Hints and Tips - Prescott and Wiscombe

From: pete giles
Sent: 28 May 2002
To: british-cars-pre-war
Subject: prescott

hi all what a nice day out it was,i felt sorry for the owner of the 30/98 that blew up,hope they got it home ok. i thought there where more purpose built cars this year and not so many original ones and very few big edwardians
PG


From: David Whittle
Sent: 29 May 2002
To: pete giles; british-cars-pre-war
Subject: Re: prescott

Hi Pete

What was going on at Prescott?

I spectated at VSCC Wiscombe on 12/5/02 and what a lovely venue that is (first time I've been)! I thought it always rained in Devon, we all got sunburnt!! Also watching the Hillclimb was an Osprey who chased off the Buzzards, quite a day out it was!

David W


From: Paul Weston
Sent: 29 May 2002
To: David Whittle
cc: british-cars-pre-war
Subject: Re: prescott

I'll second that.

Lying on the grass in the sun was just icing on the cake.

I can't understand why people rave over Prescott. Both Wiscombe and Loton are much better hills. Heading towards that narrow gate with the token straw bales against the posts is er.......exciting!

PaulW


From: Ed Swain
Sent: 29 May 2002
To: British-Cars-Pre-War
Subject: Hill climb

It was my first drive up Wiscombe and I agree it is a great hill and the weather was so good to make it a super day. I think that Loton is an even better hill to drive, particularly the bit as a spectator that you cannot see. Prescott on the other hand is something special. As a hill it is very good, but as an event it has all around appeal. Part of this is the walk around the car parks if you can find the time, to see a gathering of such quality and range of vintage machinery is magnificent. Maybe in the future Prescott will wane and Loton or Wiscombe will rise into a similar social position, who knows? In the meantime I am just trying to enjoy what is available, and trust that the most profitable events do not argue for non-starting the not so profitable hills.

Dr Ed Swain


From: CRodenFSC
Sent: 29 May 2002
To: british-cars-pre-war
Subject: re-Hill climb

I totally agree with Ed Swain, it was also my first trip up the hill at Wiscombe and, whilst I appreciate that my views may be coloured by the beautiful weather, the fact that the car was very sick (and my driving even worse!) did nothing to spoil a superb day. I think the only thing that makes Prescott so special over places like Wiscombe, is the attendance of period vehicles in the Orchard, which seems to generate a sort of party atmosphere, and it seems to me that it is unlikely that that could be acheived elsewhere because of the favourable location of Prescott, more or less in the middle of the country. Give me a choice of competing at Prescott, Loton, Shelsey or Wiscombe and there would be no contest, I'd choose all four! Pity about the lack of a return road at Wiscombe though. Finally, has anyone any idea why the VSCC don't use Gurston Down?


From: pete giles
Sent: 29 May 2002
To: british-cars-pre-war
Subject: WISCOME

sorry slip of the type writer i meant Wiscome. But i will agree about prescott the car park is something else but the hill is not as exiting as wiscome. last years shelsley was good in the wet it is much faster when its dry?


From: Ian Kerr
Sent: 30 May 2002
To: british-cars-pre-war
Subject: Curborough & Prescot

I was at Curborough speed Trials a couple of weeks ago and looking around the Paddock found it very disappointing to see so few original looking cars there . A large number of the cars had new bodies with modern instruments , no attempt had been made to even make them look old . If what one can see is plainly new , how about all the parts that we can not see , ie inside the engines and gearbox`s . No wonder standard original cars are are few and far between at these events ,an owner would be mad to try to compete in their 1930`s car against 2002 technology.. Perhaps one saving grace is that many original cars turn up to spectate at the likes of Curborough and Prescott .

Is the first V in VSCC now out of date !!

Ian.


From: David Whittle
Sent: 30 May 2002
To: british-cars-pre-war
Subject: Re: re-Hill climb

I am in full agreement that the car park at Prescott is a delightful experience and worth the trip on it own! But I think Prescott and especially Shelsley have something else about them and I can only describe as a patina! This has to be the result of the 100 years (Shelsley) and nearly 70 years (Prescott) of use as a Speed Hill Climb venue. Its a bit like antique furniture, you could build a superior piece today but you can't build in all those years of use and polishing! However I did like Wiscombe, and will make the effort to sample Loton if I can. I have yet to see this venue, but it sounds wonderful. This is another reason why I do so prefer Hill Climbs to Circuit Racing, its like the difference between spending a day in the Malvern hills or spending a day in Slough.

As a youngster I used to go and watch at Great Auclum Hill Climb, which was only a few miles from where I lived, and had a wonderful banked corner ( bit like a mini-Brookland bank) after a steep downhill bit. I well remember a Bug Type 35 going 'over the top'! The noise of the sump area receiving a bashing was not pleasant! Such a shame that venue ceased being used and was subject to the dreaded 'development'.

Anyone else remember it, and what was it like to drive? I've seen some recent photos of what's left, and its not a pretty site!

David W


From: OLIVER TOMLIN
Sent: 30 May 2002
To: british-cars-pre-war
Subject: RE: re-Hill climb

Can't say I remember it, only being 26 (!), but my grandfather has video footage from a camera mounted on his car when he competed at Great Auclum in the early 1950s. Fascinating stuff (the footage also shows Rest and be Thankful in the same era). The car is currently being maintained by me and will be at Prescott at the end of June.

As for hillclimbing atmosphere, I have to agree with you about Prescott and Shelsley, streaks ahead of the rest, purely from the "patina". Being lucky enough to be a modern day hillclimb competitor, these are my favourite pair, over and above Harewood, Loton, Wiscombe and Gurston.

Oliver


From: James Holland
Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 1:31 PM
To: OLIVER TOMLIN; british-cars-pre-war
Subject: RE: re-Hill climb

Oliver,you didn't say what the car is!

James H


From: OLIVER TOMLIN
Sent: 30 May 2002
To: 'James Holland'; british-cars-pre-war
Subject: RE: re-Hill climb

Sorry!

Its a one off Special called Chapman Mercury 3. Built 1954 with a Cadillac V8 of about 6 or 7 litres. Now fitted with a 5.7 Chevy. (I blew up the 4.7!!!) Would you like to see some photos??? www.olivertomlin.co.uk Ignore the waffle at the beginning please!! And click on the Specials link on the left. I wrote a letter to Classic and Sportscar about Mercury 4 which is in it this month. Still trying to find it if anyone out there has heard of it.

Oliver


From: James Holland
Sent: 30 May 2002
To: 'OLIVER TOMLIN'; James Holland; british-cars-pre-war
Subject: RE: re-Hill climb

Interesting stuff!

Are Mercuries 1 and 2 still around in some shape or form?

James H


From: OLIVER TOMLIN
Sent: 30 May 2002
To: 'James Holland'; british-cars-pre-war
Subject: RE: re-Hill climb

Mercury 1 is still around and attends a few hillclimbs each year. Mercury 2 was cannibalised to make No. 3. I asked my grandfather how he built his cars, "well, I stuck the engine on a beer crate and welded out to the four corners - voila, a car"!!!! If you go to Vintage Prescott this year, you should see Mercury 3 (reg. 400 WB) in the camping field somewhere - if it behaves itself. It went last year, having blown a huge hole in one silencer and made a horrendous noise!!!

Oliver


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