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Hillclimbing cars competing on circuits?


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#1 Graham Clayton

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:09

There have been many examples of road racing vehicles competing at hillclimbs. However, have there been many examples of specialist hillclimbing cars competing on road racing circuits?

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#2 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:46

There have been many examples of road racing vehicles competing at hillclimbs. However, have there been many examples of specialist hillclimbing cars competing on road racing circuits?

Ther is not that many 'specialist' hillclimb vehicles. Most really are normal race cars adapted to hillclimbs. Some are ofcourse and have on occasion been raced and more often sprinted.
I have though seen specialist speedway vehicles play on the hills with suitable tyres and squared up suspensions.
I once did a demonstration in my classic Supermodified, changing gears with a handclutch was a challenge!!

#3 Stephen W

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:14

Can't speak for Australia but in the UK there have been a lot of "Specialist" cars that were built to not only Hillclimb & Sprint but were also used for circuit racing, trials, rallies, etc.

:wave:



#4 David McKinney

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:21

...ever since before the First World War

#5 Allen Brown

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:40

I agree with Steve and David. Many specials, only some of which were conversions.

The MAC used to hold a race at Silverstone in Late March each when some of the hillclimb community would try their cars on a circuit. Roy Lane won this race in 1968 in his Brabham BT14 and in 1969 in his Tech-Craft, both with a 3.5-litre Buick V8 engine. The Brabham was a conversion but the Tech-Craft was custom built for the hills.

#6 hillsprint

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 13:07

Some of the small bike engined hillclimb cars, Jedi and OMS, have been used in circuit racing. I know that one of the top local hillclimbers talked to Mike Pilbeam about using his MP62 for the occasional circuit race. But the fuel tank was too small to do more than a handful of laps, which would probably be an issue with most of the bespoke UK cars, with radiator sizes another problem.



#7 sabrejet

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 16:59

Some of the small bike engined hillclimb cars, Jedi and OMS, have been used in circuit racing. I know that one of the top local hillclimbers talked to Mike Pilbeam about using his MP62 for the occasional circuit race. But the fuel tank was too small to do more than a handful of laps, which would probably be an issue with most of the bespoke UK cars, with radiator sizes another problem.


Of course, some hill climb cars don't have radiators at all!

However, I seem to recall a Gould GR37 is circuit racing in Ireland. Seems strange to see a big hill climb single-seater with mirrors.

#8 D-Type

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 18:31

The first XK Jaguar powered special was the LGS (or Le Gallais Special) built in 1949-50by Jerseyman Frank le Gallais to compete at the Bouley Bay and Guernesey Hillclimbs. The car also ventured to the mainland and ran successfully at Shelsley Walsh and Prescott.

In 1958 it was than sold to David Shepherd in Kenya where it raced for some years with a succession of drivers. initially it overheated and the nose was opened up and a larger radiator fitted. As far as I remember, the car was dogged by unreliability and was never particularly successful.

Edited by D-Type, 04 November 2012 - 18:42.


#9 GMACKIE

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 21:04

In the early '60s, Jack Bono's supercharged 356 Porsche was a very successful hillclimb car. In an effort to improve its handling, Jack reversed the engine position [engine in front of the rear axle].

Although the car was now more suitable for circuit racing, with the reduced traction it was not as quick at hillclimbs....although still a winner in the GT class. From then on it was used mostly for circuit racing.

#10 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:50

I would have though it would have been better as the rear weight would not have been much less for traction but a bit more front weight should have made it steer better and have far less pendulem effect that that very poor design has. Cooling may have been an issue however. I have seen that done to beetles too which makes them a better balanced car though cooling then was an issue in hot weather.
And no rear pasenger area either. One was a road car,, sort of! 68 IRS, beam front with a modified 2 litre Kombi engine. It was different!

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 05 November 2012 - 06:52.


#11 rbm

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:52

the original Cooper 500's were all built as hill climbcars (the 2 prototypes and the first batch of eleven production cars [mk 2's]).

whilst at the time circuit racing had not re-started post war, these early car did not have the fuel capacity for circuit racing and had to be adapted with a saddle tank and fuel transfer pump (to move fuel to the gravity feed tank above the engine) driven off a cam added to the back axle.



#12 fivestar

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:33

The Norris Special which is Alta based, was originally used purely for Hillclimbs and Sprints.
Today on occasions it is also used for circuit racing.
A number of photos through its life are on the Alta Racers thread.

rgds 5*

the original Cooper 500's were all built as hill climbcars (the 2 prototypes and the first batch of eleven production cars [mk 2's]).

whilst at the time circuit racing had not re-started post war, these early car did not have the fuel capacity for circuit racing and had to be adapted with a saddle tank and fuel transfer pump (to move fuel to the gravity feed tank above the engine) driven off a cam added to the back axle.



#13 Allan Lupton

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:31

The Norris Special which is Alta based, was originally used purely for Hillclimbs and Sprints.
Today on occasions it is also used for circuit racing.
A number of photos through its life are on the Alta Racers thread.

rgds 5*

One can say the same of the two 'Nash chassis Alvis engines Norris Specials which have been raced on and off since the 1950s - here's the small one:
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Note the numberplate on this single-seater, which links it in to the "racing cars on the road" thread :)

Edited by Allan Lupton, 06 November 2012 - 08:34.


#14 Stephen W

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:54

Note the numberplate on this single-seater, which links it in to the "racing cars on the road" thread :)


A large number of monoposto racing car specials started life as road cars and often retained their numberplate. The Norris Special is not alone in this.


#15 JBaxter

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 21:11

...and here's the big one. Norris II, a Frazer Nash with Alvis engine. Also road registered, tested regularly on the road and makes appearances at the local classic car pub meet, although he has to be home before dark.
He has 140 wins/first class awards, combined hillclimbs and races since his birth in 1934 to date, from approx 384 events entered. Enough to rival.......?
63 FTD's on hillclimbs, 50 of them by the present owner.
Seen here drying out at Pembrey race circuit last year.
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Edited by JBaxter, 08 November 2012 - 21:42.


#16 Vettefinderjim

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 21:34

There have been many examples of road racing vehicles competing at hillclimbs. However, have there been many examples of specialist hillclimbing cars competing on road racing circuits?


STEVE ELFENBEIN drove a 1960 Corvette from 1961 thru 1972 in the NEW JERSEY and NEW YORK and PENNSYLVANIA REGIONS. He started in Hilclimbs like GIANTS DESPAIR, close to Wilkes Barre, DURYEA in Reading, both in Pennsylvania. The first two years Steve drove the car on the street (Steve’s only car).

In 1963, Steve got his SCCA Comp license and entered the car in many road race events at Lime Rock, Cumberland, VIR, Bridgehampton, Watkins Glen, and other east coast tracts. He raced Regional and National events and competed with Don Yenko, Ed Lowther, Frank Dominianni, Mark Donahue, Bob Johnson, Bob Grossman and all the other wild racers from the time.

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All in all, the car entered 128 events, and gathered 73 first places, 21 seconds, 16 thirds, and only 4 DNF’s.