:

#91 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:26

Nah...I only remember the important stuff. :rolleyes:


Thank Goodness!

I believe there is renewed interest in my friends F3 Brabham clone that was broken up for parts....Kent engine with a bunch of goodies...(the cynic in me wonders why...there is renewed interest!)

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#92 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:16

Originally posted by GMACKIE
Remembered the name of the bloke who went over the edge of the Dipper in his VW special.....it was Brian Milton.


Funnily enough, I thought you meant him...

But I thought you would have remembered because there was a lot of discussion about that device recently in the Formula Vee thread.

#93 DanTra2858

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 01:17

Are any of the Safety Fences still standing, I was unlucky when I started braking for the right hander prior to the finish line when the R/H wheel ran over a damp spot on the track, 10 inch wide Slicks don't like that, result was bent steering after hitting the Safety Fence & my day was finished, up to that point the run would have been close to the 40 second mark, but not to be.

Were the Safety Fences Damaged by the Bushfire ???

#94 GMACKIE

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:33

All safety fences have gone, including the Armco. There is a strange looking fence there now [see Mick's photos], made from two rows of 1" steel wire rope and steel posts. Must have been put there by some government department......nobody else would be able to afford it.

#95 Dale Harvey

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:24

Are any of the Safety Fences still standing, I was unlucky when I started braking for the right hander prior to the finish line when the R/H wheel ran over a damp spot on the track, 10 inch wide Slicks don't like that, result was bent steering after hitting the Safety Fence & my day was finished, up to that point the run would have been close to the 40 second mark, but not to be.

Were the Safety Fences Damaged by the Bushfire ???


I also hit that fence. Probably due to being too late on the brakes. That was 1972. Damage was bad but, with a bit of adjusting here and there, I had another run.

Dale.

#96 Catalina Park

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:21

All safety fences have gone, including the Armco. There is a strange looking fence there now [see Mick's photos], made from two rows of 1" steel wire rope and steel posts. Must have been put there by some government department......nobody else would be able to afford it.

The fence at the loop with the steel posts and wire rope was there in the 80s, it is just the wooden planks that were on the front of it that are missing.


#97 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 06:56

speaking of Silverdale...does anyone know where a bunch of results may be found? apart from RCN...

#98 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 14:51

Originally posted by Catalina Park
The fence at the loop with the steel posts and wire rope was there in the 80s, it is just the wooden planks that were on the front of it that are missing.


That sounds like the planking was installed to satisfy the Speedways Act of 1957...

Presumably, then, the 'expensive' wire rope was the original stuff and dated back to somewhere near the beginning of it all. Perhaps a bit of 'war surplus' material from somewhere?

Mick, as Jim Robson was very particular about the various class and outright records at the climb it's likely that he might have some. I asked previously if you'd tried ringing him.

#99 GMACKIE

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 20:42

Maybe the steel fence was there all the time, and was hidden by the timber planks? I don't remember seeing the wire rope bit......but then I only ever saw the fence from the 'wooden' side. :rolleyes:

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#100 Catalina Park

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:55

I remember the wire rope from the spectator side.