Journal: The Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb Was Full Of Weird And Wonderful Gems

The Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb Was Full Of Weird And Wonderful Gems

Jayson Fong By Jayson Fong
July 25, 2016
3 comments

The discipline of hillclimbing attracts an incredible variety of machinery from largely standard cars to  lightweight hillclimb specials, to the ultra-rare “converted” Grand Prix car: everyone has a place on the hill, with just one rule: go as fast as you can. At the Classic Nostalgia weekend at Shelsley Walsh I recently attended, there was a second rule: variety is the spice of life.

Previously, I had a look at the incredible atmosphere at Shelsley and the way historic race cars complimented the scene. A week on, the quality of the collection still resonates with me, so here we are with a dedicated look at some spectacular metal.

Particular attention needs to given to the 16-cylinder Auto Union Type C, the headlining act of the event, which was making a return to the course for the first time in 80 years. Although not the exact car to record the 42.8 second climb in 1936, its presence at Shelsley at the hands of the original pilot’s son was nothing less than magical.

The same man, Hans Joachim Stuck, was also reunited with his Audi IMSA S4 GTO, a rather intimidating looking monster in its Rothmans livery. Similar colours also appeared in the selection of Group B cars, although it was the white and yellow Quattros and Martini Lancias that really stole the show.

However, in terms of speed, it could be none other than the Manic Beattie that almost literally flew up the hill faster. With a helicopter turbine constantly spinning the turbo for a lagless 600 horsepower experience, the Manic is one of many special builds that epitomise the obsession with time at the hillclimb.

But don’t just leave it to pictures to tell you what these cars are like. With a readily accessible paddock and owners and teams ready to fill you in on the history of their cars, the Classic Nostalgia was one of the best events for getting up close and personal with these engineering marvels.

Which other classic events have a similarly diverse offering, in a similar setting?

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Lawrence Alexander
Lawrence Alexander

It was a great event. I was competing in my Alfa and, for once, wandering around the paddock, was almost as much of an adrenaline rush as driving the hill!

Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss

Thanks for posting more great pictures Jason! I really enjoy the fact that this spread had some good close-ups of the more mechanical aspects of the cars… something that is often absent from articles on the site.

Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss

Crap, sorry I misspelled your name Jayson. 🙁