Happiness is a Hagerty Hill Climb in the Sun

by Hagerty
13 May 2024 2 min read
Happiness is a Hagerty Hill Climb in the Sun

Slow or fast, young or old, classic, retro or modern, the Hagerty Hill Climb once again showed just how extensive and eclectic is the passion for cars in our community.

On a glorious sunny day at Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire, the oldest motorsport venue in the world hosted over 130 cars, their owners and hundreds more enthusiasts at our annual ‘run-what-you-brung’ event.

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The diversity on display was incredible. At one end of the spectacular scale was John Dennis’s 1907 Berliet Curtiss Special, while at the other were the brand new Radicals that compete in the Hagerty Cup. In between was almost everything a petrolhead could wish to see from Richard Wilson’s semi lightweight E-Type to a gaggle of Group B rally cars from the fine folks at Ralli 22. If you wanted to spot a short-wheelbase Audi quattro go sideways through the bottom S, or be shocked by the shotgun blast of anti-lag on a Peugeot 206 WRX then there was nowhere better to be.

The age of drivers ranged from those who looked like they’d just passed their tests like Robert Stokes in his track-prepared Renault Megane to Peter Thompson in his GT40, who describes himself as “gradually retiring” – although his pace up the hill suggested otherwise.

For raw speed there were purpose-built hillclimbers such as Dougie Cant’s Force HC, while Victor Mayer’s wonderful yellow Fiat 500 Abarth tribute brought the most smiles, with plenty of time to gather them as it peaked at 20 mph.

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The AFK Racing EnduroKA, sponsored in 2023 by Hagerty, may have inadvertently set a record by virtue of being the only car of its class to tackle Shelby. Driven by Lewis Warren of Takona, and carrying his positive mental health message “It’s OK to Talk,” it certainly gave the commentators something to talk about it.

Pam Hiscock brought the noise with her Chevrolet El Camino, and there was more American muscle in an Italian suit in the form of Dave Quine’s De Tomaso Pantera. A few MX-5 owners showed that ‘Miata Is Always The Answer’, even when it comes to hillclimbs, there was a strong showing of Porsches, MGs of all ages and even a Saab Sonnet, courtesy of Christopher Foley.

Paul Cowland somehow squeezed himself into a Seven-style GBS Zero, but even that dwarfed the various marvelous Minis that absolutely shot up the steep slope.

With the paddock open to all, car conversations took place at every corner, and with runs timed, a friendly competition was evident, drivers rushing to the race control shed to see how rapidly they’d run up the 1,000-yard course.

Enjoy the glorious gallery below courtesy of @captureyourcarphotography and, if you’d like to get involved in the wonderful car community with us then there’s still time to book in for the Festival of the Unexceptional, RADwood and Hagerty Hangouts this summer.

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  • Pete Thompson says:

    Looks like I’m now the official ‘Old Man of Shelsley’ – good job I’ve still got near 500 horses behind the seat though!

  • Warwick Barber says:

    What an epic day! For me it was my first hill climb in my black/silver classic mini, to see what it’s all about, and to see if I’d like to pursue it competitively. So as soon as I returned home I contacted MSA to get my licence to compete. Thanks all involved for putting this great event on, and hope to see you all soon, or at least at next years event.

  • Victor Mayer says:

    What an aboslute glorious day. My familiy and and I enjoyed envery sigle moement. People and drivers were amazing. A great environment full of good vibes. Can’t wait to be back next yeat with another classic Abarth!

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