By Ann Evans
The Chateau Impney Hill Climb is an annual celebration of historic motorsport attracting thousands of visitors each year. Ann Evans previews what’s to come.
The very first Chateau Impney Hill Climb took place in September 1957. It was organised by the Hagley and District Light Car Club, which is still a thriving motorsport club based at hill climb venue, Loton Park. The Chateau Impney hill climb was a huge success and was the start of a decade of exciting motorsport races.
It ended in 1967, then after a 48-year break, the Chateau Impney Hill Climb was re-launched in 2015 and has gone from strength to strength with 16,000 visitors expected this year, and some 200 competitors taking part in the hill climbs.
This year’s event takes place on 7th and 8th July and promises to be a weekend of spectacular family entertainment and adrenalin-filled racing – as well as time to relax and enjoy the 140 acres of picturesque landscape and gardens. The Chateau Impney is a magnificent Grade II* listed building – now an impressive hotel and conference centre set in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire. Designed in the style of Louis XIII, it is one of the finest, most authentic examples of French chateau style architecture in the UK,
Visitors can catch the action from the grandstands and get up close with the cars taking part in the paddock. There is also a Concours d’Elegance showcasing a range of stunning and priceless cars, luxury trade stands, a vintage funfair complete with dodgem cars, one of the finest original helter skelters in the country and the oldest travelling Ferris wheel in the country, built in 1922 for showman Pat Collins.
This summer the British Motor Museum will be taking two of its unique Austin Sevens to the Chateau Impney Hill Climb. The Museum’s 1935 Austin Seven side-valve and a 1936 Austin Seven twin-cam single-seat racing cars will take to the track.
They will be joined by the Chateau’s own 1936 Austin Seven twin-cam, giving racing enthusiasts a rare opportunity to see all three of the surviving Works Austin Sevens run together in public.
Stephen Laing, Curator at the British Motor Museum said, “These little Sevens are some of the most exciting pre-war racing cars and were big hitters in racing scene of the 1930s. They are amongst the last single seater racers ever to be built by a major British manufacturer and we are really looking forward to reuniting them on track after so many years.”
Charlie Martin, Event Manager of the Chateau Impney Hill Climb said, “The Museum’s two Austins will join around 200 competitors in a range pre-1967 vehicles – some of which competed at the Chateau in its heyday. They will tackle the tricky hill climb course, hailed as one of the most challenging new courses in the country.”
For more information about the Chateau Impney Hill Climb visit www.chateauimpneyhillclimb.com.
For information about The British Motor Museum please visit the website at www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk or call 01926 641188.