Ferrous melts at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb 2018
Over the last weekend Ferrous got to cover its hometown. Just the other side of town from Ferrous' base the Chateau Impney stands on a hill overlooking the Roman A38, formally the extravagant home of local rich person, John Corbett. Now the impressive and obviously hilly grounds of the house have a much better use than a place for the wealthy to play croquet or polo or whatever it is they do. Nowadays the hotel drive-way becomes a hill climb track once a year and makes for a brilliant weekend of fuel-burning fun.
Roaring into life at 8.45 in the morning for practice runs that can be heard the other side of town, the event begins. Upon arrival punters are greeted with a view of almost the whole track as they walk in. With its twists and turns this begins at the bottom of the hill on the other side of the stream and runs past the side of the house and round the back up to the top of the hill to finish in a gathering of trees after a run of 885m.
This year was the event's fourth since its revival in 2015, the Climb began in 1957 and died off in the 60s. Making the climb were a mix of cars as attractive and historic as the Chateau, ranging from early 20th century machines appearing to be nothing more than bullets with car parts to Group B rally cars. The Saturday saw cars and their drivers competing to place their positions for the next day's racing.
Throughout both days there was a whole range of extra-vehicular entertainment with booze, food, fairground rides, tank rides, flyovers from WW2 aircraft and football on a giant screen in the case of Saturday. All the while the constant roar of ancient engines pelting their way up the hill bounces its way round the grounds. Easily one of the most drawing things about the event is the oddities of car design on show. These included cars from the early part of the last century that had been repaired with meticulous attention to detail and history to literal airship engines bolted into car frames.
Saturday's engine noise was added to by a low-flying Douglas C-47, and Sunday by the roar of a Spitfire's Merlin engine. The event has a huge list of big business sponsors from Churchfield's Ice Cream based just down the road in Salwarpe to BMW and a host of national investment companies and other suit-wearing money people. The whole show is a spectacular show of motorsport history with cars of a huge age range and from all over the world.
The Hill Climb makes a great day out for families too which hopefully should help fuel the next generation of brilliant nutters who maintain and race cars like the ones that hurtle up the hill in Droitwich every year. The races manage to be competitive without being taken too seriously which makes the event all the more fun.
After a brilliant but sweaty weekend at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb Ferrous can happily recommend the event to families, motorheads, and just anyone with nothing to do on a weekend in July. The Climb makes for an impressive display of automotive history and is a nice change from seeing old cars as purely museum exhibits or stationary objects in someone's garage.